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When it comes to major junior hockey in the Northwest, it doesn’t get any better than the Spokane Chiefs. In fact, the Chiefs are among the most respected franchises not just in the WHL, but in the entire CHL.
Thanks to Memorial Cup wins in 1991 and 2008 and consistent attendance among the top 10 in the 59-team CHL, the Chiefs have put hockey on the map in the state of Washington.
Spokane Chiefs Thru the Years
It’s hard to know where to start with the Chiefs history because there’s so much to say. In addition to their Memorial Cup titles, the Spokane Chiefs have won the Western Division twice and have Western Conference titles in the WHL.
They’re the only team in WHL history to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series. They did it against Portland in 1996. The Chiefs and Winterhawks’ fates have repeatedly intertwined over the years.
In addition to being rivals, they’re the only two American franchises to win the Memorial Cup.
A topic of great debate: which Spokane Chiefs team is the best ever? The 1991 Memorial-Cup winning team had Trevor Kidd in goal and NHLers like Ray Whitney, Pat Falloon and Jon Klemm. They dominated the tourney.
The 2008 Chiefs became the only American WHL team to win the Memorial Cup on Canadian soil. They were led by defenseman Drayson Bowman, who now plays in the Carolina Hurricanes system.
The Chiefs have mentored many more great players over the years, developing Michael Grabner, Bryan McCabe and even coaches like Mike Babcock and Butch Goring. They hosted the first outdoor WHL game in January of 2011.
The accomplishments keep coming for the Spokane Chiefs. What’s next for this proud franchise?