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Roller Hockey International was a professional inline hockey league that operated in North America from 1993 to 1999. It was the first major professional league for inline hockey.

RHI hoped to capitalize on the inline skating boom of the early 1990s, but lost steam as the fad died down. Key parts of its success were its stance on no guaranteed contracts, instead teams would all split prize money. Teams were generally made up of minor league ice hockey players playing on inline skates during the summer months between ice seasons. RHI was also known for its unstable franchises and instability in the league's front office itself.

Ultimately, after five seasons of play, RHI folded in 1998 with two of its franchises joining Major League Roller Hockey: the Buffalo Wings and its premier club the Anaheim Bullfrogs. After folding there was a movement to revamp and come back the following year as Major League Hockey, but it never came to fruition. RHI was revived in 1999, but cancelled the 2000 season and the league finally folded operations in 2001 when their sites were limited to arenas in Californiamarker.

History

Total Murphy Cup Championships
Team Titles
Anaheim Bullfrogs 2
St. Louis Vipers 1
Orlando Jackals 1
San Jose Rhinos 1
Buffalo Stampede 1


Roller Hockey International Progression
Year Teams Games Played
1993 12 teams 14 games
1994 24 teams 22 games
1995 19 teams 24 games
1996 18 teams 28 games
1997 10 teams 24 games
1998 No season
1999 8 teams 26 games


Rules

The rules in the RHI were similar to but not identical to those of the National Hockey League at the time, but seemed to try to appeal to the younger extreme sport generation; the RHI had four players and a goalie at a time on the playing surface opposed to the NHL's five and a goalie; the penalty times on average were about 1/4 less than the NHL's; there were no blue lines; the puck itself was smaller, a 3 1/2 oz. piece of red plastic; there were four 12 minute quarters opposed to the NHL's three 20 minute periods; a tie score at the end of regulation time would go straight to a shootout instead of a five minute extra period before a shootout; and the average number of goals scored per game was 16.7 to the NHL's 7.

Teams

Note: RHI 1993-97, revived RHI 1999

Note: The Palm Desert Silver-Cats (1995) of Palm Springs, Californiamarker and later in Ontario, Californiamarker (1997) were a semi-pro team that played exhibition games with the Blades and Bullfrogs of the RHI league.

Expansion

Year Teams Expansion Defunct Suspended Return from Hiatus Relocated Name Changes
1993 12 Anaheim Bullfrogs

Calgary Rad'z

Connecticut Coasters

Florida Hammerheads

Los Angeles Blades

Oakland Skates

Portland Rage

St. Louis Vipers

San Diego Barracudas

Toronto Planets

Utah Rollerbees

Vancouver Voodoo
1994 24 Atlanta Fire Ants

Buffalo Stampede

Chicago Cheetahs

Edmonton Sled Dogs

Minnesota Arctic Blast

Montreal Roadrunners

New England Stingers

New Jersey Rockin Rollers

Philadelphia Bulldogs

Phoenix Cobras

Pittsburgh Phantoms

San Jose Rhinos

Tampa Bay Tritons
Toronto Planets Connecticut → Sacramento River Rats

Utah → Las Vegas Flash
1995 19 Detroit Motor City Mustangs

Minnesota Blue Ox
Calgary Rad'z

Florida Hammerheads

Las Vegas Flash

Pittsburgh Phantoms

Portland Rage

Tampa Bay Tritons
Minnesota Arctic Blast New England → Ottawa Loggers

Atlanta → Oklahoma Coyotes

Edmonton → Orlando Rollergators
1996 18 Denver Daredevils

Long Island Jawz
Buffalo Stampede

Chicago Cheetahs

Detroit Motor City Mustangs
Minnesota Blue Ox

Oklahoma Coyotes
Minnesota Arctic Blast Phoenix → Empire State Cobras

Orlando Jackals (Rollergators)
1997 10 Minnesota Artic Blast

Philadelphia Bulldogs

San Diego Barracudas

Vancouver Voodoo
Oakland Skates

Oklahoma Coyotes
Empire State → Buffalo Wings Ottawa Wheels (Loggers)
1998 0 Denver Daredevils

Long Island Jawz

Oakland Skates

Orlando Jackals

Ottawa Wheels

Sacramento River Rats
1999 8 Chicago Bluesmen

Dallas Stallions
Minnesota Blue Ox Oklahoma Coyotes → Las Vegas Coyotes


Murphy Cup Championship Winners



History

Licensing

The league inspired at least one video game, Super Nintendo's RHI Roller Hockey '95, although the game was never released.

There was also a call-in style stats, scores and interview hotline where fans could call in following games. 1-800-741-4RHI This line was updated nightly following each game.

NHL Alumni



References



External links




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