Edmonton Excavators

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Edmonton Excavators
2022-2023 Edmonton Excavators season
Edmonton Excavators logo
Conference Western
Division Mountain
Founded 1984
History Des Moines Blanks (1984-2012), Edmonton Totems (2012-2022), Edmonton Excavators (2022-present)
Arena Bete Noire Pavilion (aka "The Wigwam") (1984-2022), Bulldozing Stadium (2022- present)
City Edmonton, AB
Team colors Red, Gold, White

              

Owner(s) B.A. Benneteau (male beaver)
RL Primary Contact XenosBlade
General manager Dave Walnuts (leaf-nosed bat)
Head coach Bobby Baylor (Polar Bear)
Assistant coach Godfrey Zindendel (Male Goat)
Lead trainer Sheldon Berkeley (male sheep)
Championships 0
Conference titles 1 (2014)
Division titles 2 (2002 as Des Moines Blanks, 2014)

The Edmonton Excavators are a professional basketball team based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They play in the Mountain Division of the Western Conference in the Furry Basketball Association (FBA). The team, formerly known as the Des Moines Blanks, was rebranded and relocated in 2012 to the Edmonton Totems before a final rebrand in 2022 to the Edmonton Excavators

Blanks Era History

Birth of the Blanks (1984 – 2000)

No one knows the reason why boar corn tycoon Lawrence Cobb decided to establish an FBA team in his home town of Des Moines, IA, or name the team the Blanks for that matter. All that mattered was Iowa had its first professional sports team. The franchise would fail to reward its fans with any Championship, however, winning only a single Division Title in 28 seasons.

After struggling their first five seasons, the Blanks established a solid reputation over the course of the nineties. Unfortunately, the Midwest Division remained the domain of the Dakota Bikers, and Des Moines failed to keep pace with the elite Sturgis franchise. The Blanks earned several wildcard playoff spots over their history, but were regularly eliminated in the first round.

The Cheezburgerz Era (2001 – 2012)

The Blanks finally acquired their franchise cornerstone in Christopher Zwischenberger (Tabby Cat, F), a 4th overall pick in the 2001 FBA Draft. “Cheezburgerz” took the league by storm during his sophomore year, leading the team to its first and only Midwestern Divisional title in 2002. The feline would go on to win the 2006 FBA League MVP Award and distinuish himself as a standout small forward in the league.

Frustrated as the teams lone superstar, Cheezburgerz stated his concerns with management behind closed doors following the 2010 season. Cobb responded by firing GM Xavier Penn (Zebra), and promoting one of his other staff members, O'Dell Stapleton (Echidna), a former point guard for the Baltimore Spirits. Stapleton responded immediately, with notable offers to several of the league's premiere free agents. Unfortunately, these overtures failed to result in any high profile signings. The Blanks additionally gained a dubious reputation after a series of questionable trades and draft selections. After two more years at the bottom of the FBA cellar, Cobb would finally decide to call it quits. The team was sold to multi-billionaire cognac magnate, B.A. Benneteau, who relocated the franchise to Canada.

Totems History

Welcome to Totem Country (2012 – 2022)

Determined to distance himself from the Blanks legacy of failure, Benneteau hired the ruthless european GM Percy Van West, who would in turn sack the entire Des Moines administration. Legendary Williamsburg Minutemen and FBA Hall of Famer Stan Shields was hired as the teams first head coach. As a result of Van West’s cutthroat, take-no-prisoners style of management, not a single member of the former Blanks squad would be left by opening day of camp.

A flurry of off-season activity would gradually lead to the formation of a new lineup, a motley assortment of “FBA leftovers” in the words of Donald Smith. Captain Robert Murray was acquired from the defending-champion Williamsburg Minutemen. Flashy veteran shooting guard Rocky Couture came by way of a sign-and-trade with the Montana Howlers. By opening night, the Totems had patched together a roster acquired from the Alaska Arctics, Plymouth Taproots, Lorain Firestorm, Baltimore Spirits, and Las Vegas Wildcards. Added to the mix were draft picks, free agents, even entry-level signings from the depths of the D-League.

While anticipation surrounding the team reached a fever pitch, expectations for the inaugural season remained mixed at best. Indeed, suspicions appeared confirmed as the Totems opened their campaign with a six-game losing streak and continued to struggle in the Western Conference basement. The Totems would finally begin to gel by midseason, however, and finished the season with a respectable wildcard playoff spot.

The Totem’s reversal of fortune at midseason was largely the result of a high profile trade with the Plymouth Taproots. Starters Kasa Yalenchka and Doug Day exchanged for Sanford Teeson and Marko Sly, two racoons who brought chemistry and cohesion to a roster of wildly divergent personalities and playing styles. The effects were immediate: the 18-30 Totems would go 18-14 following the trade and finish 7th in the West.

This success carried over to the playoffs, and the team set a series records as the Cinderella story of the year. With upset victories over the Howlers and Whips, the Totems made FBA history as the first team to reach the Conference Finals in their inaugural season (while the Saint Paul Mayors won the FBA championship in their inaugeral year, there was no Conference Finals in 1961). The Edmonton Totems are also the only active Canadian team to have reached the FBA Conference finals, the Hamilton Mariners having been the other team to make it to the Conference finals.

Excavators History

The Dig Deep Era (2022- Present)

After much discussion and concerns, Benneteau has come to the conclusion to rebrand the team in order to be more inclusive and welcoming to all backgrounds. After a few years, the Edmonton basketball team for the FBA has decided to become the Edmonton Excavators. The change comes after two promising seasons of a new regime of General Manager Dave Walnuts (formerly the same title under the Santa Ana Spectrums) and Head Coach Bobby Baylor (former franchise player of the Alaska Arctics). After making it to the playoffs for the first time in this era, many fans will be excited for the embrace of change and direction the franchise is headed since the rebuild began. Now the team will look to dig deep in building a roster for the fans to be very excited for as a young core continues to grow.

Front Office and Coaching Staff

Current

Previous General Managers

  • Xavier Penn (???-2010)
  • O'Dell Stapleton (2010-2012)
  • Percy Van West (2012-2020)

Previous Head Coaches


Seasons

Totems

  • 2012-2013 – 36-44 (7th in Western Conference, Western Conference Finalists)
  • 2013-2014 – 45-35 (4th in Western Conference, FBA Championship Finalists) (Mountain Division Title, Western Conference Champions)
  • 2014-2015 – 35-45 (9th in Western Conference)
  • 2015-2016 – 17-47 (12th in Western Conference)
  • 2016-2017 - 47-33 (2nd in Western Conference)
  • 2017-2018 - 40-40 (7th in Western Conference)
  • 2018-2019 - 40-40 (6th in Western Conference)
  • 2019-2020 - 27-53 (9th in Western Conference)
  • 2020-2021 - 28-52 (11th in Western Conference)
  • 2021-2022 - 37-43 (8th in Western Conference)

FBA Awards

FBA Most Valuable Player

FBA Rookie of the Year

Current Roster

Edmonton Excavators Roster
Starters
Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
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13 Vendela Malmqvist (Rabbit, G) 19 Zackary Cooper (Beaver, G/F) 15 Baxter Buckley (Beaver, G/F) Raymond Lee (Dragon, G) 42 Xavier Clarke (Husky, C/F)
Bench
Guard Swingfur Center Forward Swingfur
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35 Nur Iwata (Jorunna parva ("sea bunny"), G) 14 Shirley Takamoto (Jaguar, F/G) 1 Niran Panichkul (Fishing Cat, C) 12 Mackenzie Sharp (Australian Shepherd, F) 46 Casey Rucks (Brown Hyena, G/F)
Reserves Deep Reserves
Guard Bigfur Forward ' Swingfur
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2 Erik Kijani (Leopard, G) 29 Koichi Ishikawa (Doitsu Sanke Koi Fish, F/C) Randall Jones, Jr. (Gray Wolf, F) 33 Lawrence Carrell (Gila Monster, F/G)
Head Coach Use Only:



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