The Otters' first three seasons in Erie were not kind to them, especially because they were eliminated in the first round of the OHL playoffs each year. However, they saw success in 1999 by capturing the Holody Trophy, which is the league's award for winning the Midwest Division championship. It would be their first of three consecutive Midwest Division championships, culminating in an J. Ross Robertson Cup in 2001–02. Additionally, Dave MacQueen won the Matt Leyden Trophy in 2000–01 as the OHL Coach of the Year and Sherwood Bassin was awarded OHL Executive of the Year for his role in building a championship team as general manager. The Erie Otters became the second American team to win the OHL Championship after the 1995 champions Detroit Junior Red Wings (now the Plymouth Whalers).
The Erie Otters' colors are navy blue, red, gold, and white. Their primary logo includes a red circle with a fierce-looking otter holding a hockey stick and wearing playing equipment. The "Otters" wordmark is superimposed over the design in red with gold and navy blue outline. The team's home uniforms comprise a solid navy blue design with red and gold accents while the away uniforms feature a white jersey and socks.
For the 2013 season, the Erie Otters introduced a new yellow alternate jersey. This jersey is solid yellow, with the "Otters" wordmark across the chest. This jersey includes blue shoulder stripes, white and blue stripes on the arms and bottom of the jersey, navy blue pants, and yellow socks featuring white and blue stripes. This new alternate jersey has been mentioned as a homage to the past Erie Blades uniforms.
The Erie Otters play home games at the Erie Insurance Arena located in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania. The arena was built in 1981 and seats 5,500 spectators. The arena is part of the Erie Civic Center Complex, which includes Jerry Uht Park — a baseball stadium for the Double-A Erie SeaWolves. In May 2012, the Erie County Convention Center Authority and the Erie Insurance Group announced a 10-year, $3 million naming agreement that will rename the former Louis J. Tullio Arena, "Erie Insurance Arena." This renaming coincides with the completion of the current $42-million dollar renovation project that is currently underway and was completed in September 2013. The renovation, designed by Friday/Sink Combs Dethlefs Joint Venture Architects, modernized Erie Insurance Arena and added some new sections and a landscaped park entrance. Construction on the project was carried by the Pittsburgh-based Turner Construction Company. Improvements to Erie Insurance Arena included additional seating and concourses. To accommodate these new additions, its footprint expanded from the original 152,000-square-foot (14,100 m2) to 218,000-square-foot (20,300 m2). This increased the venue's capacity to 6,500 for hockey, 6,750 for basketball and about 9,000 for concerts. After the renovations had completed in September 2013, Erie Insurance Arena now has enlarged lobbies and more box offices, luxury suites, administrative offices, mechanical rooms, training areas, new locker rooms, and a team store.
1996–97 Lost to Guelph Storm 4 games to 1 in division quarter-finals.
1997–98 Lost to London Knights 4 games to 3 in division quarter-finals.
1998–99 Lost to Guelph Storm 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
1999–2000 Defeated Brampton Battalion 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.
Lost to S.S. Marie Greyhounds 4 games to 3 in conference semi-finals.
2000–01 Defeated London Knights 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
Defeated Brampton Battalion 4 games to 1 in conference semi-finals.
Lost to Plymouth Whalers 4 games to 1 in conference finals.
2001–02 Defeated Sarnia Sting 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
Defeated London Knights 4 games to 2 in conference semi-finals.
Defeated Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 1 in conference finals.
Defeated Barrie Colts 4 games to 1 in finals. OHL CHAMPIONS
Lost to Victoriaville Tigres 5-4 (OT) in the Memorial Cup semi-finals.
2002–03 Out of playoffs.
2003–04 Defeated Sarnia Sting 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
Lost to London Knights 4 games to 0 in conference semi-finals.
2004–05 Lost to Kitchener Rangers 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.
2005–06 Out of playoffs.
2006–07 Out of playoffs.
2007–08 Out of playoffs.
2008–09 Lost to London Knights 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
2009–10 Lost to Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
2010–11 Lost to Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 3 in conference quarter-finals.
2011–12 Out of playoffs.
2012–13 Out of playoffs.
2013-14 Defeated Saginaw Spirit 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
Defeated Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 games to 0 in conference semi-finals.
Lost to Guelph Storm 4 games to 1 in conference finals.