Idaho Steelheads

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Idaho Steelheads
2014–15 ECHL season
City Boise, Idaho
League ECHL
Conference Western
Division Pacific
Founded 1996
Home arena CenturyLink Arena Boise

Blue, black, white, silver

Owner(s) Idaho Sports Properties LLC
Head coach Brad Ralph
Affiliates Dallas Stars (NHL)
Texas Stars (AHL)
Franchise history
1997–2003 Idaho Steelheads (WCHL)
2003–present Idaho Steelheads (ECHL)
Regular season titles 2 (2002–03, 2009–10)
Division Championships 4 (2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2009–10)
Conference Championships 5 (2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2006–07), 2009–10)
Kelly Cups 2 (2003–04, 2006–07)

The Idaho Steelheads are an American professional minor league ice hockey team based in Boise, Idaho. The team began playing in 1997 and has been a member of the ECHL since 2003.

During the 2003–04 season and since the 2005–06 season the Steelheads have been an affiliate of the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars.[1] The Austin-based Texas Stars have been Idaho's AHL affiliate since the 2009–10 season. Home games are played at the 5,000-seat CenturyLink Arena in downtown Boise.

The team was founded by Diamond Sports Management in 1996, headed by Cord Pereira. The Steelheads began playing in the reorganized Pacific Division of the ECHL's Western Conference in 2014–15.[2]

The Steelheads are named for a species of seagoing rainbow trout native to Idaho streams and rivers and popular with local anglers. Despite this, the original primary and alternate logos consisted of a puck bouncing off a hockey mask and the state of Idaho respectively. When the team underwent a rebrand in the 2006–07 season, a trout was included in Idaho's alternate. After the departure of the Victoria Salmon Kings in 2011, the Steelheads made the trout logo their new primary one.


West Coast Hockey League (1997-2003)[edit]

The Steelheads began play as part of a four-team expansion in the West Coast Hockey League in 1997, along with the Tacoma Sabercats, Phoenix Mustangs and Tucson Gila Monsters, which have all since ceased operations. Former New York Islanders defenseman Dave Langevin became Idaho's first head coach. During its inaugural season, in addition to its WCHL schedule the Steelheads played two exhibition games in Boise against the Russian Super League team CKA-Amur (now Amur Khabarovsk). The Steelheads finished third in the WCHL North Division in 1997–98, but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Anchorage Aces (now the Alaska Aces).[3]

Langevin left the team in 1998 and was replaced as head coach by former NHL goaltender Clint Malarchuk. Under Malarchuk the Steelheads were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in 1998–99 and 1999–00.[4]

In 2000, Malarchuk was succeeded as head coach by John Olver, who had coached the Tacoma Sabercats to the WCHL championship in 1998–99. The Steelheads reached the WCHL finals in 2000–01 and 2001–02, but were defeated by the San Diego Gulls and Fresno Falcons, respectively.[5]

Although the Steelheads finished with the best record in the WCHL's final season in 2002–03, the Falcons eliminated them in the first round of the playoffs.[6]


The Idaho Steelheads have been a member of the ECHL since 2003, winning the league's Kelly Cup championship in 2004 and 2007. They are one of only four active ECHL teams to win multiple league championships, alongside the Alaska Aces and South Carolina Stingrays with three championships each, and the Toledo Walleye (which was then known as the Storm prior to suspending operations in 2007 to build their new arena) with two. The Hampton Roads Admirals (now in the AHL as Norfolk) have also won three ECHL championships.

As of the end of the 2013–14 season the Steelheads have never missed the playoffs in either the WCHL or the ECHL.[7]


In 2003, the WCHL was absorbed by the ECHL and folded. The Steelheads, along with several other WCHL-affiliated teams – namely the Alaska Aces, Bakersfield Condors, Fresno Falcons, Las Vegas Wranglers, Long Beach Ice Dogs and San Diego Gulls – became ECHL members beginning with the 2003–04 season. Idaho won the 2004 Kelly Cup in its first season in the ECHL, defeating the Florida Everblades in the Kelly Cup finals. The Steelheads were the first team to win the ECHL championship in its first year in the league since the Greensboro Monarchs won the title in the league's second season of operation (1989–90).

In 2004–05 the Steelheads were eliminated in the first round of the ECHL playoffs by the Long Beach Ice Dogs. Olver was succeeded as head coach by Derek Laxdal after the season. In 2005–06 Laxdal guided the team back to the playoffs, but they were eliminated in the second round by the Las Vegas Wranglers.

The Steelheads hosted the 2007 ECHL All-Star Game in Boise. Later that year the Steelheads won their second Kelly Cup by defeating the Stockton Thunder, Las Vegas Wranglers and Alaska Aces in the playoffs, and ultimately the Dayton Bombers in the league finals.

In the 2007–08 playoffs, Idaho was swept in the first round by eventual champions the Alaska Aces, and in the 2008–09 playoffs lost to Victoria Salmon Kings in the first round.

In 2009–10, the Steelheads clinched their first Brabham Cup (ECHL regular season title) with one week remaining in the season. They received a bye in the first round of the 2010 Kelly Cup Playoffs before sweeping the Utah Grizzlies in the conference semifinals and beating the Stockton Thunder in six games to win the National Conference championship to advance to their third Kelly Cup finals since joining the league in 2003. They met the Cincinnati Cyclones in the finals, but lost the series 4-1, with each game being decided by one goal.


Laxdal left the team after the 2009–10 season to accept the head coaching position with the major junior Edmonton Oil Kings. Although his replacement, Hardy Sauter, led the Steelheads to a playoff series victory against Las Vegas in 2010–11, he was let go after the 2011–12 season after the Steelheads failed to crack the 75-point plateau for the first time since the team's WCHL days. In June 2012, the Steelheads named SPHL Augusta RiverHawks head coach Brad Ralph as Sauter's replacement.[8]

In Ralph's first season in Idaho the Steelheads advanced to the Western Conference finals, but were defeated by the Stockton Thunder in five games.[9] In the first round of the 2013–14 playoffs, the Steelheads defeated the Colorado Eagles in six games, culminating in a quadruple overtime victory which set a record as the longest game in ECHL history.[10] They were eliminated in the second round by the eventual champion Alaska Aces.[11]

Season-by-season record[edit]

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, OTL = Overtime losses, SOL = Shootout losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Records as of end of the 2013–14 ECHL season.[12]

Season League GP W L OTL SOL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Coach Playoffs
1997–98 WCHL 64 27 30 - 7 61 253 275 2057 3rd, North Dave Langevin Lost in round 1, 1–3 (Anchorage)
1998–99 WCHL 71 31 34 - 6 68 265 298 2027 4th, North Clint Malarchuk Lost in round 1, 0-2 (Tacoma)
1999–00 WCHL 72 31 36 - 5 67 287 300 1943 4th, North Clint Malarchuk Lost in round 1, 0-3 (Tacoma)
2000–01 WCHL 72 47 21 - 4 98 293 244 1631 1st, North John Olver Lost in finals, 3-4 (San Diego)
2001–02 WCHL 72 47 17 - 8 102 288 213 1846 1st, North John Olver Lost in finals, 2-4 (Fresno)
2002–03 WCHL 72 52 16 - 4 108 267 186 1421 1st, WCHL John Olver Lost in round 1, 2-4 (Fresno)
2003–04 ECHL 72 40 23 - 9 89 219 208 1725 3rd, Pacific John Olver Won Kelly Cup, 4-1 (Florida)
2004–05 ECHL 72 42 23 2 5 91 223 183 1437 3rd, West John Olver Lost in round 1, 1-3 (Long Beach)
2005–06 ECHL 72 43 21 4 4 94 268 221 1650 3rd, West Derek Laxdal Lost in round 2, 3-4 (Las Vegas)
2006–07 ECHL 72 42 24 2 4 90 240 208 1621 2nd, West Derek Laxdal Won Kelly Cup, 4-1 (Dayton)
2007–08 ECHL 72 40 22 5 5 90 224 183 1492 2nd, West Derek Laxdal Lost in round 2, 0-4 (Alaska)
2008–09 ECHL 72 44 24 2 2 90 224 186 1361 2nd, West Derek Laxdal Lost in round 1, 0-4 (Victoria)
2009–10 ECHL 72 48 17 2 5 103 260 191 1361 1st, West Derek Laxdal Lost in finals, 1-4 (Cincinnati)
2010–11 ECHL 72 32 27 4 9 77 225 217 1124 2nd, Mountain Hardy Sauter Lost in round 2, 0-4 (Alaska)
2011–12 ECHL 72 31 32 2 7 71 194 236 1169 4th, Mountain Hardy Sauter Lost in round 2, 1-4 (Las Vegas)
2012–13 ECHL 72 45 20 1 6 97 262 198 1337 2nd, Mountain Brad Ralph Lost in conference finals, 1-4 (Stockton)
2013–14 ECHL 72 39 26 3 4 85 223 212 1418 2nd, Mountain Brad Ralph Lost in round 2, 1-4 (Alaska)


All Steelheads games are broadcast on AM 1350 KTIK in Boise and have been since the 1997 inception of the franchise. KTIK and the Steelheads were under the same ownership until Citadel Broadcasting's 2002 purchase of the station. Will Hoenike is the voice of the Steelheads, and Jim "Stumpy" Monroe was the longtime producer of the Steelheads' talk shows and play-by-play from 1997 until his retirement in fall 2011.

Current roster[edit]

Updated January 31, 2015.[13]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
20 Canada Bast, JasonJason Bast C L 25 2014 Regina, Saskatchewan Steelheads
Canada Beck, ColtonColton Beck LW L 24 2014 Langley, British Columbia Steelheads
27 Canada Boutin, ShawnShawn Boutin D R 25 2015 Val d'Or, Quebec Steelheads
United States Case, MattMatt Case D R 29 2014 Plymouth, Minnesota Steelheads
3 United States Cullity, PatrickPatrick Cullity D L 28 2012 Tewksbury, Massachusetts Steelheads
13 United States De Kastrozza, DavidDavid De Kastrozza RW R 28 2012 Toms River, New Jersey Steelheads
91 United States Dodero, CharlieCharlie Dodero D R 22 2013 Bloomingdale, Illinois Steelheads
United States Gibbons, KyleKyle Gibbons F R 23 2014 Westlake, Ohio Steelheads
14 Canada Judson, LukeLuke Judson RW R 24 2014 Emo, Ontario Steelheads
6 United States Linsmayer, RobRob Linsmayer F R 25 2013 Winnetka, Illinois Steelheads
Canada Livingston, JamesJames Livingston RW R 25 2014 Halifax, Nova Scotia Steelheads
Canada MacLeod, WadeWade MacLeod LW L 28 2014 Coquitlam, British Columbia Steelheads
77 Canada McDermott, EamonnEamonn McDermott D R 23 2014 Shaker Heights, Ohio Steelheads
Canada Nelson, LeviLevi Nelson C L 26 2014 Calgary, Alberta Steelheads
8 Canada Patterson, GaelanGaelan Patterson C L 24 2013 La Ronge, Saskatchewan Steelheads
United States Quailer, SteveSteve Quailer RW L 25 2014 Arvada, Colorado Steelheads
23 Canada Robinson, BrettBrett Robinson F L 30 2013 Alton, Ontario Steelheads
Canada Roy, OlivierOlivier Roy G L 23 2014 Causapscal, Quebec Steelheads
Canada Sproule, QuinnQuinn Sproule F L 24 2014 Drumheller, Alberta Steelheads
Title Staff member
Head coach Brad Ralph
Trainer Jason Switzer



Year League Trophy
2003–2004 ECHL Kelly Cup
2006–2007 ECHL Kelly Cup
2009–2010 ECHL Brabham Cup

Retired numbers[edit]

The Steelheads currently have two retired numbers. Marty Flichel's number 16 is scheduled to be retired in January 2015.[14]

  • 4: Jeremy Mylamok
  • 22: Cal Ingraham


The Steelheads' most notable rivals are the Alaska Aces,[15] and the Bakersfield Condors. These three teams are the surviving remnants of the WCHL, their common histories going back over 15 years. Three other WCHL refugees, the San Diego Gulls, Long Beach Ice Dogs, and Fresno Falcons have since folded.

Geographically, Idaho's closest opponent is the Utah Grizzlies at 345 miles (555 km), followed by the Stockton Thunder at 602 miles (969 km).

Until their 2014 suspension of operations[16] the Steelheads also enjoyed a rivalry with the Las Vegas Wranglers due to their frequent playoff meetings.


External links[edit]

Media related to Idaho Steelheads at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies
Kelly Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Trenton Titans
Preceded by
Alaska Aces
Kelly Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Cincinnati Cyclones