Happy birthday to …
Yvon Vautour: Checkers forward in their inaugural season of 1979-80. He had 27 goals and 28 assists in 59 games for the Checkers, as well as 140 penalty minutes. The Islanders’ sixth-round pick in 1976, Vautour earned a 17-game callup to the parent Islanders that season. He also had seven points in seven playoff games for the Checkers. He was dealt to the Colorado Rockies in the 1980 offseason and proceeded to play parts of four seasons with the Rockies/New Jersey Devils franchise, and part of another with the Quebec Nordiques, before retiring in 1985 after a nine-year pro career. He had 26 goals and 33 assists in 204 NHL games. Vautour captained every minor pro team he played with. He has been a coach for teams in New Brunswick, and is a member of the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame. A native of Saint John, NB, he is 61.
Rob Holland: The perennial Checkers goaltender. The Canadiens’ fourth-round pick in 1977, Holland joined the Checkers after playing 44 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1979-80. He was dealt to the Islanders organization — and therefore, the Checkers — midway through the 1980-81 season and began a six-year relationship with the team. Holland suited up for 217 games in a Checkers uniform — tying Jim Waite for the most appearances by a goaltender on an Indianapolis team. He won 112 games and had nine shutouts during his tenure with the Checkers, both second to Waite on the Indianapolis career list. He and Kelly Hrudey shared the CHL’s Terry Sawchuk Trophy for fewest goals allowed in both 1982 and 1983, and the duo backstopped the team to Adams Cup titles each year. Holland, who broke into pro hockey in 1977 with the Canadiens’ AHL team, played for the Checkers through their first two seasons in the IHL. In 1986, he went to the Milwaukee Admirals to play his final pro season. A native of Montreal, he is 60.
Rob Palmer: Checkers defenseman in 1980-81. He played 27 games with the team, with a goal and nine assists. He also scored a goal in five postseason games. He came to the Checkers after playing four years with the Los Angeles Kings, including a 40-point season in 1979-80. He made it back to the NHL with the Kings in 1981-82, and played the next two seasons with the Devils, before retiring in 1986. He had nine goals and 101 assists in 320 NHL games. A former University of Michigan standout, he is currently located in Detroit. A native of Sarnia, Ont., he is 61.
Jim File: Defenseman who played nine games with the Checkers in 1984-85. He had two goals and six assists in his only pro action, joining the team after an outstanding four-year career at Ferris State University, where he averaged more than a point a game. He is a member of Ferris State’s Hall of Fame. A native of Toronto, he is 56.
Mike Pomichter: The Blackhawks’ second-round pick in 1991, he joined the Ice as a rookie in 1994 and played 80 games for the team — 76 in the 1994-95 seaosn, four the following year. He had 13 goals and nine assists. He went from the Ice to play in the AHL, ECHL and UHL through 2002, including a 37-goal season for ECHL Jacksonville in 1996-97 and a 31-goal year for UHL New Haven in 2000-01. HE came out of retirement to play five games in the Federal Hockey League from 2011-13. The former Boston University Terrier is back in his home state as a firefighter. A native of New Haven, Conn., he is 44.
Troy Terry: Forward who played one game for the Ice in 2013-14. A highly-regarded prospect, Terry was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks. He played the 2014-15 season for the USNTDP squad, and has 67 points in two seasons for the University of Denver. He had 22 goals and 45 points in 35 games in 2016-17, leading the Pioneers to the NCAA championship. A native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., he is 20.