Wednesday, July 4, 2012
July by the Numbers finds it's way to Rhode Island today for jersey #4, a fitting style for Independence Day in the United States.
After the Providence Reds left town after 51 years of play, the city would have to wait 15 years for the arrival of it's next club, the Providence Bruins, who were previously known as the Maine Mariners from 1987 to 1992.
The Bruins won their division in 1992-93, their first season in Providence, with a 46-32-2 record and were led in scoring by future Boston Bruin Tim Sweeney, whose 41 goals and 96 points placed him 8th in the AHL scoring race.
It would take until 1998-99 for Providence to win another division championship, which they did in style with a league best 56-16-4 mark, this after winning just 19 games the previous season! The Bruins were led in scoring by Randy Robitaille's 102 points, only two shy of the league leader. John Grahame (37-9-1) and Jim Carey (17-8-3) split the goaltending duties and the Bruins cruised through the playoffs with a 15-4 record to win the Calder Cup as AHL champions.
The fans rejoice the P-Bruins Calder Cup championship
While Providence has had four deep playoff runs to the third round since then, they have yet to repeat as league champions. By far their second best season was in 2007-08 when the Bruins again finished with the best regular season record, earning 117 points with a 55-18-3-4 mark and were led in goal by future Boston Bruins goaltender Tukka Rask with 27 wins.
Throughout the history of the franchise, Sweeney's 41 goals and Robitaille's 74 assists and 102 points still stand as team records. In goal, Tim Thomas holds the marks for both Goals Against Average of 1.84 and Save Percentage at .941 set in 2003-04.
Andy Hilbert's three strong seasons, which included leading the team in scoring twice, place him first overall in career scoring with the Bruins in goals (101), assists (109) and points (210) while Grahame holds the career mark for wins by a goaltender with 67.
Notable players over the history of the club include goaltenders Grahame, Rask and Thomas and skaters Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Glen Murray, Josef Stumpel and the late Sergei Zholtok, who ranks second in Providence career scoring with83 goals and 186 points.
Today's featured jersey is a 2001-02 Providence Bruins Chris Kelleher jersey. This jersey is a great example of the special one-off promotional styles often worn by minor league clubs on special occasions and holidays, which are made possible thanks to the dye-sublimation process, which allows for all manner of patterns to be employed not previously feasible with jerseys made entirely of sewn fabric panels.
Also note the Providence Bruins tradition of duplicating their parent club's "spoked B" logo, only replaced with a "spoked P".
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions
Today's video segment is highlights of the Providence Bruins winning the Calder Cup in 1999.