Template:Infobox sports season The 1997 RHI season was the 5th season of Roller Hockey International. It began in May 1997, with the regular season ending in August 1997. The Murphy Cup playoffs ended in September, with the Anaheim Bullfrogs defeating the New Jersey Rockin Rollers to win their second Murphy Cup.
Three original teams, the Oakland Skates, San Diego Barracudas, and Vancouver Voodoo, all folded after four seasons in the league. The Minnesota Arctic Blast folded after three seasons in the league, one of which was spent on hiatus. The Philadelphia BulldogsThe Denver Daredevils and Long Island Jawz both folded after only one season in the league. Also, the Oklahoma Coyotes were placed on hiatus for the 1997 season.
For the first time since the 1994 expansion, the league did not add any expansion teams.
With the contraction of the Denver Daredevils, Long Island Jawz, Minnesota Arctic Blast, Oakland Skates, Oklahoma Coyotes, Philadelphia Bulldogs, San Diego Barracudas, and Vancouver Voodoo, the league was left with ten teams. The four division alignment was dropped and the league was aligned into just two conferences, still named the Eastern and Western.
Of the remaining teams, six remained in the Eastern Conference, the Buffalo Wings, Montreal Roadrunners, New Jersey Rockin Rollers, Orlando Jackals, Ottawa Loggers, and St. Louis Vipers, and four remained in the Western Conference, the Anaheim Bullfrogs, Los Angeles Blades, Sacramento River Rats, and San Jose Rhinos. To even each conference at five teams, the St. Louis Vipers were moved to the Western Conference.
For the first time, the league decreased its regular season schedule from 28 back to 24 games per team.
After only one game into its schedule, Roller Hockey International took over control of the Ottawa Loggers. The team was renamed to the Ottawa Wheels and used the same uniforms previously used by the contracted San Diego Barracudas.
Note: x – clinched playoff spot, y – clinched division title, z – clinched regular season conference title, b – clinched best overall record, e – eliminated from playoff contention
If two or more clubs are tied in points during the regular season, the ranking of the clubs is determined in the following order:
- The fewer number of games played.
- The greater number of games won.
- The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.
- The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season.
- The fewer number of goals against.
|Template:Country data USA Billy Lund||Orlando Jackals||24||32||46||78||+28||13|
|Template:Country data CZE Radek Hamr||San Jose Rhinos||24||19||56||75||+30||3|
|Template:Country data CAN Frank Cirone||St. Louis Vipers||24||34||39||73||+2||9|
|Template:Country data CAN Kyle Reeves||Orlando Jackals||24||41||29||70||+33||46|
|Template:Country data CAN Christian Skoryna||St. Louis Vipers||23||27||43||70||+17||39|
|Template:Country data CAN Daniel Shank||Orlando Jackals||17||19||47||66||+15||23|
|Template:Country data CAN Mark Woolf||San Jose Rhinos||24||35||29||64||+14||20|
|Template:Country data CAN Robin Bouchard||Ottawa Wheels||24||28||35||63||–10||35|
|Template:Country data CAN Victor Gervais||Anaheim Bullfrogs||17||17||45||62||–6||26|
|Template:Country data CAN Doug Ast||Los Angeles Blades||21||32||27||59||+14||7|
After the regular season, 8 teams qualified for the playoffs. The Orlando Jackals were the Eastern Conference regular season champions and had the best overall record with 40 points. The San Jose Rhinos had the best record in the Western Conference with 32 points.
- Orlando Jackals – Eastern Conference regular season champions; Best Overall Record winners, 40 points
- New Jersey Rockin Rollers – 32 points
- Montreal Roadrunners – 23 points
- Ottawa Wheels – 22 points
- San Jose Rhinos – Western Conference regular season champions, 32 points
- Anaheim Bullfrogs – 30 points
- Los Angeles Blades – 27 points
- St. Louis Vipers – 26 points
In each round, the higher-seeded team is awarded home floor advantage. In the Murphy Cup Finals, home floor is determined based on regular season points. Each best-of-three series follows a 1–2 format: the lower-seeded team will play at home for game 1, and the higher-seeded team will be at home for game 2 and 3 (if necessary).
|Conference Semifinals||Conference Finals||Murphy Cup Finals|
|E2||New Jersey Rockin Rollers||2|
|E2||New Jersey Rockin Rollers||2|
|E2||New Jersey Rockin Rollers||0|
|W1||San Jose Rhinos||2|
|W4||St. Louis Vipers||1|
|W1||San Jose Rhinos||1|
|W3||Los Angeles Blades||1|