|City:||Manchester, New Hampshire|
|League:||American Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||Verizon Wireless Arena|
|Colors:||Purple, black, gold, white
|Owner(s):||Anschutz Entertainment Group|
|General Manager:||Ron Hextall|
|Head Coach:||Mark Morris|
|Media:||New Hampshire Union Leader|
|Affiliates:||Los Angeles Kings|
Ontario Reign (ECHL)
|Regular Season Titles:||2 (2004–05, 2006–07)|
|Division Championships:||2 (2006–07), (2004–05)|
The Manchester Monarchs are an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They play in Manchester, New Hampshire at the Verizon Wireless Arena. They have been the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings since 2001.
Official Manchester Monarchs Website: http://www.monarchshockey.com/
History[edit | edit source]
The Monarchs played their first game on October 6, 2001 against the Lowell Lock Monsters, losing 6–3. Their first win was a week later, on October 13, 2001, against the Norfolk Admirals
The team has been competitive within the division every year of its existence. They won their first Atlantic Division title in 2004–05, but lost in the first round to Providence. This continued the streak of first round playoff exits, which the team had experienced in every year of existence, and would come to include the 2005–06 season.
2006–07 was the team's best season to date. With rookie head coach Mark Morris, leading scorers Matt Moulson and Noah Clarke, and former league MVP Jason LaBarbera in goal, the team had their best finish ever, winning the Atlantic Division title with the second-best points total in the league.
Heading into the playoffs, there was doubts within the team, as star goaltender LaBarbera had ended the season injured. The team faced the Worcester Sharks in the first round. With LaBarbera coming back by game 2, the Monarchs defeated the Sharks in six games, including double-overtime thrillers in games 2 and 6. The second round brought the Providence Bruins, who put up as much - if not more - of a fight. The Monarchs found a way, however, and defeated the Bruins in six games. This brought the Monarchs to their first ever Eastern Conference finals, but they were swept by the defending champion Hershey Bears in four games.
Following their run in 2007, the Monarchs looked to have holes to fill, as LaBarbera was brought up to the Kings, along with several other players. The 2007–08 season was an up and down one, which ended following a sweep by the Providence Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. 2008–09 was a landmark year for the franchise, but not in the way they would hope. Despite a late surge, the team finished fifth, five points out of the playoffs, for the first time in franchise history.
The first half of the 2009-2010 season has proven to be successful for this year's Monarchs squad. Several players have been promoted to Los Angeles, including Rich Clune and Alec Martinez.
The Monarchs won their home opener of the 2010-2011 season, as David Meckler scored the game-winning goal in front of 9,035 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on October 16, 2010. The game was also noteworthy as left wing Brandon Kozun and center Justin Azevedo were awarded penalty shots, the first time in franchise history that two players were awarded penalty shots in the same game
The Manchester Monarchs have made it to the playoffs every season since their coming into existence, but are still yet to win The Calder Cup Championship.
NHL Expansion[edit | edit source]
Since Manchester, New Hampshire lacks a professional sports franchise, the Manchester Monarchs could be expanded into the NHL. Manchester mayor Ted Gatsas proposed the idea to NHL officials, who have agreed to expand the Monarchs if they wish. The owner hasn't responded yet. The Verizon Wireless Arena would still be home to the Monarchs, but it would have to go through some renovations, such as luxury boxes and banner-screen around the arena. This would make it more similar to other NHL arenas.
Also, the Monarchs would also need an AHL affiliate team. The cities of New York, Jacksonville, Florida, Boise, Idaho and Lansing, Michigan are eager to provide Manchester with an affiliate team. There are already arenas in half of the cities listed.
Manchester would also need a good number of fans. This doesn't seem to be a problem, however, because there are about 250,000 active Monarchs fans in and out of New Hampshire. Therefore, Manchester is eligible to get an NHL franchise if the owner agrees.
Season-by-Season Results[edit | edit source]
Regular Season[edit | edit source]
Playoffs[edit | edit source]
|Season||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||Finals|
|2001–02||L, 2–3, Hartford||—||—||—|
|2002–03||L, 0–3, Bridgeport||—||—||—|
|2003–04||L, 2–4, Worcester||—||—||—|
|2004–05||L, 2–4, Providence||—||—||—|
|2005–06||L, 3–4, Hartford||—||—||—|
|2006–07||W, 4–2, Worcester||W, 4–2, Providence||L, 0–4, Hershey||—|
|2007–08||L, 0–4, Providence||—||—||—|
|2009–10||W, 4–0, Portland||W, 4–2, Worcester||L, 2–4, Hershey||—|
|2010–11||L, 3–4, Binghamton||—||—||—|