Springfield Falcons

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Springfield Falcons
2014–15 Springfield Falcons season
Springfield Falcons Logo.svg
City Springfield, Massachusetts
League American Hockey League
Conference Eastern Conference
Division

Northeast

Division
Founded 1994
Home arena MassMutual Center
Colors

Blue, Black, Red, Gray, White

                        
Owner(s) Falcons Hockey Entertainment, LLC
General manager Chris MacFarland
Head coach Jared Bednar
Captain Ryan Craig
Media The Springfield Republican
WHYN NewsRadio 560
WSHM-LD, WWLP
WGGB-TV
Affiliates Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL)
Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL)
Franchise history
1994–present Springfield Falcons
Championships
Division Championships 4 (1995–96, 1997–98, 2012–13, 2013–14)

The Springfield Falcons are an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL). They play in Springfield, Massachusetts, at the MassMutual Center and are the top affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League. The Falcons' two main rivals are the Hartford Wolf Pack and the Providence Bruins.

History[edit]

The Beginning[edit]

In 1994, the longtime AHL Springfield Indians team was sold to interests that moved the franchise to Worcester, Massachusetts, to become the Worcester IceCats (now the Utica Comets). Ex-Indian players Bruce Landon, then the general manager of the Indians, and Wayne LaChance, a local rink owner, secured an expansion franchise for Springfield for the 1995 season. The Indians name was still under trademark, so the new owners named the team after Andy and Amelia, a pair of nesting peregrine falcons that was a popular local civic symbol. The Falcons secured affiliation with both the Hartford Whalers and the Winnipeg Jets of the NHL. Since the Indians had been the Whalers' top affiliate in their last few years, this allowed the Indians to secure most of the players who had played in Springfield the previous season. Veteran defenseman John Stevens (the last captain of the Indians, who shared the co-captaincy that first year with Rob Murray) scored the franchise's first goal.

Tavis Hansen and Daniel Briere score against Saint John

Among the Falcons' notable players have included Jean-Guy Trudel, the franchise's leading career goal and point scorer; Daniel Briere of the Philadelphia Flyers; Manny Legace, the franchise's all-time leading goaltender and former St. Louis Blues starter; Nikolai Khabibulin, former Stanley Cup winning goalie; and Rob Murray, the franchise's long-time captain and inspirational leader. Recent star players have included current NHLers Cam Atkinson and Matt Calvert. During the 2004 season, Springfield fans voted on the Web for the club's 10th Anniversary Team, and selected Briere at center, Trudel at left wing, Tavis Hansen at right wing, Brad Tiley and Dan Focht on defense, and Legace in goal.

Original Falcons logo used from 1994–2002

Individual honors won by Falcons players have included the Baz Bastien Award given to the league's best goaltender (to Legace in 1996 and Scott Langkow in 1998), Briere winning the Red Garrett Award emblematic of rookie of the year and a nod as First Team All-Star center in 1998, Tiley winning the Eddie Shore Award for the league's outstanding defenseman in 2000, Trudel winning a Second Team All-Star award in 1999-00, and Charles Linglet was also named a second-team all star in 2009–10. The 2012-13 season saw winger Jonathan Audy-Marchessault named to the first team all star with goaltender Curtis McElhinney a second team all star.

The team has finished in first place in its division four times and made the playoffs eight times in its twenty seasons, including the last two seasons in a row. After the Whalers relocated to become the Carolina Hurricanes, the Falcons were subsequently affiliated exclusively with the Jets, an affiliation that continued when that team became the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996. The team was affiliated with the Tampa Bay Lightning between 2005 and 2007.

On March 19, 2007, the team announced that given its ninth straight losing season, it was exercising its option to sever relations with the Lightning to become an affiliate to the Edmonton Oilers, starting in the 2007–08 AHL season, through the 2009–10 AHL season. The Lightning became affiliated with the Norfolk Admirals.

The Edmonton Oilers Affiliation[edit]

On August 3, 2007, the team hired former Edmonton Oilers player Kelly Buchberger to be the head coach. After posting a .500 record, the Oilers promoted Buchberger to be an assistant coach on the Oilers staff. On June 17, 2008, assistant coach Jeff Truitt was named the team's tenth head coach. He was fired in February 2009, after 50 games, and replaced by former Houston Aeros coach Rob Daum. The Falcons finished the 2008–09 season with the worst record in the AHL.

On June 23, 2009, Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini announced that Rob Daum would remain the head coach of the Springfield Falcons through the 2009–10 American Hockey League season. From November 25 to January 1, the Falcons went on a franchise record 17-game losing streak, recording only 5 points in that span. The Falcons finished the 2009–10 season as the worst team in the AHL once again, and was the only team that did not win 30 games. It marked the seventh consecutive year the Falcons have missed the playoffs.

On February 9, 2010 the Edmonton Oilers announced to sever ties with the Springfield Falcons, and move their affiliation to Oklahoma City, a decision that had been expected for months.

The Columbus Blue Jackets Affiliation[edit]

On March 25, 2010, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced a one-year affiliation agreement with a one-year option. Also introduced was a new jersey and logo. The new logo will still have a falcon holding a hockey stick, but the background will be grey, the word Falcons in red, and the word Springfield in navy blue. The new jerseys will have the Blue Jackets logo on the shoulders, with a white star on each sleeve. The new ECHL affiliation for the Falcons will be with the Evansville IceMen.

Rob Riley was named the new head coach of the Falcons on August 3, 2010, replacing Rob Daum. Riley was the former head coach at the United States Military Academy.

The Falcons opened the 2010–11 AHL season with a home-and-home matchup against the Providence Bruins. The Bruins hosted on October 8, 2010 in Providence, and the Falcons hosted on October 9, 2010 in Springfield. To honor the 75th anniversary of the American Hockey League, each team wore throwback jerseys from 1936. The Bruins wore the jerseys of the Providence Reds while the Falcons wore the jerseys of the Springfield Indians. The Falcons won the first game in Providence 5-1, while the Bruins took the following game in Springfield 6-5.

On December 21, 2010 it was announced that the Falcons had been sold from Springfield Pro Hockey, LLC to Falcons Hockey Entertainment, LLC. The majority owner is Charlie Pompea, while Bruce Landon is the minority owner, and will continue to be the president/general manager. Pompea has stated that he intends to keep the Falcons in Springfield, MA. It was also announced that day that the Falcons lease at the MassMutual Center was extended, as well as the affiliation with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The following season, Columbus decided to once again renew their affiliation with the Falcons, through the 2013–14 season.

During the 2011–12 AHL Season the Falcons honored the Springfield hockey teams that have won the Calder Cup. The teams honored include the 1960, 1961, 1962, 1974, 1990, and 1991 Springfield Indians, in addition to the 1971 Springfield Kings. The Falcons wore commemorative jerseys for those games, and former coaches and players will be there to take part in pre-game festivities.

Following the season, Rob Riley was fired as head coach after two seasons of missing the playoffs. Assistant coach Brad Larsen was named head coach for the 2012–13 season.

The 2012-13 season, beginning with the NHL Lockout, saw the Falcons make the playoffs for the first time since 2003. With help of NHL players Matt Calvert, Cam Atkinson, Ryan Johansen, John Moore, and Tim Erixon, the Falcons were able to take an early lead in both the Northeast Division and the Eastern Conference. When the NHL lockout ended and these players were called up to Columbus, the Falcons continued to stay at the top of the standings. All Star play from goaltender Curtis McElhinney, forward Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, and veteran leadership from team captain Ryan Craig helped guide the team to a first place finish in the Northeast Division. On April 6, 2013, the Falcons officially qualified for the 2013 Calder Cup playoffs, ending a nine-year playoff drought, the longest in AHL history.[1] The Falcons were able to defeat the Manchester Monarchs in the first round 3 games to 1, with all of their wins coming in overtime. Nick Drazenovic clinched the series for the Falcons with his goal in game 4. The Falcons playoff run would come to an end by the hands of the Syracuse Crunch, as the Crunch swept the Falcons out of the playoffs in their second round matchup.

On December 10, 2013, the Falcons and Blue Jackets announced that they had exercised their option their affiliation through the 2014-15 season. The Falcons also announced their lease option with the MassMutual Center on the same day.[2]

On February 4, 2014, the Springfield Falcons announced that Bruce Landon would be retiring. Landon had served as President, General Manage and co-owner since 1994. He will remain with the team as Director of Hockey Operations.[3]

The 2013-14 Falcons set a team record for wins (47) and points (100).[4] They suffered a first round defeat in the playoffs at the hands of the Providence Bruins in 5 games. While it was initially announced that the entire coaching staff would return to Springfield for the 2014-15 season, head coach Brad Larsen was promoted to an assistant coach in Columbus. He replaced former assistant coach Dan Hinote. On June 16, 2014, Columbus announced that Jared Bednar would become head coach for the 2014-15 season. He will continue to be joined by assistant coach Nolan Pratt.

This market was previously home to:

Season-by-season results[edit]

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Updated October 19, 2014.[5]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
8 Canada Anderson, JoshJosh Anderson RW R 20 2014 Burlington, Ontario Blue Jackets
28 Canada Cherniwchan, AndrewAndrew Cherniwchan F R 25 2014 Hinton, Alberta PTO
36 Canada Cowick, CoreyCorey Cowick LW R 25 2014 Gloucester, Ontario Falcons
17 Canada Collins, SeanSean Collins (A) LW L 25 2012 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Blue Jackets
12 Canada Craig, RyanRyan Craig (C) LW L 32 2012 Abbotsford, British Columbia Blue Jackets
29 United States D'Amigo, JerryJerry D'Amigo RW L 23 2014 Binghamton, New York Blue Jackets
1 Sweden Dansk, OscarOscar Dansk G L 20 2014 Stockholm, Sweden Blue Jackets
25 Canada Gagnon, MathieuMathieu Gagnon D L 21 2014 Montreal, Quebec Falcons
9 United States Gibbons, BrianBrian Gibbons C/RW L 26 2014 Braintree, Massachusetts Blue Jackets
11 United States Hoeffel, MikeMike Hoeffel LW L 25 2014 North Oaks, Minnesota Falcons
3 Canada Labrie, HubertHubert Labrie D L 23 2014 Victoriaville, Quebec Falcons
37 Italy Larkin, ThomasThomas Larkin D R 23 2013 London, England Blue Jackets
5 Canada Madaisky, AustinAustin Madaisky D R 22 2013 Surrey, British Columbia Blue Jackets
40 Canada Monardo, DomenicDomenic Monardo RW R 26 2014 Oakville, Ontario Falcons
33 Canada Munroe, ScottScott Munroe G L 32 2014 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Falcons
38 Canada Ponich, BrettBrett Ponich D L 23 2014 Beaumont, Alberta Falcons
15 United States Rychel, KerbyKerby Rychel LW L 20 2014 Torrance, California Blue Jackets
32 Canada St. Denis, FredericFrederic St. Denis (A) D L 28 2013 Greenfield Park, Quebec Blue Jackets
22 Czech Republic Sedlak, LukasLukas Sedlak C R 21 2013 České Budějovice, Czech Republic Blue Jackets
26 United States Sifers, JaimeJaime Sifers (A) D R 31 2014 Stratford, Connecticut Falcons
18 United States Tynan, T.J.T.J. Tynan C R 22 2014 Orland Park, Illinois Blue Jackets
14 Canada Tyrell, DanaDana Tyrell LW L 25 2014 Airdrie, Alberta Blue Jackets
7 United States Urban, DennyDenny Urban D R 26 2014 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Falcons
13 United States Vogelhuber, TrentTrent Vogelhuber RW R 26 2011 Dublin, Ohio Falcons
4 United States Weber, WillWill Weber D L 25 2012 Gaylord, Michigan Blue Jackets
19 United States Wetmore, RileyRiley Wetmore C R 25 2014 Swanton, Vermont Falcons

Retired numbers[edit]

Note: Former AHL President Jack Butterfield and Vice-President Gordie Anziano, longtime Springfield residents, have been honored with banners raised with the retired numbers.

List of team captains[edit]

Notable NHL alumni[edit]

List of Springfield Falcons alumni who played more than 100 games in Springfield and 100 or more games in the National Hockey League.

Team records[edit]

Single season[edit]

Goals: John LeBlanc, 39 (1994–95)
Goals by a Rookie: Daniel Briere, 36 (1997–98)
Assists: Jean-Guy Trudel, 65 (2000–01)
Points: Jean-Guy Trudel, 99 (2000–01)
Penalty Minutes: Rob Murray, 373 (1994–95)
Appearances by a Goalie: Devan Dubnyk, 62 (2008–09)
GAA: Manny Legace 2.27 (1995–96)
SV%: Curtis McElhinney, .923 (2012–13)
Shutouts: Curtis McElhinney, 9 (2012–13)

Career[edit]

These are the top ten scorers in Falcons' history.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Player Pos GP G A Pts
Jean-Guy Trudel LW 228 90 152 242
Rob Murray RW 501 61 157 218
Daniel Briere RW 169 88 129 217
Jason Jaspers C 317 86 114 200
Brad Tiley D 239 33 130 163
Tavis Hansen C 298 79 79 158
Ryan Craig LW 238 77 66 143
Eric Healey LW 178 57 80 137
Jason McBain D 208 35 87 122
Rob Schremp F 147 30 88 118
Career Penalty Minutes: 1529 Rob Murray
Career Goaltending Wins: 64 Manny Legace
Career Shutouts: 9 Curtis McElhinney
Career Games: 501 Rob Murray
Career Shorthanded Goals: 5 Andrew Joudrey

Single game[edit]

Goals: 4 Jean-Guy Trudel, Daniel Briere, Grant Potulny, Chad Wiseman, Jack Skille
Points: 6 Chad Wiseman

References[edit]

External links[edit]