Nick Vitucci

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Nick Vitucci
Born (1967-06-16) June 16, 1967 (age 47)
Welland, ON, CAN
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for AHL
Binghamton Rangers
Hershey Bears
Maine Mariners
IHL
Peoria Rivermen
ECHL
Greenville Grrrowl
Toledo Storm
Charlotte Checkers
Hampton Roads Admirals
Greensboro Monarchs
Winston-Salem Thunderbirds
Carolina Thunderbirds
RHI
New Jersey Rockin Rollers
Buffalo Wings
Empire State Cobras
Buffalo Stampede
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 1988–2001

Nick Vitucci (born June 16, 1967) is a former professional ice hockey goaltender. He was the head coach of the ECHL's Toledo Walleye from 2009-2014. In 2008, Vitucci was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame.[1]

Playing career[edit]

During his playing career, Vitucci spent most of his time as a journeyman in the ECHL, but had numerous call ups including stints in the IHL with the Peoria Rivermen and in the AHL with the Maine Mariners, Hershey Bears, and Binghamton Rangers. Vitucci also spent several summers in the RHI, with the Buffalo Stampede, Empire State Cobras, Buffalo Wings, and the New Jersey Rockin Rollers. During his career in the ECHL, Vitucci won four Riley Cups in 1989, 1990, 1994 and 1996 and was named the Finals Most Valuable Player on two occasions (1989 and 1996), one of only two players in the league's history to do so, and Goaltender of the Year in 1998. Vitucci spent at least some time in all of his 13 years of professional hockey in the ECHL and when he retired in 2001 Vitucci left as the league's career record holder in games played, minutes played, wins, most 20 win seasons, most 30 win seasons, and most losses.[2]

Vitucci is the only goaltender in the history of professional hockey to be credited with a goal against a guarded net. In the 1996 season, while playing for the Charlotte Checkers, Vitucci shot the puck up the ice toward opposing goaltender Alain Morissette of the Louisville River Frogs. Morissette stopped the puck outside the goal, but spun and shot it into his own net while attempting a pass. As the most recent Checkers player to touch the puck, Vitucci was awarded a point scored against an opposing goalie—a unique feat in hockey history for any goaltender.[3]

In 2008, Vitucci was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame. Vitucci was joined by ECHL founder Henry Brabham, the league's first commissioner Patrick J. Kelly, and defenceman Chris Valicevic as members of the Hall of Fame's inaugural class.[4]

Career statistics[edit]

Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1985–86 Toronto Marlboros OHL 20 1203 108 0 5.39
1986–87 Toronto Marlboros OHL 40 2456 213 0 5.20
1988–89 Carolina Thunderbirds ECHL 22 11 9 0 1238 96 1 4.65 .873
1989–90 Winston-Salem Thunderbirds ECHL 6 4 2 0 360 28 0 4.67 .856
1989–90 Greensboro Monarchs ECHL 28 10 9 5 1496 114 0 4.57 .891
1990–91 Greensboro Monarchs ECHL 41 22 16 2 2225 142 1 3.83 .898
1991–92 Greensboro Monarchs ECHL 42 28 8 2 2358 136 0 3.46 .903
1991–92 Maine Mariners AHL 1 0 0 1 65 3 0 2.77 .880
1991–92 Hershey Bears AHL 4 2 1 0 191 15 0 4.71 .848
1992–93 Hampton Roads Admirals ECHL 29 17 7 3 1669 85 1 3.06 .911
1992–93 Peoria Rivermen IHL 8 3 4 1 279 27 0 3.38 .895
1993–94 Toledo Storm ECHL 27 15 6 4 1532 93 0 3.64 .892
1993–94 Peoria Rivermen IHL 11 3 4 1 422 35 0 4.98 .850
1994–95 Toledo Storm ECHL 56 35 16 3 3273 176 3 3.23 .906
1995–96 Charlotte Checkers ECHL 48 32 13 3 2793 164 0 3.52 .891
1996–97 Charlotte Checkers ECHL 36 20 10 4 2028 117 0 3.46 .902
1996–97 Binghamton Rangers AHL 2 0 0 2 129 9 0 4.18 .875
1997–98 Toledo Storm ECHL 49 27 16 5 2826 130 2 2.76 .918
1998–99 Greenville Grrrowl ECHL 32 9 17 4 1855 103 0 3.33 .896
1999–00 Greenville Grrrowl ECHL 34 21 9 2 1916 79 1 2.47 .915
2000–01 Greenville Grrrowl ECHL 29 14 12 2 1719 91 1 3.18 .895
AHL totals 6 2 1 3 385 27 0 4.21
IHL totals 19 6 8 2 701 62 0 5.31
ECHL totals 479 265 150 41 27288 1554 10 3.42
OHL totals 60 3659 321 0 5.26

Coaching career[edit]

Vitucci began his career as a coach during the 1994–95 season when he took up assistant coaching duties while playing for the Toledo Storm. Vitucci would have a second stint as a player/assistant coach during his final year as a player with the Greenville Grrrowl.

In 2002, Vitucci returned to Greenville to be their assistant coach and would leave to fill the assistant coach vacancy in Toledo after the season. Two months into the 2003–04 season, Toledo Storm head coach Steve Harrison was fired and Vitucci, who was his assistant at the time, was tabbed to be the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. At the end of the season, the Storm signed Vitucci to be their permanent replacement for Harrison and has remained the team's coach through the team suspending operations in 2007 in order to construct the new arena.

In February 2008 it was announced he would be retained as the head coach for the Walleye, which will be his fifth season in Toledo. The Storm saw success under Vitucci's tenure as the team made the playoffs in all three years with Vitucci, including a division title in 2006 and reaching the American Conference Finals in the same year.[5]

Coaching statistics[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
G W L T Pts Finish W L Win % Result
Toledo Storm
2003–04 49 14 27 8 36 7th in Northern Missed Playoffs
2004–05 72 41 26 5 87 4th in North 1 3 .200 Lost in Division Semifinals
2005–06 72 46 21 5 97 1st in North 7 6 .539 Lost in Conference Finals
2006–07 72 39 30 3 81 2nd in North 0 3 .000 Lost in Division Semifinals
Toledo Walleye 2009–10 72 35 30 7 77 3rd in North 1 3 .250 Lost in Conference Quarterfinals
Total 335 175 132 28 .564 9 15 .375

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.echl.com/echl-announces-2014-hall-of-fame-inductees-p189012
  2. ^ ECHL Regular Season – Individual Records
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Monroe, Mark (January 23, 2008). "Vitucci named to ECHL Hall of Fame". Toledo Blade. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  5. ^ Vardon, Joe (February 13, 2008). "Ex-Storm coach Vitucci is first hire of next hockey team". Toledo Blade. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 

External links[edit]