San Diego Gulls (1995–2006)

The San Diego Gulls were a professional ice hockey team in the West Coast Hockey League (WCHL) and later in the ECHL. The team, the third to use the Gulls nickname, was founded in 1995 immediately upon the departure of the IHL team of the same name. The Gulls played at the San Diego Sports Arena.

San Diego Gulls
CitySan Diego, California
Home arenaSan Diego Sports Arena
ColorsOrange, white, black
Franchise history
1995–2003San Diego Gulls (WCHL)
2003–2006San Diego Gulls (ECHL)
Regular season titles6 (1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2003–04)
Division Championships6 (1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04)
Taylor Cups5 (1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2000–01, 2002–03)


The Gulls were the dominant team throughout the WCHL's eight-year existence, winning the regular season championship five times. The Gulls never finished worse than second overall in WCHL league play, attaining the 100-point mark five times. The Gulls also won five of the league's Taylor Cup championships. No other WCHL team won the Taylor Cup more than once.

In 2003, the WCHL was absorbed by the ECHL, formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League. In 2004, the Gulls became the ECHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. The Gulls won the ECHL regular season title in 2003–04 but missed the playoffs for the first and only time in their history the following year. In stark contrast to their WCHL playoff success, the Gulls failed to win a postseason series in three ECHL seasons.[1]

Throughout their WCHL stint and through their first year of ECHL play, the Gulls were coached by St. Cloud State University (Minnesota) alumnus Steve Martinson. Martinson left the Gulls and went on to coach the Rockford IceHogs of the UHL. Martin St. Amour, who was a star for the Gulls in their WCHL years replaced Martinson as head coach prior to the 2004–05 season. St. Amour stepped down in the middle of the 2005–06 season and was replaced by former Gulls players Jamie Black and B.J. MacPherson as co-coaches. The final starting goalie was Kevin Lentz. He went 20-1-1 in the final stretch of the regular season but retired due to a knee injury.

2006 folding

On of June 30, 2006, the Gulls folded and released their players as free agents in 2006 following years of unprofitable seasons.[2]

GULLS TO FORMALLY CEASE OPERATIONS FRIDAY – [ 06-29-2006] SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Gulls announced Thursday that they will formally cease operations as of Friday (June 30). Ongoing negotiations to sell the club did not materialize in a timeframe sufficient to operate for the 2006–07 season.[3]


Season League Championship(s)
1995–96 WCHL Taylor Cup – Playoff Champion, Founders Cup – Regular Season Champion
1996–97 WCHL Taylor Cup – Playoff Champion, Founders Cup – Regular Season Champion
1997–98 WCHL Taylor Cup – Playoff Champion, Founders Cup – Regular Season Champion
2000–01 WCHL Taylor Cup – Playoff Champion, Founders Cup – Regular Season Champion
2002–03 WCHL Taylor Cup – Playoff Champion
2003–04 ECHL Brabham Cup – Regular Season Champion

Season-by-season record

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, OTL = Overtime losses, SOL = Shootout losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Final records.[4]

1995–96WCHL58497-210035023217901st, WCHLSteve MartinsonWon Taylor Cup, 3-1 (Fresno)
1996–97WCHL645012-210240021025711st, WCHLSteve MartinsonWon Taylor Cup, 4-0 (Anchorage)
1997–98WCHL645310-110734719826801st, SouthSteve MartinsonWon Taylor Cup, 4-1 (Tacoma)
1998–99WCHL714519-79734224227461st, SouthSteve MartinsonLost in finals, 2-4 (Tacoma)
1999–00WCHL704616-810029722122341st, SouthSteve MartinsonLost in round 2, 1-3 (Phoenix)
2000–01WCHL725017-510526319220431st, SouthSteve MartinsonWon Taylor Cup, 4-3 (Idaho)
2001–02WCHL724722-39725520926771st, SouthSteve MartinsonLost in round 2, 1-3 (Fresno)
2002–03WCHL724522-59524518219302nd, WCHLSteve MartinsonWon Taylor Cup, 4-3 (Fresno)
2003–04ECHL724913-1010824017715941st, PacificSteve MartinsonLost in round 1, 0-3 (Alaska)
2004–05ECHL723529447820622215196th, WestMartin St. AmourMissed playoffs
2005–06ECHL723430447621321418114th, PacificMartin St. AmourLost in round 2, 0-4 (Fresno)

Former San Diego Gulls players (WCHL)


  1. San Diego reached the second round of the ECHL playoffs in 2005–06 on a first-round bye.
  2. Jeff Nahill (June 29, 2006). "Sports – The puck stops here: Gulls fold, leaving San Diego without pro hockey". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 2015-02-19.
  3. "GULLS TO FORMALLY CEASE OPERATIONS FRIDAY". San Diego Gulls. Archived from the original on 2006-10-19.
  4., San Diego Gulls Statistics and History
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