The Lake Erie Monsters are an AHL team that plays out of the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Monsters are the latest incarnation of professional hockey in Cleveland. The previous AHL franchise here was the Barons that lasted from 2002 to 2006. Before that, the IHL’s Lumberjacks lasted from 1992-2001. The city had short lived franchises in the 1970’s, both in the NHL (Barons) and the WHA (Crusaders).
The team is the AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche and had four Ontario Hockey league graduates on the roster for the 2009-10 season.
Randy Rowe played for the Belleville Bulls from 1997-98 to 2000-01. In his final year, 2000-01, he recorded 102 points. He split last season between the Monsters and their ECHL affiliate in Johnstown.
Brian Willsie was a Guelph Storm from 1995-96 to 1997-98. Brian spent a few years as a regular in the NHL. He was originally drafted 146th overall by the Avalanche in 1996. He spent time with the Avalanche before moving on to the Washington Capitals and Los Angeles Kings. In 2008-09, he returned to the Avalanche organization splitting that season half and half with the Monsters and only playing 4 games so far this season with the big club.
Tom Zanoski played with the Owen Sound Attack from 2001-02 to 2003-04. He split the 2003-04 season with the Mississauga Ice Dogs and finished off his OHL career in 2004-05 with the Dogs.
Kevin Montgomery was one of many players snatched from U.S. Collegiate hockey by the Hunter brothers in London. Kevin spent his time in the OHL with the Knights from 2006-07 to 2008-09. Each season in junior, he joined the Monsters for their playoffs after the Knights were eliminated from the OHL bracket.