|League:||American Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||Copps Coliseum|
|Colours:||Copper, Red, blue, white
|Head Coach:||Sylvain Lefebvre|
|Affiliates:||Montreal Canadiens (NHL)|
Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)
|Nova Scotia Oilers|
Cape Breton Oilers
|Edmonton Road Runners|
Oklahoma City Barons
Nova Scotia Voyageurs
|Regular Season Titles:||1 (2002–03)|
|Division Championships:||4 (2002–03, 2003–04, 2009–10, 2010–11)|
|Conference Championships:||3 (1996–97, 2002–03, 2006–07)|
|Calder Cups:||1 (2006–07)|
The Hamilton Bulldogs are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They play in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, at Copps Coliseum, nicknamed 'The Dog Pound'. They are the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. The team has won the Calder Cup once in their history, in 2007.
Official Hamilton Bulldogs Website: http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/
The Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club was established in 1996 after re-locating from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where the team played several years as the Cape Breton Oilers. The team was nicknamed the "Bulldogs" after a lenghty name the team contest; and was determined to best suit the City of Hamilton. The name "Hamilton Havoc" was runner-up.
On the ice the club has reached the Calder Cup Finals three times.Firstly in 1997, the club's first year, and again in 2003 only to lose in both cases. The 2003 game 7 final was played June 12, 2003, vs the Houston Aeros. The attendance at Copps Coliseum was 17,428, making it the largest playoff crowd in the history of the AHL (the record was since broken in 2005 in Philadelphia). Houston won the game 3–0 and the series 4–3. The Bulldogs finally won the Calder Cup Final in 2007 against the Hershey Bears. This series was a rematch of the 1997 Calder Cup Final which Hershey won 4 games to 1. The Bulldogs reversed that in 2007 - Hamilton 4 games to Hershey's 1.
Off the ice, the club faced turmoil in 2000 resulting in a "Stay Dogs Stay" campaign spearheaded by Don Robertson, Ron Burnstein, Nick Javor and club President Cary Kaplan, aimed at keeping the franchise in Hamilton. The campaign was a financial success and resulted in the club remaining in the Steel City with a bolstered fan base and an improved lease with the City of Hamilton.
In spite of a franchise high in attendance in 2001, the Edmonton Oilers announced plans to move their AHL affiliation to Toronto. Local interests made a multi-million dollar investment to secure ownership of the Quebec Citadelles and relocate them to Hamilton thus keeping the Bulldogs in town. For the second time in as many years, the fate of the club was in jeopardy, but ultimately rescued by local interests. The achievement to preserve the franchise was a unique joint venture between the Montreal Canadiens, the Edmonton Oilers, the American Hockey League, and a local consortium of Hamilton owners, which allowed for a joint affiliation in 2002–2003 between Montreal and Edmonton as ownership changed hands. Fans voted to keep the Bulldogs name which won over the Hamilton Canadiens and Hamilton Habs.
In the summer of 2004, Burlington businessman Michael Andlauer became majority owner, governor and chairman of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Andlauer was part of the initial group of local business people, who purchased the club from the Edmonton Oilers in 2002. By 2011, Andlauer owned 100% of the franchise.
In 2010, fans saw the Bulldogs under coach Guy Boucher advance to the Western Conference finals against the Texas Stars only to lose a hard fought series in game seven.
Soon to start their 17th season, the Bulldogs are the longest serving non-NHL pro hockey franchise in Canada, the longest serving Canadian AHL franchise (a record it gained in 2010 previously held by the St. John's Maple Leafs, which played 14 seasons from 1991 to 2005), and one of its most successful franchises with over 2,500,000 fans to date.
This market was previously served by:
- Hamilton Canucks (1992 to 1994)
List of timelines for the two separate franchises known as the Hamilton Bulldogs.
- Edmonton Oilers AHL Affiliates
- Nova Scotia Oilers (1984–1988)
- Cape Breton Oilers (1988–1996)
- Hamilton Bulldogs (1996–2003)
- Toronto Roadrunners (2003–2004)
- Edmonton Road Runners (2004–2005)
- Franchise dormant (2005–2010)
- Springfield Falcons (2007–2009)
- Oklahoma City Barons (2010–present)<>
<>Edmonton Road Runners resurrected as the Oklahoma City Barons.
- Montreal Canadiens AHL Affiliates
- Montreal Voyageurs (1969–1971)
- Nova Scotia Voyageurs (1971–1984)
- Sherbrooke Canadiens (1984–1990)
- Fredericton Canadiens (1990–1999)
- Quebec Citadelles (1999–2002)
- Hamilton Bulldogs (2002–present)
|1997–98||80||36||22||17||5||—||94||264||242||2nd, Empire State|
|1998–99||80||40||29||7||4||—||91||229||206||3rd, Empire State|
|1999–00||80||27||34||13||6||—||73||225||262||3rd, Empire State|
|Season||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||Finals|
|1996–97||W, 3–2, SJNB||W, 4–3, SJNL||W, 4–1, ALB||L, 1–4, HER|
|1997–98||W, 3–2, SYR||L, 0–4, ALB||—||—|
|1998–99||W, 3–2, ALB||L, 2–4, ROCH||—||—|
|1999–00||W, 3–1, SYR||L, 2–4, ROCH||—||—|
|2000–01||Out of Playoffs|
|2001–02||W, 3–0, QUE||W, 4–1, HART||L, 3–4, BRI||—|
|2002–03||W, 3–1, SPR||W, 4–3, MTB||W, 4–1, BING||L, 3–4, HOU|
|2003–04||W, 4–2, CLE||L, 0–4, ROCH||—||—|
|2004–05||L, 0–4, ROCH||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Out of playoffs|
|2006–07||W, 4–2, ROCH||W, 4–2, MTB||W, 4–1, CHI||W, 4–1, HER|
|2007–08||Out of Playoffs|
|2008–09||L, 2–4, GRG||—||—||—|
|2009–10||W, 4–2, MTB||W 4–2, ABB||L, 3–4, TEX||—|
|2010–11||W, 4–2, OKC||W, 4–3, MTB||L, 3–4, HOU||—|
|2011–12||Out of Playoffs|