IHL Teams Kept Busy

By Andrew Bourgeois
Since the 1999-2000 season ended IHL clubs have been busy bolstering their lineups and getting ready for the 2000-01 season. Here is a breakdown on what each club has been up to:

CHICAGO WOLVES: After winning their 2nd Turner Cup in three seasons, the Chicago management tandem of GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and Head Coach John Anderson, along with first team IHL All Star Steve Maltais have all re-signed with the Wolves for another season. Maltais captured the IHL scoring title last season with 44 goals, 46 assists for 90 points. Dave Mackey has called it quits after 14 seasons of professional hockey.

CINCINNATI CYCLONES: Head Coach/GM Ron Smith has re-signed with the club for another season. Goaltender Randy Petruk underwent surgery July 17th to repair his left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He injured himself in an off-season training exercise. Petruk is expected to resume light skating in November and return to the club in late December or early January 2001. Four Cyclones from last season have re-signed with the parent Carolina Hurricanes, including Brian Felsner, Byron Ritchie, Shane Willis and Greg Koeheler.

CLEVELAND LUMBERJACKS: Larry Gordon, Chief Executive Officer and owner of the Lumberjacks has been busily trying to line up new ownership for the club. Gordon put the club up for sale on the last day of the 1999-2000 season. The Jacks will begin play in the 2000-2001 season with a 2-year affiliation agreement with the expansion Minnesota Wild. The Jacks have named Todd Mcclellan as their new head coach replacing Perry Ganchar who is now the new Head Coach in Spokane of the WHL. McClellan was hired by the Minnesota Wild and coached the last 6 seasons in Swift Current in the Western Hockey League. Jock Callander, the IHL’s all time leader in scoring and games played recently completed his 18th season of professional hockey. But a return for a 19th season remains to be seen. Brett Harkins, the Jacks leading scorer for the past few seasons and a Cleveland native has signed with the Houston Aeros.

DETROIT VIPERS: After a dismal finish last season, the Vipers parent club the Tampa Bay Lightning decided against bringing back Head Coach Paulin Bordeleau for another season. Instead, they hired former Viper defenseman Brad Shaw as Viper Head Coach. Former Viper and James Norris Trophy winning goaltender Kevin Weeks has been acquired by the parent Lightning from the New York Islanders.

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS: Bruce Cassidy is the new Head Coach of the Griffins, replacing Guy Charron who took an Assistant Coaching position with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks of the NHL. Cassidy last coached in the IHL with the Indianapolis Ice in the 1998-99 season. Danton Cole has been named as Griffins full time Assistant Coach. Cole, a Michigan State grad and a member of the Griffins for three seasons retired while with the Griffins early last season.

HOUSTON AEROS: Head Coach Ron Low was recently named as the Head Coach of the New York Rangers, thus opening the door for Assistant Coach Dave Barr to become the top man in Houston. Matt Shaw is the Aeros new Assistant Coach, joining the coaching staff after leaving the Quad City Mallards of the United Hockey League. The Aeros recently signed free agent and former Cleveland Lumberjack leading scorer Brett Harkins to a contract for 2000-2001. The Aeros have also re-signed right winger Lane Lambert, and center/winger Alex Vasilevskii. Barry Dreger and Grant Richison have signed with the Aeros bolstering their defensive corps. Aeros play-by-play broadcaster Adam Gordon has decided against returning for a 7th season.

KANSAS CITY BLADES: The Blades recently secured a 2-year affiliation agreement with the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL. The Canucks will supply the Blades with 18 players along with a coaching staff. Long time Canuck great Stan Smyl was named as the Head Coach of the Blades, replacing Paul Maclean who compiled a solid 3-season record (121-97-28). MacLean’s name has been mentioned as an assistant with Don Hay for the Calgary Flames Coaching positions. Defenseman Jon Roholff has signed a free agent contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. Greg Divitto, who spent last season calling the play-by-play for the Michigan K-Wings has replaced Bob Kaser as the Blades Director of Broadcasting and Communications.

MANITOBA MOOSE: The Moose are hoping to find a new home in downtown Winnipeg. The aging Winnipeg Arena has served as home for the Moose for the past 4 seasons and the Winnipeg Jets of the NHL for 26 seasons prior to that. But a move downtown is sought by Mark Chipman, President and Governor of the club. The proposed downtown arena is thought to be a key in revitalizing nightlife in Manitoba’s Capital city. The Moose have acquired Dmitri Leonov, Doug Ast and Dion Darling from the now defunct Long Beach Ice Dogs. Left winger Rusty Fitzgerald has re-signed with the Moose for another season. The Winnipeg Free Press reports that the Moose may receive as many as 5 players from the Detroit Red Wings to play with the club in the 2000-2001 season. Last season the Moose had 3. Manitoba has teamed up with local TV channel A-Channel to broadcast between 8-10 games this season. Look for the complete Moose TV schedule to appear soon.

MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS: Former Admiral Head Coach Al Sims has been replaced by Dave Allison, with Claude Noel returning as Assistant Coach. Allison coached last season in Ft, Wayne of the UHL, and Grand Rapids of the IHL.

ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS: The Solar Bears and the parent Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL have extended their affiliation agreement through the 2000-2001 season. The first year of the affiliation saw the Solar Bears receive a new roster of talented NHL prospects, many of who should be playing for the Atlanta club in the 2000-2001 season.

UTAH GRIZZLIES: The Grizzlies are the new developmental club for the NHL Dallas Stars after the Stars decided against a return to long time Kalamazoo, Michigan. Bob Bourne, Grizzlies Head Coach/General Manger was quite pleased about the affiliation and about parent Dallas Stars’ signing of veteran goaltender Rick Tabaracci. The Grizzlies will display a new logo this year. The new logo will incorporate the colors of copper, Zion red and forest green to go along with the existing colors of black and white with a growling copper colored grizzly bear centered in a triangular crest with snow capped mountains in the background and the Utah Grizzlies name in bold letters in the foreground with a broken hockey stick in the bear’s grasp. The old logo had been displayed by the club since the Grizzlies moved from Denver to Salt Lake City in 1995.

IHL FASTFACTS

On December 13,1992 Manon Rheaume becomes the first female to play in a regular-season professional game. She starts the second period of game at the Omni in Atlanta and gives up one goal on six shots.

TODAY IN HOCKEY

August 14, 1996 Jarri Kurri signs one year contract with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

DID YOU KNOW

Vincent Riendeau was the Manitoba Moose’s first starting goalie in their inaugural game.

IHL TRANSACTIONS

Chicago: Re-sign GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and coach
John Anderson
Signed left winger Steve Maltais
Announce left wing Dave Mackey has re-
tired

Grand Rapids: Re-sign defenceman Travis Richards
Name Bruce Cassidy Coach
Re-sign assistant coach Danton Cole
Announce the resignation of media
relations coordinator Chuck King

Kansas City: Re-sign defenceman Jan Vodrazka

Manitoba: Re-sign forward Rusty Fiztgerald
Announce centre Billy Bowler has signed
with Columbus Blue Jackets

Milwaukee: Sign 2 year agreement with WISN radio
and name vice president of
communications Brian Manthey radio play
by play announcer.

Orlando: Re-sign defeceman Todd Richards

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