Calder Cup 2004 Tour underway

The American Hockey League announced today the launch of the Calder Cup 2004 Tour, with the first stop coming Feb. 22 in Winnipeg.

Making its eighth annual excursion around the American Hockey League, the coveted Calder Cup will cover more than 11,000 miles as it travels to 19 cities, making appearances at games, schools, area sponsors, local TV and radio stations and various other community events. A special stop on this year’s 49-day tour, which leads up to the start of the Calder Cup 2004 Playoffs in mid-April, comes at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo for an AHL game between the Rochester Americans and Syracuse Crunch.

The Calder Cup 2004 Tour offers fans the opportunity to view up close one of the oldest trophies in North American sports. The Calder Cup, which has been competed for since the 1936-37 season, features the names of players, coaches and support staff from the last 20 American Hockey League champions (the other 47 champions’ plaques are on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame), and is accompanied by a special display highlighting the intensity and excitement of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

In conjunction with the tour, all AHL arenas will display specially-designed Calder Cup 2004 posters displaying the rich tradition and history surrounding the quest for the Calder Cup. The complete tour schedule follows this release.

The AHL’s championship trophy is named after Hockey Hall of Famer Frank Calder, who served as the first president of the National Hockey League from 1917-43. During the 1920s, Calder was instrumental in guiding professional hockey into the mainstream of the United States’ major cities, including New York, Boston, Chicago and Detroit, while also helping in the formation of the American Hockey League.

Eighteen members of the Hockey Hall of Fame are among the winners of the Calder Cup, including Terry Sawchuk, Emile Francis, Gerry Cheevers, Larry Robinson, Billy Smith and Johnny Bower. Nearly 80 players in the NHL this season have a Calder Cup championship on their resume, among them Steve Sullivan, Pasi Nurminen, Kirk Maltby, Adam Oates, Derek Armstrong, Andrew Brunette, Mike Dunham, Keith Primeau, Brian Boucher, Rico Fata, Olaf Kolzig and Sergei Gonchar.

Calder Cup 2004 Tour Schedule
Sun., Feb. 22WinnipegMedia Day
Mon., Feb. 23WinnipegMedia Day
Tue., Feb. 24WinnipegAlbany at Manitoba, 7:30 CT
Thu., Feb. 26TorontoHamilton at Toronto, 7:00 ET
Fri., Feb. 27Toronto/HamiltonMedia Day
Sat., Feb. 28HamiltonSyracuse at Hamilton, 7:00 ET
Sun., Feb. 29BuffaloSyracuse vs. Rochester, 6:00 ET

Fri., Mar. 5St. John’sToronto at St. John’s, 7:35 NT
Sat., Mar. 6St. John’sToronto at St. John’s, 7:35 NT
Sun., Mar. 7St. John’sMedia Day

Wed., Mar. 10BridgeportProvidence at Bridgeport, 7:05 ET
Thu., Mar. 11SyracuseMedia Day
Fri., Mar. 12SyracuseAlbany at Syracuse, 7:30 ET
Sat., Mar. 13SyracuseSt. John’s at Syracuse, 7:30 ET
Sun., Mar. 14RochesterSt. John’s at Rochester, 6:05 ET

Thu., Mar. 18WorcesterMedia Day
Fri., Mar. 19WorcesterPortland at Worcester, 7:05 ET
Sat., Mar. 20HartfordPortland at Hartford, 7:05 ET
Sun., Mar. 21ProvidencePortland at Providence, 4:05 ET

Tue., Mar. 23BinghamtonMedia Day
Wed., Mar. 24BinghamtonManitoba at Binghamton, 7:05 ET
Fri., Mar. 26PhiladelphiaBridgeport at Philadelphia, 7:05 ET
Sat., Mar. 27HersheyManchester at Hershey, 7:00 ET

Wed., Mar. 31LowellMedia Day
Thu., Apr. 1ManchesterMedia Day
Fri., Apr. 2ManchesterBridgeport at Manchester, 7:35 ET
Sat., Apr. 3PortlandProvidence at Portland

Thu., Apr. 8ClevelandMedia Day
Fri., Apr. 9ClevelandUtah at Cleveland, 7:00 ET
Sat., Apr. 10CincinnatiCleveland at Cincinnati, 7:35 ET