|League:||American Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||Quicken Loans Arena|
|Colors:||Wine, black, white, blue, yellow|
|General Manager:||Bill Zito|
|Head Coach:||John Madden|
|Media:||ESPN 850 WKNR|
ESPN 1540 KNR2
WUAB My 43
|Affiliates:||Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL)|
Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL)
|1994 -- 1995:||Denver Grizzlies|
|1995 -- 2005:||Utah Grizzlies|
|2007 -- 2016:||Lake Erie Monsters|
|2016 -- present:||Cleveland Monsters|
|Conference Championships:||1 (2015-16)|
|Calder Cups:||1 (2015-16|
The Cleveland Monsters are an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They began play in the 2007–08 AHL season at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The team is the minor league affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL.
The Lake Erie Monsters began in 2006 when the dormant Utah Grizzlies AHL franchise was purchased by a Cleveland ownership group led by Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team and Quicken Loans on May 16, 2006, after a new AHL team was awarded to Cleveland following the Cleveland Barons moving to Worcester following the 2005–06 season. With the Quicken Loans Arena established as the team's home venue, the Colorado Avalanche were announced as the franchise's first NHL parent club with a five-year agreement on December 17, 2006.
On January 25, 2007, the franchise was officially announced as the Lake Erie Monsters, referring to Bessie, a creature of local folklore. The name was chosen from researching focus groups around the Cleveland area and the logo incorporated the Geographical connection in the Region with Lake Erie. The Monsters do not recognize any past links to the Grizzlies and promote themselves as having began in 2007.
Former NHL player Joe Sacco was named as the Lake Erie Monsters first head coach. The Monsters opened their inaugural 2007–08 campaign at home against the Grand Rapids Griffins on October 6, 2007, with Craig Billington acting as the Monsters General Manager.
At the end of the 2010–11 season the Monsters made it into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. After gaining a 3-1 game lead over the Manitoba Moose they lost in game 7 4-1 and lost the round four games to three.
On April 17, 2015, it was announced that the Monsters had signed a multi-year agreement to become the AHL affiliate for the Columbus Blue Jackets, which will take effect in the 2015–16 season. The affiliation was among several that offseason that brought AHL and NHL franchise affiliations geographically closer together.
Winning the Calder Cup
The Monsters finished the 2015–16 by setting a franchise record in points (97) and qualified for the playoffs for the second time in team history. On April 23, 2016, the Monsters defeated their first round opponent, the Rockford Ice Hogs 5-3, capping a three game sweep of their opponent in a best-of-five series. The Monsters advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals to play the Grand Rapids Griffins in a best-of-seven series, defeating them 4–2 in six games. They then swept the defending Calder Cup Champion Ontario Reign in the Western Conference Finals to reach their first Calder Cup Final in franchise history. On June 11, 2016, the Monsters won the franchise's first Calder Cup in a four-game sweep of the Hershey Bears.
This marked Cleveland's first AHL title since the Barons in 1964, and 10th overall between the Barons and Monsters. Game 4 sold out Quicken Loans Arena and featured 19,665 spectators, the largest ice hockey attendance ever in Ohio, and the second in AHL history behind Philadelphia Phantoms vs. Chicago Wolves in 2005.
The team would announce on August 9, 2016 that the team would be renamed the Cleveland Monsters citing the winning of the Calder Cup by the team, the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA championship and the team's tenth anniversary as making it the right time to change the team's name to better identify with the city of Cleveland.
Cleveland hockey history
The following teams have previously played in Cleveland. The Monsters recognize and honor past Cleveland teams with commemorative banners at Quicken Loans Arena:
- Cleveland Indians/Falcons/Barons (1929-1936 IHL; 1936-1937 I-AHL; 1937–1973 AHL) - nine-time Calder Cup Champions
- Cleveland Crusaders (1972–1976) WHA
- Cleveland Barons (1976–1978) NHL
- Cleveland Lumberjacks (1992–2001) IHL
- Cleveland Barons (2001–2006) AHL
No Monsters player has had his number retired. However the team has retired the numbers of players who have played on past Cleveland franchises to honor the city's hockey history.
|Johnny Bower||1 (Barons)|
|Fred Glover||9 (Barons)|
|Jock Callander||15 (Lumberjacks)|
|Calder Cup Champions||Conference Champions||Division Champions||League Leader|
|2007–08||80||26||41||6||7||65||.406||209||276||6th, North||2008||Out of playoffs|
|2008–09||80||34||38||3||5||76||.475||199||218||6th, North||2009||Out of playoffs|
|2009–10||80||34||37||1||8||77||.481||234||257||6th, North||2010||Out of playoffs|
|2010–11||80||44||28||3||5||96||.600||223||206||2nd, North||2011||L, 3-4, MTB||—||—||—|
|2011–12||76||37||29||3||7||84||.553||189||210||3rd, North||2012||Out of playoffs|
|2012–13||76||35||31||3||7||80||.526||211||220||3rd, North||2013||Out of playoffs|
|2013–14||76||32||33||1||10||76||.492||200||235||4th, North||2014||Out of playoffs|
|2014–15||76||35||29||8||4||82||.539||211||240||4th, Midwest||2015||Out of playoffs|
|2015–16||76||43||22||6||5||97||.638||211||188||2nd, Central||2016||W, 3–0, RFD||W, 4–2, GR||W, 4–0, ONT||W, 4–0, HER|
|2016–17||76||39||29||4||4||86||.566||195||198||T-4th, Central||2017||Out of playoffs|
|2017–18||76||25||41||7||3||60||.395||190||258||T-5th, Central||2018||Out of playoffs|
|2018–19||76||37||29||8||2||84||.553||232||234||4th, North||2019||W, 3-1, SYR||TBD, TOR||—||—|
|2019–20||62||24||31||5||2||55||.444||159||192||8th, North||2020||Season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
|2020–21||29||16||10||1||2||35||.603||101||86||2nd, Central||2021||No playoffs were held[lower-alpha 1]|
- Goals: 30, Andrew Agozzino (2014–15)
- Assists: 50, T.J. Hensick (2009–10)
- Points: 70 T.J. Hensick (2009–10), Ben Walter (2010–11)
- Penalty Minutes: 215, Daniel Maggio (2014–15)
- Wins: 23 Jason Bacashihua (2010–11), Calvin Pickard (2014–15)
- GAA: 2.11, Cedrick Desjardins (2011–12)
- SV%: .932, Cedrick Desjardins (2011–12)
- Shutouts: 8, Tyler Weiman (2008–09)
- Goaltending records need a minimum 25 games played by the goaltender
- Career Goals: Andrew Agozzino, 67
- Career Assists: Andrew Agozzino, 98
- Career Points: Andrew Agozzino, 165
- Career Penalty Minutes: Daniel Maggio, 522
- Career Goaltending Wins: Calvin Pickard, 60
- Career Shutouts: Tyler Weiman, 13
- Career Games: Andrew Agozzino, 225
Firsts and Franchise records
- Franchise First Game: October 6, 2007. Grand Rapids Griffins 3, Lake Erie Monsters 2
- Franchise First Win: October 20, 2007. Lake Erie Monsters 3, Syracuse Crunch 2.
- Franchise First Goal: October 6, 2007. Grand Rapids Griffins 3, Lake Erie Monsters 2. Goal scored by Matt Hussey
- Franchise First Shutout: November 15, 2007. Jason Bacashihua. Lake Erie Monsters 2, Quad City Flames 0.
- Franchise First Hat Trick: November 17, 2007. Chris Stewart. Lake Erie Monsters 5, Toronto Marlies 3.
- Franchise Most Goals in a Game: December 3, 2010. 4-Patrick Rissmiller. Lake Erie Monsters 6, Chicago Wolves 3.
- Franchise Most Wins in a Season: 44 (2010–11)
- Franchise Most Points in a Season: 96 (2010–11)
- Franchise Most Games Won in a Row: 8 (2010–11)
- Franchise First Playoff Game: April 16, 2011. (vs Manitoba Moose)
- Franchise First Playoff Goal: April 16, 2011 (by Matthew Ford)
- Franchise First Playoff Win: April 16, 2011 (Monsters 6, Manitoba Moose 4)
- "Lake Erie Monsters history". Case Western Reserve University (2013-02-03). Retrieved on 2013-02-03.
- "Famous sea monsters". Sea Monster.org (2013-04-05). Retrieved on 2013-04-05.
- "Monsters front office". Lake Erie Monsters (2014-10-10). Retrieved on 2014-10-10.
- "Monsters' stats". JustSportsStats.com (2011-04-28). Retrieved on 2012-03-04.
- "Monsters affiliate with the Columbus Blue Jackets". Lake Erie Monsters (2015-04-17). Retrieved on 2015-04-17.
- Monsters Move On With 4-3 OT Win.
- Record full house at the Q for Lake Erie Monsters' Calder Cup bid - Cleveland.com (Plain Dealer)
- Cleveland hockey history. Lake Erie Monsters (2013-02-03). Retrieved on 2013-02-03.
|Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Players • GMs • Seasons • Draft Picks • Nationwide Arena • Head Coaches • Syracuse Crunch (AHL), Elmira Jackals (ECHL), Youngstown Steelhounds (CHL)|
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