JOE CROZIER OFFICIALLY SELECTED FOR INDUCTION INTO THE AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE HALL OF FAME'S CLASS OF 2012News | 11/10/2011 3:17:12 PM | ROCHESTER AMERICANS
The American Hockey League announced that former Rochester Americans head coach, general manager, part-owner and player Joe Crozier is one of four individuals who will be inducted into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2012. Joining Crozier in the Class of 2012 will be Jack Gordon, John Stevens and Zellio Toppazzini.
“I am honored to be a member of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012,” said Crozier. “My time in Rochester was incredibly special and I was privileged to work with many great people over the years that helped our teams achieve success.”
The Class of 2012 will be honored as part of the festivities at the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic in Atlantic City, N.J. The American Hockey League Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Monday, January 30, at the Circus Maximus Theatre at Caesars Atlantic City.
One of the most identifiable figures in the history of the Rochester Americans, Joe Crozier helped lay the foundation for what would become a flagship franchise through a dominating run of achievements.
A native of Winnipeg, Crozier played 12 professional seasons as a defenseman, making AHL stops with the Springfield Indians and Providence Reds before he first joined the Rochester Americans in 1959-60. Crozier helped Rochester reach the Calder Cup Finals that season, and then closed out his playing career with the Amerks the following year.
In 1963, Crozier returned to Rochester to become the young franchise’s ninth head coach in eight seasons, and in 1964-65, after he added the duties of general manager, Crozier’s club was the class of the American Hockey League. They went 48-21-3, setting a team record for wins that would stand for 34 years, then dispatched Quebec and Hershey to capture the franchise’s first Calder Cup.
Crozier kept his Amerks on top of the league in 1965-66, winning a second consecutive Calder Cup after another dominating regular season. And following a loss to Pittsburgh in the 1967 Finals, he became the third head coach in AHL history to win three Calder Cups when Rochester reclaimed the title in 1968.
Crozier left Rochester in 1968 and found success in other coaching stops, including the Cincinnati Swords and New Brunswick Hawks in the AHL. He returned to the Amerks for one last season in 1983-84, and guided the club to yet another Calder Cup Finals appearance before retiring from coaching.
During his six full seasons as an AHL head coach, Crozier reached five Finals and won three league championships. Two other seasons in the AHL were cut short when he was promoted to coaching positions in the National Hockey League.
With a career record of 305-199-46, Crozier’s .596 lifetime winning percentage ranks second among the 16 members of the AHL’s 300-win fraternity, and his Rochester Americans of the late 60’s remain the only team in league history to reach four consecutive Calder Cup Finals.
In the 56-year history of the Rochester Americans, Crozier ranks third all-time in coaching victories and first in points percentage among Amerks coaches with more than 100 victories. In addition to winning three Calder Cups as Amerks head coach, Crozier also posted a 39-27 record in the postseason. He was a charter member of the Amerks Hall of Fame in 1986.
Formed in 2006 to recognize, honor and celebrate individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions in the American Hockey League, the AHL Hall of Fame is housed on-line at www.ahlhalloffame.com and is accessible to fans worldwide with the click of a mouse as part of the AHL Internet Network. The Network also includes theahl.com and all 30 official team sites, and hosts more than 250 million page views each year.