Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Eastern Hockey League 1954’ Category

1961-1968 Knoxville Knights

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1964-65 Knoxville Knights Program. Date unknownEastern Hockey League

Born: June 24, 1961 – The Jersey Larks relocate to Knoxville, TN.
Died: May 6, 1968 – The Knights cease operations.

Arena: Knoxville Civic Coliseum (4,992)

Team Colors: Red & White

Owner:

 

Knoxville’s first pro hockey team, the Knights, competed in the rough-and-tumble Eastern Hockey League from 1961 until financial problems torpedoed the franchise in 1968.

Key alumni include long-time NHL player and coach Pat Quinn (1963-64) and left wing Dennis Hextall (1966-67), who played 13 NHL seasons from 1967 to 1980.

 

==Links==

Eastern Hockey League Programs

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Written by AC

August 31st, 2014 at 12:24 am

1964-65 New York Rovers

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John McMillan New York RoversEastern Hockey League

Born: May 28, 1964 – EHL expansion franchise.
Died: 1965 – The Rovers cease operations.

Arenas:

Team Colors: Red, White & Blue

Owner: Madison Square Garden Corp.

 

This 1964-65 New York Rangers farm club in the Eastern Hockey League was the last of several versions of the New York Rovers ice hockey team.  The original Rovers started out back in 1935 as a senior amateur club in the Eastern Amateur Hockey League and played until 1952.  The club traditionally played Sunday matinees at Madison Square Garden.  The Rovers were first revived as pro team out on Long Island in 1959, but changed their name to the Long Island Ducks after two seasons in 1961.

This final incarnation of the Rovers was born in May 1964, when Madison Square Garden Corp. signed on to operate the club.  The new Rovers would revive the old tradition of playing Sunday matinees at the Garden.  On dates when the Garden wasn’t available, the Rovers played at the New York State Expositon Grounds in Syracuse.

The Rovers finished the 1964-65 EHL season with a 25-39-8 record and did not make the playoffs.  The team folded after only one season and the Rovers name has not been revived since.

 

==Links==

Reactivated Rovers of Eastern Hockey League Play Sundays at Garden“, William N. Wallace, The New York Times, May 29, 1964

Eastern Hockey League Programs

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1959-1977 Greensboro Generals

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Greensboro GeneralsEastern Hockey League (1959-1973)
Southern Hockey League (1973-1977)

Born: Spring 1959 – EHL expansion franchise
Folded: January 4, 1977

Arenas:

Team Colors: Green, Gold & White

Owners:

 

The Greensboro Generals were a long-running minor league outfit that was one of the first pro hockey teams to establish a following in the American South.  The Generals formed as an Eastern Hockey League expansion franchise in 1959, the same year that the city of Greensboro, North Carolina opened up the 7,000-seater Greensboro Coliseum.  To stock the team, the Greensboro backers acquired the struggling Troy (MI) Bruins of the Midwest-based International Hockey League and brought many of the ex-Bruins to Greensboro.  A crowd of 3,014 showed up at the Coliseum on November 11, 1959 for the Generals home debut, a 4-1 victory over the Washington Presidents.

From the team’s formation and through the 1960’s the Generals were operated by a group of civic leaders fronted by heating oil entrepreneur Carson Bain.  (Bain would also serve a term as Greensboro’s Mayor from 1967 to 1969).  In the spring of 1971, Bain and his partners sold the Generals to Tedd Munchak, owner of the Carolina Cougars of the American Basketball Association.  By this time, however, the EHL and minor league hockey in general was entering a period of decline and decay.  The EHL dissolved in the spring of 1973, splitting into two offshoots.  The Northeastern clubs formed the North American Hockey League and the Southeastern teams re-organized into the Southern Hockey League.

The Generals ran out of gas in the mid-1970’s.  The club’s final two seasons were marred by financial problems and a move to the smaller, cheaper Piedmont Arena.  On January 4, 1977, the Generals closed down in the middle of the 1976-77 campaign.  Three other SHL clubs folded the same week, and the league itself threw in the towel four weeks later on January 31, 1977.

The historic Greensboro Generals brand name was resuscitated in 1999 for a new East Coast Hockey League franchise that played five seasons at the Coliseum from 1999 through 2004.

 

Greensboro Generals Programs

 

==Links==

Eastern Hockey League Programs

Southern Hockey League Programs

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1955-1964 Philadelphia Ramblers

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Philadelphia Ramblers EHLEastern Hockey League (1955-1964)

Born: September 6, 1955 – EHL expansion franchise.
Folded: August 1964

Arena: Philadelphia Arena

Team Colors:

Owner: Bud Dudley

 

The Philadelphia Ramblers were a minor league hockey outfit that played nine seasons in the Eastern Hockey League from 1955 until 1964.  The “Ramblers” name was a revival of a previous Philly minor league club that competed in the American Hockey League from 1935 to 1941.  Both incarnations of the Ramblers played at the old Philadelphia Arena at 4530 Market Street.

The Ramblers were never especially good.  They advanced beyond the 1st round of the playoffs only once in nine seasons.  During the club’s second campaign in the winter of 1956-57, the Ramblers advanced to the EHL Championship Series, where they lost to the Charlotte Checkers 4 games to 3.

During the summer of 1964, the Ramblers franchise was revoked and replaced by a new club – the Jersey Devils – in nearby Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Ramblers owner and President Bud Dudley was also the founder and promoter of the Liberty Bowl college football bowl game, which started out in Philadelphia in 1959.  Dudley later moved the game to Memphis, Tennessee in 1965, where it continues to this day.   Dudley was the Executive Director of the Liberty Bowl until his retirement in 1994.  He passed away in 2008 at age 88.

 

==Philadelphia Ramblers Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other

1955-56

1955-56 11/4/1955 vs. Clinton Comets W 5-2 Program
1955-56 11/15/1955 vs. Johnstown Jets W 7-6 (OT) Program
1955-56 12/6/1955 vs. Washington Lions W 5-2 Program

1956-57

1956-57 11/13/1956 vs. New Haven Blades ?? Program

1958-59

1958-59 11/18/1958 vs. Clinton Comets ?? Program
1958-59 12/19/1958 vs. New Haven Blades ?? Program
1958-59 1/14/1959 vs. Russian National Team T 3-3 Program

1959-60

1959-60 2/12/1960  vs. Washington Presidents ??  Program
1959-60 3/4/1960 vs. Johnstown Jets ?? Program

1960-1961

1960-61 2/22/1961 vs. Johnstown Jets ?? Program
1960-61 2/25/1961 vs. Charlotte Checkers ?? Program

 

==Links==

Eastern Hockey League Programs

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1967-1977 Syracuse Blazers

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Syracuse BlazersEastern Hockey League (1967-1973)
North American Hockey League (1973-1977)

Born: July 1967 – EHL expansion franchise
Folded: Summer 1977

Arena: Onondaga County War Memorial (6,300)

Team Colors:

Owner:

Walker Cup Champions (EHL): 1973
Lockhart Cup Champions (NAHL): 
1974 & 1977

 

The Syracuse Blazers plied their rough-and-tumble brand of minor league hockey at the Onondaga County War Memorial for 10 chilly seasons between 1967 and 1977.  The Blazers’ league provided the inspiration of the 1977 Hollywood hockey comedy Slap Shot and portions of that Paul Newman cult classic were shot on location at the War Memorial.

The Blazers started out in the Eastern Hockey League (1954-1973) and won the final championship of that circuit in the spring of the 1973.  The EHL shut down soon afterwards, but the Blazers and several other clubs continued on in the EHL’s successor league, the North American Hockey League, which began play in the fall of 1973.  The Blazers would win two more championships in the NAHL, in 1974 and 1977.

Syracuse BlazersDuring the mid-1970’s the Blazers outlasted a pair of competitors who offered much the same entertainment product: ornately mustachioed Canadians pounding the tar out of each other on the War Memorial floor.  In 1974, a faction of former Blazers execs formed the Syracuse Eagles hockey club and entered the American Hockey League.  Although the AHL offered a higher caliber of hockey, the Blazers won the hockey war of 1974-75 . They drove the Eagles out of business after a single season.

Similarly, the Syracuse Stingers of the National Lacrosse League lasted only one season in 1974. With a summertime schedule the Stingers didn’t post the same existential threat as the Eagles.

Nevertheless, the Blazers encountered financial difficulties as the late 1970’s approached.  Despite winning the final Lockhart Cup title of the NAHL in the spring of 1977, the Blazers fell into insolvency that summer.  The Blazers’ collapse, along with a devastating flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania that ruined the ice-making equipment in that city’s arena, reduced the NAHL to only four viable teams and the league itself disbanded in September 1977.

Pro hockey return to Syracuse two years later when the short-lived Syracuse Firebirds of the American Hockey League arrived in the fall of 1979.

 

Syracuse Blazers Memorabilia

 

Downloads

February 10, 1977 Syracuse Blazers vs. Philadelphia Firebirds Press Notes

 

Links

Eastern Hockey League Programs

North American Hockey League Media Guides

North American Hockey League Programs

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