He’s been the face of a franchise for eight seasons. Tonight, he earned a special place in the AHL record books.
Hartford captain Ken Gernander, who has worn the captain’s “C” for the Wolf Pack since day one in 1997, skated in his 121st career Calder Cup Playoff game in Lowell tonight, surpassing the legendary Fred Glover for the all-time league lead in that category.
Gernander is appearing in his 13th AHL postseason. Since turning pro in 1991 after four seasons at the University of Minnesota, a Calder Cup run has gone on without Gernander only once: in 1996, when he spent his spring in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the New York Rangers.
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 1987, Gernander made his Calder Cup debut in 1992 with the Moncton Hawks. He reached the Finals with the Hawks in 1994, then signed with the Rangers that offseason.
He played three AHL seasons in Binghamton (1994-97) before the Rangers moved their AHL operations to Hartford. With the Wolf Pack, Gernander has made three more conference finals appearances and captained the club to a Calder Cup championship in 2000.
Gernander, who scored the winning goal in Sunday’s Game 3 against Lowell, has recorded 26 goals and 29 assists for 55 points in his 120 career AHL playoff games, to go with 624 points (293 goals, 331 assists) in 973 games in the regular season.
Lowell spoiled Gernander’s night with a 3-2 win in Game 4, evening the teams’ best-of-seven Atlantic Division semifinal series at 2-2.