Kentucky Thoroughblades
Kentucky thoroughblades.png
City: Lexington, Kentucky
League: American Hockey League
Operated: 1996 to 2001
Home Arena: Rupp Arena
Colors: Spruce, plum and white
Franchise history
1996 to 2001: Kentucky Thoroughblades
2001 to 2006: Cleveland Barons
2006 to present: Worcester Sharks
Championships
Division Championships: two (1999–00, 2000–01)

The Kentucky Thoroughblades were a minor professional team in the American Hockey League, who existed from 1996 to 2001. The Thoroughblades were based in Lexington, Kentucky, playing home games at Rupp Arena. The Thoroughblades were an affiliate of the NHL's San Jose Sharks.

History[edit | edit source]

The Thoroughblades were the first professional ice hockey team to play in Lexington, Kentucky. The award winning Logo was created by Wilton, NY based McKinley Griffen Design and Advertising. Initially, attendance was high. During the 1997–98 season, Kentucky averaged 7,741 fans per game, despite a losing record on ice. Attendance decreased in the next three seasons, even with two consecutive division championships. In their final season, attendance averaged only 4,461 fans per game.

In 2001, the team moved to Cleveland, Ohio, becoming the Cleveland Barons. In 2006, the team then moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, becoming the Worcester Sharks.

The void in Lexington was replaced in 2001, by the another minor league hockey team, the Lexington Men O' War, lasting one season in Lexington.

Season-by-season results[edit | edit source]

Regular season[edit | edit source]

Season Games Won Lost Tied OTL Points Goals
for
Goals
against
Standing
1996–97 80 36 35 9 0 81 278 284 3rd, Mid-Atlantic
1997–98 80 29 39 9 3 70 241 278 3rd, Mid-Atlantic
1998–99 80 44 26 7 3 98 272 220 2nd, Mid-Atlantic
1999–00 80 42 25 9 4 97 250 211 1st, Mid-Atlantic
2000–01 80 42 25 12 1 97 273 212 1st, South

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Season 1st round 2nd round 3rd round Finals
1996–97 L, 1-3, Hershey
1997–98 L, 0-3, Hershey
1998–99 W, 3-2, Hershey L, 3-4, Philadelphia
1999–00 W, 3-1, Louisville L, 1-4, Hershey
2000–01 L, 0-3,Hershey

Notable players

Miikka Kiprusoff

Johan Hedberg

Evgeni Nabokov

Vesa Toskala

Jonathan Cheechoo

Dan Boyle

Zdeno Chara


Career leaders

Goals: 88 (Steve Guolla, 1996–99)

Assists: 132 (Steve Guolla, 1996–99)

Points: 220 (Steve Guolla, 1996–99)

PIM: 692 (Garrett Burnett, 1998–00)

Role In Youth Hockey[edit | edit source]

Former Thoroughblades player Chris Lipsett (also alumni of Dayton Gems, etc.) has made an impact, helping youth hockey grow in Kentucky by working with a new program at the Lexington Ice and Recreation Center. Many other players have chipped in as well, helping coach and manage the Central Kentucky Thoroughbreds, which has grown in number of players dramatically over the years.

External links[edit | edit source]

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