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|League:||East Coast Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||Louis J. Tullio Arena|
|Colors:||Black, grey, white|
|Head Coach:|| Ron Hansis 1988–95|
Barry Smith 1995–96
|General Manager:||Ron Hansis|
|Affiliate(s):||Buffalo Sabres 1992–94|
|1988–96 (ECHL):||Erie Panthers|
|1996–2004 (ECHL):||Baton Rouge Kingfish|
|2004–present (ECHL):||Victoria Salmon Kings|
The Erie Panthers were a professional hockey team, and one of the founding members in the East Coast Hockey League. Based in Erie, Pennsylvania from 1988 to 1996, they were one of the most prolific teams in the ECHL. The Panthers were known for their ability to score goals quickly and often, as well as for the over-aggressive style of play that lead to an abundance of fights. They currently hold records in 38 different categories in the ECHL.
The Panthers were created by Henry Brabham who was also a part of the creation of the ECHL itself. Erie was chosen as a location due to the success of the former Erie Golden Blades. The Panthers enjoyed success earlier on in their existence with five straight playoff appearances. Though never winning the league championship, the team was named the regular season champs for the 1989–90 season. The next three years would bring about the end of the Panthers franchise with three straight losing seasons.
In 1996 the team would be moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and renamed the Baton Rouge Kingfish. There the team's struggles continued, making the playoffs in only one of seven seasons in Baton Rouge. In 2004 the franchise again relocated. This time moving 4,400 miles northwest to Victoria, British Columbia. There the team survives today as the Victoria Salmon Kings. Today the team has begun to regain its status as one of the top teams in the ECHL with a Division Championship in the 2007–08 season.
Jersey and Logos Edit.
The Panthers' jerseys were black, white, and grey. The Home jersey had a white background, while the away jersey had a black background. The original logo was that of a grey panther and a hockey stick. During the 1991–92 season the use of an alternate logo was added. This logo was the face of a growling panther in dark blue. The 1994–95 season saw the last logo change for the Panthers. This logo was a caricature of a panther, under the word "Erie". Also used during the 1994–95 season was a "20th Anniversary of Hockey in Erie" patch.
The Tullio Arena Edit
The home of the Erie Panthers was the newly constructed Louis J. Tullio Arena, located in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania. The five year old arena held roughly 5,500 fans and served as one of the loudest places to play in the ECHL for eight years. Despite being a fairly new building, the Tullio Arena lacked a proper sound dampening system with the playing surface being surrounded on all sides by uncovered concrete walls. This design allowed the already loud noise of the crowd to be amplified throughout the building.
Over the course of the eight seasons in Erie, 225 players suited up for the Panthers. 68 of them were already drafted in the NHL Entry Draft or NHL Supplemental Draft. Only three players have ever played in the NHL after playing for the Panthers, nor has a single player been drafted after being in Erie.
Former players typically took one of two paths after leaving the team. They either played out their career in European hockey leagues, or joined the Roller Hockey International league.
NHL alumni Edit
|Bill McDougall||Red Wings,Oilers,Lightning||28||5||5||10||12||-||-||-||-||-|
1989 Coach of the Year: Ron Hansis
1989 MVP Award: Daryl Harpe
1989 Leading Scorer: Daryl Harpe
1989 Defenseman of the Year: Kelly Szauter
1990 MVP Award: Bill McDougall
1990 Rookie of the Year: Bill McDougall
1990 Leading Scorer: Bill McDougall
1995 Rookie of the Year: Kevin McKinnon
1995 Leading Scorer: Scott Burfoot
Season by season resultsEdit
|1988–89||None||60||37||20||0||3||77||0.642||327||256||1944||Lost in 1st round|
|1989–90||None||60||38||16||0||6||82||0.683||357||251||1813||Lost in 2nd round|
|1990–91||East||64||31||30||0||3||65||0.508||302||302||1845||Lost in 1st round|
|1991–92||West||64||33||27||0||4||70||0.547||284||309||1662||Lost in 1st round|
|1992–93||West||64||35||25||0||4||74||0.578||305||307||2012||Lost in 2nd round|
|1993–94||North||68||27||36||0||5||59||0.434||264||334||2052||Did not qualify|
|1994–95||North||68||18||46||0||4||40||0.294||256||356||2092||Did not qualify|
|1995-96||North||70||25||40||0||5||55||0.393||227||293||2433||Did not qualify|
1988–89 Henry Brabham Cup (Regular season points champions)
|Team Records for a single season|
|Most goals for||357||1989–90|
|Least goals for||227||1995–96|
|Least goals against||251||1989–90|
|Most goals against||356||1994–95|
|Longest win streak||12||1989–90|
|Most power-play goals||108||1992–93|
|Individual player records for a single season|
|Most Goals||Bill McDougall||80||1989–90|
|Most Assists||Daryl Harpe||84||1989–90|
|Most Points||Bill McDougall||148||1989–90|
|Most Points, rookie||Kevin McKinnon||85||1994–95|
|Most Points, defenceman||Ryan Kummu||76||1991–92|
|Most Penalty Minutes||Greg Spenrath||344||1992–93|
|Best GAA (Goalie)||Craig Barnett||3.93||1989–90|
|Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played|
|Top 10 points leaders in Panthers history|
|Peter Buckeridge||275||1989–93 (4)|
|Daryl Harpe||194||1988–90 (2)|
|Ed Zawatsky||189||1990–93 (3)|
|Ryan Kummu||185||1989–92 (3)|
|Doug Stromback||178||1988–91 (3)|
|Grant Ottenbreit||171||1988–91 (3)|
|Bill McDougall||148||1989–90 (1)|
|Glen Goodall||126||1991–93 (2)|
|Stephane Charbonneau||121||1993–95 (2)|
|Bill Gall||117||1991–93 (2)|
|Top 10 penalty leaders in Panthers history|
|Grant Ottenbreit||845||1988–91 (3)|
|Greg Spenrath||751||1990–93 (2)|
|Cam Brown||698||1992–96 (3)|
|Ryan Kummu||495||1989–92 (3)|
|Brad Harrison||450||1994–96 (2)|
|Steve Wienke||364||1988–92 (3)|
|Jim Lessard||307||1992–94 (2)|
|Daryl Harpe||304||1988–90 (2)|
|Rob McDougall||301||1988–91 (3)|
|Dan O'Rourke||296||1993–94 (1)|
League Records Edit
The Erie Panthers are ranked in the Top 5 of 38 categories kept track of by the ECHL. Of those, they are ranked #1 in 15 categories. Below is only a partial list of these records.
See Also: List of Erie Panthers League Records.
Most goals, both teams (One game)
#1: 21 - Erie Panthers (13) vs. Carolina Thunderbirds (8), Dec. 21, 1988 #2: 20 - Richmond Renegades (15) vs. Erie Panthers (5), Dec. 23, 1990 #3: 19 - Erie Panthers (11) vs. Knoxville Cherokees (8), Mar. 18, 1989
Highest goals-per-game average (One season)
#1: 5.95 - Erie Panthers, 1989-90 (357 goals in 60 games) #4: 5.45 - Erie Panthers, 1988-89 (327 goals in 60 games)
Most penalty minutes, both teams (One game)
#1: 244 - Toledo Storm (124) vs. Erie (120), Mar. 22, 1993
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