The Schenectady Chiefs were a professional hockey team based in Schenectady, New York. They were one of the founding members of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League, playing in its inaugural 1981-82 season. The Chiefs were originally scheduled to be part of a league called the Intercontinental Major Hockey League, but that league never got off the ground so the Chiefs joined together with several members of the recently-defunct Eastern Hockey League to form the Atlantic Coast Hockey League.
The team played at Schenectady's City Center Rink in downtown Schenectady. The rink was unusual in that it was originally a Kresge's department store that was converted into a skating rink. Because of this, teams had to enter the rink through a drug store!
The Chiefs were owned by Robert Critelli of Utica, New York. Critelli also owned the Fitchburg Trappers of the same league. Other team owners in the league were uncomfortable with this arrangement, especially when it became apparent that both the Chiefs and the Trappers were having financial difficulties and were fielding questionable talent. It is rumored that some of Union College's Division 2 hockey players suited up for some games with the Chiefs under assumed names.
The team struggled at the gate, with crowds of under 500 people. According to the Schenectady Gazette, the team sold only 80 season tickets, arguably because as a new league, the ACHL had only solidified in September 1981 and a schedule was not drawn up until 3 weeks before the Chiefs' first game.
The Schenectady Chiefs were placed under suspension by the league in early November while Critelli attempted to move the team to Richmond Virginia. That maneuver fell through and the Schenectady Chiefs ultimately folded on November 18, 1982 due to financial reasons.