Phoenix RoadRunners

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Posted by pompos 05/02/2009 @ 14:08

Tags : phoenix roadrunners, echl, hockey, sports

News headlines
B2 Networks Broadcasts Every Game In Kelly Cup Finals -
9), former Phoenix RoadRunners and Wheeling Nailers center Cam Paddock (St. Louis on Nov. 14), former Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Adam Pardy (Calgary on Oct. 9), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Warren Peters (Calgary on Dec....
Can Phoenix ever be a hockey town? - Arizona Republic
"I remember the original Roadrunners when they played in the old Western Hockey League in the late '60s and early '70s. They won back-to-back championships in the early '70s and packed the (Veterans Memorial) Coliseum, especially for weekend games....
Dayton, Mississippi, Phoenix ECHL Players Declared Unrestricted ... -
PRINCETON, NJ – The ECHL announced that, as outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Professional Hockey Players' Association that Dayton Bombers, Mississippi Sea Wolves and Phoenix Roadrunners players are deemed unrestricted free...
ECHL Today - May 15 -
9), former Phoenix RoadRunners and Wheeling Nailers center Cam Paddock (St. Louis on Nov. 14), former Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Adam Pardy (Calgary on Oct. 9), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Warren Peters (Calgary on Dec....
Farmers market to keep cool - Arizona Republic
Meinhart pointed to Phoenix's Roadrunner Park as a market that has year-round support. It runs from 8 am to 1 pm Saturdays at the park, 3502 E. Cactus Road. "They've got grass and trees," Meinhart said. "Our way of compensating for that would be to go...
Wile E. (Phoenix) Coyotes and Road Runner vs. the Acme of Pro ... - Bleacher Report
It reminds me of my favorite cartoon show, with Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. The cartoon characters from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies followed the laws of cartoon physics and they appear to apply here, too. For example, the Road Runner has...
Vitucci Fishing For Walleye -
An early flight, plus benefit of the time change heading west, allowed Vitucci to arrive in Las Vegas in time for the Wranglers' morning skate followed by that of the Phoenix Roadrunners. That afternoon, he met with coaches of both teams and then...
Cocky about hockey -
Phoenix has a lengthy hockey history and, in fact, while the Leafs were winning their last Cup, the 1967 Phoenix Roadrunners of the minor pro Western League were becoming Arizona's very first professional sports franchise....
May 8 Declared “A Green Day For Green Day” - EVLiving
One hundred percent recycling throughout US Airways Center, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and Phoenix RoadRunners offices. All lighting in the US Airways Center parking garage was replaced with an energy-efficient motion activated system in 2007....
Phoenix Pools Open for Memorial Day Weekend - EVLiving
All participants in fall season classes and programs will need to renew their membership at the new rate. Coronado, Cortez, Falcon, Mountain View, Perry, Roadrunner, Roosevelt, and Starlight pools will be closed for renovation for the 2009 swim season....

Phoenix RoadRunners


The Phoenix RoadRunners were a minor league ice hockey team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They played in the ECHL, they began play in the 2005–2006 season and will cease operations at the end of the 2008-2009 season. The team was affiliated with the NHL's San Jose Sharks and the AHL's Worcester Sharks.

In 2005, after 4 years without a minor league hockey team, the RoadRunners were revived as an ECHL franchise by Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver and former Phoenix Coyotes star Claude Lemieux. In their first season, the 2005–2006 season, the RoadRunners began the season well but dropped throughout the year because of injuries and finished with the league's worst record.

In the off-season, the RoadRunners cemented an affiliation deal with the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League. The RoadRunners once again started very well, staying above .500 for a good portion of the year. The team climbed up the National Division, topping out at fifth place. However, due to several trades which were lackluster to say the least, the team ended up with a 27–40 record. Furthermore, with 8 games left in the regular season, Head Coach Ron Filion and General Manager Ray Delia resigned, Filion being replaced by assistant coach Brad Church.

One bright spot to the season was that the RoadRunners qualified for their first trip to the ECHL's Kelly Cup Playoffs. This was the first time since the 1995–1996 team lost in the conference quarter finals that the RoadRunners had made it to the Playoffs. However in the first round, the team was swept 4–0 against rivals Las Vegas Wranglers.

After the season ended, the RoadRunners decided to keep Church on, and also extend to him a managerial role as well. His duties include, but are not limited to: Contract preparation, immigration, and other administrative duties. Brad Church also decided on an assistant coach, that being Brian O’Leary. In the front office, Claude Lemieux chose not to hold the title of President. Claude has stated that he will continue to act as a consultant to the team.

The Phoenix Coyotes chose not to renew their affiliation agreement for the 2007–2008 season. The Coyotes chose instead to go with the other minor league hockey team in Arizona, the Arizona Sundogs. The RoadRunners signed a two-year affiliation agreement with the San Jose Sharks and its AHL affiliate, the Worcester Sharks on October 19, 2007.

The season started off well for the Roadrunners, with a sweep of their three game series against the Utah Grizzlies. The end of the month of October brought good news for the Roadrunners, as they learned that Daniel Sisca had won the CCM TACKS ECHL Player Of The Month Award.

In November, the team was only able to win 3 of their 13 scheduled games, taking the team lower into the standings. As the calendar turned to the month of December, the same losing ways continued, with the team going 4–7, although the team was finally able to muster a win against the Wranglers in their annual Midnight game. It was also announced on December 21st that both Peder Skinner and Brian Yandle were added to the All-Star Team.

From January through February, the RoadRunners were able to win an accumulative amount of 8 games, and included a stretch of 8 consecutive losses. Despite the low amount of wins, the team, as of March 1st, still was in the running to make the playoffs, coming in tied for 8th place.

In March, as the playoffs started coming into the picture for the RoadRunners, the team faced a tough schedule, with the remaining slate of teams averaging a .617 winning percentage.

The team for the month of march went 5–6, and by the end of the month, was still in contention for the playoffs despite the tough schedule.

In April, the RoadRunners fell short of making the playoffs, and finished with a record of 24 wins, 39 losses, 5 overtime losses, 4 shoot-out losses, and 57 points. The team finished in 5th place in West Division.

This season, the fourth and final in this team's history, started with the RoadRunners facing off against their rivals the Victoria Salmon Kings, with the three game series going 2 to 3 to the Runners. The following Tuesday the team got news that Kimbi Daniels would be named the In Glas Co ECHL Player of the week. This was also the first time in his 10 year ECHL career that he has been given this honor. October ended with the team going 3-2-1 giving the team 7 of a possible 12 points in October. The team also finished near the top of the West Division as well as the National Conference.

As November rolled along, the Runners' got great news, when they heard that former RoadRunner Cam Paddock made his NHL debut for the St. Louis Blues, scoring on his first attempted shot. The month ended with the team going 5-8-1, giving them 11 of a possible 28 points, bringing the team to fourth in their Division.

Into December the team rallied around the outstanding goaltending of Craig Kowalski and won two consecutive contests at home against the team's rival Las Vegas Wranglers. The two game performance by Kowalski earned him the ECHL Goalie of the Week award, becoming the first RoadRunners Goalie since Cody Rudkowsky in 2006 to win the award. The team also got word that they would see Mike Fornataro and Michael Wilson go to the ECHL All-Star Game in January. The team finished the month going 4-6-0 and gave the team 8 of a possible 20 points, and staying at fourth in their Division.

As the season rolled along into January, the RoadRunners saw two players go to the All-Star game, and then another weekly award got handed down. The team got word on January 27th that for the second consecutive month, Craig Kowalski was named the Goalie of the week. He was given the award for his outstanding play from the 19th through the 25th. the team finished January with a 5-6-0 record, winning 10 of a possible 22 points. As of March 31st the RoadRunners have 29 wins, 34 losses, 2 overtime losses, 3 shootout losses and 63 points.

The team has informed the ECHL that they will cease operations after the 2008-2009 season.

Rocky RoadRunner is the mascot of the RoadRunners. Rocky, who has been with the team for decades, is a mainstay from the early years in the desert. His service dates back all the way to 1967. The recent ECHL move brought a major change of the entire costume, most notably the skin, which has turned a bright yellow compared to a shade of brown in previous years. Furthermore, rather than continuing the more lifelike version of previous years, the ECHL's version chose to make a more cartoonish version of Rocky. The 2007–08 ECHL Season coincided with Rocky's 40th year of service, which is by far the oldest mascot in the history of any pro sports team in Arizona.

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ECHL logo

The ECHL (formerly the East Coast Hockey League) is a mid-level professional ice hockey league based in Princeton, New Jersey, with teams scattered across the United States and Canada, generally regarded as a tier below the American Hockey League. The ECHL's official website lists the league as "The Premier AA" league of hockey in North America, because most teams serve as feeder teams for American Hockey League teams. Hockey generally does not use letter-designations to define their league's levels, but the ECHL has tried for years to establish such a pecking order, with some success.

The ECHL, along with the AHL, are the only minor leagues recognized by the collective bargaining agreement between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, meaning that any player that is signed to an entry-level NHL contract and is designated for assignment, must report to a club either in the AHL or the ECHL.

The league, which combined teams from the defunct Atlantic Coast Hockey League and All-American Hockey League, began play as the East Coast Hockey League in 1988 with 5 teams, the Carolina Thunderbirds (now the Wheeling Nailers), the Erie Panthers (now the Victoria Salmon Kings), the Johnstown Chiefs, the Knoxville Cherokees (the franchise, as the Pee Dee Pride, is currently suspended, to resume play in Conway, South Carolina in 2009-10), and the Virginia Lancers (now the Utah Grizzlies).

Since that time, the ECHL has met with a mixture of failures and successes, reaching its largest size in 2003 of 31 teams before being reduced to 28 teams for the 2004 season. In September 2002, the West Coast Hockey League ceased operations, and the ECHL Board of Governors approved membership applications from the Anchorage (now Alaska) Aces, the Bakersfield Condors, the Fresno Falcons, the Idaho Steelheads, the Las Vegas Wranglers, the Long Beach Ice Dogs and the San Diego Gulls as well as from teams in Ontario, California and Reno, Nevada. Alaska, Bakersfield, Fresno, Idaho, Las Vegas, Long Beach and San Diego began play in the 2003-04 season as expansion teams.

The teams from the defunct lower-level WCHL, along with Las Vegas, joined as expansion teams for the ECHL’s 16th season in 2003-04. In a change reflective of the nationwide presence of the ECHL, the East Coast Hockey League changed its name to simply ECHL on May 19, 2003.

The league, because of geographical anomalies, continues to use unbalanced conferences and divisions, which has in the past made for some extremely varied playoff formats and limited interconference play. Due to travel costs, the league has attempted to placate owners in keeping those costs down, which has led to the sometimes-odd playoff structures. The league currently (as of 2008) consists of nine West Coast-based teams in the National Conference, and twelve eastern, midwestern and southern teams in the American Conference.

In the past four years, the ECHL has attempted to be more tech-friendly to its fans. Some improvements on the league's website have included a new schedule and statistics engine powered by League Stat, Inc. (introduced in 2006), internet radio coverage for most teams, and pay-per view broadcasting of ECHL games through B2 Networks. In 2008, the league introduced the ECHL toolbar for internet browsers which gave users short cut access to statistics, scores, transactions, and news updates.

One team is scheduled to relocate for the 2009-10 season and two which were previously under suspension should return with new home arenas for the 2010-11 season.

Teams that no longer play within the ECHL are listed below. Many of the former teams which had not moved are considered to have suspended operations and the franchises placed for sale, but in reality are and were simply financial failures, similar to defunct teams in all other minor league sports histories.

While the ECHL stated in recent years they would not grant voluntary suspensions of franchises for more than one year, both the Toledo Storm and Mississippi Sea Wolves have had two-year suspensions -- the Sea Wolves because of Hurricane Katrina and the Storm in order to demolish their present arena and construct a new arena on the site. The new owners of the Toledo franchise, the businessmen who own the area AAA-baseball team the Toledo Mud Hens, have stated they will choose a new name for the team. Toledo Arena Sports General Manager Joe Napoli and Toledo Arena Sports President Mike Miller unveiled the new name on February 20, 2008. The Mississippi Sea Wolves resumed play for the 2007-2008 season, while the Toledo Walleye will return to play for the 2009-2010 season.

On March 30, 2009, the Dayton Bombers and Mississippi Sea Wolves will suspend operations for the 2009-10 season, while the Phoenix Roadrunners announced that they will cease operations at the end of the 2008-09 season.

In celebration of the league's 20th year of play, the ECHL Board of Governors created the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2008, to recognize the achievements of players, coaches, and personnel who dedicated their careers to the league. Hall of Fame members are selected in four categories: Player, Developmental Player, Builder, and Referee/Linesman. Players must have concluded their career as an active player for a minimum of three playing seasons, though not continuous or full seasons. Development Players must have begun their career in the ECHL and went on to a distinguished career in the NHL, playing a minimum of 260 regular season games in the NHL, AHL and ECHL. Builders may be active or inactive whereas Referee/Linesman must have concluded their active officiating career for a minimum of three playing seasons.

No more than five candidates are elected to the Hall of Fame each year with no more than three Players, one Developmental Player, two Builders and one Referee/Linesman. The Builder and the Referee/Linesman categories are dependent upon the number of candidates in the Player category.

The nomination and subsequent selection of candidates is determined by the ECHL Hall of Fame Selection Committee which is appointed by the ECHL.

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Phoenix Roadrunners (IHL)

The Phoenix Roadrunners were a minor league professional ice hockey team in the International Hockey League. The team was housed at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The team played in the IHL from 1989 to 1997. The IHL Roadrunners were named for a World Hockey Association team of the same name. The IHL Roadrunners used a similar skating cartoon bird logo as the WHA team with different colors, without the outline of the state of Arizona.

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Phoenix Roadrunners (WHA)


The Phoenix Roadrunners were a team in the now defunct World Hockey Association from 1974 to 1977. They played at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona. The organization folded for financial reasons before the remaining teams in the WHA merged with the NHL in 1979.

The franchise originally competed in the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 1967 to 1974 before joining the WHA. They won the championship trophy, the Lester Patrick Cup, twice during their tenure in the WHL (1972-73 and 1973-74).

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Source : Wikipedia