Gernander wore captain’s “C” for 10 years

As part of the American Hockey League’s 70th anniversary this season, will be taking a look at some of the legendary careers that have been carved in the AHL over the last seven decades.

The highest scoring American-born player in AHL history, Ken Gernander was a model of consistency, courage and leadership during his 14 seasons in the league.

Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 1987, Gernander spent three seasons with their AHL affiliate in Moncton, helping the Hawks reach the Calder Cup Finals in 1994. He signed with the New York Rangers that summer, and in 1995-96, he was named captain of the Binghamton Rangers. He would go on to wear the “C” for the Blueshirts’ AHL affiliates for the next decade.

That 1995-96 season was Gernander’s finest offensively, scoring 44 goals and recording 73 points in 63 games for Binghamton. He had a streak of 211 consecutive AHL games played end that season when he earned his first career NHL recall.

When the Rangers moved their AHL operations to Hartford in 1997, Gernander became the face of the franchise, leading the Wolf Pack with 35 goals in their inaugural season. His crowning achievement came in 1999-2000, when he captained Hartford to the Calder Cup title, the first professional hockey championship in the city’s history.

Gernander’s numbers gradually declined, but his importance in the organization never did. With the parent Rangers in the midst of a nine-year absence from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he was looked to as a mentor to the prospects who were developing within the system. Late in the 2003-04 season, Gernander was rewarded one more time for his work within the organization with a two-game call-up to New York, his first NHL action in seven years.

Upon his retirement in 2005, Gernander was named an assistant coach with the Wolf Pack, helping guide the team to a 104-point performance in 2005-06.

A native of Coleraine, Minn., Gernander recorded 293 goals and 331 assists for 624 points in 973 career AHL games, good for eighth on the league’s all-time games-played list. He also appeared in a league-record 123 Calder Cup Playoff contests, skated in three AHL All-Star Classics (captaining the PlanetUSA squad in 1999) and was a two-time recipient of the Fred T. Hunt Award for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

In 2005, Gernander’s number 12 was retired to the rafters of the Hartford Civic Center, and in 2006, he was inducted in to the Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame.

Career AHL Statistics – Ken Gernander
Regular SeasonPlayoffs
1991-92Moncton Hawks4381826981122
1992-93Moncton Hawks711829472051450
1993-94Moncton Hawks7122254712196170
1994-95Binghamton Rangers8028255324112246
1995-96Binghamton Rangers6344297338
1996-97Binghamton Rangers461318313020110
1997-98Hartford Wolf Pack80352863261256114
1998-99Hartford Wolf Pack702326493271232
1999-2000Hartford Wolf Pack79282957242355100
2000-01Hartford Wolf Pack802227493920000
2001-02Hartford Wolf Pack7518314919101344
2002-03Hartford Wolf Pack721719362220000
2003-04Hartford Wolf Pack7712193128163472
2004-05Hartford Wolf Pack6658131861010
AHL Totals97329333162434112326295520