London Knights (UK)

London Knights was an English ice hockey team based in London. They played in the UK's Ice Hockey Superleague between September 1998 and April 2003.

London Knights
London Knights UK logo.png
CityLondon, United Kingdom
LeagueIce Hockey Superleague
1998 - 2003
Founded1998
Folded2003
Home arenaLondon Arena
(capacity: 12,500)
ColoursRed, Navy Blue, Gold, White
       
Owner(s)Anschutz Entertainment Group
Head coachSweden Jim Brithén
CaptainCanada Paul Rushforth
ECM uniform Lodon Knights.png
Championships
Playoff championships2000

HistoryEdit

The Knights were founded in 1998 by Anschutz Entertainment Group in the hope of being able to partake in the British ice hockey boom of the 1990s, when teams like Manchester Storm and Sheffield Steelers drew in large crowds of up to 8000 on average and up to 17,000 in single games. Anschutz hoped that a London-based team would help raise the awareness of the sport not only in London, but in the whole of the UK. Furthermore, the team was founded in order to help make the financially struggling London Arena (which was co-owned by Anschutz and SMG) more profitable.

The team shared its name with the Ontario Hockey League team, the London Knights, but they had nothing to do with each other as the origin of the name came from the then policy of Anschutz Entertainment Group to brand its ice hockey franchises with a regal theme associated with its flagship Los Angeles Kings NHL franchise, hence the Ontario Reign, Reading Royals and the Manchester Monarchs and Munich Barons, both of whom are now defunct as well.

The Knights enjoyed some success in their brief existence. They won the British Super League playoffs in 2000, thus becoming British league champion, but their biggest success was reaching the final of the Continental Cup in 2001, becoming the first British team to do so and being the most successful British team in the history of the tournament until it was won by the Nottingham Panthers in 2017. They beat HC Slovan Bratislava 5:2 and the Munich Barons 4:1, but lost to the ZSC Lions 0:1.

They were coached by Jim Fuyarchuk, Chris McSorley, Bob Leslie and Jim Brithén. McSorley would later go on to coach Great Britain and work as assistant coach to Team Canada. His brother Marty McSorley, then of the Boston Bruins, was almost signed by the Knights while serving a 100-game ban in the NHL.[1][2]

Despite their on-ice success, their attendance figures were always rather disappointing as they never drew much more than 3000 people on average[3] - which certainly wasn't bad considering that before the Knights, there hadn't been a professional ice hockey team in London for decades, but on the other hand, there was certainly much more potential, considering the size of the town, the attendance figures of the other teams in the league and the fact that the arena could hold up to 12,500 people and Anschutz invested much in marketing.

In 2003, the team's arena, the London Arena, was sold, and the team were left homeless. There were hopes they would find a temporary home for two years before moving to the O2 Arena in 2005,[4] but when the Superleague folded after the 2002–03 season, the team announced that it would "not be icing" in the following season, and never returned.

After the demise of the Superleague, the Elite Ice Hockey League was founded as its replacement, and the London Racers were established as a successor to the Knights, but they were much more low-profile and played at a much smaller venue, and after only two and a half seasons, they folded in late 2005 due to safety problems at their home venue. Since then, there hasn't been a London-based ice hockey team in the top-tier league again.

Season historyEdit

 
Chris McSorley, the Knights' head coach from 1999 to 2001.

SuperleagueEdit

This table shows the Knights' standings and results[5] in the British Ice Hockey Superleague.

The team finished bottom of the league in their first season, but followed that in the 1999-2000 season by winning the playoffs, beating the Newcastle Jesters 7–3 in the final.

SEASON GP W T L OTW OTL GF GA TP RANK POSTSEASON
1998 - 1999 42 10 3 25 - 4 114 183 27 8 Qualification
1999 - 2000 42 23 3 15 - 1 135 125 50 4 Champion
2000 - 2001 48 18 - 17 7 6 143 130 74 4 Finalist
2001 - 2002 48 14 13 21 - - 130 145 41 6 Semifinalist
2002 - 2003 32 11 8 12 - 1 87 90 31 4 Finalist

Continental CupEdit

The Knights became the first British team to reach the finals of the Continental Cup in January 2001, where they narrowly missed taking the title at their first attempt. Their run included a surprise 4-1 win over Anschutz stablemates the Munich Barons, and only a 1-0 loss to eventual champions Zurich Lions denied them further glory. Their silver medal was considered a major success for a British side.[6]

Season Round GP W T L OTW OTL GF GA TP RANK
2000 - 2001 Second Group Stage 3 2 1 0 - - 15 2 5 1
Final Group Stage 3 2 0 1 - - 9 4 4 2
2001 - 2002 Second Group Stage 3 1 1 1 - - 11 12 3 3

Bensons and Hedges CupEdit

The Knights performed well in the Bensons and Hedges Cup, making two semifinals and one final in three seasons.

Season Round
1998 - 1999 Semifinal
1999 - 2000 Final
2000 - 2001 Semifinal

Challenge CupEdit

The Knights also took part in the Challenge Cup, making three semifinals in five seasons.

Season Round
1998 - 1999 First round
1999 - 2000 Semifinal
2000 - 2001 Semifinal
2001 - 2002 First round
2002 - 2003 Semifinal

All-time rosterEdit

The majority of Knights players were Canadian-born; only a handful were British natives. Rich Bronilla is the most-capped Knights player with 125 appearances, and fellow Canadian Ian McIntyre was London's top scorer, with 25 goals. The following is a list of players who played for the Knights.[7]

Player Name GP G A Pts PIM Seasons Yrs. Pos. Birthdate Birthplace Highest Level
Gerad Adams 49 4 8 12 176 2001-2003 2 D 1978-04-03 Regina, Canada Minor Pro
Kim Ahlroos 75 20 34 54 32 2001-2003 2 F 1971-07-02 Helsinki, Finland European Elite
Domenic Amodeo 8 1 5 6 2 2001-2002 1 C 1968-03-06 Mississauga, Canada Minor Pro
Steve Aronson 24 4 9 13 10 2002-2003 1 R 1978-07-15 Minnetonka, United States Minor Pro
Tom Ashe 37 5 11 16 48 1999-2000 1 D 1974-06-07 Springfield, United States Minor Pro
Peter Åslin 6 0 0 0 0 1998-1999 1 G 1962-09-21 Norrtälje, Sweden European Elite
Scott Bailey 1 0 0 0 2 2001-2002 1 G 1972-05-02 Calgary, Canada Major League
Darren Banks 23 8 2 10 101 1999-2000 1 L 1966-03-18 Toronto, Canada Major League
Mike Barrie 48 20 24 44 140 2001-2002 1 C 1974-03-17 Kelowna, Canada Minor Pro
Andy Bezeau 11 1 5 6 44 1999-2000 1 L 1970-03-30 Saint John, Canada Minor Pro
Sean Blanchard 67 11 18 29 38 2001-2003 2 D 1978-03-29 Sudbury, Canada Minor Pro
Aaron Boh 22 1 3 4 20 2000-2001 1 D 1974-04-04 Lethbridge, Canada Minor Pro
Rick Brebant 19 9 14 23 32 1999-2000 1 C 1964-02-21 Chelmsford, Canada Minor Pro
Rich Bronilla 125 22 40 62 76 2000-2003 3 D 1975-07-15 Mississauga, Canada Minor Pro
Mark Bultje 39 7 20 27 66 1999-2000 1 C 1973-06-08 Etobicoke, Canada Minor Pro
Greg Burke 79 9 16 25 137 1999-2003 3 D 1969-03-12 Boston, United States Minor Pro
John Byce 29 11 18 29 6 1999-2000 1 R 1967-08-09 Madison, United States Major League
Scott Campbell 10 0 2 2 18 1999-2000 1 D 1972-01-22 Glasgow, United Kingdom Minor Pro
Jason Campeau 33 7 10 17 12 1998-1999 1 C 1974-10-23 Ottawa, Canada Minor Pro
Debb Carpenter 34 7 6 13 20 1998-1999 1 R 1972-08-11 Edmonton, Canada Minor Pro
Mark Cavallin 53 0 2 2 4 1998-2000 2 G 1971-10-20 Mississauga, Canada Minor Pro
Nicky Chinn 16 1 2 3 105 2000-2001 1 F 1972-09-14 Cardiff, United Kingdom European Lower Leagues
David Clarke 10 2 1 3 0 2001-2002 1 L 1981-08-05 Peterborough, United Kingdom European Lower Leagues
Ian Cooper 54 7 15 22 77 1998-2000 2 R 1968-11-29 Durham, United Kingdom European Lower Leagues
Dean Crossland 2 0 0 0 0 2001-2002 1 G 1974-05-21 Penticton, Canada Minor Pro
Troy Crowder 16 2 3 5 71 1998-1999 1 R 1968-05-03 Sudbury, Canada Major League
Brent Cullaton 4 1 1 2 2 1999-2000 1 W 1974-11-12 Petawawa, Canada Minor Pro
Andrew Dale 26 4 11 15 20 1998-1999 1 C 1976-02-16 Greater Sudbury, Canada Minor Pro
Dom DiGiorgio 1 0 0 0 0 2001-2002 1 G 1977-01-09 Niagara Falls, Canada Minor Pro
Rob Donovan 41 1 13 14 96 2001-2002 1 D 1970-05-26 Boston, United States Minor Pro
Shane Dungey 37 0 8 8 38 1998-1999 1 D 1973-09-21 Richmond Hill, Canada Minor Pro
Ryan Duthie 21 6 15 21 16 1999-2000 1 C 1974-09-02 Red Deer, Canada Minor Pro
Mark Dutiaume 10 1 0 1 6 2000-2001 1 L 1977-01-31 Winnipeg, Canada Minor Pro
Bruce Eakin 11 3 12 15 22 1998-1999 1 C 1962-09-28 Winnipeg, Canada Major League
Jussi Eloranta 11 2 1 3 4 2000-2001 1 F 1976-03-07 Turku, Finland Minor Pro
Pat Ferschweiler 39 3 17 20 26 2000-2001 1 R 1970-02-20 Rochester, United States Minor Pro
Eric Flinton 39 16 17 33 24 1998-1999 1 L 1972-02-02 Williams Lake, Canada Minor Pro
Greg Gatto 28 6 5 11 56 1998-1999 1 R 1971-01-01 Lethbridge, Canada Minor Pro
Kelly Glowa 20 8 9 17 4 1998-1999 1 C 1963-08-11 Fort Saint John, Canada Minor Pro
Jamie Hanlon 1 0 0 0 0 2000-2001 1 F 1968-08-11 Montreal, Canada Minor Pro
Mike Harding 37 9 12 21 49 1998-1999 1 R 1971-02-24 Edmonton, Canada Minor Pro
Peter Hasselblad 18 4 5 9 12 1998-1999 1 D 1966-04-20 Långbro, Sweden European Elite
Jeff Hoad 73 24 29 53 66 1999-2003 2 C 1973-01-26 Brandon, Canada Minor Pro
Bill Huard 1 1 0 1 4 2000-2001 1 L 1967-06-24 Welland, Canada Major League
Marc Hussey 39 6 13 19 58 1999-2000 1 D 1974-01-22 Chatham, Canada Minor Pro
Shane Johnson 36 6 11 17 48 1998-1999 1 D 1974-01-01 Brandon, Canada European Lower Leagues
Jeff Johnstone 7 2 2 4 2 1999-2000 1 R 1975-09-21 Niagara Falls, Canada Minor Pro
Jonas Junkka 12 2 3 5 0 1998-1999 1 D 1975-05-04 Kiruna, Sweden Minor Pro
Claude Jutras 41 15 14 29 260 2000-2001 1 R 1973-09-18 Hampstead, Canada Minor Pro
A.J. Kelham 9 1 1 2 2 2002-2003 1 C 1974-03-30 Vancouver, Canada Minor Pro
Mike Kelleher 24 1 3 4 8 1998-1999 1 D 1973-03-29 Brookline, United States Minor Pro
Rob Kenny 39 17 23 40 63 1999-2000 1 R 1968-10-19 Bronx, United States Minor Pro
Scott Kirton 40 7 14 21 42 1998-1999 1 R 1971-10-04 Penetanguishene, Canada Minor Pro
Mikko Koivunoro 47 9 21 30 36 2000-2001 1 C 1971-11-12 Joensuu, Finland European Elite
Mark Kolesar 124 23 51 74 88 2000-2003 3 C 1973-01-23 Neepawa, Canada Major League
Martin Krainz 20 3 3 6 16 1998-1999 1 D 1967-05-25 Klagenfurt, Austria European Lower Leagues
Nate Leslie 62 6 6 12 52 2001-2003 2 W 1977-09-28 Winnipeg, Canada Minor Pro
Ake Lilljebjorn 9 0 0 0 0 2002-2003 1 G 1969-09-23 Ludvika, Sweden European Elite
Corey Lyons 30 13 8 21 8 1998-1999 1 R 1970-06-13 Calgary, Canada Minor Pro
Maurizio Mansi 77 19 28 47 48 2001-2003 2 F 1965-09-03 Montreal, Canada Minor Pro
Terry Marchant 29 5 11 16 12 2000-2001 1 C 1976-02-24 Buffalo, United States Minor Pro
Neal Martin 86 14 27 41 69 1999-2001 2 D 1975-09-08 Greater Sudbury, Canada Minor Pro
Dennis Maxwell 30 9 7 16 110 2002-2003 1 L 1974-06-04 Dauphin, Canada Minor Pro
Ian McIntyre 80 25 27 52 94 2001-2003 2 L 1974-02-12 Montreal, Canada Minor Pro
Sonny Mignacca 9 0 1 1 4 1998-1999 1 G 1974-01-04 Winnipeg, Canada Minor Pro
Jesper Morin 17 2 2 4 22 1998-1999 1 F 1975-05-27 Malmö, Sweden Minor Pro
Dave Morissette 13 2 1 3 117 2000-2001 1 L 1971-12-24 Baie-Comeau, Canada Major League
Tim Murray 40 1 10 11 26 1999-2000 1 D 1974-11-14 Calgary, Canada Minor Pro
Jay Neal 48 16 15 31 24 2000-2001 1 R 1970-06-03 Oshawa, Canada Minor Pro
Barry Nieckar 18 2 0 2 143 1999-2000 1 L 1967-12-16 Rama, Canada Major League
Ed Patterson 4 1 2 3 2 2002-2003 1 R 1972-11-14 Calgary, Canada Major League
Randy Perry 48 11 8 19 32 2000-2001 1 D 1976-06-19 Edmonton, Canada Minor Pro
Nick Poole 42 7 16 23 22 1998-1999 1 C 1973-07-11 Calgary, Canada Minor Pro
Brent Pope 5 1 3 4 6 2000-2001 1 D 1973-02-20 Hamilton, Canada Minor Pro
Pasi Raitanen 1 0 0 0 0 1998-1999 1 G 1971-05-13 Forssa, Finland European Elite
Bryan Richardson 45 17 30 47 42 2000-2001 1 C 1973-07-28 Montreal, Canada Minor Pro
Grant Richison 32 2 6 8 49 2000-2001 1 D 1967-05-05 Detroit, United States Minor Pro
Trevor Robins 70 0 2 2 4 1999-2002 3 G 1972-05-31 Brandon, Canada Minor Pro
Trevor Roenick 30 13 9 22 20 2001-2002 1 R 1974-10-07 Derby, United States Minor Pro
Paul Rushforth 120 21 44 65 401 1999-2003 4 C 1974-04-22 Prince George, Canada Minor Pro
Vezio Sacratini 73 20 38 58 68 2001-2003 2 F 1966-09-12 Lasalle, Canada European Lower Leagues
Claudio Scremin 40 7 26 33 18 1999-2000 1 D 1968-05-28 Burnaby, Canada Major League
Doug Searle 23 1 2 3 15 2001-2002 1 D 1972-03-21 Toronto, Canada Minor Pro
Shawn Silver 21 0 0 0 0 2000-2001 1 G 1975-09-06 Thunder Bay, Canada Minor Pro
Chris Slater 32 1 6 7 135 2002-2003 1 D 1974-12-25 Mattawan, United States Minor Pro
Greg Smyth 9 0 0 0 42 1999-2000 1 D 1966-04-23 Oakville, Canada Major League
Lee Sorochan 8 1 3 4 48 2000-2001 1 D 1975-09-09 Edmonton, Canada Major League
Regan Stocco 26 1 3 4 24 1998-1999 1 D 1975-08-16 Guelph, Canada Minor Pro
Darren Stolk 9 0 2 2 10 1998-1999 1 D 1968-07-22 Taber, Canada Minor Pro
David Struch 29 3 11 14 18 2001-2002 1 C 1971-02-11 Flin Flon, Canada Major League
Travis Thiessen 28 2 11 13 28 1998-1999 1 D 1972-07-11 North Battleford, Canada Minor Pro
Steve Thornton 15 3 7 10 8 2001-2002 1 C 1973-03-08 Gloucester, Canada Minor Pro
Mikael Tjallden 33 0 2 2 63 2000-2001 1 D 1975-02-16 Sollefteå, Sweden European Elite
David Trofimenkoff 54 0 2 2 2 2001-2003 2 G 1975-01-20 Calgary, Canada European Lower Leagues
David Vallieres 8 2 2 4 8 2000-2001 1 L 1974-07-14 Juneau, United States Minor Pro
Darby Walker 29 1 3 4 60 2000-2001 1 F 1974-08-05 Beaverlodge, Canada Minor Pro
Shawn Wansborough 11 0 2 2 57 1999-2000 1 L 1974-06-03 Deseronto, Canada Minor Pro
Mike Ware 61 8 6 14 123 1999-2002 2 R 1967-03-22 York, Canada Major League
Todd Wetzel 33 11 11 22 22 1999-2000 1 C 1973-09-03 Sarnia, Canada Minor Pro
Ken Wotherspoon 1 0 0 0 0 1998-1999 1 G 1978-06-01 United Kingdom European Lower Leagues
Brendan Yarema 39 17 16 33 139 2000-2001 1 C 1976-07-16 Sault Ste. Marie, Canada Minor Pro

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ice Hockey: McSorley foiled by ban". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  2. ^ Newman, Paul (20 March 2001). "Ice Hockey: McSorley unable to sign brother". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  3. ^ Geering. "Hockeyarenas.net". www.hockeyarenas.net.
  4. ^ Crosse, Simon (27 March 2003). "Ice Hockey: Knights' future in doubt". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  5. ^ "London Knights". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  6. ^ Newman, Paul (2001). "Ice Hockey: McSorley savours surprise success". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  7. ^ "London Knights (UK) history". Hockey DataBase. Retrieved 16 September 2017.