Grizzlies team up with Steelheads

By Andrew Bourgeois
Boise’s West Coast Hockey League franchise the Idaho Steelheads announced that it had signed an affiliation agreement with the International Hockey League’s Utah Grizzlies on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies are the top minor league affiliate of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League.
The Steelheads announced that Utah’s training camp for the 2000-2001 season will open in Boise on Sept. 20 and that the Grizzlies will practice through Sept. 26. Most of the Steelheads players will be included in the Grizzlies’ camp.
The Grizzlies and Steelheads will play a pair of exhibition games at the Bank of America Centre in September.
Grizzlies coach Bob Bourne said he intends to take full advantage of the agreement, sending younger players to Boise to get more skating time and giving other players “a wake-up call.”
Bourne said he will also benefit from having a true affiliate nearby.
Steelheads coach John Olver said that he expected four to six players to be signed to two-way contracts and that those players would move back and forth between the Grizzlies and Steelheads.
He added that there is also the possibility for some three-way contracts, where a player could potentially play for the Steelheads, Grizzlies and Stars in the same season.
Olver thinks the new deal will have an immediate impact in bringing better players to Boise.
In other news the International Hockey League announced that the 2001 IHL All-Star Game will take place on the afternoon of Monday, January 15, at the Allstate Arena in suburban Chicago.
For the second consecutive year, and the eighth time in the 56-year history of the IHL, the defending Turner Cup Champions will take on a squad of IHL All-Stars. At this year’s contest, the Houston Aeros made a dramatic comeback to defeat the All-Star squad by a score of 5-3.

IHL FASTFACTS

On October 3, 1997 Gordie “Mr. Hockey” Howe becomes the first hockey professional to play in six decades as he suits up for the Detroit Vipers in their season opener at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Howe skated one shift for the defending Turner Cup champions.

IHL TEAMS PLACE IN IHL HISTORY

The Utah Grizzlies are the only team in IHL history to post 4 games to zero sweeps in consecutive Turner Cup Finals, winning the championship in 1995 and 1996. They are the third team in league history to win the title in each of their first two seasons, joining the Cincinnati Mohawks (1953, ’54) and Saint Paul Saints (1960, ’61).

TODAY IN HOCKEY

July 24, 1975 Dallas Stars Jamie Langenbrunner is born.

DID YOU KNOW

That during the summer of 1999 Manitoba Moose’s Jeff Parrot second occupation was delivering pizza’a for Dominoes Pizza

IHL TRANSACTIONS

None to report.