Idaho Steelheads

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Idaho Steelheads at CenturyLink Arena

Boise, Idaho, is home to one of the premiere teams in minor league hockey. The Idaho Steelheads play in the Mountain Division of the ECHL's Western Conference, and are part of the Dallas Stars organization along with the AHL's Texas Stars. The Steelheads play out of the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, which seats 5,002 for ice hockey and first opened as the Bank of America Centre in 1997. They are coached by Everett Sheen, who replaced Neil Graham in 2019 after Graham took an assistant coaching position with the Texas Stars.

Idaho Steelheads Hockey History

The Idaho Steelheads first took to the ice in 1997 as part of a four-team expansion of the West Coast Hockey League, and are named after a species of rainbow trout indigenous to the area. The Steelheads were instantly successful, making annual playoff appearances under coaches Dave Langevin and Clint Malarchuk, before hiring John Olver for the 2000-01 season. Under Olver, the Steelheads won two conference championships (in 2001 and 2002) as well as having the best regular season record in 2003. The Idaho Steelheads were one of six operating teams and one planned WCHL team to be absorbed into the East Coast Hockey League after the 2003 season, forming the modern ECHL. The move to the ECHL coincided with the formation of a partnership with the Dallas Stars, which has continued ever since, with the exception of the 2004-05 season.

The Steelheads earned the distinction of having reached the playoffs each and every season since their founding, as well as being the westernmost franchise of the ECHL, and the last original WCHL team to exist in their original form. Since joining the ECHL in 2003, they have won the Kelly Cup twice (in 2004, and in 2007 under coach Derek Laxdal). In 2010, the Steelheads won the Brabham Cup for earning the most points in the regular season, but they lost to the Cincinnati Cyclones in the Kelly Cup finals, four games to one. In 2019, the Steelheads placed second in their division, exiting in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs after losing to the rival Utah Grizzlies.