The Afternoon Shift – Oct. 27

"...114, 115, 116..." / Photo by Mark Newman

A Griffins franchise record that once switched hands every two years is on the cusp of being broken again — perhaps for the final time? — more than seven years since its last ownership change.

Grand Rapids’ 3-2 shootout win at Oklahoma City last Saturday marked Curt Fraser’s 116th victory as the Griffins’ head coach, tying him with Danton Cole for first place all time. Following Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Houston, he’ll get his second shot at breaking the deadlock tomorrow, when the Abbotsford Heat visit Van Andel Arena for a 7 p.m. start.

Once achieved, Fraser’s new standard should remain intact for a very long time, given the transient nature of AHL head coaching positions. Consider:

  • Fraser’s 247-game tenure with Grand Rapids is already unique, in that it is more than a half-season’s worth of games ahead of any other bench boss in Griffins history (Cole’s 208 games);
  • Only one other head coach, Greg Ireland (192 games), logged more than two seasons of service with the club;
  • The AHL has gone to a 76-game schedule, after the Griffins had played 80 games per season from 2001-11 and 82 per year while members of the IHL (1996-2001). Fewer games obviously mean fewer opportunities to earn wins.

For the record, here are the career numbers for all eight head coaches in Griffins franchise history:

Head Coach Tenure GC W L T OTL SOL PTS PCT Record Win
Dave Allison 6/27/96-3/3/98 144 70 55 19 159 0.552 (70) 3-2 W vs. IND 2/26/98
Bob McNamara 3/3/98-7/8/98 20 8 6 6 22 0.550 n/a
Guy Charron 7/8/98-6/29/00 164 85 62 17 187 0.570 (71) 4-3 SOW 
at Mich 3/10/00
Bruce Cassidy 7/17/00-6/25/02 162 95 49 11 4 3 208 0.642 (86) 2-1 W vs. UTA 2/16/02
Danton Cole 6/26/02-2/10/05 208 116 72 16 3 1 252 0.606 (96) 4-3 OTW at SA 10/24/04
Greg Ireland 2/10/05-6/15/07 192 109 65 8 10 236 0.615 n/a
Mike Stothers 7/18/07-6/18/08 80 31 41 2 6 70 0.438 n/a
Curt Fraser 7/23/08-Present 247 116 102 11 18 261 0.528 TBD

None of the four previous record-setting wins was by more than a single goal, including two that required extra time. But as they say, nothing worth having ever comes easy.

Good luck on getting No. 117 tomorrow, Fraz!

Today’s Griffins links:

AHL links:

Alumni news and notes:

NHL alumni goals:

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