The Adler Mannheim are a professional ice hockey team of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the highest-level ice hockey league in Germany. The team is based in a city in the northern part of Baden-Württemberg; the team plays at SAP Arena, where they moved to at the beginning of the 2005–06 season after having played at Eisstadion am Friedrichspark for nearly seven decades from 1938 through 2005. They have won the German Championship a total of seven times, six of those coming after 1994 in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. German ice hockey changed a lot after the Deutsche Eishockey Liga was founded in 1994, its growing influence brought growing independence from the Deutscher Eishockey-Bund-organization which dominated the ice hockey in Germany for decades. The first incarnation of the Adler Mannheim were The Mannheimer ice and roller skating club, founded on 19 May 1938. On 19 February 1939, they had their introduction match in the brand new Friedrichspark Stadium; the match against the winner of the German Championship was lost 0–11, but the following seasons were more and more successful.
However, due to the ongoing Second World War, it was difficult to play a regular season without some limitations. In 1942, after the Mannheim was qualified for the finals, the proclamation of the total war led to the cancellation of the finals, less than 24 hours before their scheduled beginning. On 5 June 1943, the Eisstadion am Friedrichspark was destroyed by an air attack on Mannheim. After the end of the Second World War in 1945, it took another four years before the hockey club began playing once again. In the 1951/52 season, Mannheim again had a team to play in a regular team, but it was not successful; the most successful game in this time was a 10–2 victory against a team of American soldiers based in the Mannheim-area. In 1994, the Mannheimer ERC was a founding member of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. While the organization of the MERC still existed, the professional hockey team changed its name to Adler Mannheim and was transformed into an independent legal entity; the old organization MERC still performs in the amateur and junior sectors, including the successful junior team Jungadler Mannheim.
The first two seasons in the DEL ended in playoff quarter finals, but the following season changed everything: the Mannheimer Adler swept through the playoffs. At the minimum number of nine games, they won the championship in 1997. After winning the championships in 1998 and 1999, head coach Lance Nethery and several players left the team. After a disastrous start to the regular 1999–2000 season, the Adler reached the playoffs again, but were beaten in the quarter finals again. After that season, head coach Chris Valentine was succeeded by Bill Stewart. In 2000/2001, they were back on the road to success with the fourth DEL championship in five years. In their final season at Friedrichspark, Mannheim native Jochen Hecht, Cristobal Huet, Yannick Tremblay and Sven Butenschön joined the Adler during the 2004–05 NHL lockout; the team were defeated by the Eisbären Berlin. The following season was disastrous. In their new home, the SAP Arena, the team was at position 10 at the end of the regular season.
It was the first time in 26 years. Making several changes in the team roster, the team celebrated its resurrection in the following 2006–07 season. After winning the German Cup, they finished in first place in the regular season and won their fifth DEL Championship. In July 2011, Mannheim entered a developmental partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. Adler participated in the 2011 NHL Premiere series, losing to the Buffalo Sabres 8–3; the Sabres were well received in Mannheim, that season, a contingent of Adler fans traveled to Buffalo and Toronto to witness games hosted by the Sabres and Maple Leafs. During the 2012 NHL lockout, the Adler Mannheim became a popular team for the lockout-players again; the former Mannheim-players Dennis Seidenberg and Marcel Goc joined the team once more. They were followed by Jason Pominville, captain of the Buffalo Sabres and again Jochen Hecht, a free agent since his injury in early 2012. Hecht signed a contract until 2014, but after the lockout came to an end, he was offered a new, one-year contract by the Buffalo Sabres.
After the Sabres contract expired, Hecht announced his intention to return to Mannheim to finish his professional career. On 19 June 2014, Mannheim hired Boston Bruins assistant coach Geoff Ward as their new head coach. Under Ward's guidance, the Adler squad won the 2015 German championship. Ward was replaced by Greg Ireland. Ireland was sacked in February 2016, Craig Woodcroft, who had joined the Adler coaching staff in 2014, was promoted to head coach. Woodcroft left after the 2015 -- 16 season. In May 2016, Sean Simpson was named new head coach. In the 2016–17 DEL season, the Adler Mannheim drew an average home attendance of 10,812. On 4 December 2017, GM Teal Fowler, head coach Simpson and assistant coach Colin Muller were sacked due to unsatisfactory results. Bill Stewart, who had guided the club to the 2001 DEL title, took over the head coaching job. Deutsche Eishockey Liga Championship: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2015 Eishockey-Bundesliga Championship: 1980 German Cup: 2003, 2007 Deutsche Eishockey Liga Championship: 2002, 2005, 2012 Eishockey-Bundesliga Championship: 1982
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league in North America comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada; the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season. The National Hockey League was organized on November 26, 1917, at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association, founded in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario; the NHL took the NHA's place as one of the leagues that contested for the Stanley Cup in an annual interleague competition before a series of league mergers and folds left the NHL as the only league left competing for the Stanley Cup in 1926. At its inception, the NHL had four teams—all in Canada, thus the adjective "National" in the league's name.
The league expanded to the United States in 1924, when the Boston Bruins joined, has since consisted of American and Canadian teams. From 1942 to 1967, the league had only six teams, collectively nicknamed the "Original Six"; the NHL added six new teams to double its size at the 1967 NHL expansion. The league increased to 18 teams by 1974 and 21 teams in 1979. Between 1991 and 2000, the NHL further expanded to 30 teams, it added its 31st team in 2017 and has approved the addition of a 32nd team in 2021. The league's headquarters have been in New York City since 1989 when the head office moved there from Montreal. After a labour-management dispute that led to the cancellation of the entire 2004–05 season, the league resumed play in 2005–06 under a new collective agreement that included a salary cap. In 2009, the NHL enjoyed record highs in terms of sponsorships and television audiences; the International Ice Hockey Federation considers the Stanley Cup to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport".
The NHL draws many skilled players from all over the world and has players from 20 countries. Canadians have constituted the majority of the players in the league, with an increasing percentage of American and European players in recent seasons; the current NHL Champions are the Washington Capitals, who defeated the Vegas Golden Knights four games to one in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. The National Hockey League was established in 1917 as the successor to the National Hockey Association. Founded in 1909, the NHA began play one year with seven teams in Ontario and Quebec, was one of the first major leagues in professional ice hockey, but by the NHA's eighth season, a series of disputes with Toronto Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone led team owners of the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs to hold a meeting to discuss the league's future. Realizing the NHA constitution left them unable to force Livingstone out, the four teams voted instead to suspend the NHA, on November 26, 1917, formed the National Hockey League.
Frank Calder was chosen as its first president, serving until his death in 1943. The Bulldogs were unable to play, the remaining owners created a new team in Toronto, the Arenas, to compete with the Canadiens and Senators; the first games were played on December 19, 1917. The Montreal Arena burned down in January 1918, causing the Wanderers to cease operations, the NHL continued on as a three-team league until the Bulldogs returned in 1919; the NHL replaced the NHA as one of the leagues that competed for the Stanley Cup, an interleague competition back then. Toronto won the first NHL title, defeated the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association for the 1918 Stanley Cup; the Canadiens won the league title in 1919. Montreal in 1924 won their first Stanley Cup as a member of the NHL; the Hamilton Tigers, won the regular season title in 1924–25 but refused to play in the championship series unless they were given a C$200 bonus. The league refused and declared the Canadiens the league champion after they defeated the Toronto St. Patricks in the semi-final.
Montreal was defeated by the Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League for the 1925 Stanley Cup. It was the last time a non-NHL team won the trophy, as the Stanley Cup became the de facto NHL championship in 1926 after the WCHL ceased operation; the National Hockey League embarked on rapid expansion in the 1920s, adding the Montreal Maroons and Boston Bruins in 1924. The Bruins were the first American team in the league; the New York Americans began play in 1925 after purchasing the assets of the Hamilton Tigers, were joined by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The New York Rangers were added in 1926; the Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars were added after the league purchased the assets of the defunct WCHL. A group purchased the Toronto St. Patricks in 1927 and renamed them the Maple Leafs; the first NHL All-Star Game was held in 1934 to benefit Ace Bailey, whose career ended on a vicious hit by Eddie Shore. The second was held in 1937 in support of Howie Morenz's family when he died of a coronary embolism after breaking his leg during a game.
The Great Depression and the onset of World War II took a toll on the league. The Pirates became the Philadelphia Quakers in 1930 folded one year later; the Senators became the St. Louis Eagles in 1934 lasting only one
Steve Stirling is an assistant coach of the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. He is the former head coach of the American Hockey League's Norfolk Admirals, the Springfield Falcons, the National Hockey League's New York Islanders. Before coaching the Admirals to their worst finish in franchise history, he spent a season and a half as coach of the Islanders before his dismissal in January 2006. During his rookie campaign in the NHL, Stirling led the Islanders to a pretty impressive record of 38–29–11–4. In the NHL playoffs, Stirling's Islanders were beaten by the eventual Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning in five games, he has played centre for various teams in the NCAA, AHL and NAHL. He has served as head coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Springfield Falcons, Babson College, Providence College and as assistant coach of the Islanders and the Lowell Lock Monsters. While in college Stirling never had a losing season, he is one of the few people to coach as three different levels of NCAA hockey.
After the disappointing season with the Admirals, general manager Jay Feaster announced that Steve Stirling would not be the coach heading into the 2008–09 AHL season. Stirling has been given a job as a scout for the hockey club. On June 16 the German DEL club Iserlohn Roosters announced that Stirling signed a 2-year contract as their head coach. After 44 games and a 0–6 series he was dismissed by the German DEL-Club on February 5, 2009. Steve was signed as an assistant coach of the Binghamton Senators in 2009; the Binghamton Senators won the AHL Calder Cup National Championship one season later. He is the father of former minor league goaltender Scott Stirling. Steve Stirling career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
Norfolk Admirals (AHL)
The Norfolk Admirals were a professional ice hockey team that played in the American Hockey League. They became affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks after being dropped from the Tampa Bay Lightning following their 2012 AHL championship season; the Admirals played in Virginia at the Norfolk Scope. For the 2015–16 season, the Admirals moved to San Diego, California to become the newest version of the San Diego Gulls as part of the AHL's efforts to create a Pacific Division; the Bakersfield Condors from the ECHL moved to Norfolk for the 2015–16 season and use the name Norfolk Admirals. The market was home to: Tidewater Wings Virginia Wings Hampton Gulls Hampton Aces Hampton Roads Gulls Hampton Roads Admirals The original team ownership, Mark Garcea and Page Johnson and gained admission to the American Hockey League as an expansion franchise for the 2000–01 season with an affiliation agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks. On May 26, 2004, the franchise was purchased by Ken Young after the original owners had put it up for sale.
The team name pays homage to the area's long naval history. Norfolk was one of two franchises in the AHL named the Admirals, sharing the nickname with the Milwaukee Admirals; the Milwaukee franchise transferred from the defunct International Hockey League, were allowed to keep their previous moniker. Norfolk's geographically closest rivals were the Hershey Bears, Charlotte Checkers, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins; the Admirals had two mascots, a dog named a rabbit named Hat Trick. On March 19, 2007, the Blackhawks announced that their affiliation with the Admirals would end after the 2006–07 season. On March 29, 2007, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced the Admirals as their new affiliate. On June 14, 2012 Tampa Bay announced their separation from the 2012 Calder Cup champions in favor of the Syracuse Crunch. In that month owner Ken Young announced he had closed a five-year agreement with the Anaheim Ducks. During the 2011–12 season, the Norfolk Admirals set a professional hockey record for the longest winning streak, winning their 28th consecutive game on April 15 against the Adirondack Phantoms.
The streak far surpassed the previous AHL record of 17 straight wins set by the Philadelphia Phantoms in 2004–05, as well as the pro hockey record of 18 games set by the Peoria Rivermen of the original International Hockey League in 1991. The streak garnered international media attention for the Admirals and the American Hockey League, including highlights on NHL Network and ESPN's SportsCenter; the 28-game streak included 13 road games. The win streak started on February 10 against Adirondack. Before their 3-2 OT win against Binghamton on April 14, the previous 20 games were all won in regulation; as of October 20, 2012 the Norfolk Admirals have won 32 regular season games in a row dating back to the 2011–12 season. The winning streak translated into a deep playoff run for the Admirals, where they would win 15 of 18 playoff games, including back to back four game sweeps in the Eastern Conference and Calder Cup Finals. On June 9, 2012, the Admirals captured their first Calder Cup with a 6–1 win over the Toronto Marlies.
However, in the 2012–13 season, the Admirals failed to qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs. On January 6, 2015, it was announced that Norfolk would move to an unknown location on the west coast close to their NHL affiliate, after the franchise was purchased by the Anaheim Ducks. On January 29, 2015, the Ducks confirmed the Admirals' relocation to San Diego to become the newest incarnation of the San Diego Gulls; the Admirals were replaced in Norfolk with the relocated Bakersfield Condors franchise of the ECHL. The new team were affiliated with the Edmonton Oilers. Aaron Downey, 2000–2001 Ajay Baines, 2002–2006 Craig MacDonald, 2006–2007 Dan Jancevski, 2007–2008 Zenon Konopka, 2008–2009 Ryan Craig, 2009–2010 Chris Durno, 2010–2011 Mike Angelidis, 2011–2012 Nate Guenin, 2012–2013 Garnet Exelby, 2013–2014 Dave Steckel, 2014–2015 NHL alumni of the Norfolk Admirals include: In the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, sixteen former Admirals competed for the championship. Bryan Bickell, Dave Bolland, Troy Brouwer, Adam Burish, Dustin Byfuglien, Corey Crawford, Jake Dowell, Colin Fraser, Jordan Hendry, Duncan Keith, Danny Richmond, Brent Seabrook, Jack Skille, Kris Versteeg were on the Chicago Blackhawks active roster.
Michael Leighton and Lukas Krajicek played for the Philadelphia Flyers. Goals: Troy Brouwer, 41 Assists: Martin St. Pierre, 72 Points: Martin St. Pierre, 99 Penalty minutes: Zack Stortini, 299 Wins: Corey Crawford, 38 GAA: Craig Anderson, 1.94 SV%: Craig Anderson.923 Career goals: Brandon Bochenski, 81 Career assists: Marty Wilford, 141 Career points: Blair Jones, 185 Career penalty minutes: Shawn Thornton, 1198 Career goaltending wins: Dustin Tokarski, 80 Career shutouts: Michael Leighton, 18 Career games: Ajay Baines, 409 Norfolk Admirals official website PilotOnline.com The Internet Hockey Database - Norfolk Admirals The Voice of the Fans since 1997
The Philadelphia Flyers are a professional ice hockey team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League. Part of the 1967 NHL Expansion, the Flyers were the first expansion team in the post–Original Six era to win the Stanley Cup, victorious in 1973–74 and again in 1974–75; the Flyers' all-time points percentage of 57.5% is the third-best in the NHL, behind only the Vegas Golden Knights and Montreal Canadiens. Additionally, the Flyers have the most appearances in the conference finals of all 24 expansion teams, they are second behind the St. Louis Blues for the most playoff appearances out of all expansion teams; the Flyers have played their home games on Broad Street since their inception, first at the Spectrum from 1967 until 1996, at the Wells Fargo Center since 1996. The Flyers have had rivalries with several teams over the years, their biggest adversaries have been the New York Rangers, with an intense rivalry stretching back to the 1970s.
They have waged lengthy campaigns against the New York Islanders in the 70s and 80s, the Boston Bruins, a bruising battle in the 1970s, the Washington Capitals, which has always been intense since their days in the Patrick Division, as well as the New Jersey Devils, with whom they traded the Atlantic Division title every season between 1994–95 and 2006–07, they enjoy a spirited rivalry with their cross-state and expansion brethren, the Pittsburgh Penguins, considered by some to be the best rivalry in the league. Prior to 1967, Philadelphia had only iced a team in the NHL in the 1930–31 season, when the financially struggling Pittsburgh Pirates relocated in 1930 as the Philadelphia Quakers, playing at The Arena at 46th and Market Streets; the club, garbed in orange and black like today's Flyers, was coached by J. Cooper Smeaton, to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame 30 years for his far more notable role as an NHL referee. Among the young Quakers' skaters in 1930–31 was another future Hall of Famer in 19-year-old rookie center Syd Howe.
The Quakers' only "claim to fame" was to establish a single season NHL record for futility which has stood since, by compiling a dismal record of 4–36–4, still the fewest games won in a season by an NHL club. The Quakers suspended operations after that single dreadful campaign to again leave the Can-Am League's Philadelphia Arrows as Philadelphia's lone hockey team; the Quakers' dormant NHL franchise was canceled by the league in 1936.)In 1946, a group led by Montreal and Philadelphia sportsman Len Peto announced plans to put another NHL team in Philadelphia, to build a $2.5 million rink to seat 20,000 where stood the old Baker Bowl and to acquire the franchise of the old Montreal Maroons. The latter was held by owner of the Montreal Canadiens. However, Peto's group was unable to raise funding for the new arena project by the league-imposed deadline, the NHL cancelled the Maroons franchise. While attending a basketball game on November 29, 1964, at the Boston Garden, Ed Snider, the then-vice-president of the Philadelphia Eagles, observed a crowd of Boston Bruins fans lining up to purchase tickets to see a last-place ice hockey team.
He began making plans for a new arena upon hearing the NHL was looking to expand due to fears of a competing league taking hold on the West Coast and the desire for a new television contract in the United States. Snider made his proposal to the league, which chose the Philadelphia group—including Snider, Bill Putnam, Jerome Schiff and Philadelphia Eagles owner Jerry Wolman—over the Baltimore group. On April 4, 1966, Putnam announced a name-the-team contest. Details of the contest were released on July 12; the team name was announced on August 3. The new teams were hampered by restrictive rules that kept all major talent with the "Original Six" teams. In the NHL Expansion Draft, most of the players available were either aging veterans or career minor-leaguers before expansion occurred. Among the Flyers' 20 selections were Bernie Parent, Doug Favell, Bill Sutherland, Ed Van Impe, Joe Watson, Lou Angotti, Leon Rochefort and Gary Dornhoefer. Having purchased the minor-league Quebec Aces, the team had a distinctly francophone flavor in its early years, with Parent, Andre Lacroix, Serge Bernier, Jean-Guy Gendron, Simon Nolet and Rosaire Paiement among others.
Beginning play in 1967–68, the Philadelphia Flyers made their debut on October 11, 1967, losing 5–1 on the road to the California Seals. They won their first game a week defeating the St. Louis Blues on the road, 2–1; the Flyers made their home debut in front of a crowd of 7,812, shutting-out their intrastate rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1–0 on October 19. Lou Angotti was named the first captain in Flyers history, while Rochefort was the Flyers' top goal scorer after netting a total of 21 goals. With all six expansion teams grouped into the same division, the Flyers were able to win the division with a sub-.500 record despite being forced to play their last seven home games on the road due to a storm blowing parts of the Spectrum's roof off. However, playoff success did not come so as the Flyers were upset by St. Louis in a first round, seven-game series. Angotti was replaced by Van Impe as team captain. Led by Van Impe and the team-leading 24 goals of Andre Lacroix, the Flyers struggled during their sophomore season by finishing 15 games under.500.
Despite their poor regular season showing in 1968–69, they made the playoffs. They again lost to this time being dispatched in a four-game sweep. Not wanting his team to be physically outmatched again
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice 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 consisting of six players each: one goaltender, five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Ice hockey is most popular in Canada and eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and the United States. Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada. In addition, ice hockey is the most popular winter sport in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland. North America's National Hockey League is the highest level for men's ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world; the Kontinental Hockey League is much of Eastern Europe. The International Ice Hockey Federation is the formal governing body for international ice hockey, with the IIHF managing international tournaments and maintaining the IIHF World Ranking.
Worldwide, there are ice hockey federations in 76 countries. In Canada, the United States, Nordic countries, some other European countries the sport is known as hockey. Ice hockey is believed to have evolved from simple stick and ball games played in the 18th and 19th century United Kingdom and elsewhere; these games were brought to North America and several similar winter games using informal rules as they were developed, such as "shinny" and "ice polo". The contemporary sport of ice hockey was developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, where the first indoor hockey game was played on March 3, 1875; some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, have been retained to this day. Amateur ice hockey leagues began in the 1880s, professional ice hockey originated around 1900; the Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice hockey club supremacy, was first awarded in 1893 to recognize the Canadian amateur champion and became the championship trophy of the NHL. In the early 1900s, the Canadian rules were adopted by the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace, the precursor of the IIHF and the sport was played for the first time at the Olympics during the 1920 Summer Olympics.
In international competitions, the national teams of six countries predominate: Canada, Czech Republic, Russia and the United States. Of the 69 medals awarded all-time in men's competition at the Olympics, only seven medals were not awarded to one of those countries. In the annual Ice Hockey World Championships, 177 of 201 medals have been awarded to the six nations. Teams outside the "Big Six" have won only five medals in either competition since 1953; the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, unlike the annual World Championships and quadrennial Olympic tournament, both run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. World Cup games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF, the tournament occurs prior to the NHL pre-season, allowing for all NHL players to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs. Furthermore, all 12 Women's Olympic and 36 IIHF World Women's Championships medals were awarded to one of these six countries.
The Canadian national team or the United States national team have between them won every gold medal of either series. In England, field hockey has been called "hockey" and what was referenced by first appearances in print; the first known mention spelled as "hockey" occurred in the 1773 book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author: Including a New Mode of Infant Education, by Richard Johnson, whose chapter XI was titled "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey". The 1573 Statute of Galway banned a sport called "'hokie'—the hurling of a little ball with sticks or staves". A form of this word was thus being used in the 16th century, though much removed from its current usage; the belief that hockey was mentioned in a 1363 proclamation by King Edward III of England is based on modern translations of the proclamation, in Latin and explicitly forbade the games "Pilam Manualem, Pedivam, & Bacularem: & ad Canibucam & Gallorum Pugnam". The English historian and biographer John Strype did not use the word "hockey" when he translated the proclamation in 1720, instead translating "Canibucam" as "Cambuck".
According to the Austin Hockey Association, the word "puck" derives from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc. "... The blow given by a hurler to the ball with his camán or hurley is always called a puck." Stick-and-ball games date back to pre-Christian times. In Europe, these games included the Irish game of hurling, the related Scottish game of shinty and versions of field hockey. IJscolf, a game resembling colf on an ice-covered surface, was popular in the Low Countries between the Middle Ages and the Dutch Golden Age, it was played with a wooden curved bat, a wooden or leather ball and two poles, with t
The Moncton Wildcats are a junior ice hockey team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. The franchise was granted for the 1995–96 season, known as the Moncton Alpines for one season, as the Wildcats since; the team played at the Moncton Coliseum from 1995 until 2018, moved into the Avenir Centre for the 2018–19 season. After winning the 2005–06 QMJHL championship, the team hosted the 2006 Memorial Cup; the Wildcats won the 2009–10 QMJHL championship. Which sent the team to compete in the 2010 Memorial Cup in Manitoba, they were eliminated from contention after going winless in the round robin portion of the tournament. The Moncton Alpines joined the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the wake of successful expansion to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the 1995–96 season, they played for one season under the ownership of racing driver John Graham and coached by Lucien DeBlois. However, the Alpines struggled mightily both off the ice; the team struggled to attract fans.
There was some discussion of folding or moving the team, but instead the franchise was purchased by Robert Irving on May 28, 1996. On June 19, 1996, the team was renamed to the Moncton Wildcats and the new uniforms and logo were unveiled; the Wildcats' first game took place on September 1996, in front of 7,506 fans. They won 9-6 over the Victoriaville Tigres; the team finished 16 -- 52 -- 2 for last place. The first few years of the Wildcats in Moncton featured a gradual improvement in the team's fortunes as more teams were added to the Maritimes and junior hockey took hold in the region; the 1999–2000 team dominated with a 44−20−5−3 record. In the playoffs the team steamrolled to the QMJHL semi-final against Rimouski. Injuries robbed the Wildcats of Simon Laliberte and Mirko Murovic, but the final blow to the Wildcats came just before the semi-final started, when team leading scorer Jonathan Roy was diagnosed with cancer; the off-ice distractions took Moncton lost the series in five games. Roy would beat cancer and went on to a pro career in the minor pro and senior ranks.
The next few seasons featured more rebuilding. In 2002–03, Corey Crawford's goaltending and Steve Bernier's 101 points led the Wildcats to a 37−20−10−5 record. In the playoffs, they fell in the quarter-final four games to two against the Quebec Remparts. At the NHL Draft Steve Bernier was selected 16th Overall by San Jose, goalie Corey Crawford by Chicago in the 2nd Round, Nathan Saunders by Anaheim in the 4th Round. In 2003–04, Corey Crawford set a team record for wins with 35, 4 players had 30+ goal seasons: Steve Bernier with 36, Mathieu Bétournay with 33, Konstantin Zakharov with 33, Mārtiņš Karsums with 30. In the first Round, Moncton defeated the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in four games. In the quarter-final, they beat the PEI Rocket four games to two. In the semifinal, they defeated arch-rival Rimouski Océanic four games to one. In the President's Cup Final for the first time, Moncton lost to the Gatineau Olympiques four games to one. In 2004–05, the "Sidney Crosby Show" was selling out buildings everywhere, with the NHL lockout, Corey Crawford stayed in Moncton.
Helped by his backup, Jean-Christophe Blanchard, they finished with a combined 2.47 GAA, best in the QMJHL. Steve Bernier again had a 30+ goal season, with 36. Adam Pineault had 26 goals, while Bruce Graham chipped in 23, Stéphane Goulet finished with 22. Nathan Saunders set a new club record with 198 penalty minutes, finishing with a career record of 794 PIMS. In the playoffs, the Cats took Drummondville in the first round, four games to two before being knocked out by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies four games to two. In 2005, it was announced; the team hired former NHL coach of the year Ted Nolan, acquired players such as Keith Yandle, various rookies. The team's slogan for 2005–06 was "New Coach, New Team, New Attitude"; the Wildcats finished in first place in the league, going 52-15-0-3 for 107 points and winning the Jean Rougeau Trophy for the first time in club history. The Cats acquired Victoriaville Tigres goalie Josh Tordjman halfway through the season, as well as Luc Bourdon from the Val-d'Or Foreurs.
They defeated Victoriaville four games to one in the first round, did the same to the Halifax Mooseheads. The Wildcats defeated the Gatineau Olympiques four games to one in the third round. To return to the President's Cup, this time against Patrick Roy's Quebec Remparts. In Game 1, Moncton beat the Remparts 4-3 in overtime; some more OT heroics resulted in a 3-2 win in Game 2. Quebec battled back for Game 3, winning 3-1; the Remparts tied the series at 2-2 with a 4-3 OT victory in Game 4. In Game 5, Moncton again used OT to get by Quebec 3-2. In Game 6, in front of a sold-out Moncton Coliseum crowd, Moncton took the trophy home, winning 3-2. In the Memorial Cup against the Remparts, Vancouver Giants and Peterborough Petes, Moncton finished second in the round-robin after defeating Peterborough and Vancouver but losing to Quebec; the Wildcats defeated the Giants in the semi-final, but lost to the Remparts 6-2 in the Memorial Cup final. Nolan went on to an NHL coaching job with the New York Islanders, along with assistant coach Danny Flynn.
He was replaced by another coach with an NHL resume in John Torchetti. Torchetti led a young team to a 39-25-4-2 record before losing to the Halifax Mooseheads four games to three in the first round of the playoffs. Torchetti moved on to accept a post as associate coach with the Chicago Blackhawks; the Wildcats brought Flynn back as their new head coach and director of hockey operations for 2007–08. Flynn traded away top veterans Phil Mangan, Matt Marquardt and Murdock MacLellan at the Christma