Despite rumors to the contrary, the Wranglers will return next season for their seventh year in Las Vegas and the ECHL.
"We'll be back in Las Vegas next year in the ECHL," Las Vegas owner Charles Davenport said. "(I'm) 100 percent (certain)."
Glen Gulutzan, the only head coach in franchise history, also is expected to return to the Wranglers, who were swept by the Alaska Aces in the National Conference finals.
"I should be back," Gulutzan said. "I have no plans to do anything else, other than give myself a few days off before I start recruiting."
With attendance at the Orleans Arena down almost 10 percent from the previous season and five teams folding from the ECHL, there have been rumors about the Wranglers relocating, folding and/or being sold.
"They're rumors, and none of them are true," Davenport said. "I don't pay much attention to them. My goals are always the same -- to try to have a good product for the fans and win championships.
"Glen and I will talk a lot this summer about what went wrong this year and how to fix it."
If anything, the way the Wranglers were unceremoniously dumped from the playoffs this season -- losing four straight games to Alaska by a combined score of 14-3, including Thursday's 5-1 loss in Game 4 -- has inspired Davenport to upgrade the team.
"Flat out, (on Thursday), I was embarrassed for this organization and for the city of Las Vegas," he said. "It was such a bad show, not just to get swept but to finish that way.
"It lit a fire under me. I want to get back to where we were and be competing for championships. I just didn't feel that way this year. It was a real struggle ... I was utterly disappointed and embarrassed by what we did (Thursday)."
After enduring a 34-31-8 regular season marked by inconsistency, injuries and call-ups, the Wranglers redeemed themselves in the playoffs, beating Bakersfield and Stockton in seven games apiece to capture the Pacific Division crown and advance to the conference finals for the second straight year.
"It's a success," Gulutzan said of his sixth season in Las Vegas. "We had 76 points, won our division and had 18 playoff games. That's probably what some people would consider a success, although for this organization, our sights are always set higher.
"For this team and maybe the job I did, yeah, it is a success. But the bar's set higher here ... so in that regard, it's a failure."
The Wranglers used seven goalies and 47 skaters in what Gulutzan called his "most challenging season."
"This was a very trying year," he said. "There were a lot of transaction moves, there was never a day where we weren't thinking about making the playoffs or what the roster would be. It took a lot of work to get us to this point."
Gulutzan said he expects to retain six or seven players from this year's squad and lose several others to the AHL, including center Tyler Mosienko and defenseman Dan Spang.
It's unclear if veterans such as Shawn Limpright and the Ferraro brothers, twins Peter and Chris, will return to Las Vegas.
The Wranglers have two years left on their lease at the Orleans Arena and a three-year option after that.
Said Davenport: "I want to make sure the Las Vegas Wranglers stay in Las Vegas for a long time."
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at email@example.com or 702-383-0354.