|Current season||Current season|
|League||National Lacrosse League|
|Based in||Rochester, New York|
|Owner||Pegula Sports and Entertainment|
|Championships||(5) 1997, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014|
|Division titles||(10) 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018|
|Local media||WHAM-DT2, WNBL, WHTK|
The Rochester Knighthawks (also known as the K-Hawks) are a professional box lacrosse team in the National Lacrosse League. They play in Rochester, New York at the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial. The Knighthawks were previously members of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League from 1995 to 1997. They have been members of the NLL since the league's inaugural 1998 season.
The Knighthawks reached the playoffs in each of their first 13 seasons, from 1995 to 2007. This is a league record going back to the league's original creation, the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League. The previous record was 11 straight years, held by the Philadelphia Wings. They were also the first NLL team to win three consecutive championships (2012–14).
The Knighthawks are owned by Pegula Sports and Entertainment who in 2018 purchased the operations, intellectual property, and history from former owner Curt Styres who moved the team's roster and personnel to Halifax, Nova Scotia as the Halifax Thunderbirds at the end of the 2018-2019 season.
- 1 History
- 2 Awards and honors
- 3 Current roster
- 4 All-time record
- 5 Playoff results
- 6 Head coaching history
- 7 Draft history
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The Rochester Knighthawks have found success throughout their history despite playing in a small market.
In their inaugural season they finished 3rd during the regular season and dispatched the Boston Blazers in the playoff semifinals to get to the finals as an expansion team. As they would do three times later on, they found themselves coming up just short in the championship game, falling in overtime to the Philadelphia Wings.
Just two seasons later, the Knighthawks would find their way to the top of the MILL heap, claiming the final North American Cup before the merger with the National Lacrosse League prior to the 1998 season. It would be ten years before the Knighthawks claimed their second title. They beat the Arizona Sting in the 2007 Championship by a score of 13-11. In 2012, the Knighthawks defeated the Edmonton Rush for the Championship by a score of 9-6. In 2013, the Knighthawks became the first team in the league to clinch back-to-back championship titles since the Toronto Rock in 2002 and 2003 by defeating the Washington Stealth 11-10. In 2014, the Knighthawks set a new league record by winning their third straight championship title.
After starting the season with a record of 2-2, the Knighthawks beat the Toronto Rock 19-15 in Toronto, where they had only won twice before in team history. The Knighthawks followed this victory up with 11 more, finishing the season with a franchise-record 12 regular-season-game winning streak and a 14-2 record. The Knighthawks were a perfect 8-0 at home, becoming the first team since the 2003 Bandits to post a perfect record at home. The winning streak was extended to 13 games after they defeated the Rock 10-6 in the division semi-finals; and to 14 after beating the Bandits in overtime, 14-13, for the East Division title. After the season, head coach Ed Comeau was named the 2007 Les Bartley Award winner.
Despite having the best overall record, they could not host the championship game due to a scheduling conflict with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Blue Cross Arena. Playing the game instead in Arizona, the Knighthawks defeated the Arizona Sting 13-11 on May 12, 2007, to win their first NLL championship. John Grant, Jr., regular-season league MVP, was named MVP of the game.
The winning streak continued during the 2008 season, as the Knighthawks defeated the Buffalo Bandits in the opening game on January 11, 2008. However, the next night in Rochester, the streak was halted at 16 games as they were defeated by the Bandits 14-9.
During the 2007 season, a dispute over concession revenues between owner Steve Donner and the Sports Management Group, then operators of the Blue Cross Arena, jeopardized the continued play of the Knighthawks in Rochester. Donner claimed that the Knighthawks and the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League had lost over $500,000 the previous two seasons, and without concession revenue sharing, he would be unable to continue to operate the teams in Rochester. An agreement was reached between the Amerks/Knighthawks SMG, and the City of Rochester on a one-year lease extension on May 11, 2007 that would allow for long-term negotiations to continue through both teams' 2008 season. Under the extension, the Amerks/Knighthawks agreed to an independent audit of their finances and the city agreed to forgo additional luxury suite revenue from the arena and to loan the Amerks an additional $100,000, added on to a $500,000 loan that is now past-due. On June 16, 2008 the Knighthawks and Americans announced a new five-year lease with the Blue Cross Arena.
Curt Styres era
On May 28, 2008 the National Lacrosse League's Board of Governors approved the sale of a majority stake of the Knighthawks to the President of Arrow Express Sports Curt Styres at a price of $5,575,000, the highest price paid for a team in league history. The league's approval was conditional upon whether or not the Knighthawks and Sports Management Group could secure a new lease for play at the Blue Cross Arena. Styres had also recently been approved by the American Hockey League to purchase the Americans. On June 16th 2008 the Knighthawks and Americans announced a new five-year lease with the Blue Cross Arena.
In June 2011, the Americans and Knighthawks were split up when Terrence Pegula purchased the Americans. The split was necessary at the time due to Pegula owning the Buffalo Bandits. This is a rule that would later be changed.
Sale to Pegula
On September 13, 2018, Styres announced that he would be accepting a new team in Halifax, Nova Scotia and would be relocating the Knighthawks' players and front office structure to the city for the winter 2019-2020 season. The Knighthawks history and intellectual property were sold to Terry and Kim Pegula (the latter of whom was raised in the Rochester suburbs) along with an expansion franchise to ensure the team's uninterrupted operations in Rochester.
Awards and honors
|1997||Steve Dietrich||Championship Cup MVP|
|2000||John Grant, Jr.||Rookie of the Year|
|2003||Pat O'Toole||Goaltender of the Year|
|2004||Paul Day||Les Bartley Award|
|2005||Andrew Turner||Defensive Player of the Year|
|2007||John Grant, Jr.||Most Valuable Player|
|Ed Comeau||Les Bartley Award|
|Steve Toll||Transition Player of the Year|
|John Grant, Jr.||Champion's Cup MVP|
|2010||Shawn Williams||Sportsmanship Award|
|2011||Matt Vinc||Goaltender of the Year|
|Pat McCready||Defensive Player of the Year|
|Jordan Hall||Sportsmanship Award|
|Curt Styres||GM of the Year|
|Mike Hasen||Les Bartley Award|
|Curt Styres||Executive of the Year Award|
|2012||Johnny Powless||Sportsmanship Award|
|Cody Jamieson||Champion's Cup MVP|
|2013||Matt Vinc||Goaltender of the Year|
|Cody Jamieson||Champion's Cup MVP|
|2014||Dan Dawson||Champion's Cup MVP|
|2015||Matt Vinc||Goaltender of the Year|
NLL Hall of Fame members
- Gary Gait, 2009–2011 (class of 2006)
- Paul Gait, 1995–1997 (class of 2006)
- Steve Dietrich, 1995–2001 (class of 2012)
- Pat O'Toole 1999–2010 (class of 2013)
Rochester Knighthawks roster
|Active (20-man) roster||Inactive roster||Coaches|
|1995||4–4||3rd||3–1||1–3||97||94||Barry Powless||lost final|
|1996||6–4||4th||4–1||2–3||148||137||Barry Powless||lost semi-final|
|1998||6–6||3rd||3–3||3–3||168||156||Paul Day||lost semi-final|
|1999||8–4||3rd||4–2||4–2||169||160||Paul Day||lost final|
|2000||8–4||3rd||5–1||3–3||187||149||Paul Day||lost final|
|2001||10–4||3rd||6–1||4–3||198||159||Paul Day||lost semi-final|
|2002||Central||13–3||2nd||8–0||5–3||261||202||Paul Day||lost division final|
|2003||Central||12–4||1st||6–2||6–2||214||173||Paul Day||lost final|
|2004||Eastern||8–8||2nd||6–2||2–6||173||186||Paul Day||lost division semi-final|
|2005||Eastern||10–6||3rd||5–3||5–3||193||179||Paul Day||lost division final|
|2006||Eastern||9–7||2nd||6–2||3–5||196||180||Ed Comeau||lost division final|
|2008||Eastern||8–8||5th||4–4||4–4||197||171||Ed Comeau||did not qualify|
|2009||Eastern||7–9||4th||6–2||1–7||169||197||Paul Gait||lost division semi-final|
|2010||Eastern||7–9||5th||4–4||3–5||155||181||Paul Gait||did not qualify|
|2011||Eastern||10–6||3rd||4–4||6–2||176||159||Mike Hasen||lost division semi-final|
|2015||Eastern||12–6||2nd||7–2||5–4||205||173||Mike Hasen||lost division final|
|2016||Eastern||7–11||4th||3–6||4–5||200||215||Mike Hasen||did not qualify|
|2017||Eastern||7–11||4th||4–5||3–6||175||209||Mike Hasen||did not qualify|
|2018||Eastern||10-8||2nd||5–4||5–4||236||210||Mike Hasen||lost final|
|2019||Eastern||6-12||5th||4-5||2-7||212||226||Mike Hasen||did not qualify|
|Playoff Totals||20 Appearances||27–19||17–3||10–16||499||492||5 championships|
|1995||Semifinals||Buffalo 8||Rochester 10|
|Championship||Rochester 14||Philadelphia 15 (OT)|
|1996||Semifinals||Rochester 10||Buffalo 18|
|1997||Semifinals||Rochester 15||Philadelphia 13|
|Championship||Rochester 15||Buffalo 12|
|1998||Semifinals||Rochester 14||Baltimore 15|
|1999||Semifinals||Rochester 14||Baltimore 12|
|Championship||Rochester 10||Toronto 13|
|2000||Semifinals||Rochester 15||Buffalo 11|
|Championship||Rochester 13||Toronto 14|
|2001||Semifinals||Rochester 11||Philadelphia 12|
|2002||Quarterfinals||Vancouver 10||Rochester 11|
|Semifinals||Rochester 10||Albany 14|
|2003||Semifinals||Buffalo 13||Rochester 16|
|Championship||Toronto 8||Rochester 6|
|2004||Division Semifinals||Buffalo 13||Rochester 9|
|2005||Division Semifinals||Rochester 17||Buffalo 16|
|Division Finals||Rochester 10||Toronto 12|
|2006||Division Semifinals||Rochester 16||Toronto 8|
|Division Finals||Buffalo 15||Rochester 10|
|2007||Division Semifinals||Toronto 6||Rochester 10|
|Division Finals||Buffalo 13||Rochester 14 (OT)|
|Championship*||Rochester 13||Arizona 11|
|2009||Division Semifinals||Rochester 10||New York 11 (OT)|
|2011||Division Semifinals||Rochester 6||Toronto 13|
|2012||Division Semifinals||Philadelphia 13||Rochester 14|
|Division Finals||Rochester 17||Toronto 13|
|Championship||Edmonton 6||Rochester 9|
|2013||Division Semifinals||Philadelphia 8||Rochester 10|
|Division Finals||Minnesota 10||Rochester 12|
|Championship||Rochester 11||Washington 10|
|2014||Division Finals||Rochester 8||Buffalo 12|
|Buffalo 8||Rochester 13|
|Buffalo 1||Rochester 2 (OT)|
|Championship||Rochester 7||Calgary 10|
|Calgary 10||Rochester 16|
|Calgary 2||Rochester 3|
|2015||Division Semifinals||Rochester 14||Buffalo 11|
|Division Finals||Toronto (2)||Rochester (1)|
|2018||Division Semifinals||New England 11||Rochester 15|
|Division Finals||Rochester 9||Georgia 8|
|Championship||Rochester 9||Saskatchewan 16|
|Saskatchewan 8||Rochester 13|
|Rochester 10||Saskatchewan 15|
*The Knighthawks had the overall top seed in the playoffs, but were unable to host the Championship game due to a scheduling conflict at the Blue Cross Arena.
Head coaching history
|4||Paul Suggate||2009||Resigned prior to season|
First Round Selections
- 1994: Cam Bomberry (1st overall)
- 1995: Derek Collins (5th overall)
- 1996: Cory Bomberry (3rd overall)
- 1997: None
- 1998: Casey Powell (1st overall) & Brad MacArthur (5th overall)
- 1999: John Grant (1st overall) & Ben Hunt (9th overall)
- 2000: Lindsay Plunkett (8th overall)
- 2001: Teddy Jenner (11th overall)
- 2002: Pete Benedict (11th overall)
- 2003: Scott Evans (5th overall)
- 2004: Mike Morrison (8th overall)
- 2005: Shawn Evans (2nd overall)
- 2006: Jack Reid (10th overall)
- 2007: Matt McLeod (8th overall) & Andrew Potter (14th overall)
- 2008: None
- 2009: Sid Smith (1st overall)
- 2010: Cody Jamieson (1st overall)
- 2011: Stephen Keogh (2nd overall), Johnny Powless (5th overall)
- 2012: Carson Michaud (56th overall)
- 2013: None
- 2014: Jeremy Noble (2nd overall)
- 2015: Graeme Hossack (2nd overall), Brad Gillies (9th overall)
- 2002 from Montreal Express: Steve Penny (10th overall); Declined to pick (22nd overall)
- 2003 from Ottawa Rebel: Mat Giles (10th overall); Shawn Zettel (21st overall); Declined to pick (32nd overall)
- 2004 from Vancouver Ravens: Chris McKay (5th overall); Peter Morgan (14th overall)
- 2005 from Anaheim Storm: Cam Bergman (8th overall)
- 2007 from Arizona Sting & Boston Blazers: Jack Reid, Boston (12th overall); Matt Lyons, Arizona (13th overall); Alex Smith, Arizona (36th overall)
- 2008 from Arizona Sting: Lindsay Plunkett (5th overall); Matt Brown (18th overall)
- 2008 from Chicago Shamrox: Mike Kirk (4th overall); Bobby McBride (16th overall); Craig Robertson (24th overall); Pat Saunders (25th overall); Brock Boyle (26th overall)
- 2009 from Arizona Sting: Dan Stroup (17th overall)
- 2010 from Orlando Titans: Jordan Hall (3rd overall); Dan Hardy (13th overall); Kenny Nims (23rd overall); Mike Evans (33rd overall); Bobby Horsey (40th overall)
- 2011 from Boston Blazers: Mike Kirk (5th overall), Casey Powell (14th overall), Jack Reid (23rd overall)
- 1999 to Albany Attack: Josh Sanderson (2nd overall)
- 2001 to Calgary Roughnecks, New Jersey Storm, Vancouver Ravens & Columbus Landsharks: Randy Mearns, Calgary (8th overall); Marc Landriault, Calgary (14th overall); Lindsay Plunkett, Vancouver (16th overall); Kevin Howard, Calgary (30th overall)
- 2004 to Minnesota Swarm: Jon Harasym (N/A overall)
- 2005 to Portland Lumberjax & Edmonton Rush: Pat Campbell, Edmonton (8th overall); Mat Giles, Portland (9th overall)
- 2006 to Chicago Shamrox & New York Titans: Carter Livingstone, Chicago (17th overall); Ryan O'Connor, Chicago (19th overall)
- 2007 to Boston Blazers: Brian Croswell (13th overall)
- 2008 to Boston Blazers: Matt Lyons (3rd overall)
- "Week 16 News and Notes". NLL.com. April 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-21.
- "Knighthawks Edge Rock 10-6". NLL.com. April 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-21.
- "Knighthawks Advance to Championship Game". NLL.com. April 26, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
- "Ed Comeau Wins Les Bartley Award". NLL.com. May 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-03.
- "Arizona To Host Championship Game". NLL.com. April 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
- "K-Hawks Top Bandits in Friday's Opener, 12-9". NLL.com. January 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
- "Bandits end K-Hawks Streak with 14-9 Win". NLL.com. January 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
- Knighthawks sold for nearly $6 million, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle 28 May 2008
- ARROW EXPRESS SPORTS ANNOUNCES MAJORITY OWNERSHIP OF AMERKS, Amerks.com
- "John Grant Wins Dodge Nitro MVP Award". NLL.com. May 10, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-10.
- "Toll named Transition Player of the Year". NLL.com. May 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
- "John Grant Named Championship Game MVP". NLL.com. May 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
- "Stealth's Takata Named Executive of the Year". NLL.com. May 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- "Shattler, McCready, & Vinc Honored". NLL.com. 2011-05-09. Retrieved 2011-05-09.
- "Hall, Bailey Win First Two Awards of 2011". NLL.com. 2011-05-03. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
- "Rochester Sweeps GM & Head Coach Awards". NLL.com. 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- "Curt Styres Named Executive of the Year". NLL.com. 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
- "Knighthawks rookie Powless wins Sportsmanship Award". NLL.com. May 7, 2012. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
| Major Indoor Lacrosse League Champions
Philadelphia Wings (NLL)
| National Lacrosse League Champions
| National Lacrosse League Champions
2012, 2013, 2014