The Central Collegiate Hockey Association, or CCHA, was the biggest casualty of college hockey’s western realignment that took place in 2013. But eight years after the league dissolved, the name at least, will make a return.
On Tuesday, it was announced that the new league being formed by seven members of the current WCHA—Bemidji State, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Minnesota State, and Northern Michigan—would inherit the CCHA name. When the previous incarnation of the CCHA resolved, Bowling Green retained the name rights. trophies, etc. from the old league.
In a statement, former St. Cloud State athletic director Morris Kurtz, who leads the consulting firm heading the seven schools’ transition into the new league said:
“After extensive discussion and significant due diligence, it made sense to everyone involved to move in this direction. The name conveys the current geographic alignment of our members and the CCHA brand has a tremendous amount of equity and goodwill associated with it. What’s old is new again and we look forward to refreshing the brand and identity to fully capture the energy and passion of the institutions it represents.”
The next step for the new league will be to identify a commissioner for the league. Kurtz said the league plans to have one in place by no later than July 1st of this year. The new league will begin play in October of 2021.
In addition to setting up the infrastructure of the new league, speculation remains about the league possibly adding an eighth member to even out potential schedules. The lead, it would seem, to take that eighth slot, would be St. Thomas University, which is currently litigating to gain an exemption from the NCAA allowing them to move directly from Division III to Division I.