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Best Edmonton Men's Leagues

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Hey guys

I'm not sure if I'm asking on the best place since I see a lot of Americans on here, but I thought I'd ask anyway

If anyone here lives/has lived in Edmonton, AB what are the best beer leagues? I've noticed theres a large number of teams (CCRHL, ASHL, ERHL, EMHL, NCHL, etc.). Me and my wife are moving there in May and a group of my friends are interested in making a team together.. If anyone in Edmonton has experienced these leagues what has been the best to you guys?

I've never lived where theres so many teams that its surreal to me!

Thanks guys

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I can fill you in on this one!

I've been playing in the RCHL (River cree hockey league - ASHL affiliate) for 10+ years now.  If you end up living in the west end of Edmonton, this may be an advantage to you as all the games are played at their twin rinks.  Eventually I hear there are plans for them to go to 4 rinks there.  The skill level I would say is quite high, we play in E1 which is 4 from the bottom and we would be fairly higher in some of the other leagues.  In the higher divs you're getting into it with former jr players etc.  Periods are 13 minutes, only a scrape before the game,  and game times can vary from 630 starts all the way to 1130pm.  Occasionally have had a morning game on the weekend too.   All the games get live streamed and can watch afterwards via gameonstream, and after every game your team gets a $20 voucher for the bar inside the casino overlooking the south rink.  If you have a penalty free game you also get a voucher for a team platter of nachos and wings.  Decent perks, fairly well run, and with heavy penalties and fines for the really rough stuff it seems to have cleaned up the play by quite a bit.  Locker rooms are plenty big, clean (for a hockey room), and the facilities are well maintained.  The only knocks I can usually come up with for the RCHL is minor scheduling annoyances, and the playoff format.  It seems like they try to get you a game at least weekly but quite often you'll have breaks of 10-11 days which are tough if it's your only team.  And come playoff time, the first rounds are some weird two game series which if you tie after 2 games, you have to go to a shootout right after G2.  Much prefer a full 3 game series.  But with so many teams and only 2 rinks, scheduling games that may or may not come to fruition would be a nightmare scenario for them.


The NCHL is a smaller league in Edmonton, actually is more popular in Calgary.  They utilize city run arenas all over the city.  Some of these said arenas can be pretty terrible however.  90% of your games will be played at 10:30 or 10:45 at night, this league seems to book all the cheaper ice times and thus you're left with late games all the time.  However, for some this actually works out better for attendance as usually there is minimal conflicts at that time.  I have played in the league before and currently ref in it, it's ok but they lack a lot of divisions.  After reffing some of the top divisions I would almost feel comfortable putting my E1 team up against them.  15 minute periods with a scrape before the game.  Some lower divs in this league have some special rules. All tiers have a 3 goal per player max, and in tier 4 there's actually a "ringer rule" where the refs can tell a player to control the game less should they see fit.  As a ref in this league, I would say it's more suited for the beginner to intermediate player, and also co-ed.  Playoffs are a full best of 3 series here.


The ccrhl/erhl combined to have a big league.  I sub in this league and also have reffed in it. Like the NCHL, they utilize all the rinks around the city, and sometimes you'll have the option to have a game at rogers place, I've played one at Rexall as well.  15 minute periods here, but you get a flood after 2 periods.  Ice times vary, with games going as early as 730ish and as late as 10-1030.   They offer alot of options for teams during sign up, being able to pay for as little as 26 games or as many as 32 games, and can even pay extra to have a "home arena" where 50% or slightly more of your games will be played at the same place, same day, and same time, if that's important to your team.  Playoffs are a full best of 3 series each round and it's a pretty well run league with plenty of divisions from beginners to ex college/jr guys.  It honestly would be my league of choice to move my team to, but I live 2 minutes away from the river cree so it's tough to stay away from that league especially with the small perks. The only thing that bothers me is the current wonky playoff format.



I can't comment on the other leagues as I'm not as in tune with them, but if you've got any other questions just let me know!

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