Idaho Steelheads

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This article is about the ECHL team from Boise. For the WSHL team from McCall, see Idaho Jr. Steelheads.
Idaho Steelheads
2015–16 ECHL season
City Boise, Idaho
League ECHL
Conference Western
Division West
Founded 1996 (In the WCHL)
Home arena CenturyLink Arena

Blue, black, white, silver

Owner(s) Idaho Sports Properties LLC
Head coach Neil Graham[1]
Idaho Statesman
Affiliates Dallas Stars (NHL)
Texas Stars (AHL)
Franchise history
1997–present Idaho Steelheads
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.

The team was founded by Diamond Sports Management in 1996, headed by Cord Pereira. The Steelheads will play in the reorganized West Division of the ECHL's Western Conference in 2015–16.[3]

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.




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).[4]

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.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]


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 defunct Hampton Roads Admirals also won three ECHL championships.


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]

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.[12] Assistant coach and former player Neil Graham was promoted to the head coaching position several days later.[1]

As of the end of the 2014–15 season the Steelheads have never missed the playoffs in either the WCHL or the ECHL.[13]

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 2014–15 ECHL season.[14]

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)
2014–15 ECHL 72 48 18 2 4 102 258 187 1170 1st, Pacific Brad Ralph Lost in round 1, 2-4 (Utah)


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 1, 2016.[15]
# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
23 Canada Baldwin, CorbinCorbin Baldwin D L 25 2015 Winnipeg, Manitoba Steelheads
17 Canada Basaraba, JoeJoe Basaraba RW R 23 2015 Fort Frances, Ontario Steelheads
36 Canada Beck, ColtonColton Beck (A) LW L 25 2014 Langley, British Columbia Steelheads
27 Canada Boutin, ShawnShawn Boutin (A) D R 25 2015 Val d'Or, Quebec Steelheads
24 Canada Braid, ChanceChance Braid LW L 21 2015 Wainwright, Alberta Steelheads
43 United States Carroll, AndrewAndrew Carroll (A) LW L 30 2015 Shoreview, Minnesota Steelheads
20 Canada Cross, DamianDamian Cross C R 26 2015 Nepean, Ontario Steelheads
21 United States Dahl, JeffersonJefferson Dahl C R 26 2014 Eau Claire, Wisconsin Steelheads
30 Canada Desrosiers, PhilippePhilippe Desrosiers G L 20 2015 Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec Dallas
33 United States Fallen, TommyTommy Fallen D L 24 2015 Plymouth, Minnesota Steelheads
35 United States Hartzell, EricEric Hartzell G L 26 2015 White Bear Lake, Minnesota Steelheads
5 Canada Johnston, DanielDaniel Johnston D R 23 2015 Calgary, Alberta Steelheads
25 United States Kamrass, ZackZack Kamrass D L 25 2015 Atlanta, Georgia Texas
26 United States Linsmayer, RobRob Linsmayer F R 25 2013 Winnetka, Illinois Steelheads
18 Canada Magee, BrandonBrandon Magee C R 22 2015 Edmonton, Alberta Texas
8 United States Martin, ColeCole Martin D L 21 2015 Arlington, Texas Steelheads
29 Canada McMillan, CarsonCarson McMillan (C) RW R 27 2015 Brandon, Manitoba Steelheads
59 Sweden Molin, EmilEmil Molin C L 23 2015 Gävle, Sweden Dallas
47 Canada Morrissette, AndreAndre Morrissette F R 24 2015 Trois-Rivieres, Quebec Steelheads
28 United States Panzarella, AndrewAndrew Panzarella D R 25 2015 Columbia, Maryland Steelheads
15 Canada Peters, TaylorTaylor Peters C L 24 2014 Delta, British Columbia Dallas
7 United States Rutt, JakeJake Rutt D L 24 2015 Scarborough, Maine Steelheads
19 United States Smith, QuinnQuinn Smith F L 24 2015 Fairfield, Connecticut Steelheads
9 United States Snydeman, TorinTorin Snydeman F R 26 2015 Groton, Massachusetts Steelheads
Title Staff member
Head coach Neil Graham
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 three retired numbers.[16]


The Steelheads' most notable rivals are the Alaska Aces.[17] These two teams are the surviving remnants of the WCHL in their original markets, their common histories going back nearly 20 years. Three other WCHL refugees, the San Diego Gulls, Long Beach Ice Dogs, and Fresno Falcons have since folded, while the Bakersfield Condors relocated in 2015 to become the Norfolk Admirals.

With the ECHL's 2015 exit from California, the Steelheads are the westernmost ECHL team in the 48 contiguous United States and the second-westernmost team overall after Alaska. Geographically, Idaho's closest opponent is the Utah Grizzlies at 345 miles (555 km), followed by the Colorado Eagles at 766 miles (1,233 km).

Until their 2014 suspension of operations[18] the Steelheads also enjoyed a rivalry with the Las Vegas Wranglers due to their frequent playoff meetings.


  1. ^ a b "Steelheads promote assistant coach, former player Neil Graham to head coach", Idaho Statesman, August 7, 2015. (accessed 7 August 2015)
  4. ^ 1997-98 WCHL Playoff Results
  5. ^ 1998–99 WCHL Playoff Results
  6. ^ 2001–02 WCHL Playoff Results
  7. ^ 2002-03 WCHL Playoff Results
  8. ^ Press release. "Ralph Named Head Coach of Steelheads". ECHL. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Steelheads' season comes to an end in Stockton, Idaho Statesman, May 12, 2013. (accessed 27 May 2013)
  10. ^ "Longest ECHL Game in History: Colorado Eagles Fall to Idaho Steelheads in Fourth OT", The Pink Puck, April 28, 2014. (accessed 15 June 2014)
  11. ^ Murphy, Brian. "Steelheads eliminated from playoffs", Idaho Statesman, May 9, 2014. (accessed 15 June 2014)
  12. ^ "Idaho Steelheads coach Brad Ralph resigns, takes job in WHL". Idaho Statesman. 2015-08-04. Retrieved 2015-08-04. 
  13. ^ "Steelheads, Eagles to meet in Kelly Cup Playoffs". Idaho Steelheads. 2013-05-27. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  14. ^, Idaho Steelheads Statistics and History
  15. ^ "Idaho Steelheads - Roster". Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Idaho Steelheads will retire Marty Flichel's number this season", Idaho Statesman, August 9, 2014. (accessed 11 August 2014)
  17. ^ Prentice, George. "Idaho Steelheads' 4 for $46", Boise Weekly, November 6, 2013. (accessed 15 June 2014)
  18. ^ Guillermo, Matt. "Venue flux to sideline Las Vegas Wranglers next season", KVVU-TV, May 20, 2014. (accessed 15 June 2014)

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