Charlotte Checkers

Last updated
Charlotte Checkers
Hockey current event.svg 2019–20 AHL season
Charlotte Checkers (AHL) logo.svg
City Charlotte, North Carolina
League American Hockey League
ConferenceEastern
DivisionAtlantic
Founded 1990
Operated 2010–present
Home arena Bojangles' Coliseum
ColorsRed, black, silver, white
                
Owner(s) Michael Kahn
General manager Don Waddell
Head coachRyan Warsofsky
Media 730 The Game
AHL.TV (Internet)
Affiliates Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)
Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL)
Franchise history
1990–1993 Capital District Islanders
1993–2010 Albany River Rats
2010–presentCharlotte Checkers
Championships
Regular season titles1 (2018–19)
Division Championships1 (2018–19)
Conference Championships1 (2018–19)
Calder Cups1 (2018–19)

The Charlotte Checkers are a minor-league professional ice hockey team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the American Hockey League (AHL), and are the top minor-league affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Checkers play their home games at Bojangles' Coliseum. The current organization is the third team by this name; it succeeded a Checkers franchise which played in the ECHL from 1993 until the end of the 2009–10 ECHL season. The original Checkers team played in the city from 1956 to 1977, originally in the Eastern Hockey League and then in the Southern Hockey League. The franchise is one of six teams to replace and share a name with a predecessor franchise from a lower-tier league; the others are the Bakersfield Condors, Colorado Eagles, Ontario Reign, Rockford IceHogs, and San Diego Gulls.

Ice hockey team sport played on ice using sticks, skates, and a puck

Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams usually consisting of six players each: one goaltender, and five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team.

Charlotte, North Carolina Largest city in North Carolina

Charlotte is the most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont, it is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population was 872,498, making it the 16th-most populous city in the United States. The Charlotte metropolitan area's population ranks 23rd in the U.S., and had a 2018 population of 2,569,213. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2018 census-estimated population of 2,728,933.

American Hockey League ice hockey league in the United States

The American Hockey League (AHL) is a professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League (NHL). Since the 2010–11 season, every team in the league has an affiliation agreement with one NHL team. When NHL teams do not have an AHL affiliate, players are assigned to AHL teams affiliated with other NHL teams. Twenty-seven AHL teams are located in the United States and the remaining four are in Canada. The league offices are located in Springfield, Massachusetts, and its current president is David Andrews.

Contents

History

The franchise was originally based in Troy, New York, as the Capital District Islanders from 1990 to 1993. They then became the Albany River Rats from 1993 to 2010, until the River Rats were sold to MAK Hockey, LLC, led by Charlotte beer distributor Michael Kahn, owner of the ECHL Checkers. [1] The new ownership relocated the team to Charlotte for the 2010–11 season, renaming the franchise the "Charlotte Checkers", and relinquished the ECHL franchise to the league. [2] [3]

Troy, New York City in New York, United States

Troy is a city in the U.S. state of New York and the seat of Rensselaer County. The city is located on the western edge of Rensselaer County and on the eastern bank of the Hudson River. Troy has close ties to the nearby cities of Albany and Schenectady, forming a region popularly called the Capital District. The city is one of the three major centers for the Albany Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which has a population of 1,170,483. At the 2010 census, the population of Troy was 50,129. Troy's motto is Ilium fuit. Troja est, which means "Ilium was, Troy is".

Capital District Islanders Ice hockey team

The Capital District Islanders were a team in the American Hockey League based in Troy, New York, which is located within a region popularly called the Capital District. The Islanders were the principal minor league affiliate of the National Hockey League's New York Islanders during the 1990–91, 1991–92 and 1992–93 seasons.

Albany River Rats

The Albany River Rats were a minor league professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They played in Albany, New York at the Times Union Center.

The Checkers are the second North Carolina-based team to play at the highest level of minor-league hockey, following the Carolina Monarchs, who played in Greensboro from 1995 to 1997. The Checkers inherited the River Rats' affiliation with the Hurricanes, in keeping with a recent trend to have NHL teams' top affiliates as geographically close to their parent teams as possible in order to ease movement between the AHL and the NHL.

Carolina Monarchs

The Carolina Monarchs were a short-lived ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They played in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Playing at the Time Warner Cable Arena, the Checkers' first home game on October 15, 2010, in front of 12,512 spectators which set an attendance record for a hockey game in Charlotte. On February 26, 2011, the attendance record was broken as 12,933 fans watched the Charlotte Checkers defeat the Connecticut Whale 1–0. Almost a year later, on February 25, 2012, the attendance record was broken yet again as 13,102 fans watched the Checkers fall to the Oklahoma City Barons, 3–2. [4] On April 11, 2015, the attendance record was broken a third time as 13,219 fans watched the last Checkers game at Time Warner Cable Arena, a 2–0 loss to the Rockford Icehogs. [5]

In late 2014, the Checkers announced they would return in the following season to the Bojangles' Coliseum, the home of the previous Checkers teams until 2005. [6] As Kahn detailed, the move would reconnect with said team legacy. Additionally, having a dedicated arena allowed for "greater control over every aspect of our business, including scheduling, amenities, game presentation and sponsorship inventory." To make sure the Coliseum was up to AHL standards, the Charlotte City Council arranged to provide $16 million to fund renovations. [7] [8] While Time Warner Cable Arena had been one of the largest arenas in the AHL, it left much to be desired as a hockey venue. It seated 14,100 people, but over 4,000 seats had obstructed views. [9]

Bojangles Coliseum Arena in North Carolina, United States

Bojangles' Coliseum is an 8,600-seat multi-purpose arena located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which also oversees nearby Ovens Auditorium and the uptown Charlotte Convention Center. The naming-rights sponsor is Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits. The building's signature domed roof is made of tin instead of steel or iron. The dome spans 332 feet in diameter and rises to 112 feet tall.

Panoramic view of Bojangles' Coliseum for Game 2 of the 2019 Calder Cup Finals, against the Chicago Wolves. Checkers Calder Cup Game 2.jpg
Panoramic view of Bojangles' Coliseum for Game 2 of the 2019 Calder Cup Finals, against the Chicago Wolves.

In Charlotte on May 9 and 10, 2018, in game four of the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs, the Checkers and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms played the longest game in the history of the American Hockey League. A 1–1 tie was broken by a Phantoms' goal at 6:48 of the fifth overtime period, more than six hours after the game began. The Checkers made 95 shots against Lehigh Valley goalie Alex Lyon. [10]

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL) based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and play out of the PPL Center. The Phantoms' franchise has been the top minor league affiliate for the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers since the 1996–97 season.

Alexander Augustus Lyon is an American professional ice hockey goaltender for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms as a prospect for the Philadelphia Flyers in the National Hockey League (NHL). He played collegiately for the Yale Bulldogs men's ice hockey team, competing in the ECAC.

The 2018–19 season was the Checkers' best season as an AHL team to date and one of the best in Charlotte's hockey history. They won their first division title with 110 points and the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy for the league's best regular season record. It was the first time a Charlotte hockey team had broken the 100-point barrier since the SHL Checkers earned 101 points in 1974–75. They defeated the defending champion Toronto Marlies in the Eastern Conference finals to advance to their first Calder Cup final. They defeated the Chicago Wolves in five games to win their first AHL title, and the seventh hockey championship by a Charlotte-based team.

Season-by-season results

Regular seasonPlayoffs
SeasonGamesWonLostOTLSOLPointsPCTGoals
for
Goals
against
StandingYear1st
round
2nd
round
3rd
round
Finals
2010–11 8044272797.6062652433rd, East 2011 W, 4–2, HER W, 4–2, WBS L, 0–4, BNG
2011–12 7638293685.5592092143rd, Midwest 2012 Did not qualify
2012–13 7642264492.6052262022nd, South 2013 L, 2–3, OKC
2013–14 7637361277.5072282414th, West 2014 Did not qualify
2014–15 7631386169.4541722314th, West 2015 Did not qualify
2015–16 7636323580.5262142295th, Central 2016 Did not qualify
2016–17 7639297186.5662122084th, Central 2017 L, 2–3, CHI
2017–18 7646261396.6322612123rd, Atlantic 2018 W, 3–0, WBS L, 1–4, LV
2018–19 76511771110.7242551891st, Atlantic 2019 W, 3–1, PRO W, 4–0, HER W, 4–2, TOR W, 4–1, CHI

Players

Current roster

Updated October 5, 2019. [11] [12]

# Nat Player Pos S/G AgeAcquiredBirthplaceContract
24 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Jake Bean D L21 2017 Calgary, Alberta Hurricanes
11 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Clark Bishop C L23 2016 St. John's, Newfoundland Hurricanes
22 Flag of Sweden.svg Fredrik Claesson D L26 2019 Stockholm, Sweden Hurricanes
14 Flag of the United States.svg Cavan Fitzgerald D L23 2019 Boston, Massachusetts Checkers
31 Flag of Sweden.svg Anton Forsberg G L26 2019 Härnösand, Sweden Hurricanes
2 Flag of Sweden.svg Gustav Forsling D L23 2019 Linköping, Sweden Hurricanes
12 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Julien Gauthier RW R21 2017 Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec Hurricanes
19 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Morgan Geekie C R21 2018 Strathclair, Manitoba Hurricanes
17 Flag of the United States.svg Brian Gibbons LW L31 2019 Braintree, Massachusetts Hurricanes
37 Flag of the United States.svg Dave Gust RW R25 2019 Orland Park, Illinois Checkers
21 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Ryan Horvat LW L26 2019 Simcoe, Ontario Checkers
23 Flag of Finland.svg Janne Kuokkanen C L21 2017 Oulunsalo, Finland Hurricanes
32 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Cedric Lacroix LW L24 2019 Shefford, Quebec Checkers
4 Flag of Finland.svg Alex Lintuniemi D L24 2019 Helsinki, Finland Hurricanes
10 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Steven Lorentz C L23 2017 Waterloo, Ontario Hurricanes
9 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Anthony Louis LW/C L24 2019 Winfield, Illinois Checkers
27 Flag of Finland.svg Eetu Luostarinen C L21 2019 Siilinjärvi, Finland Hurricanes
6 Flag of the United States.svg Colin Markison RW R27 2019 Princeton, New Jersey Checkers
16 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Stelio Mattheos RW R20 2019 Winnipeg, Manitoba Hurricanes
26 Flag of the United States.svg Max McCormick LW L27 2019 De Pere, Wisconsin Hurricanes
3 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Roland McKeown D R23 2016 Listowel, Ontario Hurricanes
8 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Reid McNeill D L27 2019 London, Ontario Checkers
30 Flag of the United States.svg Alex Nedeljkovic G L23 2016 Parma, Ohio Hurricanes
7 Flag of the United States.svg Chase Priskie D R23 2019 Pembroke Pines, Florida Hurricanes
25 Flag of the United States.svg Jacob Pritchard LW L24 2019 Macomb Township, Michigan Hurricanes
29 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Derek Sheppard D L25 2018 Scarborough, Ontario Checkers
28 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Hunter Shinkaruk C L24 2019 Calgary, Alberta Checkers
18 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Spencer Smallman RW R23 2017 Summerside, Prince Edward Island Hurricanes
5 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Kyle Wood D R23 2019 Waterloo, Ontario Hurricanes

Team captains

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References

  1. "Capital District Sports announce River Rats sale". Albany River Rats. 2010-02-10. Archived from the original on 2010-02-21. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  2. "AHL Hockey coming to Charlotte in 2010-11". Charlotte Checkers. 2010-02-10. Archived from the original on 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  3. "Charlotte added to AHL for 2010-11". American Hockey League. 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  4. "Checkers break record in loss to Barons". Charlotte Observer . 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  5. "Checkers fall to Rockford in front of record crowd". Charlotte Checkers. 2015-04-11. Retrieved 2015-04-11.
  6. The Charlotte Checkers would like to move back to Bojangles' Coliseum
  7. Checkers Make Return to Bojangles' Coliseum Official
  8. "Charlotte City Council Approves Funding to Renovate Bojangles' Coliseum - Charlotte Checkers Hockey - gocheckers.com". www.gocheckers.com. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  9. "MARATHON MEN: PHANTOMS WIN LONGEST AHL GAME EVER". AHL. May 10, 2018.
  10. "Charlotte Checkers Team Roster". Charlotte Checkers. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  11. "Eliteprospects.com Charlotte Checkers". Eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 2019-08-23.