It all started with a rink fire in 1956 that displaced the Eastern Hockey League’s Baltimore Clippers. In the decades since, nearly 30 teams have called the state home. Things weren’t always pretty, and the teams weren’t always profitable, but there was never a dull moment.
From the bright lights of Charlotte to the tiny mountain town of Spruce Pine (population 2,273), hockey found a home across the state. The teams, sometimes featuring former and future NHL players, have combined for 15 league championships and countless memories. Beyond that, they inspired a love of the game in generations of fans.