Portland Winterhawks
CityPortland, Oregon
LeagueWestern Hockey League
ConferenceWestern
DivisionU.S.
Founded1950
Home arenaVeterans Memorial Coliseum
ColorsBiscuit black, buzzer red, squall gray, celly gold, ice white
         
General managerMike Johnston
Head coachMike Johnston
Websitewww.winterhawks.com
Franchise history
1950–1976Edmonton Oil Kings
19762009Portland Winter Hawks
2009–presentPortland Winterhawks
Championships
Regular season titles4 (1979–80, 1997–98, 2012–13, 2019–20)
Playoff championshipsEd Chynoweth Cup
3 (1982, 1998, 2013)
Memorial Cup
2 (1983, 1998)
Conference Championships
5 (2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2023–24)

The Portland Winterhawks are a junior ice hockey team based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1950 as the Edmonton Oil Kings, the team relocated to Portland in 1976 and was known as the Winter Hawks until 2009. The team plays in the U.S. Division of the Western Hockey League (WHL), one of three constituent leagues of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). The Winterhawks have made a record twelve appearances in the WHL championship series—including a record-tying four straight from 2011 to 2014—winning the Ed Chynoweth Cup three times and capturing two Memorial Cup titles. They were the first American-based team to participate in and win either championship. The team plays its home games at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

History

The franchise was founded in 1950 as the Edmonton Oil Kings. Under Bill Hunter's leadership, the Oil Kings were a founding franchise of the Western Canada Junior Hockey League in 1966.[1] Despite winning two league titles in the early 1970s, the arrival of Hunter's Edmonton Oilers in the World Hockey Association precipitated the relocation of the franchise. In the spring of 1976, it was announced that the franchise, owned by Brian C. Shaw, would move to Portland, making it the league's first American team and leading the league to simplify its name to the Western Hockey League.[2]

In their first season in Portland, the club would lose 7–2 to a travelling Russian club in an exhibition match watched by more than 5,000 fans.[3] Overall, the team carried over its success from its early days in Edmonton—in their first eleven seasons in Portland, the Winterhawks failed to make the playoffs only once, and advanced to the league final five times, winning their first Ed Chynoweth Cup in 1982 and the Memorial Cup in 1983.[4] In 1982 the Winterhawks became the first American team to win the WHL championship and also the first to compete for the Memorial Cup. In 1983, despite losing the WHL championship series, the Winterhawks participated in the Memorial Cup by virtue of hosting the tournament—the first American team to do so. Brian Shaw advocated for the participation of the host team, and after the Winterhawks—led by star rookie Cam Neely and goaltender Mike Vernon—won the tournament, the CHL opted to continue with the new format going forward.[4]

The Winterhawks hosted the tournament again in 1986, awarded the tournament when it became clear that the original host of New Westminster would be unable to host due to also hosting the 1986 World Expo.[4] In 1998, the Winterhawks, led by Brenden Morrow and Marián Hossa, earned their way back to the Memorial Cup—hosted by the rival Spokane Chiefs—with an Ed Chynoweth Cup championship; they won their second Memorial Cup title with a 4–3 overtime win in the final over the Guelph Storm.[4]

The Winterhawks advanced to four consecutive WHL championship series from 2011 to 2014, just the second team to do so after the New Westminster Bruins won four consecutive titles from 1975 to 1978. From 2012 to 2014, the Winterhawks met the revived Edmonton Oil Kings in each league final.[5] The Winterhawks won one of the finals, in 2013, to advance to the team's fifth Memorial Cup tournament, where it lost the final to the Halifax Mooseheads.[6]

On November 28, 2012, the WHL announced sanctions against the Winterhawks for a series of player benefits violations over the four previous seasons.[7] As punishment for the violations, WHL Commissioner Ron Robison suspended the team from participation in the first five rounds of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, and the team forfeited their first round picks from the 2014 to 2017 drafts and was fined $200,000. The WHL also suspended General Manager and Head Coach Mike Johnston for the remainder of the 2012–13 season, including the 2013 WHL playoffs.[7]

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, the franchise filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy. Although the Winterhawks were financially stable, owner Bill Gallacher used the team as security against an unpaid loan; Gallacher ultimately had to sell the franchise in order to repay debts.[8] The WHL Board of Governors approved Winterhawks Sports Group (WSG) as the new owners of the franchise, effective January 1, 2021. Along with the Winterhawks franchise, WSG also acquired the operations of the Winterhawks Skating Center in Beaverton, Oregon, and the Winterhawks Junior Hockey programs.[9] Prior to the start of the 2021–22 WHL season, the team announced that it would be returning to the Veteran's Memorial Coliseum full-time after previously dividing games between the Coliseum and the Moda Center since 1995.[10]

Uniforms, logos, and mascot

The Winterhawks logo from 1976 to 2021, adopted from the Chicago Blackhawks.

The team was known as the Winter Hawks until May 2009, when it issued a press release stating that, "the space...has announced its retirement", and that the team was renaming itself the Winterhawks.[11][12]

Upon moving to Portland in 1976, the Winter Hawks accepted a donation of old jerseys from the National Hockey League's Chicago Black Hawks, and they kept the design for nearly half of a century.[13] Amid pressure for sports teams to abandon Native American caricatures, new ownership opted to rebrand the Winterhawks in 2021. The team unveiled its new look on July 14, 2021, featuring new colors and a new hawk logo.[14]

The Winterhawks' also retired their Tom-A-Hawk bird mascot in 2019.[15]

Championships

The Winterhawks hosting the Tri-City Americans on January 24, 2016.

Memorial Cup finals history

The Winterhawks have advanced to three Memorial Cup finals.[4]

WHL Championship history

Further information: Ed Chynoweth Cup

Season-by-season record

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Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Sven Baertschi played for the Winterhawks from 2010 to 2012.
Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
1976–77 72 36 29 7 - 359 294 79 3rd West Lost semifinal
1977–78 72 41 20 11 - 361 296 93 1st West Eliminated in West Division round-robin
1978–79 72 49 10 13 - 432 265 111 1st West Lost final
1979–80 72 53 18 1 - 398 293 107 1st West Eliminated in West Division round-robin
1980–81 72 56 15 1 - 443 266 113 2nd West Lost West Division final
1981–82 72 46 24 2 - 380 323 94 1st West Won championship
1982–83 72 50 22 0 - 495 387 100 1st West Lost final; Won Memorial Cup
1983–84 72 33 39 0 - 430 449 66 3rd West Lost West Division final
1984–85 72 27 44 1 - 365 442 55 4th West Lost West Division semifinal
1985–86 72 47 24 1 - 438 348 95 2nd West Lost West Division final; Memorial Cup host
1986–87 72 47 23 2 - 439 355 96 2nd West Lost final
1987–88 72 24 45 3 - 328 449 51 6th West Out of playoffs
1988–89 72 40 28 4 - 408 395 84 1st West Lost final
1989–90 72 24 45 3 - 322 426 51 5th West Out of playoffs
1990–91 72 17 53 2 - 298 450 36 5th West Out of playoffs
1991–92 72 31 37 4 - 314 342 66 5th West Lost West Division quarterfinal
1992–93 72 45 24 3 - 343 275 93 1st West Lost final
1993–94 72 49 22 1 - 392 260 99 2nd West Lost West Division final
1994–95 72 23 43 6 - 240 308 52 6th West Lost West Division semifinal
1995–96 72 30 39 3 - 283 301 63 6th West Lost West Division quarterfinal
1996–97 72 46 21 5 - 300 196 97 1st West Lost West Division quarterfinal
1997–98 72 53 14 5 - 342 203 111 1st West Won championship and Memorial Cup
1998–99 72 23 36 13 - 215 278 59 5th West Lost West Division quarterfinal
1999–00 72 16 49 7 0 173 296 39 7th West Out of playoffs
2000–01 72 37 27 5 3 254 237 82 2nd West Lost final
2001–02 72 36 25 5 6 269 243 83 1st U.S. Lost Western Conference quarterfinal
2002–03 72 19 40 8 5 192 243 51 3rd U.S. Lost Western Conference quarterfinal
2003–04 72 34 29 6 3 199 206 77 2nd U.S. Lost Western Conference quarterfinal
2004–05 72 35 27 5 5 204 198 80 2nd U.S. Lost Western Conference quarterfinal
2005–06 72 32 32 3 5 204 258 72 3rd U.S. Lost Western Conference semifinal
2006–07 72 17 52 1 2 146 316 37 5th U.S. Out of playoffs
2007–08 72 11 58 2 1 132 318 25 5th U.S. Out of playoffs
2008–09 72 19 48 3 2 176 288 43 5th U.S. Out of playoffs
Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
2009–10 72 44 25 2 1 266 241 91 4th U.S. Lost Western Conference semifinal
2010–11 72 50 19 0 3 303 227 103 1st U.S. Lost final
2011–12 72 49 19 3 1 328 229 102 2nd U.S. Lost final
2012–13 72 57 12 1 2 334 169 117 1st U.S. Won championship; Lost Memorial Cup final
2013–14 72 54 13 2 3 338 207 113 1st U.S. Lost final
2014–15 72 43 23 2 4 287 237 92 2nd U.S. Lost Western Conference final
2015–16 72 34 31 6 1 228 227 75 3rd U.S. Lost Western Conference quarterfinal
2016–17 72 40 28 1 3 278 256 84 4th U.S. Lost Western Conference semifinal
2017–18 72 44 22 1 5 274 214 94 2nd U.S. Lost Western Conference semifinal
2018–19 68 40 22 3 3 258 210 86 3rd U.S. Lost Western Conference quarterfinal
2019–20 63 45 11 3 4 270 164 97 1st U.S. No playoffs due to COVID-19 pandemic
2020–21 24 13 8 3 0 96 72 29 2nd U.S. No playoffs were held
2021–22 68 47 16 3 2 298 192 99 2nd U.S. Lost Western Conference semifinal
2022–23 68 40 20 5 3 244 218 88 2nd U.S. Lost Western Conference semifinal
2023–24 68 48 15 4 1 330 204 101 1st U.S. TBD

Players

Current roster

Updated March 30, 2024.[16]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Drafted
26 Czech Republic Marek Alscher D R 20 2021 Kladno, Czech Republic 2022, 93rd Overall, FLA
90 Canada Diego Buttazzoni C L 18 2022 Langley, British Columbia Eligible 2024
73 Canada Luca Cagnoni D L 19 2020 Burnaby, British Columbia 2023, 123rd Overall, SJS
19 Canada Kyle Chyzowski (A) C L 19 2019 Surrey, British Columbia Undrafted
89 Canada Nate Danielson C R 19 2024 Red Deer, Alberta 2023, 9th Overall, DET
29 Canada Hudson Darby RW R 17 2021 Swift Current, Saskatchewan Eligible 2025
71 Canada Joshua Davies C L 20 2023 Airdrie, Alberta 2022, 186th Overall, FLA
8 Canada Braeden Jockims RW R 18 2023 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Undrafted
27 Canada Tyson Jugnauth D L 20 2023 Toronto, Ontario 2022, 100th Overall, SEA
16 Canada Gabe Klassen (C) LW L 20 2018 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Undrafted
34 Canada Justen Maric G L 20 2023 Edmonton, Alberta Undrafted
4 Canada Cohen Massey D L 17 2021 Cloverdale, British Columbia Eligible 2024
18 Canada Kyle McDonough C L 17 2022 Langdon, Alberta Eligible 2025
23 Canada Ryan Miller RW L 17 2022 Medicine Hat, Alberta Eligible 2025
2 Canada Josh Mori D L 20 2019 Richmond, British Columbia Undrafted
72 Canada Marcus Nguyen RW R 19 2019 Calgary, Alberta Undrafted
92 United States Jack O'Brien (A) C L 20 2018 Denver, Colorado Undrafted
59 Canada Carter Sotheran D R 18 2020 Sanford, Manitoba 2023, 135th Overall, PHI
31 Czech Republic Jan Špunar G L 19 2022 Olomouc, Czech Republic Undrafted
13 United States James Stefan RW R 20 2018 Laguna Beach, California 2024, FA, EDM
91 Canada Alex Thompson D R 18 2021 Winnipeg, Manitoba Eligible 2024
43 Canada Ryder Thompson (A) D L 19 2019 Russell, Manitoba Undrafted
39 Canada Tyson Yaremko RW L 18 2023 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Undrafted
28 Canada Josh Zakreski LW R 18 2020 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Eligible 2024

Hall of Famers

Four former Portland Winter Hawks alumni are inductees to the Hockey Hall of Fame: Mark Messier, Cam Neely, Marian Hossa, and Mike Vernon.[citation needed]

This is a list of former players inducted into the Portland Winter Hawks franchise Hall of Fame.

Portland Winter Hawks franchise Hall of Fame inductees
Hall of Fame players[17]
Ken Hodge
Todd Robinson
Dennis Holland
Cam Neely
Brent Peterson
Glen Wesley
Andrew Ference
Grant Sasser
Marian Hossa
Randy Heath
Brenden Morrow
Ken Yaremchuk

Retired numbers

Portland Winter Hawks retired numbers
No. Player Position Career No. retirement
21 Cam Neely RW 1982–1984 March 18, 2023[18]

NHL alumni

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List of Portland Winterhawks alumni who have graduated to play in the National Hockey League.

First round draft picks

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Players chosen in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft:

Team records

During the 2012–13 season, Winterhawks captain Troy Rutkowski established the new team record for most regular games played as a Winterhawk. His career total of 351 games surpassed the previous mark of 328 games set by Kevin Haupt in the 1998–99 season.[21]

Career records[22]
Statistic Player Total Career
Most goals Dennis Holland 179 1985–1989
Most assists Todd Robinson 325 1994–1999
Most points Todd Robinson 470 1994–1999
Most points, defenceman Brandon Smith 232 1989–1994
Most games played Troy Rutkowski 351 2008–2013
Most wins (goalie) Mac Carruth 117 2009–2013
Most shutouts (goalie) Mac Carruth 11 2009–2013

References

  1. ^ "WHL History". Western Hockey League. Archived from the original on July 31, 2023. Retrieved July 31, 2023.
  2. ^ Jones, Terry; Jim Mathieson (June 11, 1976). "Oil Kings to become Portland Winter Hawks". Edmonton Journal. p. 1.
  3. ^ UPI (December 14, 1976). "Russians win easily". The World (Coos Bay).
  4. ^ a b c d e Vrooman, Todd (May 26, 2016). "Breaking New Ground: A History of the Winterhawks in the Memorial Cup". Portland Winterhawks. Archived from the original on May 7, 2024. Retrieved May 7, 2024.
  5. ^ "Winterhawks meet Oil Kings for 3rd-straight year". Sportsnet. Canadian Press. May 1, 2014. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2024.
  6. ^ "Halifax Mooseheads make history, win Memorial Cup". CBC News. May 26, 2013. Archived from the original on July 31, 2023. Retrieved July 31, 2023.
  7. ^ a b "WHL Sanctions Portland Winterhawks". Western Hockey League. November 28, 2012. Archived from the original on February 13, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  8. ^ Jaynes, Dwight (May 11, 2020). "New Ownership in the offing for Winterhawks—could it be 'Pickled?'". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on May 25, 2020.
  9. ^ "New Year, New Ownership, New Excitement for Defending Regular Season Champion Portland Winterhawks". Portland Winterhawks. Archived from the original on December 21, 2020.
  10. ^ "Winterhawks Share 2021–22 Regular Season Schedule". Portland Winterhawks. May 7, 2024. Archived from the original on June 24, 2021. Retrieved May 7, 2024.
  11. ^ "Winterhawks' space announces retirement". Portland Winterhawks. May 9, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  12. ^ Wilson, Mike (May 8, 2009). "Hockey team changes nickname ... cleverly". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on January 27, 2021. Retrieved May 9, 2009.
  13. ^ Canzano, John (July 12, 2021). "Winterhawks dropping Native American logo for a fresh look -- and it can't come fast enough". Oregon Live. Archived from the original on July 12, 2021. Retrieved May 7, 2024.
  14. ^ Cowley, Jared (July 14, 2021). "'It's time to take a step forward': Portland Winterhawks replace Native American logo and mascot". KGW. Archived from the original on July 14, 2021.
  15. ^ "TOM Announces His Retirement". Portland Winterhawks. January 17, 2019. Archived from the original on January 20, 2019.
  16. ^ "WHL Network". Western Hockey League. Retrieved March 30, 2024.
  17. ^ "Winterhawks Hall of Fame". Portland Winterhawks. Archived from the original on September 6, 2023.
  18. ^ "Cam Neely honored with Winterhawks jersey retirement". Portland Winterhawks. March 19, 2023. Archived from the original on March 20, 2023.
  19. ^ "Craig Cunningham Stats".
  20. ^ "Caleb Jones Stats, News, Bio".
  21. ^ Danzer, Paul (January 24, 2013). "Junior Hockey Report: Rutkowski to set W-hawks record". The Columbian. Archived from the original on January 20, 2014.
  22. ^ "All-Time Franchise Leaders". Portland Winterhawks. Archived from the original on September 6, 2023. Retrieved May 7, 2024.

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