September 3 in Indianapolis hockey history

September 3 in Indianapolis hockey history

1999: The CHL’s Indianapolis Ice sign their first player, defenseman Mike “Bullet” Berger. He would captain the team’s championship season and retire to Indianapolis. Known for his 100+-mph slapshot, Berger finished his career where he began it – he played his first professional games with the Checkers in 1987.

Happy birthday to … 

Marc Boileau: Chiefs center from 1956-58. He was a high-scoring member of the team’s most productive line, the “B” line with Bob Bowness and Pierre Brillant. In 123 games with the Chiefs, he had 51 goals and 93 assists. He also had 10 goals and eight assists in 19 playoff games — including eight goals in the team’s Turner Cup championship run in 1958. Marc also won the Turner Cup with the Cincinnati Mohawks in 1954. He went from the Chiefs to have a long minor pro career, primarily in the Western Hockey League. He played 54 games with the Red Wings in 1952-53, tallying 11 points. He became the Fort Wayne Komets’ player-coach in 1971, and coached them to the Turner Cup title in 1973. He coached parts of three seasons in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins, goingn 66-61-24, and then took over the Quebec Nordiques in 1976. He coached the Nordiques for two seasons, went 87-68-6, and won the WHA title in 1977. A native of Pte. Claire, Quebec, he was born in 1932. He passed away in 2000 at age 68. 

Rob Conn: Ice winger for parts of five seasons from 1991 to early in the 1994-95 season, and again in 1996-97. A popular two-way player who could score but was also a strong checker, Conn played 280 games for the Ice, with 77 goals and 77 assists. He was traded from the Blackhawks to the Devils, and later the Sabres’ organizations, before returning to the Ice in 1996-97 for a 25-goal, 57-point season to help lead the Ice to a division title. While away, he won the Calder Cup in the AHL with both Albany and Rochester. Conn also played 30 NHL games — 28 with Buffalo — tallying seven points. A native of Calgary, he is 49. 

Fred Knipscheer: Ice center in 1996-97. He had 10 goals and nine assists in 41 games with the Ice, helping lead them to a division title. He also had two assists in four playoff games that year. A big scorer at St. Cloud State in college, he signed with the Boston Bruins in 1993 and made an impact — with back-to-back 20-goal seasons in the AHL and a callup to the big club. He had three goals in 11 NHL games as a rookie, then had two playoff goals to lead the Bruins to the second round in 1994. He was dealt to the Blues in 1995, and later came to the Ice a year later. Knipscheer played minor pro hockey, primarily in the IHL, through 2000. He is one of a handful of Indiana natives to play in Indianapolis. He has remained in the area and been active as a coach. He was an assistant with the Indiana Ice in their inaugural USHL season in 2004-05. A native of Fort Wayne, he is 48. 

Dale DeGray: A hockey veteran when he came to the Ice in 1998-99. He played 27 games for the team as a defenseman, with three goals and 11 assists. The Calgary Flames’ eighth-round pick in 1981, DeGray broke in professionally in 1983, and played against the Indianapolis Checkers in the 1984 CHL Playoffs. He played 153 NHL games with Calgary, Toronto, Los Angeles and Buffalo between 1985-90, with 18 goals and 47 assists. He also split time between the NHL and AHL, and played his last seven seasons with several IHL teams — San Diego, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Manitoba, Quebec and the Ice. After retiring as a player, he spent two seasons as the coach of the uHL Rockford IceHogs, was a scout with the Florida Panthers, and is currently the GM of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack. He was the OHL’s Executive of the Year in 2011. A native of Oshawa, Ont., he is 54.