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The Seattle Thunderbirds are a junior ice hockey team based in the Seattlemarker suburb of Kentmarker, Washingtonmarker. They are part of the U.S. Division of the Western Hockey League, and play in the ShoWare Centermarker. Several National Hockey League players started with the Thunderbirds, most notably Petr Nedved, Chris Osgood, and Patrick Marleau.

The team is coached by Rob Sumner and the general manager is Russ Farwell. Farwell is well known for acquiring Eric Lindros from the Quebec Nordiques during his tenure as the GM for the Philadelphia Flyers.

History

Canadian founding

The team was founded in 1971 as the Vancouver Nats of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) but moved to Kamloopsmarker, British Columbiamarker to become the Kamloops Chiefs in 1973.

Seattle Breakers

In 1977 the team moved to Seattle and was renamed the Seattle Breakers. The Breakers played in the Seattle Center Ice Arena, known to most local fans as the Mercer Street Arena, which had a seating capacity of 4,139. Through eight seasons, the Breakers finished with a record of 225-319-32 and playoff record of 11-21, although they twice played in the West Division Finals. [69166]

The Modern Era

After the 1984-1985 season, the Breakers were sold to new owners and renamed the Seattle Thunderbirds.

The 1986-1987 season saw the addition of Glen Goodall, who would remain with the team through 1990. Goodall would go on to set the Western Hockey League career records for most games (399), goals (262), assists (311) and points (573). He is still the leader in games played and goals.[69167] His jersey, number 10, is the only one to be retired by the Thunderbirds.

The 1989-1990 season was the best regular season in Thunderbird history, and arguably the greatest team the franchise has ever iced. Seattle finished the season at 52-17-3, which included a 43-9 record in their final 52 games and the #1 ranking in the final Canadian Hockey League Regular Season Top Ten poll. The team finished 33-2-1 at home tying a WHL record for most home wins. Goodall won the Most Valuable Player award finishing with 76 goals and 87 assists for 163 points, and Petr Nedved won Rookie of the Year. Seattle placed 3 scorers in the top 6 in the league Glen Goodall 2nd with 163 points, Victor Gervais 3rd with 160 points and Petr Nedved 6th with 145 points. Peter Kasowski came over in a trade from Swift Current and finished 13th with 129 points. Goaltender Danny Lorenz finished his career with a WHL record most career saves and minutes played. The team was so popular that they began to play home games in the Seattle Center Coliseum, which could seat over 12,000 for hockey and was frequently sold out. The Thunderbirds defeated the Tri-City Americans 5 games to 2 in the division semifinals, before losing to the eventual Western Hockey League Champion Kamloops Blazers 5 games to 1 in the division finals.

In 1992 the Thunderbirds hosted the Canadian Hockey League championship, the Memorial Cup, but lost in the semi-finals.

The 1996-1997 team, led by Patrick Marleau, finished the season with a record of 41-27-4. They won the Western Conference by beating the Prince George Cougars 4 games to 2. Seattle was beaten by Lethbridgemarker 4 games to 0 in the WHL championship series.

The 2002-2003 season saw the team advance to the conference finals on the back of Brooks Laich, who was named the Western Conference MVP with 41 goals and 94 points. After convincing wins in the early rounds of the playoffs, the Thunderbirds lost to the Kelowna Rockets four games to one. [69168]

Stadiums

The Thunderbirds originally played in the Mercer Street Arena before moving to the Seattle Center Coliseum (later renamed the Key Arenamarker). Unfortunately, the Key Arena was ill-suited for hockey, as the sight lines were designed for basketball and the ice surface was so far off center that the scoreboard hung over the Thunderbirds' offensive zone instead of center ice. In 2009, the team moved from the Key Arena in Seattle to the newly built Showare Centermarker, 30 miles south in Kent, Washingtonmarker, where they became the anchor tenant. [69169]

Logo

The team's logo depicts a Native American carving of a thunderbird with the word "Seattle" etched into it, framed by two hockey sticks. [69170].

Season-by-season record

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties OTL = Overtime losses Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
1977–78 72 32 28 12 359 316 76 4th West Out of playoffs
1978–79 72 21 40 11 299 334 53 4th West Out of playoffs
1979–80 72 29 41 2 297 364 60 3rd West Lost West Division final
1980–81 72 26 46 0 318 393 52 3rd West Lost West Division semi-final
1981–82 72 36 34 2 339 310 74 3rd West Lost West Division final
1982–83 72 24 47 1 319 418 49 4th West Lost West Division semi-final
1983–84 72 32 39 1 350 379 65 4th West Lost West Division semi-final
1984–85 72 25 44 3 320 416 53 5th West Out of playoffs
1985–86 72 27 43 2 373 413 56 4th West Lost West Division semi-final
1986–87 72 21 47 4 328 430 46 5th West Out of playoffs
1987–88 72 25 46 2 313 436 52 5th West Out of playoffs
1988–89 72 33 35 4 315 276 70 5th West Out of playoffs
1989–90 72 52 17 3 444 295 107 2nd West Lost West Division final
1990–91 72 42 26 4 319 317 88 3rd West Lost West Division semi-final
1991–92 72 33 34 5 292 285 71 4th West Lost West Division final
1992–93 72 31 38 3 234 292 65 4th West Lost West Division quarter-final
1993–94 72 32 37 3 283 312 67 4th West Lost West Division semi-final
1994–95 72 42 28 2 319 282 83 3rd West Eliminated in round-robin
1995–96 72 29 36 7 255 281 65 5th West Lost West Division quarter-final
1996–97 72 41 27 4 311 249 86 2nd West Lost final
1997–98 72 31 35 6 286 278 68 6th West Lost West Division quarter-final
1998–99 72 37 24 11 279 236 85 3rd West Lost West Division semi-final
1999–00 72 34 30 8 3 250 221 80 3rd West Lost West Division semi-final
2000–01 72 30 33 8 1 262 299 69 6th West Lost West Division semi-final
2001–02 72 21 40 6 5 235 313 53 4th U. S. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2002–03 72 44 22 3 3 280 224 94 1st U. S. Lost Western Conference final
2003–04 72 24 31 8 9 192 198 65 5th U. S. Out of playoffs
2004–05 72 43 24 2 3 204 144 91 1st U. S. Lost Western Conference semi-final
Season GP W L OTL SOL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
2005–06 72 35 31 1 5 186 211 76 2nd U. S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2006–07 72 37 21 3 11 209 186 88 3rd U. S. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2007–08 72 42 23 5 2 241 179 91 3rd U. S. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2008–09 72 35 32 1 4 222 234 75 3rd U. S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final


Team records

Team records for a single season
Statistic Total Season
Most points 107 1989–90
Most wins 52 1989–90
Most goals for 444 1989–90
Least goals for 186 2005–06
Least goals against 144 2004–05
Most goals against 436 1987–88


Individual player records for a single season
Statistic Player Total Season
Most goals Glen Goodall 76 1989–90
Most assists Victor Gervais 96 1989–90
Most points Glen Goodall 163 1989–90
Most points (rookie) Petr Nedved 145 1989–90
Most points (defenseman) Craig Channell 88 1981–82
Most penalty minutes Mitch Wilson 436 1981–82
Most shutouts (goalie) Bryan Bridges 13 2004–05
Best GAA (goalie) Bryan Bridges 1.79 2004–05
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played


Career records

  • Most goals, individual: 262 – Glen Goodall, 1984–90
  • Most assists, individual: 311 – Glen Goodall, 1984–90
  • Most points, individual: 573 – Glen Goodall, 1984–90
  • Most penalty minutes, individual: 929 – Phil Stanger, 1980–83
  • Best goals against average, goaltender: 2.28 – Bryan Bridges, 2003–06
  • Most shutouts, goaltender: 20 – Bryan Bridges, 2003–06
  • Most saves, goaltender: 6958 – Danny Lorenz, 1986–89
  • Most games played, Goaltender: 224 – Danny Lorenz, 1986–89


NHL alumni

Totals include both the Seattle Thunderbirds and Seattle Breakers.


See also



External links




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