Houston Aeros (1994–2013)

The Houston Aeros were a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. The team played in Houston, Texas, at the Toyota Center. They were the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild. The team is now the Iowa Wild.

Houston Aeros
CityHouston, Texas
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
Home arenaToyota Center
ColorsGreen, Red, Wheat, White                    
Owner(s)Minnesota Sports and Entertainment (majority), Chuck Watson (minority), Nick Sheppard (minority)
AffiliatesMinnesota Wild
Franchise history
1994–2013Houston Aeros
2013presentIowa Wild
Regular season titles1 IHL (1998–99)
Division Championships1 IHL (1998–99)
1 AHL (2002–03)
Conference Championships3 (1998–99) (2002–03) (2010–11)
Turner Cups1 (1998–99)
Calder Cups1 (2002–03)


The Houston Aeros were an expansion team in the International Hockey League in 1994. The team's name is an homage to the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association in the 1970s, one of the teams Gordie Howe played for in the WHA. The Aeros were the second IHL team to be named after a WHA franchise, the first being the Phoenix Roadrunners; unlike the Roadrunners, who used the same logo as their WHA predecessor, the IHL Aeros used a new logo, a bomber flying over the team name (essentially their current logo) based on the Douglas B-23 Dragon bomber. The Aeros defeated the Orlando Solar Bears to win the 1999 Turner Cup, following an impressive 54-win season.

The Aeros were one of six IHL teams to join the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2001 when the IHL folded. The AHL version of the Aeros went on to win the 2003 Calder Cup; they reached the 2011 Calder Cup finals as well, but lost to the Binghamton Senators. Longtime AHL affiliates of the Minnesota Wild, they were also affiliated with the ECHL revival of the Orlando Solar Bears for the 2012–13 season.

The team played their home games in the Toyota Center, after moving from the Compaq Center for the 2003–04 season.

In 2003, the Aeros replaced their original bomber logo, carried over from their IHL days, to a new logo featuring a forward-facing modern fighter jet below a bold "AEROS", and using the WHA Aeros' colors of light and dark blue. In 2005, as part of their affiliation with the Wild, the Aeros changed their colors to the Wild's forest green and Iron Range red. This new logo was not popular with many of the long-term fans. On April 18, 2006, the team announced that the 2006–07 season would see the Aeros return to their original bomber logo associated with their championship seasons, with only minor color alterations; the blue elements of the original logo were replaced with green.

The principal owner was Minnesota Sports and Entertainment, with Chuck Watson, the former owner, owning a 10% minority share along with Houston native Nick Sheppard, who held a 4% share.

Despite averaging the 10th-best attendance or higher of any AHL team in each of their 12 seasons with the league, the Minnesota Wild's ownership group, Minnesota Sports and Entertainment, announced on April 18, 2013, they were unable to reach a lease agreement with the Toyota Center and announced the Aeros would be relocated to Des Moines, Iowa, beginning with the 2013–14 season. After the move, the team was rebranded as the Iowa Wild. They have played their home games at Wells Fargo Arena since 2013.[1]

Season-by-season results

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Games Won Lost Ties OTL SOL Points PCT Goals
Standing Year Prelims 1st
1994–95813835884.5192722832nd, Central1995L, 1–3, PHX
1995–96822945866.4022623285th, Central1996Out of playoffs
1996–97824430896.5852472282nd, Southwest1997W, 3–0, LVW, 4–1, SAL, 1–4, LB
1997–9882502210110.6712682142nd, Southwest1998L, 1–3, MIL
1998–9982541513121.7383072091st, Southwest1999W, 3–2, LBW, 4–3, CHIW, 4–3, ORL
1999–00824429997.5912191973rd, Western2000W, 4–1, UTAL, 2–4, CHI
2000–01824232892.5612292452nd, Western2001L, 3–4, MTB
2001–0280392610593.5812342322nd, West2002W, 3–2, UTAW, 4–0, HERL, 1–4, CHI
2002–0380472373104.6502662221st, West2003W, 3–0, MILW, 4–2, NORW, 4–3, GRW, 4–3, HAM
2003–0480283414474.4631972204th, West2004L, 0–2, CIN
2004–058040286692.5752121954th, West2005L, 1–4, CHI
2005–0680502433106.6632852422nd, West2006W, 4–0, PEOL, 0–4, MIL
2006–078027434664.4002052697th, West2007Out of playoffs
2007–088045292496.6002061833rd, West2008L, 1–4, RCK
2008–098038312987.5442182303rd, West2009W, 4-3, PEOW, 4-3, MILL, 4-2, MTB
2009–108034347580.5002062247th, West2010Out of playoffs
2010–118046281596.6132382112nd, West2011W, 4-0, PEOW, 4-3, MILW, 4–3, HAML 2-4, BNG
2011–1276354151186.5662022064th, Midwest2012L, 1–3, OKC
2012–137640365590.5922121994th, South2013L, 2-3, GR


Team Captains

Retired numbers

9 Gordie Howe (1973–77 with the WHA team)

Franchise records

Single season
Goals: Patrick O'Sullivan, 47 (2005–06)
Assists: Brian Wiseman, 88 (1998–99)
Points: Kirby Law, 110 (2005–06)
Penalty minutes: Gord Donnelly, 333 (1995–96)
GAA: Josh Harding, 2.01 (2004–05)
SV%: Josh Harding, .930 (2004–05)
Career goals: Mark Freer, 132
Career assists: Mark Freer, 210
Career points: Mark Freer, 342
Career penalty minutes: Erik Reitz, 721
Career goaltending wins: Frederic Chabot, 126
Career shutouts: Frederic Chabot, 18
Career games: Mark Freer, 469


  1. "Wild statement on AHL affiliate". Houston Aeros. 2013-04-18. Archived from the original on 2013-06-15. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
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