While the Checkers’ three-year history in the IHL (1984-87) didn’t produce a playoff series victory, they did have some memorable performances. Here is the All-Time Team, with a first team listed for the three years of the franchise’s history.
Ron Handy: He had played for the Checkers in the CHL, and would later come back to play a season for the IHL’s Ice, but Handy came to Indy as a free agent in 1986 determined to set the world on fire. He did, with a memorable season. In 82 games in 1986-87, Handy had 55 goals and 80 assists, a 135-point season that remains the highest-scoring year in Indianapolis hockey history.
Bob Lakso: Nobody scored more IHL goals a Checker than Lakso, who scored 26, 41 and 39 goals in the three Checkers seasons. He had 106 goals and 122 assists in 213 games with the team. Only one other player, Marc Magnan, played more games. Lakso returned to the city after the “hiatus” year in 1988 and scored 38 goals for the first IHL Ice team. Lakso’s best year with the Checkers came in 1986-87, when he had 39 goals and 55 assists. He also had a strong playoff career, with nine goals and six assists in 17 games with the Checkers. Lakso scored at least 25 goals in all but one of his nine full professional seasons.
Charlie Skjodt: Another former CHL Checker, Charlie came back to the Checkers in 1984 and was a point-a-game scorer. In 151 games from 1984-86, he had 61 goals and 99 assists. He had a 33-34-67 line in 1984-85, and followed with 28-65-93 in 1985-86. The following year, he served as an assistant coach to Ron Ullyot.
Mike Nepi: Nepi led all Checkers defensemen in games played (149), assists (45) and points (59). He had nine goals and 24 assists in the 1985-86 season, his first with the team. Nepi was also a difficult player to play against, taking 306 minutes in penalties.
Pat Ribble: He played 76 games for the Checkers over two seasons, with 16 goals and 35 assists. The former number is tops among IHL Checkers defensemen. Ribble was a veteran of 349 NHL games when he came to the Checkers near the end of a 13-year pro career. He joined the team from Salt Lake midway through the 1984-85 season, and played the following year with the team. He had 24 points in 24 games in 1984-85, and had a 6-21-27 line in 52 games the following year.
Mike Zanier: The primary goaltender in the 1985-86 season, Zanier also played the following year. His 61 games are most in the team’s three-year history. He was 21-10-0 with a 3.32 GAA in 1985-86 over 47 games. He also played 14 games teaming up with Jon Casey in 1986-87. In total, he was 27-18-0 with a 3.58 GAA as a Checker.
Ron Ullyot: There were only four coaches in Checkers history, and three came the first year – Darcy Regier, Moe Bartoli and Fred Creighton. Ullyot came to the team in 1985 and coached the team in its final two seasons. The son of a legendary IHL coach, Ullyot led the team to its only winning season in 1985-86 (41-35-1-5) and posted a 78-73-1-12 record over his two seasons with the team.
Forwards: George Servinis, Byron Lomow, Marc Magnan, Todd Bjorkstrand, Gerry Minor
Defensemen: Peter Laviolette, Todd Carlile, Tim Lockridge, Phil DeGaetano
Goaltenders: Rob Holland, Jon Casey