Vancouver Giants

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Vancouver Giants
Vancouver Giants Logo.svg
City Vancouver, British Columbia
League Western Hockey League
Conference Western
Division B.C.
Founded 2001
Home arena Pacific Coliseum
Colours Black, red and silver
              
General manager Scott Bonner
Head coach Lorne Molleken
Championships 2007 Memorial Cup Champions
2006 WHL Champions

Website
vancouvergiants.com

The Vancouver Giants are a major junior ice hockey team playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL). Inaugurated in 2001–02, the Giants have won one President's Cup (now known as the Ed Chynoweth Cup) in 2006 and one Memorial Cup in 2007 in their 13-season history. Their home rink is the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, an arena previously used by the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Vancouver Canucks.

In the 2010–11 season, the Giants celebrated their tenth anniversary, a ten-year span known as the "Giant Decade."

The ownership group consists of British Columbia-based businessmen Ron Toigo and Sultan Thiara, Hockey Hall of Fame member Gordie Howe and Canadian big band singer and actor Michael Bublé.[1] Pat Quinn was also a part-owner until his death in 2014.

The Vancouver Giants announced on Tuesday, Jun 30th that Lorne Molleken has been named the sixth Head Coach in the club’s history.


History[edit]

Led by majority owner and British Columbia-based businessman Ron Toigo, the City of Vancouver was granted a WHL franchise for the 2001–02 season. In their inaugural campaign, the Giants compiled 13 wins, 49 losses and six ties. The first goal in franchise history was scored by Tyson Mulock in a loss to the Kamloops Blazers.

The following season, the Giants went 26–37–5–4, good for fourth in the B.C. Division, and made their first playoff appearance, but lost in the first round to the eventual President's Cup champions, the Kelowna Rockets, in four games. Second-year forward Adam Courchaine led the team in scoring with 85 points. His 43 goals stood as a single-season franchise record for six years until second-year forward Evander Kane broke it in 2008–09.[2]

In the 2003–04 season, the Giants continued to improve, posting a 33–24–9–6, which marked their first winning season. After defeating the Kamloops Blazers in the first round, the Giants lost in the second round to the expansion team Everett Silvertips in six games. Adam Courchaine led the team again in scoring, finishing ninth overall in the League. Hometown rookie Gilbert Brule, the first overall pick in the 2002 WHL Bantam Draft, scored 60 points and earned the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the WHL's best first-year player.

In the 2004–05 season, the Giants went 34–30–4–4 and Brule emerged as a WHL star, finishing third in League scoring with 87 points, which remained a franchise record until overager Casey Pierro-Zabotel snapped it in 2008–09.[3] Courchaine tallied 78 points and finished seventh in League scoring, marking the first and only time thus far that the top ten WHL scorers would feature two Giants players. In the playoffs, the Giants lost in the first round to Kelowna. Despite the early exit, the Giants drew many fans to the Coliseum that year due to the NHL lockout; Game 6 against the Rockets drew 16,183 fans.[citation needed]

The 2005–06 season featured the Giants' most significant improvement in the standings, becoming one of the WHL's top teams. They finished the season 47–19–0–6, first in the B.C. Division and third in the League overall. In the first round of the playoffs, the Giants beat the Prince George Cougars in five games, then the Portland Winterhawks in the second round, also in five games. In the third and final round, they won eight-straight, sweeping both the Everett Silvertips and Moose Jaw Warriors en route to their first-ever President's Cup. Gilbert Brule had returned to the team midway through the season after starting 2005–06 with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets and earned the airBC Trophy as the playoff MVP after scoring 16 goals and 30 points in 18 post-season games, including five goals and 12 points in the finals.

By winning the WHL league title, the Giants earned their first Memorial Cup appearance in Moncton, New Brunswick. The Giants finished the round-robin tied for third, then defeated the Peterborough Petes in a tie-breaker in order to move on to the playoffs, but lost to the Moncton Wildcats in the semifinal. Brule scored 12 points in five games, earning the Ed Chynoweth Trophy as tournament leading scorer. He was also named to the Memorial Cup All-Star Team along with Giants defenceman Paul Albers.

The Giants celebrating with the Memorial Cup, May 27, 2007.

The Giants were chosen by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) prior to the 2006 Memorial Cup to host the 2007 edition. They finished the season, once again, atop their division and fourth overall in the League. The season featured a goaltending controversy in which starter Dustin Slade would begin the season splitting time with emerging goalie Tyson Sexsmith. Slade, frustrated with having to relinquish starts, would leave the team in November to pursue a professional playing career.[4] With Sexsmith, who finished first in the WHL in goals against average (GAA), as their starting goalie, and a balanced offence that included the likes of Milan Lucic, Michal Repik and mid-season acquisitions Wacey Rabbit and Kenndal McArdle, the Giants made their way once again to the WHL final. The series went the distance against the Medicine Hat Tigers, but the Giants lost the seventh and deciding game in double overtime, failing to win their second consecutive WHL title. However, due to their automatic bye into the Memorial Cup as hosts, the Giants avenged their seventh game loss against the Tigers, defeating Medicine Hat 3–1 in the Cup final, capturing their first-ever Memorial Cup title. Lucic earned the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as tournament MVP, while linemate Michal Repik led the tournament in scoring — edging Lucic by one goal — to capture the Ed Chynoweth Trophy. Defenceman Cody Franson also joined Lucic and Repik on the tournament All-Star Team.

As defending Memorial Cup champions the following season, the Giants won the B.C. Division for the third consecutive year and posted a franchise-record 106 points (49–15–2–6), enough for third in the League. Third-year forward Spencer Machacek, named team captain after incumbent captain Milan Lucic would play with the Boston Bruins of the NHL, led the team in scoring with 78 points, 14th overall in the League. On defence, Jonathon Blum, also a returnee from the Memorial Cup-winning team, finished second among League defencemen in scoring, tallying 63 points, a single-season franchise-record among defenceman. In goal, Sexsmith once again led the WHL with a stellar 1.89 GAA. The Giants' run for a third consecutive Memorial Cup appearance, however, was cut short; after sweeping the Chilliwack Bruins in the first round, the Giants were ousted by the Spokane Chiefs in six games.

A dominant 2008–09 season established several records for the Giants. The club set a WHL record by clinching a playoff berth just 46 games into the season. The mark was previously set by the Everett Silvertips, who clinched a berth after 48 games in 2006–07.[5] Individually, overager Casey Pierro-Zabotel broke the team marks for single-season assists and points, surpassing Darren Lynch and Gilbert Brule, respectively,[3][6] while second-year forward Evander Kane bettered Adam Courchaine's single-season goals total.[2] Team captain Jonathon Blum also surpassed Courchaine to become the franchise's all-time assists leader.[7] Finishing the season with a franchise-high 57 wins and 119 points, the Giants came within three points of their first Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as the top regular season team, behind the Calgary Hitmen.

Awards and trophies[edit]

Championships[edit]

Individual[edit]

WHL[edit]

Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy

Coach of the Year

CHL[edit]

Players[edit]

NHL alumni[edit]

NHL draftees[edit]

Note that these are the players who were drafted into the NHL while playing for the Vancouver Giants

Ring of Honour[edit]

Franchise scoring leaders[edit]

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history as of 2011–12.[8]

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; * = current Giants player

Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Brendan Gallagher RW 244 136 144 280 1.15
Adam Courchaine C 241 126 147 273 1.13
Craig Cunningham LW 295 86 136 222 0.75
Mitch Bartley LW 280 107 107 214 0.76
Jonathon Blum D 248 49 155 204 0.82
Darren Lynch RW 213 81 121 202 0.95
Gilbert Brule C 165 87 98 185 1.12
James Henry LW 281 62 122 184 0.66
Neil Manning D 310 45 138 183 0.59
Spencer Machacek RW 203 77 91 168 0.83

Current roster[edit]

Updated 2015-03-05 (PST).[9]Heights are in feet and inches and weights are in pounds.

Goaltenders
Jersey
Number
Home
Province
Player
Name
Catches Height Weight Date of Birth Place of birth NHL Draft
1 British Columbia Payton Lee L 6'0 175 June 24, 1996 Cranbrook, British Columbia
35 British Columbia Cody Porter L 6'1 181 September 23, 1997 North Vancouver, British Columbia


Defencemen
Jersey
Number
Home
Province
Player
Name
Shoots Height Weight Date of Birth Place of birth NHL Draft
4 Alberta Clayton Kirichenko R 6'1 195 Feb 28, 1996 Sherwood Park, Alberta
15 British Columbia Shaun Dosanjh L 6'1 200 Mar 15, 1996 Richmond, British Columbia
20 British Columbia Arvin Atwal R 6'1 194 Nov 26, 1995 Delta, British Columbia
21 Flag of Minnesota.svg Brennan Menell R 5'10 187 May 24, 1997 Woodbury, Minnesota, U.S.
22 Flag of Moscow.svg Dmitry Osipov R 6'4 185 Oct 4, 1996 Moscow, Russia
26 Alberta Ryely McKinstry L 6'1 182 Jul 26, 1998 Calgary, Alberta
44 Alberta Mason Geertsen L 6'4 203 April 19, 1995 Rocky Rapids, Alberta
47 British Columbia Josh Thrower R 6'1 200 Mar 17, 1996 Squamish, British Columbia


Attackers
Jersey
Number
Home
Province
Player
Name
Shoots Height Weight Date of Birth Place of birth NHL Draft
7 Flag of British Columbia.svg Ty Ronning R 5'9 165 Oct 20, 1997 Burnaby, British Columbia
8 Flag of Minnesota.svg Alec Baer R 5'10 175 Aug 25, 1997 St. Louis Park, Minnesota, U.S.
9 British Columbia Dalton Sward R 6'1 182 January 10, 1994 Abbotsford, British Columbia
10 Alberta Zane Jones L 6'3 210 June 8, 1994 Olds, Alberta
11 British Columbia Jakob Stukel R 6' 180 Mar 6, 1997 Surrey, British Columbia
12 Flag of Minnesota.svg David Brumm L 6'2 170 Aug 17, 1997 Maple Grove, Minnesota, U.S.
14 British Columbia Matt Bellerive R 5'11 190 Dec 7, 1994 North Vancouver, British Columbia
16 Alberta Thomas Foster L 6'0 180 Mar 28, 1996 Slave Lake, Alberta
17 Alberta Tyler Benson L 6'0 196 Mar 15, 1998 Edmonton, Alberta
19 British Columbia Jesse Roach R 6'4 195 Mar 6, 1997 Quesnel, British Columbia
23 Saskatchewan Gage Ramsay L 5'8 160 Oct 15, 1998 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
27 British Columbia Jackson Houck R 6'1 195 Feb 27, 1995 North Vancouver, British Columbia EDM
32 Flag of Lipetsk Oblast.svg Vladimir Bobylev L 6'2 206 Apr 18, 1997 Lipetsk, Lipetsk Oblast, Russia
36 Saskatchewan Dakota Odgers L 5'11 182 Apr 2, 1996 Spy Hill, Saskatchewan
42 British Columbia Carter Popoff R 5'9 178 May 9, 1995 Richmond, British Columbia


Season-by-season record[edit]

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

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
2001–02 72 13 49 6 4 198 365 36 5th B.C. Out of playoffs
2002–03 72 26 37 5 4 217 292 61 4th B.C. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2003–04 72 33 24 9 6 215 196 81 2nd B.C. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2004–05 72 34 30 4 4 212 205 76 3rd B.C. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
Season GP W L OTL SOL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
2005–06 72 47 19 0 6 252 156 100 1st B.C. Won WHL Championship; Lost Memorial Cup
2006–07 72 45 17 3 7 245 143 100 1st B.C. Lost final; Won Memorial Cup
2007–08 72 49 15 2 6 250 155 106 1st B.C. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2008–09 72 57 10 2 3 319 151 119 1st B.C. Lost Western Conference final
2009–10 72 41 25 3 3 267 211 88 1st B.C. Lost Western Conference final
2010–11 72 35 32 1 4 236 251 75 2nd B.C. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2011–12 72 40 26 2 4 255 234 86 2nd B.C. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2012–13 72 21 49 2 0 197 299 44 5th B.C. Out of playoffs
2013–14 72 32 29 7 4 234 248 75 3rd B.C. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2014–15 72 27 41 2 2 189 251 58 5th B.C. Out of playoffs

WHL Championship history[edit]

Memorial cup finals history[edit]

  • 2007: Win, 3–1 vs Medicine Hat

Team records[edit]

Team Records for a single season
Statistic Total Season
Most points 119 2008–09
Least points 36 2001–02
Most wins 57 2008–09
Least wins 13 2001–02
Most goals for 319 2008–09
Least goals for 198 2001–02
Least goals against 143 2006–07
Most goals against 365 2001–02
Individual player records for a single season
Statistic Player Total Season
Most goals Evander Kane 48 2008–09
Most assists Casey Pierro-Zabotel 79 2008–09
Most points Casey Pierro-Zabotel 115 2008–09
Most points, rookie Kevin Connauton 72 2009–10
Most points, defenceman Kevin Connauton 72 2009–10
Best GAA, goalie Tyson Sexsmith 1.79 2006–07
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Michael Bublé Joins Vancouver Giants Ownership Grou". Vancouver Giants. 
  2. ^ a b Walker, Ian (2009-03-05). "WHL: Kane shines in Giants' 6-2 win over Americans". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-03-05. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "WHL:Vancouver Giants defeat Medicine Hat in come-from-behind win". Vancouver Sun. 2009-01-28. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  4. ^ Mackin, Bob (2006). "Four Giants face off against Russia's best". CANOE Inc. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  5. ^ "Giants Clinch Playoff Spot After Just 46 Games". OurSports Central. 2009-01-24. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  6. ^ "Mighty Casey smashes record". Vancouver Sun. 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-01-18. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Blum adds to glowing resumé". The Province. 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  8. ^ "Giants Alumni". Vancouver Giants. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  9. ^ "Team Roster". Vancouver Giants. 

External links[edit]