Charlotte Checkers

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Charlotte Checkers
2018–19 AHL season
Charlotte Checkers (AHL) logo.svg
CityCharlotte, North Carolina
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
Home arenaBojangles' Coliseum
ColorsRed, black, silver, white
Owner(s)MAK Hockey, LLC (Michael Kahn, president/CEO)
General managerDon Waddell
Head coachMike Vellucci
MediaFox Sports Carolinas
610 The Fan
AffiliatesCarolina Hurricanes (NHL)
Florida Everblades (ECHL)
Franchise history
1990–1993Capital District Islanders
1993–2010Albany River Rats
2010–presentCharlotte Checkers

The Charlotte Checkers are a minor-league professional ice hockey team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the American Hockey League (AHL), and are the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Checkers play their home games at Bojangles' Coliseum. The current organization is the third team by this name; it succeeded a Checkers franchise which played in the ECHL from 1993 until the end of the 2009–10 ECHL season. The original Checkers team played in the city from 1956 to 1977, originally in the Eastern Hockey League and then in the Southern Hockey League. The franchise is one of five teams to directly replace and share a name with a predecessor from a lower-tier league; the others are the Bakersfield Condors, Ontario Reign, Rockford IceHogs, and San Diego Gulls.


The franchise was originally the Capital District Islanders from 1990–1993. They then became the Albany River Rats from 1993–2010, until the River Rats were sold to MAK Hockey, LLC, led by Charlotte beer distributor Michael Kahn, owner of the ECHL Checkers.[1] The new ownership relocated the team to Charlotte for the 2010–11 season, renaming the franchise the "Charlotte Checkers", and relinquished the ECHL franchise to the league.[2][3] The Checkers are the second North Carolina-based team to play at the highest level of minor-league hockey, following the Carolina Monarchs, which played in Greensboro from 1995 to 1997.

Playing at the Time Warner Cable Arena, the Checkers' first home game on October 15, 2010, in front of 12,512 spectators which set an attendance record for a hockey game in Charlotte. On February 26, 2011, the attendance record was broken as 12,933 fans watched the Charlotte Checkers defeat the Connecticut Whale 1-0. Almost a year later, on February 25, 2012, the attendance record was broken yet again as 13,102 fans watched the Checkers fall to the Oklahoma City Barons, 3-2.[4] On April 11, 2015, the attendance record was broken a third time as 13,219 fans watched the last Checkers game at Time Warner Cable Arena, a 2-0 loss to the Rockford Icehogs.[5]

In late 2014, the Checkers announced they would return in the following season to the Bojangles' Coliseum, the home of the previous Checkers teams until 2005.[6] As Kahn detailed, the move would reconnect with said team legacy, and having a dedicated arena allowed for "greater control over every aspect of our business, including scheduling, amenities, game presentation and sponsorship inventory." To make sure the Coliseum is up to AHL standards, the Charlotte City Council arranged to provide $16 million to fund renovations.[7][8]

In Charlotte on May 9 and 10, 2018, in game four of the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs, the Checkers and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms played the longest game in the history of the American Hockey League. A 1–1 tie was broken by a Phantoms' goal at 6:48 of the fifth overtime period, more than six hours after the game began. The Checkers made 95 shots against Lehigh Valley goalie Alex Lyon.[9]

Season-by-season results[edit]


Current roster[edit]

Updated December 1, 2018.[10][11]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
2 Canada Jake Bean D L 20 2017 Calgary, Alberta Hurricanes
24 United States Patrick Brown (C) C R 26 2014 Bloomfield Hills, Michigan Hurricanes
6 Slovakia Michal Cajkovsky D L 26 2018 Bratislava, Slovakia Hurricanes
5 Canada Trevor Carrick (A) D R 24 2014 Stouffville, Ontario Hurricanes
35 United States Scott Darling G L 29 2017 Newport News, Virginia Hurricanes
4 United States Josiah Didier D R 25 2017 Littleton, Colorado Checkers
12 Canada Julien Gauthier RW R 21 2017 Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec Hurricanes
19 Canada Morgan Geekie C R 20 2018 Strathclair, Manitoba Hurricanes
23 Finland Janne Kuokkanen C L 20 2017 Oulunsalo, Finland Hurricanes
8 Finland Saku Maenalanen RW L 24 2018 Kemi, Finland Hurricanes
14 Canada Greg McKegg (A) C L 26 2018 St. Thomas, Ontario Hurricanes
3 Canada Roland McKeown D R 22 2016 Listowel, Ontario Hurricanes
88 Czech Republic Martin Necas C R 19 2018 Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic Hurricanes
30 United States Alex Nedeljkovic G L 22 2016 Parma, Ohio Hurricanes
22 United States Andrew Poturalski C R 24 2016 Williamsville, New York Hurricanes
16 Canada Cliff Pu RW R 20 2018 North York, Ontario Hurricanes
28 Canada Dan Renouf D L 24 2018 Pickering, Ontario Hurricanes
20 Canada Dennis Robertson D L 27 2016 Fort St. John, British Columbia Checkers
15 Canada Nicolas Roy C R 21 2017 Amos, Quebec Hurricanes
7 Finland Aleksi Saarela C L 21 2017 Helsinki, Finland Hurricanes
37 United States Nick Schilkey RW R 24 2017 Marysville, Michigan Checkers
18 Canada Spencer Smallman RW R 22 2017 Summerside, Prince Edward Island Hurricanes
21 Canada Zack Stortini RW R 33 2017 Elliot Lake, Ontario Checkers
6 United States Josh Wesley D R 22 2016 Raleigh, North Carolina Hurricanes

Team captains[edit]


  1. ^ "Capital District Sports announce River Rats sale". Albany River Rats. 2010-02-10. Archived from the original on 2010-02-21. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  2. ^ "AHL Hockey coming to Charlotte in 2010-11". Charlotte Checkers. 2010-02-10. Archived from the original on 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  3. ^ "Charlotte added to AHL for 2010-11". American Hockey League. 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  4. ^ "Checkers break record in loss to Barons". Charlotte Observer. 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  5. ^ "Checkers fall to Rockford in front of record crowd". Charlotte Checkers. 2015-04-11. Retrieved 2015-04-11.
  6. ^ The Charlotte Checkers would like to move back to Bojangles' Coliseum
  7. ^ Checkers Make Return to Bojangles' Coliseum Official
  8. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "Charlotte Checkers Team Roster". Charlotte Checkers. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  11. ^ " Charlotte Checkers". Retrieved 2015-10-06.

External links[edit]