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The Springfield Falcons are an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL). They play in Springfield, Massachusettsmarker, at the MassMutual Centermarker and are the top affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Their mascot is a falcon named Screech.

History

In 1994, the longtime AHL Springfield Indians team was sold to interests that moved the franchise to Worcester, Massachusettsmarker, to become the Worcester IceCats (now the Peoria Rivermen). Ex-Indian players Bruce Landon, then the general manager of the Indians, and Wayne LaChance, a local rink owner, secured an expansion franchise for Springfield for the 1995 season. The Indians name was still under trademark, so the new owners named the team after Andy and Amelia, a pair of nesting peregrine falcons that was a popular local civic symbol. The Falcons secured affiliation with both the Hartford Whalers and the Winnipeg Jets of the NHL, keeping continuity with the Whalers' affiliation of the previous few years. Veteran defenseman John Stevens (who shared the co-captaincy that first year with Rob Murray and the last captain of the Indians) scored the franchise's first goal.

Tavis Hansen and Daniel Briere score against Saint John


Among the Falcons' notable players have included Jean-Guy Trudel, the franchise's leading career goal and point scorer; Daniel Briere; Karri Ramo, the former Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender, Manny Legace, the franchise's all-time leading goaltender and former St. Louis Blues starter; Nikolai Khabibulin, the Edmonton Oilers' star goaltender; and Rob Murray, the franchise's long-time captain and inspirational leader, and current head coach of the Providence Bruins. During the 2004 season, Springfield fans voted on the Web for the team's 10th Anniversary Team, and selected Briere at center, Trudel at left wing, Tavis Hansen at right wing, Brad Tiley and Dan Focht on defense, and Legace in goal.

Original Falcons logo used from 1995-2003


Individual honors won by Falcons players have included the Baz Bastien Award given to the league's best goaltender (to Legace in 1996 and Scott Langkow in 1998), Briere winning the Red Garrett Award emblematic of rookie of the year and a nod as First Team All-Star center in 1998, Tiley winning the Eddie Shore Award for the league's outstanding defenceman in 2000, and Trudel winning a Second Team All-Star award in 2000.

The team has finished in first place in its division twice and made the playoffs six times in its fifteen seasons, although only once in the last nine years. After the Whalers relocated to become the Carolina Hurricanes, the Falcons were subsequently affiliated exclusively with the Jets, and with their relocated successors, the Phoenix Coyotes. The team was affiliated with the Tampa Bay Lightning between 2005 and 2007.

On March 19, 2007, the team announced that given its ninth straight losing season, it was exercising its option to sever relations with the Tampa Bay Lightning to become an affiliate to the Edmonton Oilers, starting in the 2007–08 AHL season, through the 2009-10 AHL season. The Tampa Bay Lightning became affiliated with the Norfolk Admirals.

On August 3, 2007, the team hired former Edmonton Oilers player Kelly Buchberger to be the head coach. After posting a .500 record, the Oilers promoted Buchberger to be an assistant coach on the Oilers staff. On June 17, 2008, assistant coach Jeff Truitt was named the team's tenth head coach. He was fired in February 2009, after 50 games, and replaced by former Houston Aeros coach Rob Daum. The Falcons finished the 2008-09 season with the worst record in the AHL.

On June 23, 2009, Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini announced that Rob Daum would remain the head coach of the Springfield Falcons through the 2009-10 American Hockey League season. Since the contract the Oilers have with the Falcons runs out at the end of the season, it is unknown who the Falcons will be affiliated with for the 2010-11 AHL season.

This market was previously home to:

Season-by-season results

  • Springfield Falcons 1994-Present


Regular Season

Season Games Won Lost Tied OTL SOL Points Goals

for
Goals

against
Standing
1994–95 80 31 37 12 74 269 289 5th, North
1995–96 80 42 22 11 5 100 272 215 1st, North
1996–97 80 41 25 12 2 96 268 229 2nd, New England
1997–98 80 45 26 7 2 99 278 248 1st, New Englnd
1998–99 80 35 35 9 1 80 245 232 3rd, New England
1999–00 80 33 35 11 1 78 272 252 4th, New England
2000–01 80 29 37 8 6 72 253 280 6th, New England
2001–02 80 35 41 2 2 74 213 237 5th, North
2002–03 80 34 38 7 1 76 202 243 4th, East
2003–04 80 26 43 9 2 63 179 234 7th, Atlantic
2004–05 80 24 47 3 6 57 161 255 7th, Atlantic
2005–06 80 28 43 3 6 65 220 312 6th, Atlantic
2006–07 80 28 49 1 2 59 181 268 7th, Atlantic
2007–08 80 35 35 5 5 80 214 257 5th, Atlantic
2008–09 80 24 44 8 4 60 188 258 7th, Atlantic


Playoffs

Season Prelim 1st round 2nd round 3rd round Finals
1994–95 Out of Playoffs
1995–96 W, 3–1, PROV L, 2–4, PORT
1996–97 W, 3–2, PORT W, 4–1, PROV L, 3–4, HER
1997–98 L, 1–3, WOR
1998–99 L, 0–3, HART
1999–00 L, 2–3, HART
2000–01 Out of Playoffs
2001–02 Out of Playoffs
2002–03 W, 2–0, HART L, 1–3, HAM
2003–04 Out of Playoffs
2004–05 Out of Playoffs
2005–06 Out of Playoffs
2006–07 Out of Playoffs
2007–08 Out of Playoffs
2008–09 Out of Playoffs


Team records

Single Season

Goals: 39 - John LeBlanc (1994–95)
Assists: 65 - Jean-Guy Trudel (2000–01)
Points: 99 - Jean-Guy Trudel (2000–01)
Penalty Minutes: 373 - Rob Murray (1994–95)
Appearances by a Goalie: 62 - Devan Dubnyk (2008-09)
GAA: 2.27 - Manny Legace (1995–96)
SV%: .922 - Jean-Marc Pelletier (2003–04)


Career

Career Goals: - 90 Jean-Guy Trudel
Career Assists: - 157 Rob Murray
Career Points: - 242 Jean-Guy Trudel
Career Penalty Minutes: - 1529 Rob Murray
Career Goaltending Wins: 63 - Scott Langkow
Career Shutouts: 8 - Manny Legace
Career Games: 501 - Rob Murray


Notable players

Retired numbers



Note: Former AHL President Jack Butterfield and Vice-President Gordie Anziano, longtime Springfield residents, have been honored with banners raised with the retired numbers.

Notable NHL alumni

List of Springfield Falcons alumni that played more than 100 games in Springfield, and also played 100 or more games in the National Hockey League.




External links




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