Cleveland Monsters

The Cleveland Monsters are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL). The team began play in 2007 as the Lake Erie Monsters and since 2015 has served as the top affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Monsters play home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in downtown Cleveland and have one Calder Cup championship, after winning their first title in 2016.

Cleveland Monsters
2021–22 AHL season
Cleveland Monsters logo.svg
CityCleveland, Ohio
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
ConferenceEastern
DivisionNorth
Founded1994 (In the IHL)
Operated2007–present
Home arenaRocket Mortgage FieldHouse
ColorsWine, white, blue
     
Owner(s)Dan Gilbert
General managerChris Clark[1]
Head coachVacant
MediaRadio: WARF
TV: Bally Sports Great Lakes
Online: AHL.TV
AffiliatesColumbus Blue Jackets (NHL)
Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL)
Franchise history
1994–1995Denver Grizzlies
1995–2005Utah Grizzlies
2007–2016Lake Erie Monsters
2016–presentCleveland Monsters
Championships
Conference Championships1 (2015–16)
Calder Cups1 (2015–16)

Franchise historyEdit

Early yearsEdit

The Monsters began in 2006 when the dormant Utah Grizzlies AHL franchise was purchased on May 16, 2006, by a Cleveland ownership group led by Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans.[2] A new AHL team was awarded to Cleveland following the departure of the Cleveland Barons to Worcester, Massachusetts, after the 2005–06 season.[3] With Quicken Loans Arena established as the team's home venue, the Colorado Avalanche was announced on December 17, 2006, as the franchise's first NHL parent club with a five-year agreement.[2][4]

The franchise was officially announced on January 25, 2007, 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.[5]

Former NHL player Joe Sacco was named as the Lake Erie Monsters first head coach and Dave Oliver was named general manager.[6][7] The Monsters opened their inaugural 2007–08 campaign with a loss at home against the Grand Rapids Griffins on October 9, 2007.[8] The team ended the season 26–41.[9]

At the end of the 2010–11 season, the Monsters qualified for the Calder Cup playoffs for the first time in team history. After gaining a 3–1 series lead over the Manitoba Moose in the opening round, the Monsters proceeded to lose the next three consecutive games, losing the series 4–3.[10]

Blue Jackets eraEdit

 
Monsters with the Calder Cup in 2016

On April 17, 2015, the Monsters announced the signing of a multi-year agreement to become the AHL affiliate for the Columbus Blue Jackets, which took effect in the 2015–16 season.[11] The multi-season affiliation was extended in 2019.[12][13]

The Monsters finished the 2015–16 season by setting a franchise record in points (97) and qualified for the playoffs for the second time in team history.[14][15] On April 23, 2016, the Monsters defeated their first round opponent, the Rockford IceHogs, 5–3, ending a three-game sweep of their opponent in a best-of-five series.[16] The Monsters advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals to play the Grand Rapids Griffins in a best-of-seven series, defeating them 4–2. 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.[17] On June 11, 2016, the Monsters won the franchise's first Calder Cup in a four-game sweep of the Hershey Bears, with Oliver Bjorkstrand scoring the Cup-winning goal in overtime.[17][18]

This marked Cleveland's first AHL title since the Barons won their last Calder Cup in 1964, and 10th overall for a Cleveland-based AHL team.[17] The Monsters won Game 4 before a sellout crowd of 19,665 people at Quicken Loans Arena — the second largest crowd for a professional hockey game in Ohio behind the 19,941 in a Cleveland Lumberjacks game against the Minnesota Moose in February 1996, and the second largest in Calder Cup playoff history behind the 20,103 Philadelphia Phantoms game four victory in the 2005 Calder Cup Finals over the Chicago Wolves.[19]

On August 9, 2016, the Lake Erie Monsters changed their name to the Cleveland Monsters.[20] The team's Calder Cup winning head coach, Jared Bednar, was then hired by the Colorado Avalanche on August 25.[21] Under their new name and coach John Madden, the Monsters failed to qualify for the playoffs in the 2016–17 season.[22][23][24] In the 2017–18 season, the Monsters earned last place in the Western Conference and failed to make the playoffs.[25] The team returned to the playoffs following the 2018–19 season as the fourth seed in the North Division where they upset the division champion Syracuse Crunch before being swept by the Toronto Marlies in the division finals.[26][27] Head coach John Madden then left the team and was replaced by Mike Eaves.[28][29]

The Monsters 2019–20 season was curtailed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.[30] The team ended the season in last place in their division with a record of 24–31.[31][32] Owing to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the 2020–21 season was delayed and shortened with no playoffs held in their division.[33] They ended the season in second place within their division.[34]

Cleveland hockey historyEdit

The following teams have previously played in Cleveland. The Monsters recognize and honor past Cleveland teams with commemorative banners at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse:[35][36]

Season-by-season resultsEdit

Note: gold shading indicates season team won Calder Cup

Regular season Playoffs
Season Games Won Lost OTL SOL Points PCT Goals
for
Goals
against
Standing Year 1st
round
2nd
round
3rd
round
Finals
2007–08 80 26 41 6 7 65 .406 209 276 6th, North 2008 Did not qualify
2008–09 80 34 38 3 5 76 .475 199 218 6th, North 2009 Did not qualify
2009–10 80 34 37 1 8 77 .481 234 257 6th, North 2010 Did not qualify
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 Did not qualify
2012–13 76 35 31 3 7 80 .526 211 220 3rd, North 2013 Did not qualify
2013–14 76 32 33 1 10 75 .492 200 235 4th, North 2014 Did not qualify
2014–15 76 35 29 8 4 82 .539 211 240 4th, Midwest 2015 Did not qualify
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 5th, Central 2017 Did not qualify
2017–18 76 25 41 7 3 60 .395 190 258 7th, Central 2018 Did not qualify
2018–19 76 37 29 8 2 84 .553 232 234 4th, North 2019 W, 3–1, SYR L, 0–4, 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[a]
2021–22 76 28 35 8 5 69 .454 207 262 7th, North 2022 Did not qualify
  1. ^ Season was delayed and shortened due to the lingering pandemic; Calder Cup not awarded.

PlayersEdit

Current rosterEdit

Updated April 26, 2022.[38]

No. Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
13   Roman Ahcan LW L 23 2022 Savage, Minnesota Monsters
77   Tyler Angle C L 21 2021 Niagara Falls, Ontario Blue Jackets
22   Tim Berni D L 22 2021 Männedorf, Switzerland Blue Jackets
12   Cole Cassels C R 27 2021 Hartford, Connecticut Monsters
23   Jake Christiansen D L 22 2021 West Vancouver, British Columbia Blue Jackets
34   Cole Clayton D R 22 2021 Strathmore, Alberta Monsters
21   Josh Dunne C L 23 2021 O'Fallon, Missouri Blue Jackets
64   Trey Fix-Wolansky RW R 22 2019 Edmonton, Alberta Blue Jackets
42   Cole Fonstad C L 22 2021 Estevan, Saskatchewan Monsters
19   Liam Foudy C L 22 2019 Toronto, Ontario Blue Jackets
44   Brett Gallant LW L 33 2015 Summerside, Prince Edward Island Monsters
25   Jake Gaudet C L 25 2021 Ottawa, Ontario Monsters
31   Jet Greaves G L 21 2021 Cambridge, Ontario Blue Jackets
4   Scott Harrington D L 29 2016 Kingston, Ontario Blue Jackets
14   Adam Helewka LW L 26 2020 Burnaby, British Columbia Monsters
29   Zach Jordan RW R 25 2020 Collinsville, Illinois Monsters
3   Olivier LeBlanc D L 26 2021 Quebec, Quebec Monsters
40   Linden Marshall G L 23 2022 Victoria, British Columbia Monsters
27   Tristan Mullin LW L 25 2021 Cartwright, Manitoba Monsters
50   Robbie Payne C R 29 2022 Gaylord, Michigan Monsters
26   Thomas Schemitsch D R 25 2020 Thornhill, Ontario Monsters
20   Justin Scott (A) RW L 26 2016 Burlington, Ontario Monsters
16   Tyler Sikura (A) LW L 29 2020 Aurora, Ontario Blue Jackets
7   Owen Sillinger C L 24 2022 Regina, Saskatchewan Monsters
18   Dillon Simpson (C) D L 29 2018 Edmonton, Alberta Monsters
37   Jake Slaker C L 25 2021 San Diego, California Monsters
82   Kevin Stenlund C R 25 2018 Stockholm, Sweden Blue Jackets
6   Bill Sweezey D R 26 2021 Hanson, Massachusetts Blue Jackets

Team captainsEdit

Retired numbersEdit

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.[35]

Cleveland Monsters retired numbers
No. Player Position Team
1 Johnny Bower G Barons
9 Fred Glover C Barons
15 Jock Callander C Lumberjacks

Team recordsEdit

Single season
Goals: 33, Zac Dalpe (2018–19)
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: 27, Anton Forsberg (2016–17)
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
Playoffs

[39][40]

Goals: 10, Oliver Bjorkstrand (2016)
Assists: 10, Ryan Craig (2016)
Points: 16 (tie), Oliver Bjorkstrand and Lukas Sedlak (2016)
Penalty minutes: 26, Kerby Rychel (2016)
Wins: 9, Anton Forsberg (2016)
GAA: 1.34, Anton Forsberg (2016)
SV%: .949, Anton Forsberg (2016)
Shutouts: 2, Anton Forsberg (2016)
Career
Career goals: Andrew Agozzino, 67
Career assists: Andrew Agozzino, 98
Career points: Andrew Agozzino, 165
Career penalty minutes: Brett Gallant, 629
Career goaltending wins: Calvin Pickard, 60
Career shutouts: Tyler Weiman, 13
Career games: Justin Scott, 336
Firsts and team records

MediaEdit

Radio

WARF AM 1350 serves as the radio outlet for the team. Play-by-play announcer Tony Brown calls games on-site.[41]

TV

Select Monsters games will be televised, with Bally Sports Great Lakes serving as the outlet. The broadcast team consists of play-by-play broadcaster Tony Brown, former Monsters goaltender and current Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender development coach Brad Thiessen as booth analyst, former Cleveland Lumberjacks player Jock Callander as rinkside analyst, and WHBC afternoon host Kenny Roda as host/locker room reporter. All televised games are also simulcast on the radio.[42]

Mascot and entertainmentEdit

The Monsters' official mascot is a seagull character named "Sullivan C. Goal" (aka "Sully").[43] Also featured are the "Monsters Hockey Girls" cheerleaders.[44]

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ a b "Minor league hockey will return to Cleveland". Newspapers.com. Dayton Daily News. May 17, 2006. Archived from the original on 2021-10-01. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  3. ^ Schudel, Jeff (January 7, 2015). "Lake Erie Monsters: AHL says it isn't leaving Cleveland". The News-Herald. Retrieved October 1, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Pro Hockey". Newspapers.com. The Cincinnati Enquirer. December 18, 2006. Archived from the original on 2021-10-01. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  5. ^ "Famous sea monsters". SeaMonster.org. Archived from the original on 2001-07-19. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
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  7. ^ "Oliver lands GM gig in Cleveland". Newspapers.com. The Morning Star. September 9, 2007. Archived from the original on 2021-10-06. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  8. ^ "Wall ready to climb". Newspapers.com. Houston Today. October 10, 2007. Archived from the original on 2021-10-06. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  9. ^ "East Division Opponents". Newspapers.com. Times Leader. October 7, 2008. Archived from the original on 2021-10-06. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
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  12. ^ "Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters Announce Multi-Year Extension of Affiliation Partnership". OurSports Central. August 20, 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-08-20. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  13. ^ "Blue Jackets, Monsters extend affiliation agreement". American Hockey League. August 20, 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-08-20. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  14. ^ "TheAHL.com | The American Hockey League". American Hockey League. Archived from the original on 2021-10-07. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
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  23. ^ Wright, Branson (April 17, 2015). "Monsters lose but still remain in playoff hunt". The Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on 2021-10-07. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  24. ^ "Around The League". Newspapers.com. The Citizens' Voice. April 21, 2017. Archived from the original on 2021-10-07. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
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  27. ^ Isley, Ryan (May 8, 2019). "Cleveland Monsters swept out of AHL playoffs by Toronto Marlies, 6-2 in Game 4". The Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on 2020-08-11. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  28. ^ "Eaves to coach AHL team". Newspapers.com. Wisconsin State Journal. June 19, 2019. Archived from the original on 2021-10-07. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  29. ^ Florjancic, Matthew (May 29, 2019). "John Madden will not return as Monsters head coach". WKYC. Retrieved October 7, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  30. ^ Kaplan, Emily (May 11, 2020). "AHL cancels rest of season due to coronavirus". ESPN. Archived from the original on 2020-05-11. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  31. ^ Justice, Camryn (May 11, 2020). "Cleveland Monsters' season ends as AHL cancels remaining 2020 games, playoffs". WEWS. Archived from the original on 2020-05-31. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
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  33. ^ Taft, Jay (May 6, 2021). "AHL makes it official: No playoff hockey for Rockford IceHogs this year". Rockford Register Star. Retrieved October 8, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  34. ^ "TheAHL.com | The American Hockey League". American Hockey League. Archived from the original on 2021-01-17. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  35. ^ a b c Baker, Paul (March 9, 2018). "Quicken Loans Arena hockey banners". Stadium Journey. Archived from the original on 2011-11-25. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  36. ^ "Cleveland Monsters hockey banners". Stadium Journey. Archived from the original on 2021-05-16.
  37. ^ "Cleveland hockey history". Lake Erie Monsters. February 3, 2013. Archived from the original on April 29, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  38. ^ "Cleveland Monsters – Team roster". Elite Prospects. eliteprospects.com. Archived from the original on 2008-12-18. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  39. ^ "TheAHL.com | The American Hockey League". American Hockey League. Archived from the original on 2021-11-22. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  40. ^ "TheAHL.com | The American Hockey League". American Hockey League. Archived from the original on 2021-11-22. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  41. ^ "Monsters Announce Multi-Year Extension of Radio Broadcast Agreement". Cleveland Monsters. October 20, 2020. Archived from the original on 2020-10-26. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  42. ^ "Cleveland Monsters announce 2021-22 TV and Radio broadcast schedules". Cleveland Monsters. October 15, 2021. Archived from the original on 2021-10-15. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  43. ^ "Sully, the Monsters official Mascot". Lake Erie Monsters. Archived from the original on November 6, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  44. ^ "Monsters Hockey Girls". Lake Erie Monsters. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2013.

External linksEdit