Idaho Steelheads

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Idaho Steelheads
City Boise, Idaho
League ECHL
Conference Western Conference
Division Mountain Division
Founded 1996
Home arena CenturyLink Arena Boise

Blue, black, white, silver

Head coach Brad Ralph
Affiliates Dallas Stars (NHL)
Texas Stars (AHL)
Franchise history
1997–2003 Idaho Steelheads (WCHL)
2003–present Idaho Steelheads (ECHL)
Regular season titles 1 (2009-10)
Division Championships 1 (2009-10)
Conference Championships 3 (2003–04, 2006–07), 2009–10)
Kelly Cups 2 (2003–04, 2006–07)

The Idaho Steelheads are an American professional minor league ice hockey team based in Boise, Idaho. The team began playing in 1997 and has been a member of the ECHL since 2003.

During the 2003–04 season and since the 2005–06 season the Steelheads have been an affiliate of the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars.[1] The Austin based Texas Stars have been Idaho's AHL affiliate since the 2009-2010 season. Home games are played at the 5,000-seat CenturyLink Arena in downtown Boise.

The team was founded by Diamond Sports Management in 1996, headed by Cord Pereira. The Steelheads currently play in the West Division of the ECHL's Western Conference.

The Steelheads are named for a species of seagoing rainbow trout native to Idaho streams and rivers and popular with local anglers. Despite this, the original primary and alternate logos consisted of a puck bouncing off a hockey mask and the state of Idaho respectively. When the team underwent a rebrand in the 2006–07 season, a trout was included in Idaho's alternate. After the departure of the Victoria Salmon Kings in 2011, the Steelheads made the trout logo their new primary.


West Coast Hockey League (1997–2003)[edit]

The Steelheads began play as part of a four-team expansion in the West Coast Hockey League in 1997 along with the Tacoma Sabercats, Phoenix Mustangs and Tucson Gila Monsters, which have all since ceased operations. Former New York Islanders defenseman Dave Langevin became Idaho's first head coach. During its inaugural season, in addition to its WCHL schedule the Steelheads played two regular season exhibition games in Boise against the Russian Super League team CKA-Amur (now Amur Khabarovsk). The Steelheads finished third in the WCHL North Division in 1997–98, but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Anchorage Aces (now Alaska Aces).[2]

Langevin left the team in 1998 and was replaced as head coach by former NHL goaltender Clint Malarchuk. Under Malarchuk the Steelheads were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in 1998–99 and 1999–2000.[3]

In 2000 Malarchuk was succeeded as head coach by John Olver, who had coached the Tacoma Sabercats to the WCHL championship in 1998–99. The Steelheads reached the WCHL finals in 2000–01 and 2001–02, but were defeated by the San Diego Gulls and Fresno Falcons, respectively.[4]

Although the Steelheads finished with the best record in the WCHL's final season in 2002–03, the Falcons eliminated them in the first round of the playoffs.[5]

ECHL (2003–present)[edit]

In 2003 the WCHL was absorbed by the ECHL and folded. The Steelheads, along with several other WCHL-affiliated teams - namely the Alaska Aces, Bakersfield Condors, Fresno Falcons, Las Vegas Wranglers, Long Beach Ice Dogs and San Diego Gulls - became ECHL members beginning with the 2003–04 season. Idaho won the 2004 Kelly Cup in its first season in the ECHL, defeating the Florida Everblades in the Kelly Cup Finals. The Steelheads were the first team to win the ECHL championship in its first year in the league since the Greensboro Monarchs won the title in the league's second season of operation (1989–90).

In 2004–05 the Steelheads were eliminated in the first round of the ECHL playoffs by the Long Beach Ice Dogs. Olver was succeeded as head coach by Derek Laxdal after the season. In 2005–06 Laxdal guided the team back to the playoffs, but they were eliminated in the second round by the Las Vegas Wranglers.

The Steelheads hosted the 2007 ECHL All-Star Game in Boise. Later that year the Steelheads won their second Kelly Cup by defeating the Stockton Thunder, Las Vegas Wranglers and Alaska Aces in the playoffs, and ultimately the Dayton Bombers in the league finals.

Idaho is one of only three active ECHL teams to win multiple league championships, alongside the Toledo Walleye (which was then known as the Storm prior to suspending operations in 2007 to build their new arena) and the Alaska Aces, each with two. The Hampton Roads Admirals (now in the AHL as Norfolk) and the (Charleston) South Carolina Stingrays have each won three ECHL championships.

In the 2007–08 playoffs, Idaho was swept in the first round by eventual champions the Alaska Aces, and in the 2008–09 playoffs also lost to Victoria Salmon Kings in the first round.

In 2009-10, the Steelheads clinched their first Brabham Cup with one week remaining in the season. They received a bye in the first round of the 2010 Kelly Cup Playoffs before sweeping the Utah Grizzlies in the conference semifinals and the Stockton Thunder in six games to win the National Conference Championship to advance to their 3rd Kelly Cup Finals since joining the league in 2003. They met the Cincinnati Cyclones in the finals, but lost the series 4-1, with each game being decided by only one goal.

In 2010-2011, Idaho clinched the fifth seed in the National Conference. The Steelheads bested Las Vegas in five games, and were swept in four games in the conference semifinals by Alaska. Idaho advanced to the Western Conference finals in 2012-2013, but were defeated by the Stockton Thunder in five games.[6]

As of the end of the 2012-13 season the Steelheads have never missed the playoffs in either the WCHL or the ECHL.[7]


All Steelheads games are broadcast on AM 1350 KTIK in Boise and have been since the 1997 inception of the franchise. In fact, KTIK and the Steelheads were under the same ownership until Citadel Broadcasting's 2002 purchase of the station. Will Hoenike is the Voice of the Steelheads, and Jim "Stumpy" Monroe was the longtime producer of the Steelheads talk shows and play-by-play from 1997 until his retirement in fall 2011.

Current roster[edit]

Updated March 11, 2014.[8]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
55 United States Conboy, AndrewAndrew Conboy F 25 Burnsville, Minnesota
13 United States De Kastrozza, DavidDavid De Kastrozza F 27 Toms River, New Jersey
44 United States Delisle, DanDan Delisle F 23 Arden Hills, Minnesota
14 Canada Good, MitchellMitchell Good F 24 Wellesley, Ontario
10 Canada Grant, TommyTommy Grant F 27 North Vancouver, British Columbia
14 Canada Judson, LukeLuke Judson F 23 Emo, Ontario
6 United States Linsmayer, BobBob Linsmayer F 24 Winnetka, Illinois
20 Canada McGuire, JohnnyJohnny McGuire F 20 Peterborough, Ontario
18 Canada Patterson, GaelanGaelan Patterson F 23 La Ronge, Saskatchewan
11 United States Rapuzzi, WilliamWilliam Rapuzzi F 24 Anchorage, Alaska
23 Canada Robinson, BrettBrett Robinson F 29 Alton, Ontario
71 Canada Vause, TaylorTaylor Vause F 22 Calgary, Alberta
7 United States Wahl, MitchMitch Wahl F 24 Seal Beach, California
33 Canada Yablonski, JeremyJeremy Yablonski F 34 Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan
3 United States Cullity, PatrickPatrick Cullity D 27 Tewksbury, Massachusetts
91 United States Dodero, CharlieCharlie Dodero D 21 Bloomingdale, Illinois
77 United States Elbrecht, TylerTyler Elbrecht D 25 Edwardsville, Illinois
6 Canada Kipp, DamonDamon Kipp D 26 Salmon Arm, British Columbia
8 Canada Reum, DaltonDalton Reum D 21 Camrose, Alberta
5 Canada Walters, MattMatt Walters D 26 Winnipeg, Manitoba
17 Canada Whitely, SteveSteve Whitely D 26 Petrolia, Ontario
31 United States Nagle, PatPat Nagle G 26 Bloomfield, Michigan
1 United States Phillips, BradBrad Phillips G 24 Farmington Hills, Michigan
35 United States Walton, JoshJosh Walton G 23 Lititz, Pennsylvania
Title Staff member
Head Coach Brad Ralph
Trainer Jason Switzer



Year League Trophy
2003–2004 ECHL Kelly Cup
2006–2007 ECHL Kelly Cup
2009–2010 ECHL Brabham Cup

Retired numbers[edit]

  • 4: Jeremy Mylamok
  • 22: Cal Ingraham


The Steelheads' most notable rivals are the Alaska Aces, and the Bakersfield Condors. These three teams are the surviving parts of the WCHL, and their history with each other goes back to over a decade. Three other WCHL refugees, the San Diego Gulls, Long Beach Ice Dogs, and the Fresno Falcons have since folded.

Geographically, Idaho's closest opponent is the Utah Grizzlies at 345 miles, followed by the Stockton Thunder at 602 miles.

The Steelheads also have a rivalry with the Las Vegas Wranglers, due to their frequent meetings in the playoffs.


External links[edit]

Media related to Idaho Steelheads at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies
Kelly Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Trenton Titans
Preceded by
Alaska Aces
Kelly Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Cincinnati Cyclones