Lethbridge Hurricanes

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Lethbridge Hurricanes
Lethbridge Hurricanes logo.png
City Lethbridge, Alberta
League Western Hockey League
Conference Eastern
Division Central
Founded 1967
Home arena ENMAX Centre
Colours Red, navy, white
              
General manager Peter Anholt
Head coach Brent Kisio
Website www.lethbridgehurricanes.com
Franchise history
1967–1973 Winnipeg Jets
1973–1976 Winnipeg Clubs
1976–1977 Winnipeg Monarchs
1977–1987 Calgary Wranglers
1987–present Lethbridge Hurricanes
Action during a playoff game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes are a Canadian major junior ice hockey team currently members of the Eastern Conference (Central Division) of the Western Hockey League (WHL). The team is based in Lethbridge, Alberta, and play their home games at the ENMAX Centre.

History[edit]

When the Lethbridge Broncos returned to their original home in Swift Current following the 1985–86 season, hockey fans in Lethbridge did not have to wait long for a new team; after just one year out of the WHL, Lethbridge returned to the WHL in 1987–88 when the Calgary Wranglers moved south to become the Hurricanes.

The team's crowning achievement came in 1996–97, when the Hurricanes captured their first, and to date only, WHL Championship. The Hurricanes then finished as Memorial Cup runners-up when they lost the title game to the Hull Olympiques. That same year, they also won their division title (only done twice before, in 1989–90 and 1990–91) and the regular season title. In the 2007–08 season, the Hurricanes won the Eastern Conference Championship.[1]

The team changed its logo for the 2013–14 season per requests from the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Washington Capitals, who claim the former Hurricanes’ logo was too similar to theirs.[2] Despite the optimism going into the season under new Head Coach Drake Berehowsky, who replaced the fired Rich Preston, the 2013–14 season would be a record-setting one, but in the wrong categories; the team stumbled out of the gate and dealt with turmoil amongst the players and coaching staff. Some notable occurrences saw veteran forwards Sam McKechnie and Jaimen Yakuboski sent home until both players were dealt to the Seattle Thunderbirds in October.[3] A week later, third year defenseman Ryan Pilon requested a trade and left the team.[4] Pilon got his wish and was dealt to the Brandon Wheat Kings in a multiplayer deal shortly afterwards.[5] In addition to two more players requesting trades, the team endured a public relations nightmare when Assistant Coach Brad Lukowich walked out on the team following a 3–2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. Lukowich was terminated "with cause" days later.[6] The team hit new lows by scoring a franchise-low 171 goals, allowing 358 goals and earned notoriety by losing two games by a combined score of 22–0; the first humiliation was a 10–0 loss to the Vancouver Giants on January 24, 2014, followed by a 12–0 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings on February 17. The team capped off the season on a 15-game losing streak, finishing the year at 12–55–2–3 with 29 points, the League's lowest point total, placing them in last place in the entire WHL. The 12 wins and 29 points also set records for fewest wins and fewest points in the 26-year history of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and the 46-year history of the franchise that began as the Winnipeg Jets.

In recent years, the community-owned franchise has faced serious financial problems, which came to light during the 2013–14 season. The team lost upwards of $1.25 million in a two-year period[7] and has gone as far as having to scale back on their marketing campaigns and player accommodations on road trips. In March 2014, the team revealed it had to take out a line of credit in order to meet financial goals.[8] The financial situation of the team has led to internet rumours of the team possibly being sold to True North Sports and Entertainment and relocated to Winnipeg,[9] while former Hurricanes forward and Lethbridge native Kris Versteeg has publicly stated his desire to purchase the team and keep it in the city.[10] As the losses continued to pile up and the fan interest waning, the team fired Head Coach Drake Berehowsky on December 9 and General Manager Brad Robson on December 10, and hired former Prince Albert Raiders Head Coach Peter Anholt to both positions that day.

Anholt stepped down as coach, but stayed on as general manager, and hired 33 year old Brent Kisio away from the Calgary Hitmen as the team's new head coach.

Season-by-season record[edit]

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime losses, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
1987–88 72 20 48 4 - 257 357 44 7th East Out of Playoffs
1988–89 72 27 39 6 - 356 380 60 5th East Lost East division semi-final
1989–90 72 51 17 4 - 465 270 106 1st East Lost WHL final
1990–91 72 45 21 6 - 373 281 96 1st East Lost WHL final
1991–92 72 39 31 2 - 350 284 80 4th East Lost in first round
1992–93 72 33 36 3 - 317 328 69 5th East Lost in first round
1993–94 72 35 32 5 - 306 317 75 3rd East Lost East division semi-final
1994–95 72 22 48 2 - 263 341 46 8th East Out of playoffs
1995–96 72 33 36 3 - 259 270 69 2nd Central Lost in first round
1996–97 72 47 22 3 - 342 248 97 1st Central Won Championship; Lost Memorial Cup final
1997–98 72 32 29 11 - 261 237 75 2nd Central Lost in first round
1998–99 72 31 32 9 - 224 215 71 3rd Central Lost in first round
1999–00 72 25 38 4 5 220 250 59 4th Central Out of playoffs
2000–01 72 29 35 4 4 200 229 66 4th Central Lost in first round
2001–02 72 33 33 6 0 266 247 72 4th Central Lost Eastern Conference quarter-final
2002–03 72 28 40 2 2 236 303 60 5th Central Out of playoffs
2003–04 72 27 28 10 7 196 203 71 5th Central Out of playoffs
2004–05 72 39 20 12 1 222 162 91 2nd Central Lost Eastern Conference quarter-final
Season GP W L OTL SOL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
2005–06 72 27 36 3 6 195 250 63 3rd Central Lost Eastern Conference quarter-final
2006–07 72 33 34 2 3 254 265 71 5th Central Out of playoffs
2007–08 72 45 21 2 4 245 175 96 2nd Central Lost final
2008–09 72 35 32 3 2 227 228 75 4th Central Lost Eastern Conference semi-final
2009–10 72 20 44 5 3 178 275 48 5th Central Out of playoffs
2010–11 72 23 36 5 8 205 295 59 5th Central Out of playoffs
2011–12 72 29 42 0 1 225 292 59 6th Central Out of playoffs
2012–13 72 28 34 3 7 212 253 66 6th Central Out of playoffs
2013–14 72 12 55 2 3 171 358 29 6th Central Out of playoffs
2014–15 72 20 44 5 3 202 304 48 6th Central Out of playoffs
2015–16 72 46 24 1 1 304 218 94 1st Central Lost Eastern Conference quarter-final

WHL Championship history[edit]

Team records[edit]

Team records for a single season
Statistic Total Season
Most points 106 1989–90
Most wins 51 1989–90
Most goals for 465 1989–90
Least points 29 2013–14
Least wins 12 2013–14
Least goals for 171 2013–14
Least goals against 162 2004–05
Most goals against 380 1988–89
Individual player records for a single season
Statistic Player Total Season
Most goals Kevin St. Jacques 65 1991–92
Most assists Bryan Bosch 90 1989–90
Most points Corey Lyons 142 1989–90
Most points, rookie Corey Lyons 112 1988–89
Most points, defenceman Shane Peacock 102 1992–93
Best GAA (goalie) Aaron Sorochan 2.19 2004–05
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played

NHL alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]