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Genesis - 3 Leagues ( Pre-EHL era )
Three independent Hockey Leagues ( DHL, JHL, SHL ) compete with each other for attendance and the north american hockey market. Official beginning of these leagues is unknown due to unofficial and undocumented history. The JHL almost goes bankrupt and loses many teams while the 2 other leagues are slowly expanding.
The Beginning - EHL Merger ( Season 1 )
Long negociations and desperate action concluded a deal that would change hockey history forever. A merger including the DHL, JHL and SHL into what his now known as the EHL with 32 teams.
Expansion - First Wave ( Season 4 )
The new league format is quite successful and possibility of expansion is wide open. A record 14 teams are added into the EHL ( now 36 teams ) some are new expansions but many are from independent leagues.
Expansion - Second Wave ( Season 7 )
The EHL is ruthless and arrogant towards other remaining north american leagues, but nevertheless league directors decide to expand with 12 new teams. Critics are blown away by this second major expansion just 3 years after the first one, bringing the total to 48. Some say chosen markets are too small to be sustainable. But an imposed partial sharing of revenue would give a chance to lesser cities.
Expansion.. has it's limits ( Season 11 )
Attempt to add more expansion teams in the EHL doesn't go as planned. 2 out of the 3 new teams don't even finish the season. The question of small markets comes up more than ever in discussions around the league as a greater number of teams ( even some established ones ) are threathened to bankrupcy.
Bigger and bigger - FHL Merger ( Season 12 )
Major events change the face the EHL. The league forces 16 fragile teams to dismantle or move to a bigger and more stable revenue city. The FHL, last independent major north american hockey league is bought and incorporated into the EHL which adds 12 new teams. With it's 60 teams and no competition, the league is the most prestigious in north america and the world. It tries to reassure doubtful critics complaining about league instability. With the increasing number of teams and growing demand of a professionnal level game, the lesser quality of players available in diluted entry drafts in the recent years is a major concern. Europe is often mentioned in talks as an interesting market but it seems a big step away.
Bigger but not better - 66 the number of the beast? ( Season 13 )
The last merger has somewhat of a boom effect which adds 6 more expansions to make it the record 66 teams but only for a short while. Most them don't last 2 seasons. The next year a great number of unstable teams are sold and displaced to new cities or former ones. Critics mock the fact that cities lose their team only to get it back a couple years later. Former FHL teams have a hard time complying with EHL standards and complain about contractual issues. The conclusion is obvious, the super league is too large and unsustainable.
New Structures - WEHA ( Season 15 )
After the painstalking efforts to keep expanding, the league swallows its pride and finally decides to take a step down cutting back to 48 teams ( see CURRENT EHL TEAMS ) which are proven stable with the promise of a fairer revenue sharing system, decent salary caps and a new and improved dental care plan. After years of rumors about the possibility of expansions in Europe comes a decision to allow the creation and development of a parallel but independent league based in Europe named WEHA. The enthusiasm from European investors is so great that it even gets EHL's New York Empire and the Tokyo Oni Warriors from a Japanese league to join in. A great number EHL's ex-supertars see this as chance to play a couple more years in a more relaxed and less demanding environment. The new format seems promised to a great future, could this be the long awaited solution to the neverending turmoil?