- Atlanta Knights
The Atlanta Knights were a
minor leagueprofessional ice hockeyteam in the International Hockey League from 1992 to 1996. The Knights were based in Atlanta, Georgia, and played at the Omni Coliseum. The team became the Quebec Rafales from 1996 to 1998.
The Atlanta Knights were an IHL expansion team in 1992 as the top farm team of the
NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning. They won the Turner Cupin the 1993–94 season. The Knights featured the first professional African-American head coach in John Paris Jr.. The Knights were also one of the first professional teams to play a female goalie, Manon Rheaume, in a regular-season game.
For the 1996–97 season, the Knights relocated due to the impending arrival of a
National Hockey Leagueteam in Atlanta ( Atlanta Thrashers), and the loss of The Omni as an arena. During their years in Atlanta, Rick Morgan was their full-time national anthem singer and encouraged the crowd to shout "KNIGHTS!" during the line, "Gave proof through the "KNIGHTS" that our flag was still there." [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc3Jvf_lRqk] It is still customary to hear an emphasized, shouted "KNIGHTS!" during the national anthem at Thrashers games at Philips Arenaby spectators in honor of the team. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p12bHxPRJTk]
The Knights became the Quebec Rafales (French for "
winds"), after relocating to Quebec City, Quebec, and took residence at the Colisée de Québec. The team drew well in 1996–97 one year after the NHL Quebec Nordiquesdeparted Quebec City for Denver, Colorado. The next year, after trading some of their best players, such as goaltender Stephane Beauregard, the team didn't reach the postseason. The owners did not realize the expected profit and folded the team after only two seasons in Quebec.
* [http://www.kendrick.org/knights AtlantaKnights.com]
* [http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/teamseasons.php?tid=68 Atlanta Knights] statistics
* [http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/teamseasons.php?tid=861 Quebec Rafales] statistics
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