Erie Panthers

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Erie Panthers
EriePanthersOriginalLogo.GIF
City Erie, Pennsylvania
League East Coast Hockey League
Conference East/West/North
Founded 1988 (1988)
Home arena Louis J. Tullio Arena
Colors

Black, grey, white

              
Owner(s) Henry Brabham
General manager Ron Hansis
Head coach Ron Hansis 1988–95
Barry Smith 1995–96
Affiliate(s) New York Islanders 1989–90,
Buffalo Sabres 1992–94
Franchise history
1988–1996 (ECHL) Erie Panthers
1996–2004 (ECHL) Baton Rouge Kingfish
2004–11 (ECHL) Victoria Salmon Kings

The Erie Panthers were a professional hockey team, and one of the founding members in the East Coast Hockey League. Based in Erie, Pennsylvania from 1988 to 1996, they were one of the most prolific teams in the ECHL. The Panthers were known for their ability to score goals quickly and often, as well as for the over-aggressive style of play that led to an abundance of fights. They currently hold records in 15 different categories in the ECHL and are in the top 5 of 38 different categories.

History[edit]

The Panthers were created by Henry Brabham,[1] who was also an intricate part of the creation of the ECHL itself. Erie was chosen as a location due to the success of the former Erie Golden Blades. The Panthers enjoyed success earlier on in their existence with five straight playoff appearances. Though never winning the league championship, the team was named the regular season champs for the 1989–90 season. The next three years would bring about the end of the Panthers franchise with three straight losing seasons.

In 1996 the team would be moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and renamed te Baton Rouge Kingfish. There the team's struggles continued, making the playoffs in only one of seven seasons in Baton Rouge. In 2004 the franchise again relocated, this time moving 4,400 miles northwest to Victoria, British Columbia. The franchise continued operation there as the Victoria Salmon Kings, garnering a Division Championship in the 2007–08 season.[2]

The franchise finally ceased operations following the 2010–11 ECHL season, making way for the WHL's Victoria Royals.[3] This marked the end of a 23-year franchise run, the longest in the league behind the Wheeling Nailers (Carolina Thunderbirds) and the Greenville Road Warriors (Johnstown Chiefs), both of which continue to operate.

Jersey and Logos[edit]

1988-1993 logo of the Erie Panthers.[4]

The Panthers' jerseys were black, white, and grey. The Home jersey had a white background, while the away jersey had a black background. The original logo was that of a grey panther and a hockey stick. During the 1991–92 season the use of an alternate logo was added. This logo was the face of a growling panther in dark blue. The 1994–95 season saw the last logo change for the Panthers. This logo was a caricature of a panther, under the word "Erie". Also used during the 1994–95 season was a "20th Anniversary of Hockey in Erie" patch.

The Erie Insurance Arena[edit]

Main article: Erie Insurance Arena

The home of the Erie Panthers was the newly constructed Civic Center, now known as the Erie Insurance Arena, located in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania. The five year old arena held roughly 5,500 fans and served as one of the loudest places to play in the ECHL for eight years. Despite being a fairly new building, the Tullio Arena lacked a proper sound dampening system with the playing surface being surrounded on all sides by uncovered concrete walls. This design allowed the already loud noise of the crowd to be amplified throughout the building.

Coaches[edit]

1989–95:
Head coach: Ron Hansis
Asst. Coach: Barry Smith
1995–96:
Head coach: Barry Smith

Players[edit]

Over the course of the eight seasons in Erie, 225 players suited up for the Panthers,[5] with sixty-eight of those having already been drafted in the NHL Entry Draft or NHL Supplemental Draft. Only three players have ever playing in the NHL after playing for the Panthers.

Former players typically took one of two paths after leaving the team. They either played out their career in European hockey leagues, or joined the Roller Hockey International league.

NHL alumni[edit]

The 1995–96 logo of the Erie Panthers.[4]
Player Teams GP G A Pts PIM W L T GAA SV%
Peter Skudra PIT, BUF, BOS, VAN 147 0 2 2 6 54 47 20 2.73 .900
Barry Potomski LAK 68 6 5 11 277 - - - - -
Bill McDougall DET, EDM, TBL 28 5 5 10 12 - - - - -

Individual Awards[edit]

1989 Coach of the Year: Ron Hansis
1989 MVP Award: Daryl Harpe
1989 Leading Scorer: Daryl Harpe
1989 Defenseman of the Year: Kelly Szauter
1990 MVP Award: Bill McDougall
1990 Rookie of the Year: Bill McDougall
1990 Leading Scorer: Bill McDougall
1995 Rookie of the Year: Kevin McKinnon
1995 Leading Scorer: Scott Burfoot

Season by season results[edit]

The 20th Anniversary of Hockey in Erie Patch.
Season Conf. GP W L T OTL Pts Pct GF GA PIM Playoffs
1988–89 None 60 37 20 0 3 77 0.642 327 256 1944 Lost in 1st round
1989–90 None 60 38 16 0 6 82 0.683 357 251 1813 Lost in 2nd round
1990–91 East 64 31 30 0 3 65 0.508 302 302 1845 Lost in 1st round
1991–92 West 64 33 27 0 4 70 0.547 284 309 1662 Lost in 1st round
1992–93 West 64 35 25 0 4 74 0.578 305 307 2012 Lost in 2nd round
1993–94 North 68 27 36 0 5 59 0.434 264 334 2052 Did not qualify
1994–95 North 68 18 46 0 4 40 0.294 256 356 2092 Did not qualify
1995–96 North 70 25 40 0 5 55 0.393 227 293 2433 Did not qualify

Championships[edit]

1988–89 Henry Brabham Cup (Regular season points champions)

Team records[edit]

Team Records for a single season
Statistic Total Season
Most points 82 1989–90
Most wins 38 1989–90
Most goals for 357 1989–90
Least goals for 227 1995–96
Least goals against 251 1989–90
Most goals against 356 1994–95
Longest win streak 12 1989–90
Most power-play goals 108 1992–93
Individual player records for a single season
Statistic Player Total Season
Most Goals Bill McDougall 80 1989–90
Most Assists Daryl Harpe 84 1989–90
Most Points Bill McDougall 148 1989–90
Most Points, rookie Kevin McKinnon 85 1994–95
Most Points, defenceman Ryan Kummu 76 1991–92
Most Penalty Minutes Greg Spenrath 344 1992–93
Best GAA (Goalie) Craig Barnett 3.93 1989–90
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played
Top 10 points leaders in Panthers history
Player Total Seasons (#)
Peter Buckeridge 275 1989–93 (4)
Daryl Harpe 194 1988–90 (2)
Ed Zawatsky 189 1990–93 (3)
Ryan Kummu 185 1989–92 (3)
Doug Stromback 178 1988–91 (3)
Grant Ottenbreit 171 1988–91 (3)
Bill McDougall 148 1989–90 (1)
Glen Goodall 126 1991–93 (2)
Stephane Charbonneau 121 1993–95 (2)
Bill Gall 117 1991–93 (2)
Top 10 penalty leaders in Panthers history
Player Total Seasons (#)
Grant Ottenbreit 845 1988–91 (3)
Greg Spenrath 751 1990–93 (2)
Cam Brown 698 1992–96 (3)
Ryan Kummu 495 1989–92 (3)
Brad Harrison 450 1994–96 (2)
Steve Wienke 364 1988–92 (3)
Jim Lessard 307 1992–94 (2)
Daryl Harpe 304 1988–90 (2)
Rob McDougall 301 1988–91 (3)
Dan O'Rourke 296 1993–94 (1)

League Records[edit]

The Erie Panthers are ranked in the Top 5 of 38 categories kept track of by the ECHL. Of those, they are ranked #1 in 15 categories. Below is only a partial list of these records.

See Also: List of Erie Panthers League Records.

Most penalty minutes (Career)
#1: 2,425 - Cam Brown (Chill 91-93, Panthers 93-96, Kingfish 96-02, Gladiators 02-06)[6]

Most goals, both teams (One game)
#1: 21 - Erie Panthers (13) vs. Carolina Thunderbirds (8), Dec. 21, 1988[7]
#2: 20 - Richmond Renegades (15) vs. Erie Panthers (5), Dec. 23, 1990[7]
#3: 19 - Erie Panthers (11) vs. Knoxville Cherokees (8), Mar. 18, 1989[7]

Highest goals-per-game average (One season)
#1: 5.95 - Erie Panthers, 1989-90 (357 goals in 60 games)[7]
#4: 5.45 - Erie Panthers, 1988-89 (327 goals in 60 games)[7]

Fastest three goals
#1: 21 seconds - Doug Stromback (12:19), Daryl Harpe (12:29) and Hank Banas (12:40 of 3rd period), Erie vs. Knoxville, Nov. 29, 1988[7]

Most penalty minutes, both teams (One game)
#1: 244 - Toledo Storm (124) vs. Erie (120), Mar. 22, 1993[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ECHL Awards Page". ECHL. February 24, 2009. Retrieved February 24, 2009. 
  2. ^ "ECHL Current Standings". ECHL. February 24, 2009. Retrieved February 24, 2009. 
  3. ^ Dheenshaw, Cleve (May 7, 2011). "RG opts to fold Salmon Kings franchise". Times Colonist. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b ECHL Logos
  5. ^ http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/display_players.php?tmi=5678
  6. ^ ECHL Individual Season Records
  7. ^ a b c d e f ECHL Team Season Records
  8. ^ ECHL Team Playoff Records

General reference
HockeyDB.com
ECHL.com