The Tucson Roadrunners are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL) that began play for the 2016–17 season. Based in Tucson, Arizona, and affiliated with the National Hockey League's Arizona Coyotes, the team plays its home games at the Tucson Convention Center.
|League||American Hockey League (AHL)|
|Home arena||Tucson Convention Center|
|Colors||Brick red, desert sand, copper, black, white|
|General manager||Steve Sullivan|
|Head coach||Jay Varady|
|Media||Arizona Daily Star, KTZR, Fox Sports Arizona|
|Affiliates||Arizona Coyotes (NHL)|
Rapid City Rush (ECHL)
|Division Championships||1 (2017–18)|
On April 19, 2016, the Arizona Coyotes announced that they had reached an agreement to purchase their AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, and would relocate the team to Tucson for the 2016–17 season. Said purchase and relocation was contingent on three approvals; the first from Rio Nuevo (Tucson's downtown revitalization authority) to invest $3.2 million in arena upgrades to bring the Convention Center to professional-quality standards was approved on April 26, the second from the AHL Board of Governors to conditionally approve the purchase and relocation by the Coyotes was approved on May 10, and the third from the Tucson City Council for a 10-year lease with the Convention Center was approved on May 17.
A name-the-team contest was held between May 17 until May 31. The hockey club's new name and logo were revealed on June 18 during the Tucson Convention Center's open house event. The chosen name, Roadrunners, pays homage to the Phoenix Roadrunners, a team name that was used for various Phoenix professional hockey teams from 1967 to 2009, and creates a play on words with its parent club the Coyotes (a reference to the classic cartoon duo of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner). Its logo, as well, is a close match for the traditional logo used for Phoenix Roadrunners' teams of the past.
On June 21, 2016, Mark Lamb was hired as the team's first head coach after holding the same position with the Western Hockey League's Swift Current Broncos since 2009. Mark Hardy was hired as an assistant coach. The team named its first president Brian Sandy, along with three other key staff members, on July 18. On July 20, the Roadrunners announced their first general manager, Doug Soetaert, promoted from his former position as a scout for the Coyotes.
After one season, Lamb was released and replaced by Mike Van Ryn, the player development coach with the Coyotes. Under Van Ryn, the Roadrunners finished in first place in the Pacific Division but were eliminated by the Texas Stars in the division finals of the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs. Van Ryn then left to pursue other coaching opportunities and was hired by the St. Louis Blues. The Coyotes then hired Jay Varady as head coach of the Roadrunners for the 2018–19 season after a successful season as coach of the Kingston Frontenacs.
|2016–17||68||29||31||8||0||66||.485||187||237||6th, Pacific||2017||Did not qualify|
|2017–18||68||42||20||5||1||90||.662||214||173||1st, Pacific||2018||W, 3–1, SJ||L, 1–4, TEX||—||—|
|2018–19||68||34||26||5||3||76||.559||206||202||5th, Pacific||2019||Did not qualify|
Franchise records and leaders
Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game;= current Roadrunners player
- "Coyotes Announce New ECHL Affiliation Agreement With The Rapid City Rush". Arizona Coyotes. July 25, 2019.
- "Coyotes Sign Agreement to Purchase Springfield Falcons AHL Franchise". Arizona Coyotes. April 19, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
- Chimelis, Ron (April 19, 2016). "Springfield Falcons to be sold, AHL team expected to leave Western Massachusetts". MassLive.com. The Republican. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
- Pallack, Becky (April 26, 2016). "Rio Nuevo will spend $3.2M to get arena ready for pro hockey". tucson.com. Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
- "BOG conditionally approves Coyotes' purchase". TheAHL.com. American Hockey League. May 10, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
- Pallack, Becky (May 17, 2016). "City Council approves deal with Coyotes for AHL hockey in Tucson". AZCentral.com. Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
- McLellan, Sarah (May 17, 2016). "Tucson City Council approves lease agreement for Arizona Coyotes' AHL team". AZCentral. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
- "Our AHL team is Coming to Tucson: Name the Team". Arizona Coyotes. May 17, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
- "Coyotes to Unveil New Name & Logo for AHL Affiliate in Tucson at Open House Event at TCC on June 18". Arizona Coyotes. June 1, 2016. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- "Coyotes Hire Lamb as Head Coach of Tucson Roadrunners". coyotes.nhl.com. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
- "Tucson Roadrunners hire new president, three others". tucson.com. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
- "Tucson Roadrunners Name Doug Soetaert as General Manager". OurSports Central. July 20, 2016.
- "Roadrunners Announce Van Ryn to Leave Team to Pursue NHL Coaching Opportunity". OurSportsCentral.com. May 30, 2018.
- "Coyotes Name Varady Head Coach of Tucson Roadrunners". Arizona Coyotes. July 2, 2018.
- [tucsonroadrunners.com/team/roster/ "Tucson Roadrunners Roster"] Check
|url=value (help). TucsonRoadrunners.com. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
- "Cunningham named Roadrunners captain". Tucson Roadrunners. November 2, 2016.
- "Roadrunners Name Leadership Group For 2017-18 Season". Tucson Roadrunners. October 6, 2017.
- "Roadrunners Name Mermis Team Captain, Announce Leadership Group". Tucson Roadrunners. November 5, 2018.
- "Roadrunners Name Chaput Captain, Announce 2019-20 Leadership Group". Tucson Roadrunners. October 3, 2019.
- "Cunningham jersey retired but new chapter ahead for 27-year old". nevalleynews.org. October 31, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- "Tucson Roadrunners - All Time AHL leaders". hockeydb.com. June 10, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019.