Ice Hockey Wiki

A montage of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas, Nevada is the eleventh largest city in the United States and the largest city and state capital in the state of Nevada. Internationally renowned as a gaming resort city, Las Vegas is located in a desert basin in Clark County in southern Nevada. It’s population is over 724,000

Hockey in Las Vegas

Early years

Las Vegas saw its first hockey team in 1970 with the Las Vegas Gamblers of the Pacific Southwest Hockey League and were followed from 1971 to 1973 with the independent Las Vegas Outlaws. After the Outlaws folded, it was twenty years before Las Vegas saw professional hockey come back, but it did with three teams in 1993 (2 ice hockey, 1 roller hockey) with the Las Vegas Thunder of the International Hockey League, the Las Vegas Flash of Roller Hockey International, and a second conquest into the Pacific Southwest Hockey League with the Las Vegas Aces. The Flash folded after a single season and the Aces followed a year later, but the Thunder proved to have staying power as they became a perennial contender in the IHL. During the Thunder's six year stay in the IHL, Las Vegas saw two more hockey teams: the Las Vegas Ice Dice of the North American League in 1995 and the Las Vegas Coyotes, the city's second roller hockey incarnation, playing in the reborn RHI in 1999; the Coyotes lasted one season, while the Ice Dice did not play a single game.


Las Vegas was granted an expansion team in the West Coast Hockey League in 1999, weeks after the Thunder folded and were expected to start play during the 2000-01 WCHL season, but was unable to because of the lack of an arena lease. The team known as the Wranglers were finally able to strike a deal with The Orleans Hotel & Casino to be the permanent tenant of the gaming resort's multipurpose arena that was under construction. After five years in voluntary suspension the Wranglers were set to finally drop the puck during the 2003-04 WCHL season, but the league was absorbed by the East Coast Hockey League. The Wranglers were finally able to start their inaugural season during the 2003-04 ECHL season and have held many honors including two division championships, one conference championship, one Brabham Cup and posting the highest winning percentage of any team in ECHL history. In 2008, the Wranglers enter their sixth season of play, tying the Thunder as the longest tenure of a hockey team in Las Vegas, and making it the second oldest sports franchise in the city's history.

Since 1997, Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena has been home to a series of Los Angeles Kings exhibition games, known as Frozen Fury. Having outbid Anaheim and Phoenix for the NHL marketing rights to Las Vegas, Frozen Fury started off as a "marketing stunt" for the Kings that became a weekend party for their fans. Nine of the eleven games have featured the Kings taking on the Colorado Avalanche, with the only exceptions being Frozen Fury III in 1999 with the Phoenix Coyotes and Frozen Fury V in 2001 with the San Jose Sharks. The most recent edition of the series was Frozen Fury XI which took place on September 27, 2008, with Colorado defeating Los Angeles, 4-3 in a shootout.

Complete team list

  1. (WCHL, 2000) unable to secure lease, put on hold
  2. (WCHL, 2003) league merges with ECHL before play
  3. (ECHL, 2003-2014) go inactive due to losing lease and not being able to secure a new playing facility in time for deadline to commit for 2014-15 ECHL season, membership withdrawn January 30, 2015

Junior Teams

Arenas in Las Vegas


External Links