Team History

 

 

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1995-Present Utah Grizzlies

In 1994, while Salt Lake was experiencing its first winter in several decades without hockey, the sport returned to Denver in an IHL expansion team known as the Denver Grizzlies. Those Grizzlies won fifty-seven regular season games en-route to a Turner Cup Championship in front of over 12-thousand a game at the McNichols Sports Arena. The Denver team would in the end, be the victim of their own success however, as shortly thereafter the NHL's Quebec Nordiques relocated to the Mile High City, thus leaving the Denver Grizzlies packing a moving van to Salt Lake.

Fresh off a Turner Cup Championship, during the 1995-96 season the Utah Grizzlies repeated as the best in the IHL. In 1997, the Grizzlies moved into the state of the art E-Center in West Valley City, which would host hockey in the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In 2001, Salt Lake would watch another hockey league evaporate into thin air when the IHL ceased operations. The Grizzlies then moved to the AHL where they conducted business for four seasons until the summer of 2005.

On June 14, 2005, the Grizzlies announced a move to the ECHL. Jason Christie was hired as the Head Coach after five winning seasons at the helm of the Peoria Rivermen. Moving to the ECHL brought back many regional rivalries such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Long Beach that were ignited during the Grizzlies' IHL days. In 2007-2008, the Grizzlies renewed ties with the New York Islanders and returned to the conference finals for the first time since 1996 as the E-Center hosted hockey beyond the second round for the first time ever. In 2008-2009, in Kevin Colley's first season as the Grizzlies Head Coach, he led Utah back to the playoffs for the third time in four years even as the team experienced stretches of playing with 12-13 players due to injuries and call-ups for weeks at a time. Also during the 2008-2009 campaign, four former Grizzlies in Andrew MacDonald and Trevor Smith from the 2007-2008 season made their NHL debuts with the Islanders while Joel Rechlicz and Peter Mannino, who played for Utah just this past season also made their NHL debuts. 15 former Grizzlies were on NHL rosters at the start of the 2010-2011 season. Utah advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the second-straight year capping off their best four-year stretch of the decade in 2010-2011 in the team's second season with the Calgary Flames. In June 2010, the E-Center was renamed Maverik Center as West Valley City, the building and Maverik entered into a longterm partnership. Nathan Lawson and Mikko Koskinen made their NHL debuts with the New York Islanders in 2010-2011. Victor Bartley (Utah, 2009-2010) made his NHL debut with Nashville on March 9, 2013 as 13 former Grizzlies were on NHL rosters at the start of the 2012-2013 season. From December 28, 2012-January 5, 2013; Utah native and Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis totaled three goals and six assists for 9 points and scored in all six games he played with Utah during the NHL lockout. The tenure with Utah came less than six months after Lewis brought the Stanley Cup home to the fans at Maverik Center on August 30, 2012. Tim Branham was named the Grizzlies Head Coach/General Manager in July of 2014 and led the team to the third best record in the Western Conference in 2013-2014 at 38-24-3-6 in his first season behind the bench. During the season, the team tied the record for fewest home losses in a season at 6 and set an all-time team unbeaten streak at home in 11-straight games from December 28, 2013-January 29, 2014. Aaron Dell was named Goaltender of the Month in January and Igor Bobkov in February and March, marking the first time in league history that a team has had the Goaltender of the Month in three-straight months

Over the last 19 years, the Grizzlies have been at .500 or better 15 times and made the playoffs in 14 seasons. Over 200 Grizzlies have gone on to play in the NHL.

 

Year Coach League Affiliation
95-96 Butch Goring IHL New York Islanders
96-97 Butch Goring IHL New York Islanders
97-98 Butch Goring IHL Islanders / Los Angeles Kings
98-99 Butch Goring IHL Independent
99-00 Bob Bourne IHL Independent
00-01 Bob Bourne IHL Dallas Stars
01-02 Don Hay AHL Dallas Stars
02-03 Don Hay AHL Dallas Stars / Montreal Canadians
03-04 Don Hay AHL Dallas Stars / Tampa Bay Lightning
04-05 Pat Conacher AHL Phoenix Coyotes
05-06 Jason Christie ECHL Independent
06-07 Jason Christie ECHL Independent
07-08 Jason Christie ECHL New York Islanders
08-09 Kevin Colley ECHL New York Islanders
09-10 Kevin Colley ECHL New York Islanders/Calgary Flames
10-11 Kevin Colley ECHL Calgary Flames
11-12 Kevin Colley ECHL Calgary Flames

12-13

13-14

Kevin Colley

Tim Branham

ECHL

ECHL

Calgary Flames

Anaheim Ducks