Sunday, June 15, 2014

This day in Indianapolis hockey history: June 15

On June 15, the Ice announce a move to the Central Hockey League and we celebrate two birthdays: Hall of Famer Marcel Pronovost and Indiana Ice player Dan Cesarz.

June 15 in Indianapolis hockey history
1999: Indianapolis Ice owner Horn Chen announces he intends to move the team from the International Hockey League -- where it had competed for the past 11 seasons -- to the Central Hockey League. He cited significant financial losses over the previous four years in the IHL. Chen and Ray Miron founded the CHL in 1992. The Ice would compete in the CHL for five years, winning a championship in 2000.

Happy birthday to ...
Marcel Pronovost: One of the great defensemen in NHL history, Pronovost played 34 games with the Capitals in the 1950-51 season -- his second full professional year. He had nine goals and 23 assists in those 34 games, earning a quick callup to the Red Wings, where he finished the season. He was an AHL second team All-Star despite playing just half the season. He'd spend the next 19 seasons in the NHL after that one, playing 1,206 games, scoring 88 goals and assisting on 257 others. He was an NHL second team All-Star in 1958 and 1959, and a first team All-Star the following two years. He made his NHL debut in the 1950 playoffs when the Red Wings needed an emergency defenseman, and won the Stanley Cup. He also hoisted the Cup in 1952, 1954 and 1955 with the Red Wings, and again with the Maple Leafs in 1967, scoring a key shorthanded goal in Game 5 of that series. Partway through the 1969-70 season, he became a player-coach with the Tulsa Oilers in the CHL and continued coaching throughout the 1970s. He was the WHA Chicago Cougars' first coach, and also led the Buffalo Sabres for 104 games from 1978-80. He remains active in hockey, where he scouts for the New Jersey Devils, having helped them win three Stanley Cups. He has been active in pro hockey for 67 years -- longer than any other person in NHL history. He also has his name on the Stanley Cup eight times, the 53-year spread from the first (1950) to the most recent (2003) the longest in NHL history. Pronovost is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. A native of Lac la Tortue, Quebec, he is 84.
Dan Cesarz: Forward with the Ice from 2010-12. He played 42 games with the team -- all but two in the 2010-11 season -- scoring five goals and assisting on three. He also had two goals in four games in the 2010 playoffs. He also played two seasons in the NAHL. A native of Redford, Mich., he is 22.

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