The Atlanta Knights were a minor league professional ice hockey team in the International Hockey League from 1992 to 1996. The Knights were based in Atlanta, Georgia, and played at the Omni Coliseum. The team became the Quebec Rafales from 1996 to 1998.
The Atlanta Knights were an IHL expansion team in 1992 as the top farm team of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning. They won the Turner Cup in the 1993–94 season. The Knights featured the first professional African-American head coach in John Paris Jr.. The Knights were also one of the first professional teams to play a female goalie, Manon Rheaume, in a regular-season game.
Record in Atlanta
|1992-93||82||52||23||7||111||1st, Atlantic||Lost Semi-Finals|
|1993-94||81||45||22||14||104||1st, Midwest||Won Turner Cup|
|1994-95||81||39||37||5||83||3rd, Central||Lost in Round One|
|1995-96||82||32||41||9||73||4th, Central||Lost in Round One|
For the 1996–97 season, the Knights relocated due to the impending arrival of a National Hockey League team in Atlanta (Atlanta Thrashers), and the loss of The Omni as an arena. During their years in Atlanta, Rick Morgan was their full-time national anthem singer and encouraged the crowd to shout "KNIGHTS!" during the line, "Gave proof through the "KNIGHTS" that our flag was still there." It is still customary to hear an emphasized, shouted "KNIGHTS!" during the national anthem at Thrashers games at Philips Arena by spectators in honor of the team.
The Knights became the Quebec Rafales (French for "gust of wind"), after relocating to Quebec City, Quebec, and took residence at the Colisée de Québec. The team drew well in 1996–97 one year after the NHL Quebec Nordiques departed Quebec City for Denver, Colorado. The next year, after trading some of their best players, such as goaltender Stephane Beauregard, the team didn't reach the playoffs. The owners did not realize the expected profit and folded the team after only two seasons in Quebec.
Record in Quebec
|1996-97||82||41||30||11||93||4th, Northern||Lost Quarter-Finals|
|1997-98||82||27||48||7||61||4th, Northern||Out of Playoffs|
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