Cleveland Monsters

The Cleveland Monsters are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL). The team began play in 2007 as the Lake Erie Monsters and since 2015 has served as the top affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Monsters play home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in downtown Cleveland and have one Calder Cup championship, after winning their first title in 2016.

Cleveland Monsters
2019–20 AHL season
CityCleveland, Ohio
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
Founded1994 (In the IHL)
Home arenaRocket Mortgage FieldHouse
ColorsWine, black, gold, white, blue
Owner(s)Dan Gilbert
General managerChris Clark[1]
Head coachMike Eaves
MediaRadio: WMMS-HD2
TV: SportsTime Ohio
Internet: AHL.TV
AffiliatesColumbus Blue Jackets (NHL)
Franchise history
1994–1995Denver Grizzlies
1995–2005Utah Grizzlies
2007–2016Lake Erie Monsters
2016–presentCleveland Monsters
Conference Championships1 (2015–16)
Calder Cups1 (2015–16)

Franchise history

Early years

The Monsters began in 2006 when the dormant Utah Grizzlies AHL franchise was purchased on May 16, 2006, by a Cleveland ownership group led by Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans. A new AHL team was awarded to Cleveland following the departure of the Cleveland Barons to Worcester, Massachusetts, after the 2005–06 season. With Quicken Loans Arena established as the team's home venue, the Colorado Avalanche was announced on December 17, 2006, as the franchise's first NHL parent club with a five-year agreement.[2]

The franchise was officially announced on January 25, 2007, as the Lake Erie Monsters, referring to Bessie, a creature of local folklore. The name was chosen from researching focus groups around the Cleveland area and the logo incorporated the geographical connection in the region with Lake Erie.[3] The Monsters do not recognize any past links to the Grizzlies (including the Grizzlies' two Turner Cups) and promote themselves as having begun in 2007.

Former NHL player Joe Sacco was named as the Lake Erie Monsters first head coach. The Monsters opened their inaugural 2007–08 campaign at home against the Grand Rapids Griffins on October 6, 2007, with Craig Billington acting as the Monsters General Manager.[4]

At the end of the 2010–11 season, the Monsters qualified for the Calder Cup playoffs for the first time in team history. After gaining a 3-1 series lead over the Manitoba Moose in the opening round, the Monsters proceeded to lose the next three consecutive games, losing the series 4-3.[5]

Blue Jackets era

On April 17, 2015, the Monsters announced the signing of a multi-year agreement to become the AHL affiliate for the Columbus Blue Jackets, which took effect in the 2015–16 season. The affiliation was among several that offseason that brought AHL and NHL franchise affiliations geographically closer together.[6] The multi-season affiliation was extended in 2019.[7]

The Monsters finished the 2015–16 season by setting a franchise record in points (97) and qualified for the playoffs for the second time in team history. On April 23, 2016, the Monsters defeated their first round opponent, the Rockford IceHogs 5–3, capping a three-game sweep of their opponent in a best-of-five series. The Monsters advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals to play the Grand Rapids Griffins in a best-of-seven series, defeating them 4–2 in six games. They then swept the defending Calder Cup Champion Ontario Reign in the Western Conference Finals to reach their first Calder Cup Final in franchise history.[8] On June 11, 2016, the Monsters won the franchise's first Calder Cup in a four-game sweep of the Hershey Bears, with Oliver Bjorkstrand scoring the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

This marked Cleveland's first AHL title since the Barons won their last Calder Cup in 1964, and 10th overall for a Cleveland-based AHL team. The Monsters won Game 4 before a sellout crowd of 19,665 people at Quicken Loans Arena — the second largest crowd for a professional hockey game in Ohio behind the 19,941 in a Cleveland Lumberjacks game against the Minnesota Moose in February 1996, and the second largest in Calder Cup playoff history behind the 20,103 Philadelphia Phantoms game four victory in the 2005 Calder Cup Finals over the Chicago Wolves.[9]

On August 9, 2016, the Lake Erie Monsters changed their name to the Cleveland Monsters.[10] The team's Calder Cup winning head coach, Jared Bednar, was then hired by the Colorado Avalanche on August 25.[11] Under their new name and coach John Madden, the Monsters failed to qualify for the playoffs in the 2016–17 season. In 2017–18 season, the Monsters were the first team eliminated from playoff contention, failing to make the post-season for the ninth time in 11 seasons, and earned last place in the Western Conference. The team returned to the playoffs following the 2018–19 season as the fourth seed in the North Division where they upset the division champion Syracuse Crunch before being swept by the Toronto Marlies in the division finals. Head coach John Madden then left the team[12] and was replaced by Mike Eaves.

Cleveland hockey history

The following teams have previously played in Cleveland. The Monsters recognize and honor past Cleveland teams with commemorative banners at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse:[13]

Season-by-season results

Regular season Playoffs
Season Games Won Lost OTL SOL Points PCT Goals
Standing Year 1st
2007–088026416765.4062092766th, North2008Did not qualify
2008–098034383576.4751992186th, North2009Did not qualify
2009–108034371877.4812342576th, North2010Did not qualify
2010–118044283596.6002232062nd, North2011L, 3–4, MTB
2011–127637293784.5531892103rd, North2012Did not qualify
2012–137635313780.5262112203rd, North2013Did not qualify
2013–1476323311075.4922002354th, North2014Did not qualify
2014–157635298482.5392112404th, Midwest2015Did not qualify
2015–167643226597.6382111882nd, Central2016W, 3–0, RFDW, 4–2, GRW, 4–0, ONTW, 4–0, HER
2016–177639294486.5661951985th, Central2017Did not qualify
2017–187625417360.3951902587th, Central2018Did not qualify
2018–197637298284.5532322344th, North2019W, 3–1, SYRL, 0–4, TOR


Current roster

Updated December 7, 2019.[15]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
25 Derek Barach C R 24 2019 Glenmont, New York Monsters
7 Paul Bittner LW L 23 2016 Crookston, Minnesota Blue Jackets
53 Gabriel Carlsson D L 22 2017 Örebro, Sweden Blue Jackets
2 Adam Clendening D R 27 2018 Niagara Falls, New York Blue Jackets
6 Ryan Collins D R 23 2017 Bloomington, Minnesota Blue Jackets
28 Zac Dalpe (C) RW R 30 2017 Paris, Ontario Blue Jackets
56 Marko Dano LW L 25 2019 Eisenstadt, Austria Blue Jackets
64 Trey Fix-Wolansky RW R 20 2019 Edmonton, Alberta Blue Jackets
41 Maxime Fortier RW R 22 2018 Montreal, Quebec Blue Jackets
44 Brett Gallant LW L 30 2015 Summerside, Prince Edward Island Monsters
90 Nathan Gerbe (A) C L 32 2018 Oxford, Michigan Blue Jackets
37 Markus Hannikainen LW L 26 2015 Helsinki, Finland Blue Jackets
47 Anton Karlsson D L 26 2019 Vetlanda, Sweden Monsters
80 Matiss Kivlenieks G L 23 2017 Riga, Latvia Blue Jackets
14 Jakob Lilja LW L 26 2019 Limhamn, Sweden Blue Jackets
72 Ryan MacInnis C L 23 2018 St. Louis, Missouri Blue Jackets
23 Stefan Matteau LW L 25 2019 Chicago, Illinois Monsters
16 Bryan Moore LW L 25 2019 Charlotte, North Carolina Monsters
20 Justin Scott RW L 24 2016 Burlington, Ontario Blue Jackets
18 Dillon Simpson (A) D L 26 2018 Edmonton, Alberta Blue Jackets
26 Doyle Somerby D L 25 2017 Marblehead, Massachusetts Blue Jackets
82 Kevin Stenlund C R 23 2018 Stockholm, Sweden Blue Jackets
39 Brad Thiessen G L 33 2015 Aldergrove, British Columbia Monsters
27 Calvin Thurkauf C L 22 2017 Zug, Switzerland Blue Jackets
35 Veini Vehvilainen G L 22 2019 Jyväskylä, Finland Blue Jackets
21 Sam Vigneault C L 24 2017 Baie-Comeau, Quebec Monsters

Team captains

Retired numbers

No Monsters player has had his number retired. However, the team has retired the numbers of players who have played on past Cleveland franchises to honor the city's hockey history.[13]

Cleveland Monsters retired numbers
No. Player Position Team
1Johnny BowerGBarons
9Fred GloverCBarons
15Jock CallanderCLumberjacks

Team records

Single season

Goals: 33, Zac Dalpe (2018-19)
Assists: 50, T.J. Hensick (2009–10)
Points: 70 T.J. Hensick (2009–10), Ben Walter (2010–11)
Penalty Minutes: 215, Daniel Maggio (2014–15)
Wins: 27 Anton Forsberg (2016–17)
GAA: 2.11, Cedrick Desjardins (2011–12)
SV%: .932, Cedrick Desjardins (2011–12)
Shutouts: 8, Tyler Weiman (2008–09)
  • Goaltending records need a minimum 25 games played by the goaltender



Goals: 10, Oliver Bjorkstrand (2016)
Assists: 10, Ryan Craig (2016)
Points: 16 (tie), Oliver Bjorkstrand and Lukas Sedlak (2016)
Penalty Minutes: 26, Kerby Rychel (2016)
Wins:9, Anton Forsberg (2016)
GAA: 1.34, Anton Forsberg (2016)
SV%: .949, Anton Forsberg (2016)
Shutouts: 2, Anton Forsberg (2016)


Career Goals: Andrew Agozzino, 67
Career Assists: Andrew Agozzino, 98
Career Points: Andrew Agozzino, 165
Career Penalty Minutes: Daniel Maggio, 522
Career Goaltending Wins: Calvin Pickard, 60
Career Shutouts: Tyler Weiman, 13
Career Games: Cameron Gaunce, 264

Firsts and franchise records

  • Franchise First Game: October 6, 2007. Grand Rapids Griffins 3, Lake Erie Monsters 2
  • Franchise First Win: October 20, 2007. Lake Erie Monsters 3, Syracuse Crunch 2.
  • Franchise First Goal: October 6, 2007. Grand Rapids Griffins 3, Lake Erie Monsters 2. Goal scored by Matt Hussey
  • Franchise First Shutout: November 15, 2007. Jason Bacashihua. Lake Erie Monsters 2, Quad City Flames 0.
  • Franchise First Hat Trick: November 17, 2007. Chris Stewart. Lake Erie Monsters 5, Toronto Marlies 3.
  • Franchise Most Goals in a Game: December 3, 2010. 4-Patrick Rissmiller. Lake Erie Monsters 6, Chicago Wolves 3.
  • Franchise Most Wins in a Season: 44 (2010–11)
  • Franchise Most Home Wins in a Season: 25 (2015–16)
  • Franchise Most Points in a Season: 97 (2015–16)
  • Franchise Most Games Won in a Row: 8 (2010–11)
  • Franchise First Playoff Game: April 16, 2011. (vs Manitoba Moose)
  • Franchise First Playoff Goal: April 16, 2011 (by Matthew Ford)
  • Franchise First Playoff Win: April 16, 2011 (Monsters 6, Manitoba Moose 4)
  • Franchise First Playoff Series Win: April 23, 2016 (Monsters win series 3-0, Rockford IceHogs)
  • Franchise First Western Conference Championship: May 26, 2016 (Monsters win series 4-0, Ontario Reign)
  • Franchise First Calder Cup Championship: June 11, 2016 (Monsters win series 4-0, Hershey Bears)


ALT 99.1 (WMMS-HD2) serves as the radio outlet for the team. Play-by-play announcer Tony Brown calls games on-site.[18]

Select Monsters games will be televised, with SportsTime Ohio serving as the outlet. The broadcast team consists of play-by-play broadcaster Tony Brown, former Cleveland Lumberjacks player Jock Callander as analyst, and WHBC afternoon host Kenny Roda as rink side/locker room reporter. All televised games are also simulcast on the radio.[19]

Mascot and entertainment

The Monsters' official mascot is a seagull character named "Sullivan C. Goal" (aka "Sully").[20] Also featured are the "Monsters Hockey Girls" cheerleaders.[21]


  1. "Blue Jackets Name Chris Clark Monsters' General Manager". Cleveland Monsters. June 18, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  2. "Lake Erie Monsters history". Case Western Reserve University. 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  3. "Famous sea monsters". Sea 2013-04-05. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  4. "Monsters front office". Lake Erie Monsters. 2014-10-10. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  5. "Monsters' stats". 2011-04-28. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  6. "Monsters affiliate with the Columbus Blue Jackets". Lake Erie Monsters. 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  7. "Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters Announce Multi-Year Extension of Affiliation Partnership". OurSports Central. August 20, 2019.
  8. "Monsters Move On With 4-3 OT Win". BlueJackets Xtra. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  9. Record full house at the Q for Lake Erie Monsters' Calder Cup bid - (Plain Dealer)
  10. "Lake Erie Monsters change name, get new uniforms". KLTV. August 9, 2016. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  11. Sadowski, Rick (August 25, 2016). "Jared Bednar hired as Avalanche coach". Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  12. "Madden will not return as Monsters head coach". Columbus Blue Jackets. May 29, 2019.
  13. "Quicken Loans Arena hockey banners". Stadium 2014-06-07. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
  14. "Cleveland hockey history". Lake Erie Monsters. 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  15. "Cleveland Monsters – Team roster". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  18. (October 4, 2018). "2018-19 TV and Radio Broadcast Schedules". (Press release). Cavaliers Hockey Holdings, LLC. Archived from the original on January 26, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  19. Monsters broadcast schedule - Cleveland
  20. "Sully, the Monsters official Mascot". Lake Erie Monsters. 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
  21. "Monsters Hockey Girls". Lake Erie Monsters. 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
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