Idaho Steelheads

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Idaho Steelheads
2017–18 ECHL season
IdahoSteelheadsAlternate.png
City Boise, Idaho
League ECHL
Conference Western
Division Mountain
Founded 1997 (In the WCHL)
Home arena CenturyLink Arena
Colors Blue, black, white, silver
                   
Owner(s) Idaho Sports Properties LLC
Head coach Neil Graham[1]
Media KTIK-FM
Idaho Statesman
Affiliates Dallas Stars (NHL)
Texas Stars (AHL)
Franchise history
1997–present Idaho Steelheads
Championships
Regular season titles 2 (2002–03, 2009–10)
Division Championships 5 (2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2009–10, 2014–15)
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.[2] 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.

In 1996, the Steelheads were announced as a 1997–98 expansion team by Diamond Sports Management, headed by Cord Pereira. The Steelheads play in the Mountain Division of the ECHL's Western Conference in 2016–17.

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.

As of 2017, the Steelheads are the westernmost ECHL team.

History[edit]

WCHL[edit]

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]

ECHL[edit]

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 five active ECHL teams to win multiple league championships, alongside the Alaska Aces and South Carolina Stingrays with three championships each, and the Allen Americans and Toledo Walleye (which was then known as the Storm prior to suspending operations in 2007 to build their new arena) with two. The defunct Hampton Roads Admirals also won three ECHL championships.

2003–2010[edit]

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.

2010–present[edit]

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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] They were eliminated in the second round by the eventual champion Alaska Aces.[10]

In 2014–15 the Steelheads won the regular season Pacific Division title with their first 100-point season since 2009–10, but were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Utah Grizzlies. Ralph left the Steelheads in August 2015 to take the head coaching position with the WHL Kelowna Rockets.[11] Assistant coach and former player Neil Graham was promoted to the head coaching position several days later.[1]

Idaho would finish the 2015–16 season in second place in the West Division, although tied in points with the first place Colorado Eagles due to them having more wins. They would be seeded fifth in the Western Conference for the 2016 Kelly Cup playoffs and were defeated in the conference quarterfinals by the defending champion Allen Americans, 4-games-to-3. Jefferson Dahl and Emil Molin would tie for the team lead in goals during the regular season with 22 goals. Rob Linsmayer led the team with 57 points. Philippe Desrosiers appeared in a team high 31 games in goal for the Steelheads, sporting a 15-7-6 record with a 2.34 GAA and 2 shutouts.[12] Idaho would finish 15th overall in attendance with an average of 4198 fans per game.

As of the end of the 2016–17 season the Steelheads have never missed the playoffs in either the WCHL or the ECHL,[13] and with the Detroit Red Wings elimination from the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, are in ownership of the longest current playoff streak in professional hockey at twenty seasons.[14]

Rivalries[edit]

The Steelheads' most notable rivals are the Utah Grizzlies and the Colorado Eagles due to proximity.

The team's former rivals include the refugees of the old WCHL: the Alaska Aces, Fresno Falcons, and Bakersfield Condors.[15] In their original markets, their common history stretched back nearly twenty years. As of 2017, Alaska and Fresno have folded, while Bakersfield relocated in 2015 to become the new Norfolk Admirals.

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

Logos[edit]

Media[edit]

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.

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 2016–17 ECHL season.[17]

Regular Season Playoffs
Season League GP W L OTL SOL Pts GF GA PIM Standing Coach Year 1st round 2nd round 3rd round Finals
1997–98 WCHL 64 27 30 7 61 253 275 2057 3rd, North Dave Langevin 1998 L, 1–3, ANC
1998–99 71 31 34 6 68 265 298 2027 4th, North Clint Malarchuk 1999 L, 0–2, TAC
1999–00 72 31 36 5 67 287 300 1943 4th, North Clint Malarchuk 2000 L, 0–3, TAC
2000–01 72 47 21 4 98 293 244 1631 1st, North John Olver 2001 W, 3–0, ANC W, 3–0, COL L, 3–4, SDG
2001–02 72 47 17 8 102 288 213 1846 1st, North John Olver 2002 W, 3–1, ANC W, 3–2, TAC L, 2–4, FRE
2002–03 72 52 16 4 108 267 186 1421 1st, WCHL John Olver 2003 L, 2–4, FRE
2003–04 ECHL 72 40 23 9 89 219 208 1725 3rd, Pacific John Olver 2004 W, 3–2, LV W, 3–1, AK W, 3–1, GWT W, 4–1, FLA
2004–05 72 42 23 2 5 91 223 183 1437 3rd, West John Olver 2005 L, 1–3, LBH
2005–06 72 43 21 4 4 94 268 221 1650 3rd, West Derek Laxdal 2006 L, 3–4, LV
2006–07 72 42 24 2 4 90 240 208 1621 2nd, West Derek Laxdal 2007 W, 4–2, STK W, 4–2, LV W, 4–1, AK W, 4–1, DAY
2007–08 72 40 22 5 5 90 224 183 1492 2nd, West Derek Laxdal 2008 L, 0–4, AK
2008–09 72 44 24 2 2 90 224 186 1361 2nd, West Derek Laxdal 2009 L, 0–4, VIC
2009–10 72 48 17 2 5 103 260 191 1361 1st, West Derek Laxdal 2010 BYE W, 4–0, UTA W, 4–2, STK L, 1–4, CIN
2010–11 72 32 27 4 9 77 225 217 1124 2nd, Mountain Hardy Sauter 2011 W, 3–2, LV L, 0–4, AK
2011–12 72 31 32 2 7 71 194 236 1169 4th, Mountain Hardy Sauter 2012 W, 3–2, ONT L, 1–4, LV
2012–13 72 45 20 1 6 97 262 198 1337 2nd, Mountain Brad Ralph 2013 W, 4–2, COL W, 4–2, ONT L, 1–4, STK
2013–14 72 39 26 3 4 85 223 212 1418 2nd, Mountain Brad Ralph 2014 W, 4–2, COL L, 1–4, AK
2014–15 72 48 18 2 4 102 258 187 1170 1st, Pacific Brad Ralph 2015 L, 2–4, UTA
2015–16 72 38 24 7 3 86 203 187 917 2nd, West Neil Graham 2016 L, 3–4, ALN
2016–17 72 43 22 5 2 93 234 206 1122 3rd, Mountain Neil Graham 2017 L, 1–4, COL

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Updated July 19, 2017.[18]
# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
Canada Brassart, BradyBrady Brassart C R 24 2017 North Vancouver, British Columbia Steelheads
47 United States Chatham, ConnorConnor Chatham RW R 21 2016 Belleville, Illinois Steelheads
28 United States Merchant, WillWill Merchant LW L 23 2016 Eagan, Minnesota Steelheads

Retired numbers[edit]

Idaho Steelheads retired numbers
No. Player Position Career No. retirement
4 Jeremy Mylymok D 2000–2006 December 1, 2008[19]
16 Marty Flichel RW 2002–2012 January 5, 2015[20]
22 Cal Ingraham F 1998–2002 October 28, 2004

Championships[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Steelheads promote assistant coach, former player Neil Graham to head coach", Idaho Statesman, August 7, 2015. (accessed 7 August 2015)
  2. ^ "Dallas Stars sign two-year affiliation extension with Steelheads". Dallas Stars. 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  3. ^ "1997-98 WCHL Playoff Results". hockeydb.com. 2015-04-12. Retrieved 2015-04-12. 
  4. ^ "1998–99 WCHL Playoff Results". hockeydb.com. 2015-04-12. Retrieved 2015-04-12. 
  5. ^ "2001–02 WCHL Playoff Results". hockeydb.com. 2015-04-12. Retrieved 2015-04-12. 
  6. ^ "2002-03 WCHL Playoff Results". hockeydb.com. 2015-04-12. Retrieved 2015-04-12. 
  7. ^ Press release. "Ralph Named Head Coach of Steelheads". ECHL. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Steelheads' season comes to an end in Stockton, Idaho Statesman, May 12, 2013. (accessed 27 May 2013)
  9. ^ "Longest ECHL Game in History: Colorado Eagles Fall to Idaho Steelheads in Fourth OT", The Pink Puck, April 28, 2014. (accessed 15 June 2014)
  10. ^ Murphy, Brian. "Steelheads eliminated from playoffs", Idaho Statesman, May 9, 2014. (accessed 15 June 2014)
  11. ^ "Idaho Steelheads coach Brad Ralph resigns, takes job in WHL". Idaho Statesman. 2015-08-04. Retrieved 2015-08-04. 
  12. ^ "Idaho Steelheads 2015-16 roster and scoring statistics at hockeydb.com". www.hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  13. ^ "Steelheads, Eagles to meet in Kelly Cup Playoffs". Idaho Steelheads. 2013-05-27. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  14. ^ "Idaho Steelheads clinch 20th straight playoff berth; best active streak in pro hockey". idahostatesman. Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  15. ^ Prentice, George. "Idaho Steelheads' 4 for $46", Boise Weekly, November 6, 2013. (accessed 15 June 2014)
  16. ^ Guillermo, Matt. "Venue flux to sideline Las Vegas Wranglers next season", KVVU-TV, May 20, 2014. (accessed 15 June 2014)
  17. ^ Hockeydb.com, Idaho Steelheads Statistics and History
  18. ^ "Idaho Steelheads - Roster". 2016-07-12. Retrieved 2016-07-12. 
  19. ^ "Steelheads to retire Mylymok's #4 on saturday". Idaho Steelheads. 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  20. ^ "Idaho Steelheads will retire Marty Flichel's number this season", Idaho Statesman, August 9, 2014. (accessed 11 August 2014)

External links[edit]

Media related to Idaho Steelheads at Wikimedia Commons