Erie Panthers
City: Erie, Pennsylvania
League: East Coast Hockey League
Conference: East/West/North
Founded: 1988
Home Arena: Louis J. Tullio Arena
Colors: Black, grey, white
Head Coach: Ron Hansis 1988–95
Barry Smith 1995–96
General Manager: Ron Hansis
Affiliate(s): Buffalo Sabres 1992–94
Franchise history
1988–96 (ECHL): Erie Panthers
1996–2004 (ECHL): Baton Rouge Kingfish
2004–present (ECHL): Victoria Salmon Kings

The Erie Panthers were a professional hockey team, and one of the founding members in the East Coast Hockey League. Based in Erie, Pennsylvania from 1988 to 1996, they were one of the most prolific teams in the ECHL. The Panthers were known for their ability to score goals quickly and often, as well as for the over-aggressive style of play that lead to an abundance of fights. They currently hold records in 38 different categories in the ECHL.


The Panthers were created by Henry Brabham who was also a part of the creation of the ECHL itself. Erie was chosen as a location due to the success of the former Erie Golden Blades. The Panthers enjoyed success earlier on in their existence with five straight playoff appearances. Though never winning the league championship, the team was named the regular season champs for the 1989–90 season. The next three years would bring about the end of the Panthers franchise with three straight losing seasons.

In 1996 the team would be moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and renamed the Baton Rouge Kingfish. There the team's struggles continued, making the playoffs in only one of seven seasons in Baton Rouge. In 2004 the franchise again relocated. This time moving 4,400 miles northwest to Victoria, British Columbia. There the team survives today as the Victoria Salmon Kings. Today the team has begun to regain its status as one of the top teams in the ECHL with a Division Championship in the 2007–08 season.

Jersey and Logos Edit


The 1991–92 logo of the Erie Panthers


The Panthers' jerseys were black, white, and grey. The Home jersey had a white background, while the away jersey had a black background. The original logo was that of a grey panther and a hockey stick. During the 1991–92 season the use of an alternate logo was added. This logo was the face of a growling panther in dark blue. The 1994–95 season saw the last logo change for the Panthers. This logo was a caricature of a panther, under the word "Erie". Also used during the 1994–95 season was a "20th Anniversary of Hockey in Erie" patch.

The Tullio Arena Edit

Main article: Louis J. Tullio Arena

The home of the Erie Panthers was the newly constructed Louis J. Tullio Arena, located in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania. The five year old arena held roughly 5,500 fans and served as one of the loudest places to play in the ECHL for eight years. Despite being a fairly new building, the Tullio Arena lacked a proper sound dampening system with the playing surface being surrounded on all sides by uncovered concrete walls. This design allowed the already loud noise of the crowd to be amplified throughout the building.

Coaches Edit

Head coach: Ron Hansis
Asst. Coach: Barry Smith
Head coach: Barry Smith

Players Edit

Over the course of the eight seasons in Erie, 225 players suited up for the Panthers. 68 of them were already drafted in the NHL Entry Draft or NHL Supplemental Draft. Only three players have ever played in the NHL after playing for the Panthers, nor has a single player been drafted after being in Erie.

Former players typically took one of two paths after leaving the team. They either played out their career in European hockey leagues, or joined the Roller Hockey International league.

NHL alumni Edit


The 1995–96 logo of the Erie Panthers.

Player Teams GP G A Pts PIM W L T GAA SV%
Pēteris Skudra Penguins,Bruins,Canucks147----5447202.73.900
Barry Potomski Kings686511277-----
Bill McDougall Red Wings,Oilers,Lightning28551012-----

Individual AwardsEdit

1989 Coach of the Year: Ron Hansis
1989 MVP Award: Daryl Harpe
1989 Leading Scorer: Daryl Harpe
1989 Defenseman of the Year: Kelly Szauter
1990 MVP Award: Bill McDougall
1990 Rookie of the Year: Bill McDougall
1990 Leading Scorer: Bill McDougall
1995 Rookie of the Year: Kevin McKinnon
1995 Leading Scorer: Scott Burfoot

Season by season resultsEdit


The 20th Anniversary of Hockey in Erie Patch.

Season Conf. GP W L T OTL Pts Pct GF GA PIM Playoffs
1988–89 None 60372003770.6423272561944Lost in 1st round
1989–90 None 60381606820.6833572511813Lost in 2nd round
1990–91 East 64313003650.5083023021845Lost in 1st round
1991–92 West 64332704700.5472843091662Lost in 1st round
1992–93 West 64352504740.5783053072012Lost in 2nd round
1993–94 North 68273605590.4342643342052Did not qualify
1994–95 North 68184604400.2942563562092Did not qualify
1995-96 North 70254005550.3932272932433Did not qualify


1988–89 Henry Brabham Cup (Regular season points champions)

Team recordsEdit

Team Records for a single season
Most points821989–90
Most wins381989–90
Most goals for3571989–90
Least goals for2271995–96
Least goals against2511989–90
Most goals against3561994–95
Longest win streak121989–90
Most power-play goals1081992–93
Individual player records for a single season
Most GoalsBill McDougall801989–90
Most AssistsDaryl Harpe841989–90
Most PointsBill McDougall1481989–90
Most Points, rookieKevin McKinnon851994–95
Most Points, defencemanRyan Kummu761991–92
Most Penalty MinutesGreg Spenrath3441992–93
Best GAA (Goalie)Craig Barnett3.931989–90
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played

Top 10 points leaders in Panthers history
PlayerTotalSeasons (#)
Peter Buckeridge2751989–93 (4)
Daryl Harpe1941988–90 (2)
Ed Zawatsky1891990–93 (3)
Ryan Kummu1851989–92 (3)
Doug Stromback1781988–91 (3)
Grant Ottenbreit1711988–91 (3)
Bill McDougall1481989–90 (1)
Glen Goodall1261991–93 (2)
Stephane Charbonneau1211993–95 (2)
Bill Gall1171991–93 (2)
Top 10 penalty leaders in Panthers history
PlayerTotalSeasons (#)
Grant Ottenbreit8451988–91 (3)
Greg Spenrath7511990–93 (2)
Cam Brown6981992–96 (3)
Ryan Kummu4951989–92 (3)
Brad Harrison4501994–96 (2)
Steve Wienke3641988–92 (3)
Jim Lessard3071992–94 (2)
Daryl Harpe3041988–90 (2)
Rob McDougall3011988–91 (3)
Dan O'Rourke2961993–94 (1)

League Records Edit

The Erie Panthers are ranked in the Top 5 of 38 categories kept track of by the ECHL. Of those, they are ranked #1 in 15 categories. Below is only a partial list of these records.

See Also: List of Erie Panthers League Records.

Most penalty minutes (Career)
#1: 2,425 - Cam Brown (Chill 91-93, Panthers 93-96, Kingfish 96-02, Gladiators 02-06)

Most goals, both teams (One game)
#1: 21 - Erie Panthers (13) vs. Carolina Thunderbirds (8), Dec. 21, 1988 #2: 20 - Richmond Renegades (15) vs. Erie Panthers (5), Dec. 23, 1990 #3: 19 - Erie Panthers (11) vs. Knoxville Cherokees (8), Mar. 18, 1989

Highest goals-per-game average (One season)
#1: 5.95 - Erie Panthers, 1989-90 (357 goals in 60 games) #4: 5.45 - Erie Panthers, 1988-89 (327 goals in 60 games)

Fastest three goals
#1: 21 seconds - Doug Stromback (12:19), Daryl Harpe (12:29) and Hank Banas (12:40 of 3rd period), Erie vs. Knoxville, Nov. 29, 1988>

Most penalty minutes, both teams (One game)
#1: 244 - Toledo Storm (124) vs. Erie (120), Mar. 22, 1993


General reference

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