|City||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|League||Western Hockey League|
|Home arena||Pacific Coliseum|
|Colours||Black, red and silver
|General manager||Scott Bonner|
|Head coach||Don Hay|
|Championships||2007 MasterCard Memorial Cup Champions|
The Vancouver Giants are a major junior ice hockey team playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL). Inaugurated in 2001–02, the Giants have won one President's Cup (now known as the Ed Chynoweth Cup) in 2006 and one Memorial Cup in 2007 in their thirteen-season history. Their home rink is the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, which was previously used by the NHL's Vancouver Canucks.
In the 2010-2011 season, the Giants celebrated their 10th anniversary. It was known as the Giant Decade.
The ownership group consists of British Columbia-based businessmen Ron Toigo and Sultan Thiara, Hockey Hall of Fame member Gordie Howe, Pat Quinn, and Canadian big band singer and actor Michael Bublé.
- 1 History
- 2 Awards and trophies
- 3 Players
- 4 Season-by-season record
- 5 WHL Championship history
- 6 Team records
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Led by majority owner and British Columbia-based businessman Ron Toigo, the city of Vancouver was granted a WHL franchise for the 2001–02 season. In their inaugural campaign, the Giants compiled 13 wins, 49 losses, and 6 ties. The first goal in franchise history was scored by Tyson Mulock in a loss to the Kamloops Blazers.
The following season, the Giants went 26-37-5-4 (fourth in the B.C. Division) and made their first playoff appearance, but lost in the first round to the eventual President's Cup champions, the Kelowna Rockets, in four games. Second-year forward Adam Courchaine led the team in scoring with 85 points. His 43 goals stood as a single-season franchise record for six years until second-year forward Evander Kane broke it in 2008–09.
In the 2003–04 season, the Giants continued to improve, posting a 33-24-9-6, which marked their first winning season. After defeating the Kamloops Blazers in the first round, the Giants lost in the second round to the expansion team Everett Silvertips in six games. Adam Courchaine led the team again in scoring, finishing ninth overall in the league. Hometown rookie Gilbert Brule, the first overall pick in the 2002 WHL Bantam Draft, scored 60 points and earned the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the league's best first-year player.
In the 2004–05 season, the Giants went 34-30-4-4 and Brulé emerged as a WHL star, finishing third in league scoring with 87 points, which remained a franchise record until overager Casey Pierro-Zabotel snapped it in 2008–09. Courchaine tallied 78 points and finished seventh in league scoring, marking the first and only time thus far that the top ten league scorers would feature two Giants players. In the playoffs, the Giants lost in the first round to Kelowna. Despite the early exit, the Giants drew many fans to the Coliseum that year due to the NHL lockout; game six against the Rockets drew 16,183 fans.
The 2005–06 season featured the Giants' most significant improvement in the standings, becoming one of the WHL's top teams. They finished the season 47-19-0-6, first in the B.C. Division and third in the league overall. In the first round of the playoffs, the Giants beat the Prince George Cougars in five games, then the Portland Winterhawks in the second round, also in five games. In the third and final round, they won eight straight, sweeping both the Everett Silvertips and Moose Jaw Warriors en route to their first ever President's Cup. Gilbert Brulé had returned to the team midway through the season after starting 2005-06 with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets and earned the airBC Trophy as the playoff MVP after scoring 16 goals and 30 points in 18 post-season games, including 5 goals and 12 points in the finals.
By winning the WHL league title, the Giants earned their first Memorial Cup appearance in Moncton, New Brunswick. The Giants finished the round-robin tied for third, then defeated the Peterborough Petes in a tie-breaker in order to move on to the playoffs, but lost to the Moncton Wildcats in the semifinal. Brule scored 12 points in 5 games, earning the Ed Chynoweth Trophy, as tournament leading scorer. He was also named to the Memorial Cup All-Star team with Giants defenceman Paul Albers.
The Giants were chosen by the CHL prior to the 2006 Memorial Cup, to host the 2007 Memorial Cup. They finished the season, once again, atop their division, fourth in the league. The season featured a goaltending controversy, in which starter Dustin Slade would begin the season splitting time with emerging goalie Tyson Sexsmith. Slade, frustrated with having to give up his starts, would leave the team in November to pursue a pro-hockey career. With Sexsmith (who finished first in the league in GAA) as their starting goalie, and a balanced offence that included Milan Lucic, Michal Repik and mid-season acquisitions Wacey Rabbit and Kenndal McArdle, the Giants made their way once again to the WHL final. The series went the distance against the Medicine Hat Tigers, but the Giants lost the seventh game in double overtime, failing to win their second consecutive league title. However, because of their automatic bye into the Memorial Cup as hosts, the Giants avenged their seventh game loss against the Tigers, defeating Medicine Hat 3-1 in the final, capturing their first Memorial Cup title. Lucic earned the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as tournament MVP, while linemate Michal Repik led the tournament in scoring (edging Lucic by one goal) to capture the Ed Chynoweth Trophy. Defenceman Cody Franson also joined Lucic and Repik on the tournament All-star team.
As defending Memorial Cup champions the following season, the Giants won the B.C. Division for the third consecutive year and posted a franchise record 106 points (49-15-2-6), third in the league. Third-year forward Spencer Machacek, named team captain after expected captain Lucic would stick with the Boston Bruins of the NHL, led the team in scoring with 78 points, fourteenth in the league. On defence, Jonathon Blum, also a returnee from the Memorial Cup winning team, finished second among league defencemen in scoring, tallying 63 points, a single-season franchise-record among defenceman. In goal, Sexsmith once again led the league with a stellar 1.89 goals against average. The Giants' run for a third consecutive Memorial Cup appearance was cut short; after sweeping the Chilliwack Bruins in the first round, the Giants were stopped by the Spokane Chiefs in six games.
A dominant 2008–09 season has established several records for the Giants. The club set a WHL record by clinching a playoff berth just 46 games into the season. The mark was previously set by the Everett Silvertips, who clinched a berth after 48 games in 2006–07. Individually, overager Casey Pierro-Zabotel broke the team marks for single-season assists and points, surpassing Darren Lynch and Gilbert Brule respectively, while second-year forward Evander Kane bettered Adam Courchaine's single-season goals total. Team captain Jonathon Blum also surpassed Courchaine to become the franchise's all-time assists leader. Finishing the season with a franchise-high 57 wins and 119 points, the Giants came within 3 points of their first Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as the top regular season team, behind the Calgary Hitmen.
Awards and trophies
Canadian Hockey League champion
Western Hockey League playoff champion
First place in regular season
Rookie of the year
Defenceman of the year
Regular season plus-minus leader
Regular season scoring champion
Coach of the Year
Memorial Cup scoring leader
Memorial Cup MVP
Note that these are the players who were drafted into the NHL while playing for the Vancouver Giants
- Marian Havel (Drafted by Washington Capitals in 2002; sixth round, 179th overall)
- Robin Kovar (Drafted by Edmonton Oilers in 2002; fourth round, 123rd overall
- Adam Courchaine (Drafted by Minnesota Wild in 2003; seventh round, 219th overall)
- Andrej Meszaros (Drafted by Ottawa Senators in 2004; 1st round, 23rd overall)
- Triston Grant (Drafted by Philadelphia Flyers in 2004; ninth round, 286th overall)
- Mark Fistric (Drafted by Dallas Stars in 2004; first round, 28th overall)
- Gilbert Brule (Drafted by Columbus Blue Jackets in 2005; first round, 6th overall)
- Cody Franson (Drafted by Nashville Predators in 2005; third round, 79th overall)
- J. D. Watt (Drafted by Calgary Flames in 2005; fourth round, 111th overall)
- Milan Lucic (Drafted by Boston Bruins in 2006; second round, 50th overall)
- Jonathon Blum (Drafted by Nashville Predators in 2007; first round, 23rd overall)
- Michal Repik (Drafted by Florida Panthers in 2007; second round, 40th overall)
- Spencer Machacek (Drafted by Atlanta Thrashers in 2007; third round, 67th overall)
- Tyson Sexsmith (Drafted by San Jose Sharks in 2007; third round, 91st overall)
- Lance Bouma (Drafted by Calgary Flames in 2008; third round, 78th overall)
- James Wright (Drafted by Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008; fourth round, 117th overall)
- Brent Regner (Drafted by Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008; fifth round, 137th overall)
- Evander Kane (Drafted by Atlanta Thrashers in 2009; first round, 4th overall)
- Craig Cunningham (Drafted by Boston Bruins in 2010; fourth round, 97th overall)
- Brendan Gallagher (Drafted by Montreal Canadiens in 2010; fifth round, 147th overall)
- David Musil (Drafted by Edmonton Oilers in 2011; second round, 31st overall)
- Marek Tvrdon (Drafted by Detroit Red Wings in 2011; fourth round, 115th overall)
- Jordan Martinook (Drafted by Phoenix Coyotes in 2012; second round, 58th overall)
- Brett Kulak (Drafted by Calgary Flames in 2012; fourth round, 105th overall)
- Mason Geertsen (Drafted by Colorado Avalanche in 2013; fourth round, 93rd overall)
- Jackson Houck (Drafted by Edmonton Oilers in 2013; fourth round, 94th overall)
Ring of Honour
- Brett Festerling (inducted on December 7, 2010)
- Andrej Meszaros (inducted on December 27, 2010)
- Mark Fistric (inducted on January 23, 2011)
- Gilbert Brule (inducted on January 28, 2011)
- Milan Lucic (inducted on February 25, 2011)
- Cody Franson (inducted on February 17, 2012)
- Evander Kane (inducted on March 7, 2012)
Franchise scoring leaders
Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; * = current Giants player
Updated September 16, 2012.
|#||Player||Catches||Height||Weight||DOB||Place of birth||NHL Draft|
|1||Payton Lee||L||6'0||175||June 24, 1996||Cranbrook, British Columbia|
|31||Tyler Fuhr||L||6'0||157||May 30, 1995||Sherwood Park, Alberta|
|#||Player||Shoots||Height||Weight||DOB||Place of birth||NHL Draft|
|2||Brett Kulak||L||6'1||175||January 6, 1994||Stony Plain, Alberta||CGY 2012|
|4||Blake Orban||R||6'1||197||January 28, 1994||Calgary, Alberta|
|5||Wes Vannieuwenhuizen||L||6'3||208||April 20, 1992||Chilliwack, British Columbia|
|8||Tyler Morrison||L||5'11||183||October 23, 1995||Sherwood Park, Alberta|
|21||Stewart Coyle||R||6'2||185||August 15, 1995||Sicamous, British Columbia|
|29||Reid Zalitach||R||6'0||175||May 1, 1996||Narol, Manitoba|
|44||Mason Geertsen||L||6'4||203||April 19, 1995||Rocky Rapids, Alberta|
|#||Player||Shoots||Height||Weight||DOB||Place of birth||NHL Draft|
|9||Dalton Sward||R||6'1||182||January 10, 1994||Abbotsford, British Columbia|
|10||Scott Cooke||R||6'2||175||March 15, 1994||Surrey, British Columbia|
|12||Cain Franson||L||6'1||167||March 25, 1993||Sicamous, British Columbia|
|14||Trevor Cheek||L||6'2||198||December 29, 1992||Vancouver, Washington|
|15||Riley Kieser||L||6'0||182||April 27, 1993||Sherwood Park, Alberta|
|16||Carter Popoff||R||5'9||180||May 9, 1995||Richmond, British Columbia|
|17||Marek Tvrdon||L||6'2||217||January 31, 1993||Nitra, Slovakia||DET 2011|
|18||Anthony Ast||R||5'8||170||February 11, 1995||Richmond, British Columbia|
|20||Tanner Moar||R||6'3||180||July 12, 1994||Canwood, Saskatchewan|
|22||Kale Kessy||L||6'3||202||December 4, 1992||Shaunavon, Saskatchewan||PHO 2011|
|24||Travis McEvoy||R||6'0||211||April 16, 1994||Thorsby, Alberta|
|25||Tristan Sieben||L||5'9||187||July 13, 1994||Edmonton, Alberta|
|26||Taylor Vickerman||L||6'1||181||April 12, 1996||Kennewick, Washington|
|27||Jackson Houck||R||6'0||184||February 27, 1995||North Vancouver, British Columbia|
|39||Thomas Foster||L||5'10||160||March 28, 1996||Slave Lake, Alberta|
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties OTL = Overtime losses Pts, SOL = Shootout losses Pts, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
|2001–02||72||13||49||6||4||198||365||36||5th B.C.||Out of playoffs|
|2002–03||72||26||37||5||4||217||292||61||4th B.C.||Lost Western Conference quarter-final|
|2003–04||72||33||24||9||6||215||196||81||2nd B.C.||Lost Western Conference semi-final|
|2004–05||72||34||30||4||4||212||205||76||3rd B.C.||Lost Western Conference quarter-final|
|2005–06||72||47||19||0||6||252||156||100||1st B.C.||Won WHL Championship; Lost Memorial Cup|
|2006–07||72||45||17||3||7||245||143||100||1st B.C.||Lost final; Won Memorial Cup|
|2007–08||72||49||15||2||6||250||155||106||1st B.C.||Lost Western Conference semi-final|
|2008–09||72||57||10||2||3||319||151||119||1st B.C.||Lost Western Conference final|
|2009–10||72||41||25||3||3||267||211||88||1st B.C.||Lost Western Conference final|
|2010–11||72||35||32||1||4||236||251||75||2nd B.C.||Lost Western Conference quarter-final|
|2011–12||72||40||26||2||4||255||234||86||2nd B.C.||Lost Western Conference quarter-final|
|2012–13||72||21||49||2||0||197||299||44||5th B.C.||Out of playoffs|
WHL Championship history
|Team Records for a single season|
|Most goals for||319||2008–09|
|Least goals for||198||2001–02|
|Least goals against||143||2006–07|
|Most goals against||365||2001–02|
|Individual player records for a single season|
|Most goals||Evander Kane||48||2008–09|
|Most assists||Casey Pierro-Zabotel||79||2008–09|
|Most points||Casey Pierro-Zabotel||115||2008–09|
|Most points, rookie||Kevin Connauton||72||2009–10|
|Most points, defenceman||Kevin Connauton||72||2009–10|
|Best GAA, goalie||Tyson Sexsmith||1.79||2006–07|
|Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played|
- "Michael Bublé Joins Vancouver Giants Ownership Grou". Vancouver Giants.
- Walker, Ian (2009-03-05). "WHL: Kane shines in Giants' 6-2 win over Americans". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-03-05.[dead link]
- "WHL:Vancouver Giants defeat Medicine Hat in come-from-behind win". Vancouver Sun. 2009-01-28. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- Mackin, Bob (2006). "Four Giants face off against Russia's best". CANOE Inc. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
- "Giants Clinch Playoff Spot After Just 46 Games". OurSports Central. 2009-01-24. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
- "Mighty Casey smashes record". Vancouver Sun. 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-01-18.[dead link]
- "Blum adds to glowing resumé". The Province. 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
- "Giants Alumni". Vancouver Giants. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
- "Team Roster". Vancouver Giants.[dead link]