Vancouver Giants

The Vancouver Giants are a major junior ice hockey team playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL). Inaugurated in 2001–02, the Giants have won one President's Cup (now known as the Ed Chynoweth Cup) in 2006 and one Memorial Cup in 2007 in their 16-season history. Their home rink was the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, an arena previously used by the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Vancouver Canucks. Effective with the 2016–17 season, the team relocated to the Langley Events Centre in the Township of Langley, a suburb of Vancouver.

Vancouver Giants
CityLangley, British Columbia
LeagueWestern Hockey League
ConferenceWestern
DivisionB.C.
Founded2001
Home arenaLangley Events Centre
ColoursBlack, red, silver and white
              
General managerBarclay Parneta[1]
Head coachMichael Dyck[2]
Championships2007 Memorial Cup Champions
2006 WHL Champions
Websitevancouvergiants.com

The ownership group consists of British Columbia-based businessmen Ron Toigo and Sultan Thiara, the estate of Hockey Hall of Fame member Gordie Howe and Canadian big band singer and actor Michael Bublé.[3] Pat Quinn was also a part-owner until his death on November 23, 2014.

History

Led by majority owner and British Columbia-based businessman Ron Toigo, the City of Vancouver was granted a WHL franchise for the 2001–02 season. In their inaugural campaign, the Giants compiled 13 wins, 49 losses and six ties. The first goal in franchise history was scored by Tyson Mulock in a loss to the Kamloops Blazers.

The following season, the Giants went 26–37–5–4, good for fourth in the B.C. Division, and made their first playoff appearance, but lost in the first round to the eventual President's Cup champions, the Kelowna Rockets, in four games. Second-year forward Adam Courchaine led the team in scoring with 85 points. His 43 goals stood as a single-season franchise record for six years until second-year forward Evander Kane broke it in 2008–09.[4]

In the 2003–04 season, the Giants continued to improve, posting a 33–24–9–6, which marked their first winning season. After defeating the Kamloops Blazers in the first round, the Giants lost in the second round to the expansion team Everett Silvertips in six games. Adam Courchaine led the team again in scoring, finishing ninth overall in the League. Hometown rookie Gilbert Brule, the first overall pick in the 2002 WHL Bantam Draft, scored 60 points and earned the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the WHL's best first-year player.

In the 2004–05 season, the Giants went 34–30–4–4 and Brule emerged as a WHL star, finishing third in League scoring with 87 points, which remained a franchise record until overager Casey Pierro-Zabotel snapped it in 2008–09.[5] Courchaine tallied 78 points and finished seventh in League scoring, marking the first time that the top ten WHL scorers would feature two Giants players. In the playoffs, the Giants lost in the first round to Kelowna. Despite the early exit, the Giants drew many fans to the Coliseum that year due to the NHL lockout; Game 6 against the Rockets drew 16,183 fans.

The 2005–06 season featured the Giants' most significant improvement in the standings, becoming one of the WHL's top teams. They finished the season 47–19–0–6, first in the B.C. Division and third in the League overall. In the first round of the playoffs, the Giants beat the Prince George Cougars in five games, then the Portland Winterhawks in the second round, also in five games. In the third and final round, they won eight-straight, sweeping both the Everett Silvertips and Moose Jaw Warriors en route to their first-ever President's Cup. Gilbert Brule had returned to the team midway through the season after starting 2005–06 with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets and earned the airBC Trophy as the playoff MVP after scoring 16 goals and 30 points in 18 post-season games, including five goals and 12 points in the finals.

By winning the WHL league title, the Giants earned their first Memorial Cup appearance in Moncton, New Brunswick. The Giants finished the round-robin tied for third, then defeated the Peterborough Petes in a tie-breaker in order to move on to the playoffs, but lost to the Moncton Wildcats in the semifinal. Brule scored 12 points in five games, earning the Ed Chynoweth Trophy as tournament leading scorer. He was also named to the Memorial Cup All-Star Team along with Giants defenceman Paul Albers.

The Giants were chosen by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) prior to the 2006 Memorial Cup to host the 2007 edition. They finished the season, once again, atop their division and fourth overall in the League. The season featured a goaltending controversy in which starter Dustin Slade would begin the season splitting time with emerging goalie Tyson Sexsmith. Slade, frustrated with having to relinquish starts, would leave the team in November to pursue a professional playing career.[6] With Sexsmith, who finished first in the WHL in goals against average (GAA), as their starting goalie, and a balanced offence that included the likes of Milan Lucic, Michal Repik and mid-season acquisitions Wacey Rabbit and Kenndal McArdle, the Giants made their way once again to the WHL final. The series went the distance against the Medicine Hat Tigers, but the Giants lost the seventh and deciding game in double overtime, failing to win their second consecutive WHL title. However, due to their automatic bye into the Memorial Cup as hosts, the Giants avenged their seventh game loss against the Tigers, defeating Medicine Hat 3–1 in the Cup final, capturing their first-ever Memorial Cup title. Lucic earned the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as tournament MVP, while linemate Michal Repik led the tournament in scoring — edging Lucic by one goal — to capture the Ed Chynoweth Trophy. Defenceman Cody Franson also joined Lucic and Repik on the tournament All-Star Team.

As defending Memorial Cup champions the following season, the Giants won the B.C. Division for the third consecutive year and posted a franchise-record 106 points (49–15–2–6), enough for third in the League. Third-year forward Spencer Machacek, named team captain after incumbent captain Milan Lucic would play with the Boston Bruins of the NHL, led the team in scoring with 78 points, 14th overall in the League. On defence, Jonathon Blum, also a returnee from the Memorial Cup-winning team, finished second among League defencemen in scoring, tallying 63 points, a single-season franchise-record among defenceman. In goal, Sexsmith once again led the WHL with a stellar 1.89 GAA. The Giants' run for a third consecutive Memorial Cup appearance, however, was cut short; after sweeping the Chilliwack Bruins in the first round, the Giants were ousted by the Spokane Chiefs in six games.

A dominant 2008–09 season established several records for the Giants. The club set a WHL record by clinching a playoff berth just 46 games into the season. The mark was previously set by the Everett Silvertips, who clinched a berth after 48 games in 2006–07.[7] Individually, overager Casey Pierro-Zabotel broke the team marks for single-season assists and points, surpassing Darren Lynch and Gilbert Brule, respectively,[5][8] while second-year forward Evander Kane bettered Adam Courchaine's single-season goals total.[4] Team captain Jonathon Blum also surpassed Courchaine to become the franchise's all-time assists leader.[9] Finishing the season with a franchise-high 57 wins and 119 points, the Giants came within three points of their first Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as the top regular season team, behind the Calgary Hitmen.

Awards and trophies

Championships

Individual

WHL

Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy

Coach of the Year

CHL

Players

NHL alumni

NHL draftees

Note that these are the players who were drafted into the NHL while playing for the Vancouver Giants

Ring of Honour

Franchise scoring leaders

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history as of 2017–18.[10]

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; * = current Giants player

PlayerPosGPGAPtsP/G
Brendan GallagherRW2441361442801.15
Adam CourchaineC2411261472731.13
Craig CunninghamLW295861362220.75
Ty RonningRW285127912180.76
Mitch BartleyLW2801071072140.76
Jonathon BlumD248491552040.82
Darren LynchRW213811212020.95
Jackson HouckRW268911071980.74
Gilbert BruleC16587981851.12
James HenryLW281621221840.66
Tyler BensonLW190611231840.97

Current roster

Updated December 7, 2019.[11]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Drafted
27 Seth Bafaro D R 19 2019 Kamloops, British Columbia Undrafted
29 Tanner Brown D L 17 2017 Kelowna, British Columbia Eligible 2021
44 Bowen Byram (A) D L 18 2016 Cranbrook, British Columbia 2019, 4th Overall, COL
5 Jacob Gendron D R 17 2017 Prince George, British Columbia Eligible 2020
22 Connor Horning D R 18 2019 Kelowna, British Columbia Undrafted
41 Alex Kannok-Leipert (C) D R 19 2015 Regina, Saskatchewan 2018, 161st Overall, WSH
15 Holden Katzalay C R 19 2019 Vancouver, British Columbia Undrafted
38 Michal Kvasnica LW L 19 2019 Ostrava, Czech Republic Undrafted
36 Justin Lies RW R 16 2018 Flin Flon, Manitoba Eligible 2022
37 John Little C L 17 2017 Parksville, British Columbia Eligible 2021
20 Trevor Longo D L 19 2019 North Vancouver, British Columbia Undrafted
31 Trent Miner G L 18 2016 Souris, Manitoba 2019, 202nd Overall, COL
8 Tristen Nielsen C L 19 2018 Fort St. John, British Columbia Undrafted
10 Zack Ostapchuk LW L 16 2018 St. Albert, Alberta Eligible 2021
39 Evan Patrician C R 18 2016 Calgary, Alberta Undrafted
19 Krz Plummer LW L 17 2017 Whitecourt, Alberta Eligible 2020
Tyler Preziuso RW R 20 2019 Burnaby, British Columbia Undrafted
40 Milos Roman (A) C L 20 2017 Kysucke Nove Mesto, Slovakia 2018, 122nd Overall, CGY
16 Cole Shepard C L 17 2017 West Vancouver, British Columbia Eligible 2020
18 Jackson Shepard LW L 19 2019 West Vancouver, British Columbia Undrafted
42 Justin Sourdif C R 17 2017 Surrey, British Columbia Eligible 2020
30 David Tendeck G R 20 2014 North Vancouver, British Columbia 2018, 158th Overall, ARI

Season-by-season record

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties OTL = Overtime losses Pts, SOL = Shootout losses Pts, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

SeasonGPWLTOTLGFGAPointsFinishPlayoffs
2001–0272134964198365365th B.C.Out of playoffs
2002–0372263754217292614th B.C.Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2003–0472332496215196812nd B.C.Lost Western Conference semi-final
2004–0572343044212205763rd B.C.Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2005–06724719062521561001st B.C.Won WHL Championship; Lost Memorial Cup
2006–07724517372451431001st B.C.Lost final; Won Memorial Cup
2007–08724915262501551061st B.C.Lost Western Conference semi-final
2008–09725710233191511191st B.C.Lost Western Conference final
2009–1072412533267211881st B.C.Lost Western Conference final
2010–1172353214236251752nd B.C.Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2011–1272402624255234862nd B.C.Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2012–1372214920197299445th B.C.Out of playoffs
2013–1472322974234248753rd B.C.Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2014–1572274122189251585th B.C.Out of playoffs
2015–1672234054199273555th B.C.Out of playoffs
2016–1772204633183296465th B.C.Out of playoffs
2017–1872362763233257813rd B.C.Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2018–19684815322281621011st B.C. Lost final

WHL Championship history

Memorial Cup Finals history

  • 2007: Win, 3–1 vs Medicine Hat

Team records

Team Records for a single season
StatisticTotalSeason
Most points1192008–09
Fewest points362001–02
Most wins572008–09
Fewest wins132001–02
Most goals for3192008–09
Fewest goals for1832016–17
Fewest goals against1432006–07
Most goals against3652001–02
Individual player records for a single season
StatisticPlayerTotalSeason
Most goalsTy Ronning612017–18
Most assistsCasey Pierro-Zabotel792008–09
Most pointsCasey Pierro-Zabotel1152008–09
Most points, rookieKevin Connauton722009–10
Most points, defencemanKevin Connauton722009–10
Best GAA, goalieTyson Sexsmith1.792006–07
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played

See also

References

  1. "Barclay Parneta Named General Manager of the Vancouver Giants". OurSportsCentral.com. 23 May 2018.
  2. "Michael Dyck Named Head Coach of the Vancouver Giants". OurSportsCentral.com. June 28, 2018.
  3. "Michael Bublé Joins Vancouver Giants Ownership Grou". Vancouver Giants.
  4. Walker, Ian (2009-03-05). "WHL: Kane shines in Giants' 6-2 win over Americans". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
  5. "WHL:Vancouver Giants defeat Medicine Hat in come-from-behind win". Vancouver Sun. 2009-01-28. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  6. Mackin, Bob (2006). "Four Giants face off against Russia's best". CANOE Inc. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  7. "Giants Clinch Playoff Spot After Just 46 Games". OurSports Central. 2009-01-24. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
  8. "Mighty Casey smashes record". Vancouver Sun. 2009-01-18. Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
  9. "Blum adds to glowing resumé". The Province. 2009-02-10. Archived from the original on 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  10. "Elite Prospects". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  11. "Team Roster". Vancouver Giants.
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