The Baton Rouge Kingfish started play in the 1996-97 at the Riverside Centroplex (now River Center) in Baton Rouge, LA. The team made an interesting move for their first coach, bringing in Pierre McGuire. At the time, McGuire was coming off stints as the head coach in Hartford and assistant in Ottawa, but the Kingfish would be his last coaching gig before moving into broadcasting for the next 20+ years.
The Kingfish were middle of the road in their first season, going 31-33 and missing the playoffs. McGuire would not return for a second season, and instead the team would bring in another surprising name as coach, legendary enforcer Dave Schultz. Schultz had been mostly out of hockey since the early 1980s, but the prior season had made a return to coaching in the CoHL with the Madison Monsters. He would only make it 59 games through the 1997-98 season with the Kingfish before being replaced.
For their part, the Kingfish would go through eight coaches in their seven seasons of existence with no coaching move making too much of a difference on the ice. They would win between 29 and 35 games each season, except their final season in which they would only win 20. The team made three playoff appearances, only moving past the first round once. That would be 1998-99 when they would beat Augusta in round one. After seven years in Louisiana, the team would relocate north to Canada.
A few notable Kingfish to make it to the big show were Alexandre Burrows, John Hedberg, and Shane Hnidy.