The Hershey Bears are the longest lasting American Hockey League team to remain in one location, a member of the league since 1938-39. The Bears are also one of the most successful AHL teams with four Calder Cup victories in the new millennium. Test and expand your knowledge of the Hershey Bears with the following four trivia questions and answers.
Q. What member of the Hershey Bears is the latest AHL player to lead the league in goals in consecutive seasons?
A. Alexandre Giroux led the AHL in goals in 2008-09 and 2009-10 with 60 and 50 goals. By doing so, Giroux earned the Willie Marshall Award. Alexandre is the first to lead in goals scored in consecutive seasons since Paul Gardner in the mid 1980’s. Only five AHL players have accomplished this feat since the league began in 1936-37. Giroux did this while also playing 12 games with the Washington Capitals in 2008-09 and nine with the NHL club in 2009-10.
Since, Giroux has played sparsely with the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets before heading to Europe. 2012-13 was split between Dynamo Riga in the KHL and the Kloten Flyers in Switzerland’s National League A. For 2013-14, Alexandre will remain in Switzerland but has switched to Ambri-Piotta.
Q. In what year did the Hershey Bears win their first Calder Cup as AHL playoff champions?
A. In 1946-47, the Hershey Bears beat the Pittsburgh Hornets in the Calder Cup final series, four games to three. The Bears finished first in the East Division during the regular season. In a very odd playoff format, the Bears and the West Division regular season champ, the Cleveland Barons, were both given a bye through the first round. However, the two division champs then met in the semi-finals, while the two weaker teams played off in the other semi-final.
As of the end of 2012-13, the Bears have won eleven Calder Cup championships in total. Twice, they won in consecutive seasons, 1957-58 and 1958-59, along with 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Q. What Hershey Bears player has the club retired jersey number 16 for?
A. If you answered Willie Marshall, you are right. If you answered Mitch Lamoureux, you are also right. The team retired the number in honour of both players. Marshall played with the Bears from 1956-57 to 1962-63. He played over 1,200 games in the AHL and was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2006. Lamoureux is also a member of the AHL Hall of Fame, inducted in 2011.
Q. What Hockey Hall of Fame player, who played his entire NHL career with the Philadelphia Flyers, coached the Hershey Bears for one full season, 1995-96?
A. Bill Barber coached the team in 1984-85, as well, but for only 17 games. In 1995-96, Barber was behind the bench as the Bears finished second in the South and made a first round exit from the Calder Cup playoffs.
Barber was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990 after playing 903 regular season National Hockey League games between 1972-73 and 1983-84, all with the Flyers. In 1997-98, Bill coached the Philadelphia Phantoms to a Calder Cup championship in the AHL. Ironically, the Phantoms swept the Hershey Bears in the second round before taking out the Saint John Flames in the finals. Barber was awarded the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL coach of the year as head coach of the Flyers in 2001-02.