Jody Gage serves as the Director of Strategic Planning in the Amerks' front office, where he has worked since the 1995-96 season. The role is Gage’s fourth with the organization, having previously served as Assistant General Manager, General Manager and Director of Player Personnel during his tenure in the front office following his retirement as a player.
During Gage's 13 seasons as the team’s general manager, he saw nine teams reach the finals (three hockey, six lacrosse). The Amerks advanced to the Calder Cup Finals in 1999 and 2000, and the Rochester Knighthawks (National Lacrosse League), a team for which he served in the same capacity, reached the National Lacrosse League Finals in 1999, 2000 and 2003 -- and won the 1997 Major Indoor Lacrosse League title and the 2007 National Lacrosse League crown. Gage was also the Assistant General Manager when the Amerks won the 1996 Calder Cup.
Gage also served as the general manager of the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse and in eight seasons saw the team advance to the MLL Semifinals in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007 and capture the Steinfeld Cup in 2008.
In 2007, he assembled a Knighthawks team that won a league record 17 games and suffered only two losses. Rochester also won 15 straight games, second most in NLL history, en route to the championship. The K-Hawks also finished first in the league in goals (249), power-play goals (67), power-play percentage (58.77%) and shorthanded goals (23). The Knighthawks also finished second in penalty-killing percentage (62.50). Rochester won 12 straight games to close the regular season and tied for the best single-season record by any team since the NLL switched to the 16-game schedule.
In 1998-99, the AHL awarded him the James C. Hendy Award as the league’s outstanding executive. Gage assembled a team that won both the AHL Empire Division Championship and the Western Conference Championship and earned a berth in the 1999 Calder Cup Finals. The 1998-99 Amerks broke franchise records for most wins (52) and most points (111), and league records for fewest goals allowed (176) and fewest road goals allowed (86). In 2004-05, the hockey team rewrote the record books, setting franchise records for points (112), shutouts (9) and consecutive wins (17). That Amerks team also won the regular season points title, while wrapping up the North Division and Western Conference.
Gage received one of the highest honors of his career in 2006, as he was inducted into the inaugural class of the AHL Hall of Fame. He joined legends Johnny Bower, Jack Butterfield, Fred Glover, Willie Marshall, Frank Mathers and Eddie Shore. The ceremony was conducted at the 2006 Rbk Hockey American Hockey League All-Star Classic in Winnipeg, Manitoba (January 31st to February 1st).
In January of 2010, Gage, along with former Knighthawk greats Randy Mearns and Paul Gait, were enshrined into the Knighthawks Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010. With the honors, Gage enters the Hall of Fame as the only person to now grace the Hall of Fames for two Rochester professional sports teams: the Knighthawks and the Rochester Americans. Gage served as the general manager for 12 seasons and built the Knighthawks into a lacrosse dynasty (1997-2008). He had a hand in drafting future superstars John Grant, Casey Powell, Curt Malawsky, Josh Sanderson and Colin Doyle. He also was a masterful GM when it came to trades, acquiring such notable players as Mike Accursi, Chris Schiller, Steve Toll and Shawn Williams during his tenure.
Because his name is synonymous with AHL stardom, he was able to acquaint himself quickly with his peers off the ice and away from the field, and it did not take long for him to earn a reputation as a well-respected, savvy hockey GM. In his first season, Gage's team captured the Amerks’ first division title since the 1990-91 season, making him the first Amerks’ GM in team history to win a division title in his inaugural season.
It was no surprise that he achieved success, having been involved with three Calder Cup championship teams during his pro career. He was a member of the Adirondack Red Wings Calder Cup team in 1981, the Amerks squad in 1987, and was Rochester's Assistant GM when the Amerks secured their sixth Calder Cup in 1996, having retired during the season due to lingering knee ailments.
Originally a third-round draft selection (45th overall) of the Detroit Red Wings in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, the Toronto native spent six seasons in the Detroit organization before signing a free-agent contract with the Buffalo Sabres on July 31, 1985. Gage would spend the rest of his career in the Sabres and Amerks organizations, signing his final contract with the Amerks on August 23, 1995, just a few months after Steve Donner purchased the Rochester club from Buffalo in June 1995.
Dubbed “Mr. Amerk” during his 11-year career in Rochester, Gage finished as the Amerks’ all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played. He holds the Amerks’ record for game-winning goals in one season (9, 1987-88) and goals/points by a right wing in one season (60/104, 1987-88). Gage is one of just three players to record 500 career AHL goals and 1,000 career AHL points, and his 17 AHL seasons tie him for third in league history. Some of his other AHL accolades include the 1987-88 AHL MVP award and a berth on the First Team All-Star squad. He also earned AHL First Team All-Star honors following the 1985-86 and 1990-91 seasons, a place on the AHL's All-Time Team in 1992 -- as chosen by the media -- and selection as the U.S. Team Captain for the AHL All-Star Game in 1995. Gage also holds AHL records for the two fastest short-handed goals in one game (8 seconds, 3/25/89), the most 40+ goal seasons (7), and the most playoff goals (51) in AHL history.
In 1999, he was inducted into the Amerks Hall of Fame. On March 19, 1999, Gage and Dick Gamble had their No. 9 retired, joining Norm “Red” Armstrong as the only players in team history to receive that honor.
Gage (born 11/29/59) resides in Chili with his wife Charlotte. The couple has a son, Ryan, and a daughter, Stefanie. Jody is an avid and accomplished golfer, when he can find the time. He also enjoys spending time with his family.