Know our foes: East Division (part 1 of 6)

As the Indy Fuel get ready for their second season, it’s time to reacquaint ourselves with our potential foes in the ECHL. While the Fuel will not play everyone in the league, we’ll meet each team in the circuit. The ECHL stays at 28 teams, but goes back to a six-division format after having four divisions last season. Three are in new markets – Manchester, Adirondack and Norfolk (formerly Ontario, Stockton and Bakersfield, respectively) – and all are in the East Division of the Eastern Conference. The “Know our Foes” series will look at the ECHL, division by division, starting with the east. This feature will run periodically over the next few weeks. Next up: the South Division.

East Division
Adirondack Thunder
ECHL member since:
2015-16 in Glens Falls (1990-92 as Cincinnati Cyclones, 1992-2001 as Birmingham Bulls, 2001-05 as Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies, 2005-15 as Stockton Thunder)
Head coach: Cail MacLean (1st season)
Last year: 21-49-2, 7th/7 Pacific Division as Stockton Thunder
NHL/AHL affiliate:
Calgary Flames/Stockton Heat
Arena:
Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY (cap. 4,794)
Website: 
echlthunder.com
Fuel vs. Thunder 2014-15: no games
2015-16 vs. Fuel: 
no scheduled games
Of note: One of the three teams to swap cities with AHL squads, the Thunder bring the ECHL to a new city in upstate New York. Glens Falls has had numerous hockey teams in the AHL and UHL, but this will be the first in the ECHL. Former Indianapolis Ice player and ECHL Coach of the Year Cail MacLean takes over behind the bench. The Flames are on their third affiliate in three years, having been in Colorado last year and Alaska the year before that.   

Elmira Jackals
ECHL member since:
2000-01
Head coach: Jamie Russell (2nd season)
Last year: 32-33-7, 6th/7 East Division
NHL/AHL affiliate: Buffalo Sabres/Rochester Americans
Arena:
First Arena, Elmira, NY (capacity 3,784)
Website: www.jackalshockey.com
Fuel vs. Jackals 2014-15: Indy was 3-0-1 against Elmira
2015-16 vs. Fuel: 
no scheduled games
Of note:
Elmira was one of the league’s toughest teams last year, and added more with the signing of a familiar face – former Fuel forward Garrett Klotz. The Jackals also will return captain Matt Tassone and one of their top scorers, Taylor Stefishen, to upstate New York as they look to advance after a solid season last year.

Manchester Monarchs
ECHL member since:
2015-16 in Manchester (1993-2000 as Huntington Blizzard, 2003-08 as Texas Wildcatters, 2008-15 as Ontario Reign)
Head coach: Richard Seeley (1st year)
Last year: 
43-19-10, 2nd/7 Pacific Division (as Ontario Reign), Western Conference finalist
NHL/AHL affiliate:
Los Angeles Kings/Ontario Reign
Arena:
Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH (capacity 9,852)
Website: www.manchestermonarchs.com
Fuel vs. Monarchs 2014-15:
no games
2015-16 vs. Fuel:
no scheduled games
Of note: The Monarchs give the ECHL two franchises that won championships last year – Manchester hoisted the AHL’s Calder Cup last year. A former captain of the AHL squad, Seeley, takes over as coach. Manchester will have a familiar face on the roster in former Indiana Ice defenseman R.J. Boyd. As the Ontario Reign last season, the team won two playoff rounds before succumbing to eventual Kelly Cup champion Allen Americans in the Western Conference Final.

Norfolk Admirals
ECHL member since:
2015-16 (1995-98 as Bakersfield Fog, 1998-2015 as Bakersfield Condors)
Head coach: Eric Veilleux (1st season)
Last year: 26-38-8, 6th/7 Pacific Division (as Bakersfield Condors)
NHL/AHL affiliate: Edmonton Oilers/Bakersfield Condors
Arena:
Norfolk (Va.) Scope (capacity 8,701)
Website:
www.norfolkadmirals.com
Fuel vs. Admirals 2014-15: 
no games vs. Bakersfield
2015-16 vs. Fuel: 
no scheduled games
Of note: The ECHL returns to Norfolk – the Hampton Roads Admirals were a successful team from 1989 through 2000, when the Admirals went to the AHL. The original Admirals won three ECHL titles. With the AHL franchise swapping cities with Bakersfield, the league is back. Eric Veilleux takes over as head coach after spending last season as an assistant.

Reading Royals
ECHL member since:
2001-02 (1991-99 as Columbus Chill)
Head coach: Larry Courville (7th season)
Last year: 45-21-6, 3rd/7 East Division
NHL/AHL affiliate:
Philadelphia Flyers/Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Arena:
Santander Arena, Reading, Pa. (capacity 7,160)
Website: www.royalshockey.com
Fuel vs. Royals 2014-15:
Indy was 1-6-1 against Reading, with nearly every game being decided by a goal. 
2015-16 vs. Fuel:
no scheduled games
Of note: The Fuel and Royals were frequent foes last season, but won’t play a regular season game against each other this year. Reading has been a model franchise, winning four Kelly Cups since 2005. They were third in a loaded division last year, losing to eventual Eastern Conference champ South Carolina in a tight first-round series. Former Fuel players Robert Czarnik and Jonathan Parker are on the roster. Cam Reid, one of the team’s leaders from a year ago, is also back.

7 Responses

  1. Mark Burke says:

    Nice work, Andrew! One thing (small correction) … you have the Norfolk Admirals website listed under Reading (in addition to being listed under Norfolk). Love this site!

    (Andrew’s note: Thanks for the heads-up and the kind words. It’s been fixed)

  2. G. S. Thomas says:

    Enjoyed the write up. A little miss leading with the ‘ECHL Member Since’ section as a lot of these franchises have been apart of other leagues before coming to the ECHL.

    Shame we do not play Reading this year. I grew up there and saw two Fuel-Reading games at Santander.

    • Andrew Smith says:

      I’ve tried to make some note of that in the comments – and that will especially be noted with the franchises that moved directly from other “AA” leagues into the ECHL.

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