New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It is located on a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York along the extent of the length of New York City on its western edge. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, the most densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. New Jersey lies within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U. S. state by median household income as of 2017. New Jersey was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 2,800 years, with historical tribes such as the Lenape along the coast. In the early 17th century, the Dutch and the Swedes founded the first European settlements in the state; the English seized control of the region, naming it the Province of New Jersey after the largest of the Channel Islands and granting it as a colony to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton.
New Jersey was the site of several decisive battles during the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century. In the 19th century, factories in cities, Paterson, Trenton, Jersey City, Elizabeth helped to drive the Industrial Revolution. New Jersey's geographic location at the center of the Northeast megalopolis, between Boston and New York City to the northeast, Philadelphia and Washington, D. C. to the southwest, fueled its rapid growth through the process of suburbanization in the second half of the 20th century. In the first decades of the 21st century, this suburbanization began reverting with the consolidation of New Jersey's culturally diverse populace toward more urban settings within the state, with towns home to commuter rail stations outpacing the population growth of more automobile-oriented suburbs since 2008. Around 180 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period, New Jersey bordered North Africa; the pressure of the collision between North America and Africa gave rise to the Appalachian Mountains.
Around 18,000 years ago, the Ice Age resulted in glaciers. As the glaciers retreated, they left behind Lake Passaic, as well as many rivers and gorges. New Jersey was settled by Native Americans, with the Lenni-Lenape being dominant at the time of contact. Scheyichbi is the Lenape name for the land, now New Jersey; the Lenape were several autonomous groups that practiced maize agriculture in order to supplement their hunting and gathering in the region surrounding the Delaware River, the lower Hudson River, western Long Island Sound. The Lenape society was divided into matrilinear clans; these clans were organized into three distinct phratries identified by their animal sign: Turtle and Wolf. They first encountered the Dutch in the early 17th century, their primary relationship with the Europeans was through fur trade; the Dutch became the first Europeans to lay claim to lands in New Jersey. The Dutch colony of New Netherland consisted of parts of modern Middle Atlantic states. Although the European principle of land ownership was not recognized by the Lenape, Dutch West India Company policy required its colonists to purchase the land that they settled.
The first to do so was Michiel Pauw who established a patronship called Pavonia in 1630 along the North River which became the Bergen. Peter Minuit's purchase of lands along the Delaware River established the colony of New Sweden; the entire region became a territory of England on June 24, 1664, after an English fleet under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls sailed into what is now New York Harbor and took control of Fort Amsterdam, annexing the entire province. During the English Civil War, the Channel Island of Jersey remained loyal to the British Crown and gave sanctuary to the King, it was from the Royal Square in Saint Helier that Charles II of England was proclaimed King in 1649, following the execution of his father, Charles I. The North American lands were divided by Charles II, who gave his brother, the Duke of York, the region between New England and Maryland as a proprietary colony. James granted the land between the Hudson River and the Delaware River to two friends who had remained loyal through the English Civil War: Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley of Stratton.
The area was named the Province of New Jersey. Since the state's inception, New Jersey has been characterized by religious diversity. New England Congregationalists settled alongside Scots Presbyterians and Dutch Reformed migrants. While the majority of residents lived in towns with individual landholdings of 100 acres, a few rich proprietors owned vast estates. English Quakers and Anglicans owned large landholdings. Unlike Plymouth Colony and other colonies, New Jersey was populated by a secondary wave of immigrants who came from other colonies instead of those who migrated directly from Europe. New Jersey remained agrarian and rural throughout the colonial era, commercial farming developed sporadically; some townships, such as Burlington on the Delaware River and Perth Amboy, emerged as important ports for shipping to New York City and Philadelphia. The colony's fertile lands and tolerant religious policy drew more settlers, New Jersey's population had increased to 120,000 by 1775. Settlement for the first 10 years of English rule took place along Hackensack River and Arthur Kill –
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
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
San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team based in San Jose, California. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the franchise is owned by San Jose Entertainment Enterprises. Beginning play in the 1991–92 season, the Sharks played their home games at the Cow Palace, before they moved to their present home, the SAP Center at San Jose in 1993; the SAP Center is known locally as the Shark Tank. The Sharks were founded in 1991 and were the first NHL franchise based in the San Francisco Bay Area since the California Golden Seals relocated to Cleveland in 1976; the Sharks have advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals once, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016. They have won the Presidents' Trophy once, as the team with the league's best regular season record in the 2008–09 season, they have won six division titles as a member of the Pacific Division since 1993. The club is affiliated with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League.
The Oakland Coliseum Arena was home to the California Golden Seals of the NHL from 1967 to 1976, who were never successful either on the ice or at the box office. Gordon and George Gund III became minority owners of the Seals in 1974, were instrumental in their move to Cleveland in 1976 and a 1978 merger with the Minnesota North Stars, which they purchased that year, they had long wanted to bring hockey back to the Bay Area, asked the NHL for permission to move the North Stars there in the late 1980s, but the league vetoed the proposed move. Meanwhile, a group led by former Hartford Whalers owner Howard Baldwin was pushing the NHL to bring a team to San Jose, where a new arena was being built; the League struck a compromise: the Gunds would sell their share of the North Stars to Baldwin's group, with the Gunds receiving an expansion team in the Bay Area to begin play in the 1991–92 season and being allowed to take a certain number of players from the North Stars to their new club. In return, the North Stars would be allowed to participate as an equal partner in an expansion draft with the new Bay Area team.
On May 5, 1990, the Gunds sold their share of the North Stars to Baldwin and were awarded a new team for the Bay Area, based in San Jose. The owners paid to the league an expansion fee of US$45 million. Over 5,000 potential names were submitted by mail for the new team. While the first-place finisher was "Blades", the Gunds were concerned about the name's negative association with weapons, went with the runner-up, "Sharks." The name was said to have been inspired by the large number of sharks living in the Pacific Ocean. Seven varieties live there, one area of water near the Bay Area is known as the "red triangle" because of its shark population; the team's first marketing head, Matt Levine, said of the new name, "Sharks are relentless, swift, agile and fearless. We plan to build an organization that has all those qualities." For their first two seasons, the Sharks played at the Cow Palace in Daly City, just outside San Francisco, a facility the NHL and the Seals had rejected in 1967. Pat Falloon led the team in points during their first season.
The team was placed in the Campbell Conference's Smythe Division. George Kingston was their first head coach during their first two seasons. Though the 1991–92 roster consisted of NHL journeymen, minor leaguers and rookies, the Sharks had at least one notable player when they acquired 14-year veteran and former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Doug Wilson from the Chicago Blackhawks on September 6, 1991. Wilson was named the team's first captain and All-Star representative in the inaugural season. However, the Sharks' first two seasons saw the typical struggles for an expansion team; the 71 losses in 1992–93 is an NHL record, they suffered a 17-game losing streak, while winning just 11 games and earning a mere 24 points in the standings. Kingston was fired following the end of the 1992–93 season. Despite the Sharks' futility in the standings, the team led the NHL's merchandise sales with $150 million, accounting for 27% of the NHL's total and behind only National Basketball Association champions Chicago Bulls among all North American leagues.
Several team "firsts" happened in the 1992–93 season. On November 17, 1992, San Jose goaltender Arturs Irbe recorded the first shutout in team history, defeating the Los Angeles Kings 6–0. On December 3, against the Hartford Whalers at the Cow Palace, right winger Rob Gaudreau scored the first hat-trick in franchise history; the inaugural year saw the birth of the San Jose Sharks mascot, "S. J. Sharkie". On January 28, 1992, at a game against the New York Rangers, the then-unnamed mascot emerged from a Zamboni during an intermission. A "Name the Mascot" contest began that night, with the winning name of "S. J. Sharkie" being announced on April 15, 1992. For their third season, 1993–94, the Sharks moved to their new home, the San Jose Arena, were placed in the Western Conference's Pacific Division. Under head coach Kevin Constantine, the Sharks pulled off the biggest turnaround in NHL history, finishing with a 33–35–16 record and making the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in team history with 82 points, an NHL record 58-point jump from the previous season.
They were seeded eighth in the Western Conference playoffs and faced the Detroit Red Wings, the top-seeded Western Conference team and a favorite to win the Stanley Cup. In one of the biggest upsets in Stanley Cup playoff history, the underdog Sharks shocked the Red Wings in seven games. In Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena, Jamie Baker scored the game-winning goal i
The Allen Americans are an ice hockey team headquartered at the Allen Event Center in Allen, which plays in the ECHL. The team was founded in 2009 in the Central Hockey League where they played for five seasons, winning the Ray Miron President's Cup twice; the CHL folded in 2014 and the ECHL accepted the remaining CHL teams as members for the 2014–15 season. In their first two seasons in the ECHL, Allen advanced to the Kelly Cup finals, winning the championship in both years; the Americans are affiliated with the National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild and the American Hockey League's Iowa Wild. On April 15, 2009, the Central Hockey League announced an expansion team for Allen, to begin play in the 2009–10 season; the new team was owned by Top Shelf, LLC, a group consisting of EXCO Resources chairman Douglas H. Miller and former NHL defenseman Steve Duchesne; that same day, the team announced an affiliation with the NHL's Dallas Stars. Through this affiliation, they affiliated with the Austin-based AHL Texas Stars.
On April 27, 2009, the ownership group unveiled the team's name and colors. On May 12, 2009, the Americans announced Dwight Mullins as their inaugural head coach, along with Bill MacDonald as assistant coach and head of hockey operations; as construction on the Allen Event Center would not be completed in time for the beginning of the CHL season, Allen began the season with a seven-game road streak, winning five, including their first game against the Arizona Sundogs 1–0, on a first period Christian Gaudet power play goal. The first game on home ice was not until November 7, 2009, a 4–1 loss to the Corpus Christi IceRays in front of a sellout crowd of 5808 people. Allen advanced to the playoffs as the number two seed in the Southern Conference in their first season, defeating both the Laredo Bucks and number one seed Odessa Jackalopes in seven games. In the Ray Miron President's Cup finals, they took a 2–1 series lead over the Rapid City Rush, but lost 3 straight games, losing the series 4–2.
Allen qualified for the playoffs in the following two seasons, winning the Bud Poile Governors’ Cup regular season title in only their second season in the league. They lost in the conference finals to eventual champions, the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, in 2011, had a disappointing first round exit to bitter rivals the Texas Brahmas in 2012. Prior to the Americans third season, on September 1, 2011, it was announced that the Americans signed a one-year affiliation deal with the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and by extension the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL; this agreement made the Americans affiliates of the Avalanche after having a working relationship with the Monsters over the previous two years. This affiliation is no longer in place as Colorado and Lake Erie moved their affiliation to the now defunct Denver Cutthroats organization. On May 4, 2012, the Allen Americans announced that former Dallas Stars Mike Modano, Craig Ludwig, Ed Belfour partnered up to become minority owners of Top Shelf, LLC.
Shortly after, the Allen Americans announced that they would not retain GM and head coach Dwight Mullins, along with associate coach Bill McDonald. Richard Matvichuk was announced as the assistant general manager and defensive coach. A month the Americans announced Steve Martinson as their new head coach. After winning their second Bud Poile Governor's Cup regular season title, the Allen Americans went on to win the Ray Miron President's Cup for the first time on May 11, 2013, in front of a sold out crowd. After falling behind 2-0 in the first two periods of game seven against the Wichita Thunder, Allen scored two third period goals to tie the game. In overtime, Todd Robinson scored the winner to give Allen their first championship win. On May 10, 2014, the Allen Americans became only the third CHL team to win back-to-back Ray Miron President's Cup championships, the first since the Memphis RiverKings achieved the feat in 2003. Allen scored four second period goals to defeat the Denver Cutthroats 5–2, winning the finals series four games to one in front of a sold out crowd.
Less than a week the Americans were sold by the Top Shelf ownership group to Stevens Brothers Sports Management, LLC. The Stevens Brothers owned the CHL's Tulsa Oilers and Wichita Thunder. On October 7, 2014, soon before the 2014–15 Central Hockey League season was set to begin, it was announced that the Central Hockey League ceased operations and the Americans, along with the Brampton Beast, Quad City Mallards, Missouri Mavericks, Rapid City Rush, Tulsa Oilers and Wichita Thunder, were all approved the expansion membership application into the ECHL for the 2014–15 season. On October 14, 2014, the Allen Americans announced their affiliation with the San Jose Sharks and Worcester Sharks; the Americans finished its inaugural ECHL season atop the Central Division which encompassed the former CHL members, having the second best overall regular season performance and the best offense in the league, with 192 goals. During the 2015 playoffs, they beat both the Tulsa Oilers and Rapid City Rush to reach the Western Conference Finals against the Ontario Reign.
The Americans would win the first game before losing the following three games to the Reign. The Americans would come back to win the following three games to, they were the fifth team in ECHL postseason history to win a series after trailing 3-games-to-1. On June 14, 2015, the Americans defeated the South Carolina Stingrays in seven games to win their first Kelly Cup, they are the first team to advance to and win the Kelly Cup in their first ECHL season since the Idaho Steelheads accomplished the feat in 2004. Allen finished its second season in the ECHL in second place in the newly reorganized Central Division, beh
The Toledo Walleye are a professional ice hockey team based in Toledo, Ohio. The Walleye are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the ECHL; the Walleye were founded in 1991 as the Toledo Storm and play their home games at the Huntington Center, which opened in 2009. Since the beginning of the 2009–10 season, the team has been affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League with an agreement in place through the 2020–21 season; the team is owned and operated by Toledo Arena Sports, Inc. The current ownership group is a subsidiary of Toledo Mud Hens Baseball Club, Inc. another ownership that owns and operates the Toledo Mud Hens. The Walleye were founded in 1991 as the Toledo Storm, playing their home games at Toledo Sports Arena across the river from downtown Toledo; the Storm were the first hockey team to play in Toledo since the International Hockey League's Toledo Goaldiggers suspended operations in 1986 moving to Kansas City in 1990.
In the Storm's inaugural season, the team won the West Division title and the Henry Brabham Cup after posting the league's best record in the regular season. The following year the Storm won its first Jack Riley Cup, defeating the Wheeling Thunderbirds in six games; the Storm came back the following season and won its second Riley Cup, defeating the Raleigh Icecaps in five games, becoming only the second team in league history to win back-to-back league titles. The Storm were dominant in its first few years, winning four division titles in their first five seasons and posting a winning record in thirteen of the sixteen seasons the team played; the Storm won its second Brabham Cup in 2003 and made the American Conference finals during the 2005–06 season losing to the Gwinnett Gladiators in five games. The Storm's final game came on April 19, 2007 during the 2007 North Division semifinals losing to in-state rival, Cincinnati Cyclones by a score of 4–0 getting swept in the series 3 games to 0.
In sixteen seasons in the ECHL, the Storm posted a 610-395-103 record, winning two Riley Cups, two Brabham Cups and six division titles. In 2007, Toledo Arena Sports, Inc. an Ohio-Not-For-Profit Corporation, purchased the rights to the Toledo, Ohio Territory from the ECHL. The new ownership group was planning to build a new state-of-the-art arena in downtown Toledo to replace the aging Sports Arena. Shortly after the sale, Toledo Arena Sports announced that after the 2006–07 season, the Storm would not compete again until the arena was completed and the ECHL granted the Storm a two-year voluntary suspension from competition. In February 2008, General Manager Joe Napoli announced that former Storm goaltender, ECHL Hall of Famer, head coach from 2003 to 2007, Nick Vitucci would return to coach the franchise when it returned to the ice in 2009. One week after announcing Vitucci as head coach, Toledo Arena Sports Inc. renamed the Storm the "Walleye," in reference to the popular game fish, abundant in the area.
At the ECHL Mid-Season Board of Governors meeting, the league announced that the Walleye would be members of the American Conference's North Division along with the Cincinnati Cyclones, Elmira Jackals, Johnstown Chiefs, Wheeling Nailers and Kalamazoo Wings. During the NHL's award ceremonies in Las Vegas, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland stated that the Walleye would become Detroit's ECHL affiliate for the 2009–10 season and that the Wings would send one of their three goaltender prospects to Toledo for the season. On August 5, 2009, the Walleye announced a second affiliation agreement, becoming the ECHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago's AHL affiliate the Rockford IceHogs; the Walleye opened their inaugural season on October 16, 2009, hosting the defending Brabham Cup champion Florida Everblades in the first of a three-game series. Prior to the Walleye's home opener, head coach Nick Vitucci named defenseman Ryan Stokes as the team's captain. Despite a strong effort, the Walleye dropped their opener to Florida 1–2 in front of a sell-out crowd of 8,000, the largest crowd to watch a pro hockey game in Toledo at the time.
The Walleye would return the next night and rookie goaltender Jordan Pearce would stop 35 of 37 shots faced as the Walleye scored three goals in the final period to get past the Everblades for the team's first win, 5–2. On December 31, defenseman J. C. Sawyer and forward Maxime Tanguay were selected to the American Conference All-Star team and played at the All-Star Game at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California on January 20. Sawyer was named the captain of the American Conference All-Stars. At the end of the regular season, defenseman J. C. Sawyer was named as a First Team selection to the All-ECHL team and won the Defenseman of the Year award, while center Maxime Tanguay was named to the All-Rookie team; the Walleye would finish the regular season in eighth place in the American Conference leading to a matchup with the American Conference regular season champions, the Charlotte Checkers. Toledo, behind a hat trick from winger Adam Keefe, claimed a 7–2 victory over top-seeded Charlotte in game one of the series, the first playoff game win for the organization since game two of the 2006 American Conference Finals against the Gwinnett Gladiators.
However, the Walleye would lose the next three games to Charlotte and were eliminated from the playoffs in four games. On July 27, 2009, the Walleye introduced Spike, their costumed mascot at a Toledo Mud Hens baseball game. Spike is a yellow anthropomorphic walleye, adorned with a white Walleyes jersey, blue gloves and shoes and a gap tooth smile. Spike's nemesis is Cat Trick, a fuzzy
Victoria Salmon Kings
The Victoria Salmon Kings were a professional ice hockey team based in Victoria, British Columbia, members of the ECHL The team debuted in the 2004–05 season and folded after the 2010–11 season. The Chilliwack Bruins of the major junior Western Hockey League relocated to become the Victoria Royals and the two teams could not operate, they played at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. For most of their history, they were affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks. Despite its long and distinguished hockey history Victoria was the largest Canadian city without either professional or major junior hockey when the major junior Western Hockey League's Victoria Cougars moved to Prince George in 1994; this left the Junior ice hockey#Junior ATier II Junior'A']] Victoria Salsa as the highest level of hockey in Victoria. By this time, it had become evident that the 50-year-old Victoria Memorial Arena, seating only 4,000 for hockey, would have to be replaced if Victoria was to attract a new hockey club. After several years of discussion, the construction of a new arena was approved by Victoria voters in a 2002 referendum, with one key condition being that its construction was dependent on Victoria securing a Western Hockey League team.
When the private-sector partner, RG Properties, was unable to secure a WHL club, the company bought the franchise rights to the defunct Baton Rouge Kingfish of the minor professional ECHL and announced that Victoria's new team would be named the Salmon Kings to mixed reactions. The acquisition of the franchise meant that construction of the new arena could begin, but many were troubled by the perception that they would be receiving hockey, inferior to the major junior WHL. In addition, the ECHL was unknown in Canada; the Salmon Kings responded by marketing the league as high quality. As the 2004–05 ECHL season approached, Victoria's new arena, the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, was not going to be ready by the start of the season. In response, the ECHL scheduled the Salmon Kings to begin their inaugural season with a 14-game road trip; this was still not enough time for the arena to be completed, the Salmon Kings were forced to secure ice time in the Bear Mountain Arena in the suburban community of Colwood, constructed for the junior'A' Victoria Salsa and the Victoria Shamrocks box lacrosse teams.
Despite the preseason difficulties, the Salmon Kings played their first regular-season game on October 22, 2004, in Bakersfield, against the Bakersfield Condors. Former University of Alberta player Ryan Wade scored the first goal in Salmon Kings history in a 7–2 loss; the Salmon Kings would struggle during their 14-game road trip, winning three games while losing 10 games in regulation time and one in a shootout. Their first victory was against the Fresno Falcons on October 24, which the Salmon Kings won 5–0. David Brumby, the Kings' starting goaltender at the time, turned away 37 shots for the shutout; as the 2004–05 NHL lockout continued, Dale Purinton and Dan Blackburn of the New York Rangers and Mark Smith of the San Jose Sharks played for the Salmon Kings. Purinton, an enforcer, was suspended twice by the league, the first for a career-ending check into the boards of Condors player Krzysztof Wieckowski and the second for returning to the ice to fight after being ejected during a bench-clearing brawl involving the Kings and the Falcons.
After the latter suspension, Purinton was suspended indefinitely by the Salmon Kings and did not play again that season. The Salmon Kings played their first home game on December 5, 2004, at Bear Mountain Arena, losing 4–3 in overtime, they finished the regular season with a 15–52–5 record, setting an ECHL record for a continuous winless streak by going 0–18–2 between December 31, 2004 and February 4, 2005. After another losing season in 2005–06, during which the team had four different coaches behind the bench, the Salmon Kings became the ECHL affiliate of the nearby Vancouver Canucks; the Salmon Kings had their first winning season in the 2006–07 season. Under head coach, Mark Morrison, the Salmon Kings would finish with a nine-game winning streak for an overall record of 36–32–1–3, good enough for seventh place in the National Conference, they faced the Alaska Aces in their first playoff appearance, winning the opening game by a score of 3–2, but losing the series by four-games-to-two. The 2007–08 season was the Salmon Kings' best regular season in the ECHL with a 91-point season and winning 42 of 72 games.
The Salmon Kings took the number two seed into the Kelly Cup playoffs. In the playoffs, the Salmon Kings won their first-ever playoff round by eliminating the Bakersfield Condors in six games. In the second round, the Salmon Kings were eliminated by the Utah Grizzlies in five games; the 2008–09 season started with head coach Mark Morrison adding the general manager's title to his position with the organization. Morrison promoted Jeff Harris to the team's assistant general manager and hired the newly retired Ryan Wade as the team's assistant coach; the team continued their strong play from the previous season and had a 15-game winning streak between December 8, 2008 and January 10, 2009 second all-time in ECHL history, had the team in first place within the division. However, the team went 12–19–0–4 afterwards and dropped to third place, which ensured a Kelly Cup playoff first round match-up again the Idaho Steelheads. In the playoffs, the Salmon Kings swept the series and eliminated the Steelheads in round one in four straight games.
In the second round, the Salmon Kings were eliminated from the playoffs by the Alaska Aces in five games