|League:||American Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||MTS Centre and Winnipeg Arena|
|Colours:|| Green, black, bronze, and white
|Affiliates:|| Vancouver Canucks|
Victoria Salmon Kings
|1996–2001 IHL:||Manitoba Moose|
|2001–2011 AHL:||Manitoba Moose|
|2011–present:||St. John's IceCaps|
|Regular Season Titles:||1 (2008–09)|
|Division Championships:||2 (2006–07), (2008–09)|
|Conference Championships:||1 (2008–09)|
The Manitoba Moose were a Canadian professional ice hockey team based in Winnipeg, Manitoba that played in the International Hockey League from 1996 to 2001 and American Hockey League from 2001 to 2011.
International Hockey League (1996-2001) Edit
After the departure of the National Hockey League's Winnipeg Jets in 1996, a group of local businessmen, including Mark Chipman, purchased the Minnesota Moose of the IHL. The team was relocated to Winnipeg in order to provide a new tenant for the Winnipeg Arena and keep professional hockey in the city. The team was rechristened as the Manitoba Moose.
Their first season in Winnipeg was a disaster. Former Montreal Canadiens coach Jean Perron was brought in as head coach and general manager, but lasted only 50 games before he was fired on January 4, 1997. Perron's short time with the Moose was turbulent both on and off the ice and the team won only 16 games. Upon his dismissal, Perron lashed out at the ownership, the media, and the players, including a personal attack on team captain Randy Gilhen.Perron threatened legal action against the team, but nothing came of it. Assistant coach Randy Carlyle, a former Jets defenceman, took over as head coach and led the team to a winning record in their final 32 games of the season, but the team still missed the playoffs.
Carlyle served as head coach and general manager for remainder of the team's tenure in IHL. The Moose had moderate regular season success and qualified for the Turner Cup playoffs three out of four seasons, making it as far as the second round. Carlyle was named the league's General Manager of the Year for the 1998-99 season. During their five seasons in the IHL, the Moose remained independent and did not affiliate with an NHL team, although several NHL clubs did loan players to the Moose.
American Hockey League (2001-2011)Edit
With the IHL's demise in 2001, the Moose and five other IHL teams joined the AHL. The Moose became the new minor league affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks. Former Canucks star Stan Smyl was chosen by the Canucks as the new head coach of the Moose, while Carlyle remained as general manager for one season. In 2002-2003 season, Smyl led the Moose to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs, but lost to the Hamilton Bulldogs in seven games. However, after missing the playoffs the next season, Smyl was reassigned within the Canucks' organization.
After the departure of Smyl, Carlyle returned as head coach of the Moose in 2004 after a stint as assistant coach of the Washington Capitals. Craig Heisinger, who had been promoted to replace Carlyle as general manager, retained his position. The biggest news during the 2004-2005 season was the opening of the MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg. The new arena was a huge success and so was the team. The Moose made it to the conference final for the first time in team history, but were swept in four games by their old IHL rivals, the Chicago Wolves. Mark Chipman was awarded the James C. Hendy Memorial Award for AHL Executive of the Year. After the season, Carlyle was hired as the new head coach of the Anaheim Ducks.
Former Canadiens head coach Alain Vigneault was brought in as new head coach for the 2005-06 season. Along with Vigneault, the Moose signed Winnipegger and three time Stanley Cup champion Mike Keane and named him captain. Keane quickly became a fan favorite and the team had another great year, but again lost in the second round of the playoffs. After the season, Vigneault was promoted by the Canucks to fill their vacant head coaching position when Marc Crawford was let go.
Scott Arniel was selected to replace Vigneault. Arniel, a former Moose captain and assistant coach, coached the Moose for four seasons. In 2008-09, he led the Moose to their best season in franchise history when the team finished with 107 points, the best record in the league. The Moose went all the way to the Calder Cup Finals, losing the final to the Hershey Bears. Arniel was awarded the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL Coach of the Year, while general manager Heisinger became the second member of the Moose front office staff to win the James C. Hendy Memorial Award.
Arniel became the third Moose coach in a six years to make the jump to the NHL when he was hired by the Columbus Blue Jackets as their new head coach in 2010. Ironically, Arniel was replaced by former Blue Jackets interim head coach Claude Noel, whose contract had not renewed by the club. During the same off-season, Keane's contract was not renewed by the Moose. His #12 jersey was retired on Mike Keane Tribute Night, February 12, 2011. During the 2010-11 playoffs, the Moose came back from 3 game to 1 deficit to the Lake Erie Monsters to advance to the second round. The Moose also fell behind 3 games to 1 to the Bulldogs, but came back to force Game 7. However, the Bulldogs won the series with a 2-1 win in triple overtime. It was the longest Game 7 in AHL history and proved to be final ever game for the Manitoba Moose.
During their ten seasons in the league, the Moose were one of the most successful franchises in the AHL. Moose attendance was among the best in the league every season, including an average of 8,404 per game in the final season in Winnipeg. The organization was also popular with the players, as the Moose "had the reputation of being run like an NHL club". League president and CEO David Andrews called the Moose "a flagship franchise for the AHL".
2008–09 Calder Cup PlayoffsEdit
The Moose finished the 2008-09 season with the best record in the AHL. In the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the Moose completed their first playoff sweep in franchise history, defeating the Grand Rapids Griffins. After beating the Houston Aeros in six games to win the Western Conference final, the Moose advanced to the Calder Cup finals for the first time. Their opponent was the previous year's winner, the Hershey Bears.
Games 1 and 2 of the final series were played at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The Bears took the first game 5-4 in overtime in front of a sold out crowd of 15,003. In Game 2, the Moose were led by Jason Jaffray's hat trick and tied the series with a 3-1 victory.
After the teams split the first two games in Winnipeg, the series shifted to the Giant Center in Hershey for Games 3, 4, and 5. Hershey won Games 3 and 4 by scores of 3-0 and 2-1 to take a 3 to 1 series lead. However, the Moose came back to win Game 5 and send the series back to Winnipeg for Game 6 and hopefully a Game 7.
In Game 6, in front of another sold crowd at the MTS Centre, the Bears scored three first period goals en route to a 4-1 win over the Moose to win their team's tenth Calder Cup.
Relocation to St. John'sEdit
On May 31, 2011, True North Sports and Entertainment, which acquired the Moose in 2003, announced the purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL with the intent of moving them to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 season. As a result, True North negotiated a deal with former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador Danny Williams to relocate the Moose to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador for the 2011-12 season, ending their 15 year tenure in Manitoba. On June 10, 2011, the AHL board of governors approved the relocation. True North has retained ownership of the franchise, but the team, now known as the St. John's IceCaps, is operated by a group headed by Williams and is the AHL affiliate of the True North's NHL team, the Winnipeg Jets.
- Goals: 45 Scott Thomas (1998–99)
- Assists: 81 Stephane Morin (1994–95)
- Points: 114 Stephane Morin (1994–95)
- Penalty Minutes: 285 Wade Brookbank (2004–05)
- Wins: 35 Cory Schneider (2009-10)
- GAA: 2.04 Cory Schneider (2008-09)
- SV%: .928 Cory Schneider (2008-09)
- Career Goals: 102 Jimmy Roy
- Career Assists: 193 Brett Hauer
- Career Points: 251 Brett Hauer
- Career Penalty Minutes: 1434 Jimmy Roy
- Career Goaltending Wins: 84 Cory Schneider
- Career Shutouts: 12 Cory Schneider
- Career Games: 603 Jimmy Roy
Franchise Scoring LeadersEdit
Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; * = current Moose player; ** = current Moose coach
- Randy Gilhen, 1996–97
- Scott Arniel, 1997–99
- Brian Chapman, 1999–2003
- Dallas Eakins, 2003–04
- Nolan Baumgartner, 2004–05
- Mike Keane, 2005–10
- Nolan Baumgartner, 2010-11
- Jean Perron, 1996–97 (fired 50 games into first season)
- Randy Carlyle, 1997–2001 (became Washington Capitals assistant coach in 2002)
- Stan Smyl, 2001–04 (returned to Canucks as director of player development)
- Randy Carlyle, 2004–05 (became Anaheim Ducks head coach)
- Alain Vigneault, 2005-06 (became Vancouver Canucks head coach)
- Scott Arniel, 2006–10 (became Columbus Blue Jackets head coach)
- Claude Noel, 2010–11 (became head coach of the Winnipeg Jets)
Team General ManagersEdit
- Jean Perron, 1996-97 (fired 50 games into first season)
- Randy Carlyle, 1997-2002
- Craig Heisinger, 2002-2011
- 12 - Mike Keane
|Season||Prelim||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||Finals|
|1994–95||—||L, 0–3, Denver||—||—||—|
|1995–96||Out of playoffs.|
|1996–97||Out of playoffs.|
|1997–98||—||L, 0–3, Chicago||—||—||—|
|1998–99||W, 2–0, Milwaukee||L, 0–3, Chicago||—||—||—|
|1999–00||L, 0–2, Long Beach||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||—||W, 4–3, Houston||L, 2–4, Chicago||—||—|
|2001–02||W, 2–1, Worcester||L, 1–3, Bridgeport||—||—||—|
|2002–03||W, 2–1, Portland||W, 3–1, Providence||L, 3–4, Hamilton||—||—|
|2003–04||Out of playoffs.|
|2004–05||—||W, 4–1, St. John's||W, 4–1, Rochester||L, 0–4, Chicago||—|
|2005–06||—||W, 4–2, Syracuse||L, 3–4, Grand Rapids||—||—|
|2006–07||—||W, 4–3, Grand Rapids||L, 2–4, Hamilton||—||—|
|2007–08||—||L, 2–4, Syracuse||—||—||—|
|2008–09||—||W, 4-2, Toronto||W, 4–0, Grand Rapids||W, 4-2, Houston||L, 2-4, Hershey|
|2009–10||—||L, 2-4, Hamilton||—||—||—|
|2010–11||—||W, 4-3, Lake Erie||L, 3-4, Hamilton||—||—|