Elmira Jackals

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Elmira Jackals
2016–17 ECHL season
Elmira Jackals (ECHL) logo.svg
City Elmira, New York
League ECHL
Conference Eastern
Division North
Founded 2000 (In the UHL)
Home arena First Arena
Colors Navy blue, red, silver, white
                   
Owner(s) Tom Freeman, Nate Cook
Head coach David Leger
Affiliates Buffalo Sabres (NHL)
Rochester Americans (AHL)
Franchise history
2000–present Elmira Jackals
Championships
Regular season titles 2001–02, 2011–12
Division Championships 2001–02, 2009–10, 2011–12
Conference Championships 2001–02, 2003–04

The Elmira Jackals are a professional minor league ice hockey team based in Elmira, New York. The Jackals play in the North Division of the ECHL's Eastern Conference. They were originally part of the United Hockey League. They are the ECHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. The Jackals play their home games at the First Arena.

History[edit]

The Jackals were born as a member of the United Hockey League before the 2000–2001 season, as an affiliate of the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets. Eventually, they severed ties with the Blue Jackets and became an independent operation for the rest of their years in the league. During their tenure in the UHL, their average attendance was 3,080 per game, which included 31 sellouts. Their largest crowd was a standing-room of 4,000, on October 13, 2006.

United Hockey League[edit]

2000–01 season[edit]

As the Elmira Jackals prepared for their first season, in the fall of 2000, the biggest question had nothing to do with starting goalies, or first line combinations or even play off predictions. Rather, it was simply if their home arena would be ready in time. As workers raced to complete the then-named "Coach USA Center", the Jackals spent the first 10 games of their inaugural season on the road. The Jackals returned to their unfinished arena in Elmira for their first ever home game, on November 11, 2000. The arena was "ready enough" to welcome a crowd of 3,378 to cheer the Jackals to a 5-2 win. Overall, the Jackals finished that season 32-33-9 for second place in the Northeast Division and a berth in the UHL playoffs. Elmira was named franchise of the year for the UHL. The Jackals lost in the first round.

Old Elmira Jackals logo from UHL

2001–02 season[edit]

The Jackals completed the season with a 45-21-8 record with 98 points for first in the East in the regular season. In Elmira's second season of operation the team won the Eastern Conference Championship, however they fell to the Muskegon Fury in the Colonial Cup finals four games to two.[1]

2002–03 season[edit]

After falling to the Muskegon Fury in the finals the previous season, Todd Brost led the team to a 41-28-7 record and a third-place finish in the Eastern Conference. The Jackals clinched a UHL playoff berth for the third consecutive season but Lost in the second round four games to none.[1]

2003–04 season[edit]

The Jackals finished with a 33-34-9 for only 75 points on the season, however it was good enough to grab a playoff spot for the 2004 UHL playoffs. The Jackals met the Muskegon Fury in the Colonial Cup finals for the second time in three years, but were swept in four games.[1]

2004–05 season[edit]

The Jackals celebrated their fifth anniversary in '04-'05. The Jackals' coach Todd Brost was fired and replaced mid-season after posting a 19-35-5 record. Brost was replaced by former Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Dave Schultz. The coaching changed did not go over as well hoped, as the team posted a 5-16-0 record under Schultz. The Jackals completed the season with a 24-51-5 record for only 53 points and a last place position in the Eastern Division. The Jackals did not qualify for the playoffs for the first time in their five years of existence.[1]

2005–06 season[edit]

After not making the playoffs the previous season the Jackals named a new coach in Perry Florio. Florio was not successful in bringing a winning record back to the Jackals, posting a 27-42-7 for 61 points and missing out on the playoffs again.[1]

2006–07 season[edit]

The Jackals hired a new general manager, Robbie Nichols, and a new coach, Kris Waltze, who had proven successful elsewhere and signed a few solid players, giving the team hope for a return to the playoffs. Waltze posted a 13-13-0 record before being demoted to the assistant coach position and Robbie Nichols was named head coach of the team. Nichols led the team to a 9-12-1 before he suffered a minor stroke during an away game. Later that month the United Hockey League rebranded as the International Hockey League.

ECHL[edit]

2007–08 season[edit]

The Elmira Jackals joined the ECHL in the summer of 2007 with a new logo, jerseys and coach Steve Martinson. They became affiliates of the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets and American Hockey League's Syracuse Crunch. They were members of the North division. Returning from a loss in Cincinnati, the team bus was involved in crash on Interstate 90 in Pennsylvania early in the morning of November 29, 2007, where several players sustained minor injuries.[2] After three seasons of being out of playoff contention in the United Hockey League, the Elmira Jackals qualified for the 2008 Kelly Cup playoffs. The Jackals completed the season with a 41-24-0-7 with 89 points to finish second in the North Division. However, their success was short lived as they lost in the conference quarterfinals to the Reading Royals, 4-games-to-2.

2008–09 season[edit]

The Jackals severed ties with the Blue Jackets and Crunch at the conclusion of the 2007–08 season and became the affiliates of the NHL's Ottawa Senators and AHL's Binghamton Senators. During the 2008–09 regular season, the Jackals went 39-26-2-5 for 85 points to finish third in the North Division on the season. The Jackals were able to clinch a playoff berth but fell in the second round to the Cincinnati Cyclones, 4-games-to-0.

2009–10 season[edit]

During the team's tenth anniversary, 2009–10 regular season, the Jackals finished with a 37-26-6-3 good for 83 points on the season to finish 1st in the East, and making the ECHL playoffs for the third straight season. The Jackals went on to fall in the first round to the Florida Everblades, 4-games-to-1.

2010–11 season[edit]

In 2010, the Jackals affiliated with the NHL's Anaheim Ducks and their AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, giving the Jackals a dual NHL affiliation for the first time (as they were still affiliated the Senators).

Head coach Steve Martinson, who had been with the franchise since its inaugural year in the ECHL, signed with the Chicago Express, a new expansion team of the ECHL. He left Elmira with a 117-76-23 record. On August 23, 2010, the Jackals announced that Malcolm Cameron would succeed Martinson as head coach for the 2010–11 season. Cameron was replaced mid-season by former coach and general manager Robbie Nichols. The Jackals finished the 2010–11 ECHL season with a 32-30-7-3 record with 74 points and a third place finish in the North Division. The Jackals clinched their fourth consecutive ECHL playoff berth but fell in the first round to the Greenville Road Warriors, 3-games-to-1.

2011–12 season[edit]

In 2011, the Jackals agreed to an affiliation with the lower-level Danbury Whalers of the Federal Hockey League for the 2011–12 season.

The Jackals announced that Pat Bingham with be behind the bench for the 2011–12 season. On February 21, 2012, the Jackals season was threatened after the Arena owner failed to pay $136,234 in taxes for three years and being hit with a foreclosure order by Chemung County. The Jackals continued to play not knowing if or when they would be locked out by the County. Jackals and First Arena's general manager, Robbie Nichols, and assistant general manager, Don Lewis, were fired in January 2012 and replaced by Matt Hufnagel. The operator of First Arena filed two lawsuits, one against Nichols and Lewis and the other against Chemung County, the County Executive, County Treasurer and Southern Tier Economic Development. This statement by the owner's lawyers was released: "The truth will come out. Fact of the matter is the money was here to pay the taxes. And the fact is Robbie Nichols told the Afrs it was paid." Afr, the Jackals and First Arena owner requested that the Legislature hold off their vote until June 30, 2012, to continue the foreclosure proceedings. On the ice, the Jackals had a record breaking season, Bingham led the Jackals to a 45-22-5 record, good for 95 points in the 2011–12 season and captured the Eastern Conference regular season title. The Jackals advanced to the 2012 Kelly Cup playoffs for their fifth straight season, falling in the second round to the Florida Everblades, 4-games-to-1.

2012–13 season[edit]

The Jackals and the Anaheim Ducks ended their affiliation prior the 2012–13 season and they added to their FHL Danbury Whalers' affiliation with the Williamsport Outlaws (until the Outlaws folded in January 2013).

On May 30, 2012, the County entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Elmira Downtown Arena and Southern Tier Economic Development to allow Elmira Downtown Arena to continue operating the First Arena for the 2012–13 season. The Legislature ratified the agreement on July 9, 2012. On July 24, 2012, the County announced that First Arena would be sold to local businessman Tom Freeman, at the completion of the 2012–13 season. On September 8, 2012, Jackals head coach Pat Bingham resigned with only one month before the season started.[3] The Jackals were able to find a quick replacement by announcing Dwight Mullens as the team's new coach. The Jackals finished the regular season with a 40-25-3-4 record with 87 points on the season and a second place finish in the Atlantic Division. The Jackals fell in the first round of the 2013 Kelly Cup playoffs to the Florida Everblades, 4-games-to-2.

On April 10, 2013, the Jackals held a press conference to name Tom Freeman and Nathan Cook the new owners of the First Arena and Elmira Jackals.[4]

2013–14 season[edit]

The Jackals again had a dual NHL affiliation for the season, now with the Senators and New Jersey Devils (as well as their AHL affiliates the Binghamton Senators and the Albany Devils, respectively).

In the 2013–14 season, the Jackals completed the season with a 24-40-3-5 record with 56 points and finished the season in third place in the Atlantic Division and twelfth in the Eastern Conference,[5] but missed the playoffs for the first time since joining the ECHL in 2007. During this season, the Jackals' total roster consisted of 55 players, including goalies, which is the third-most in the team's ECHL history.[6]

2014–15 season[edit]

The Devils decided to not renew their affiliation with the Jackals for the 2014–15 season. On April 16, 2014 the Jackals announced that they would also not renew their affiliation agreement with the NHL's Ottawa Senators and instead signed a multi-year agreement to be the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres and the AHL's Rochester Americans.[6] At the start of the season, the Jackals announced that they are now "community owned." Any profit above operating cost would be turned over to a local board of directors who would decide how the money should be invested in the community.[7] However, despite an increase in average attendance from 2,200 in 2013–14 to 2,557 in 2014–15, the team still lost money. The owner indicated that 3,200 is the breakeven point.[8]

2015–16 season[edit]

The Jackals set a team record of 21 road wins during the season, but missed the playoffs for the third straight year. The average attendance was 2,500 per game and the team again lost money. The Chemung County Executive hinted at big changes to come.[9]

On April 28, 2016 the Chemung County Executive announced that the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is assuming temporary ownership of the First Arena and the Jackals until a new owner can be found. The move was made due to the ongoing losses combined with the County's interest in maintaining the viability of the Arena and the team.[10] The IDA will use $1 million to pay off debts so any new owner can have a nearly clean financial slate.[11]

2016–17 season[edit]

On June 16, 2016, head coach Jamie Russell left the organization after two seasons.[12] On July 25, the Jackals announced David Leger as the new head coach.

Affiliates[edit]

Season NHL AHL FHL
2000–01 Columbus Blue Jackets Syracuse Crunch FHL established in 2010
2001–02 Columbus Blue Jackets Syracuse Crunch
2002–03 Columbus Blue Jackets Syracuse Crunch
2003–07 none none
2007–08 Columbus Blue Jackets Syracuse Crunch
2008–09 Ottawa Senators Binghamton Senators
2009–10 Ottawa Senators Binghamton Senators
2010–11 Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks Binghamton Senators, Syracuse Crunch none
2011–12 Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks Binghamton Senators, Syracuse Crunch Danbury Whalers
2012–13 Ottawa Senators Binghamton Senators Williamsport Outlaws, Danbury Whalers
2013–14 Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils Binghamton Senators, Albany Devils Danbury Whalers
2014–15 Buffalo Sabres Rochester Americans none
2015–16 Buffalo Sabres Rochester Americans none

Season-by-season record[edit]

The complete seasonal records throughout team history.

Season W L OTL SOL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs Head Coach
2000–01 32 33 9 73 260 289 2015 2nd, Northeast Lost in 1st round Todd Brost
2001–02 45 21 8 98 260 216 2523 1st, East Lost in Finals 4 games to 2 Todd Brost
2002–03 41 28 7 89 257 254 2250 3rd, Eastern Lost in 2nd round 4 games to 0 Todd Brost
2003–04 33 34 9 75 238 256 1670 4th, Eastern Lost in Finals 4 games to 0 Todd Brost
2004–05 24 51 5 53 224 310 1686 4th, Eastern Did not qualify Todd Brost*, Dave Schultz
2005–06 27 42 7 61 231 300 1815 4th, Eastern Did not qualify Perry Florio
2006–07 30 45 1 61 217 287 2087 5th, Eastern Did not qualify Kris Waltze*, Robbie Nichols*, Paul Gillis
UHL totals 232 254 0 46 510 1687 1912 14046  –  – *=Replaced Mid-Season
Season W L OTL SOL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs Head Coach
2007–08 41 24 7 89 245 219 1840 2nd, North Lost in 1st round 4 games to 2 Steve Martinson
2008–09 39 26 2 5 85 235 232 1506 3rd, North Lost in 2nd round 4 games to 0 Steve Martinson
2009–10 37 26 6 3 83 275 231 1721 1st, East Lost in 1st round 3 games to 2 Steve Martinson
2010–11 32 30 7 3 74 249 264 1541 3rd, North Lost in 1st round 3 games to 1 Malcolm Cameron*, Robbie Nichols
2011–12 45 22 2 3 95 228 204 1149 1st, Atlantic Lost in 2nd round 4 games to 1 Pat Bingham
2012–13 40 25 3 4 87 247 220 1210 2nd, Atlantic Lost in 1st round 4 games to 2 Dwight Mullins
2013–14 24 40 3 5 56 176 252 1026 3rd, Atlantic Did not qualify Dwight Mullins
2014–15 32 33 0 7 71 186 217 1445 6th, East Did not qualify Jamie Russell
2015–16 37 30 3 2 79 206 214 934 4th, East Did not qualify Jamie Russell
ECHL totals 325 256 26 39 719 2047 2053 12372  –  – *=Replaced Mid-Season
Combined totals 557 510 26 85 1229 3734 3965 26418  –  –  –

Current roster[edit]

Updated July 29, 2016.[13]
# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
22 Canada Bennett, MarkMark Bennett F R 25 2015 Oakville, Ontario Jackals
United States Christian, ToddTodd Christian LW L 24 2016 Centennial, Colorado Jackals
United States Hatch, MattMatt Hatch W L 26 2016 Massena, New York Jackals
42 Canada Young, IanIan Young D L 24 2016 Red Deer, AB Jackals

Team staff[edit]

Staff
Title Staff Member
Team Owner Tom Freeman
Team President Nate Cook
Asst. GM Jared Abbott
Head Coach David Leger
Asst. Coach Glenn Thomaris
Athletic Trainer Dr. Timothy Hession
Equipment Manager Jeremy Holloway
Team Photographer Rick Bacmanski [14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Hockey DB". 
  2. ^ Bus carrying New York minor league hockey team crashes on Pennsylvania highway – NHL – Yahoo! Sports
  3. ^ Sacco, Mario (8 September 2012). "Elmira Jackals Coach Resigns". Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Future Bright for First Arena and Elmira Jackals". Elmira Jackals. 2013-04-11. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  5. ^ http://echl.com/stats/statdisplay.php?type=standings&subType=0&season_id=29&tournament_id=0&leagueId=1&division_id=-1&confId=0
  6. ^ a b http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/elmira-jackals-become-echl-affiliate-of-buffalo-sabres/n-4771061
  7. ^ "Hockey's Green Bay Packers? ECHL Elmira Jackals become 'community owned'". Puck Daddy. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Jackals 2014-15 Attendance Up". WETM 18 News. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Change could come to Jackals organization as season ends". WETM 18 News. 11 Apr 2016. Retrieved 12 Apr 2016. 
  10. ^ "First Arena under new temporary ownership". WENY News. 28 Apr 2016. Retrieved 28 Apr 2016. 
  11. ^ "BUYING FIRST ARENA: New owner out there?". Elmira Star-Gazette. 29 Apr 2016. Retrieved 29 Apr 2016. 
  12. ^ "Jackals, Russell Part Ways". OurSports Central. June 16, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Elmira Jackals current roster". Elmira Jackals. 2016-06-15. Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  14. ^ "Jackals front office". Elmira Jackals. 2016-02-15. Retrieved 2016-02-15. 

External links[edit]