Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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1994-1996 Minnesota Moose

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1995-96 Minnesota MooseInternational Hockey League (1994-1996)

Born: December 16, 1993 – IHL expansion franchise.
Died: 1996 – The Moose relocate to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Arenas:

Team Colors: Dark Purple, Forest Green & Black

Owners: Kevin MacLean & Roger Sturgeon

 

The Minnesota Moose were a high-caliber minor league hockey team that played two seasons in the Twin Cities shortly after the departure of the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars for Dallas in 1993.  The Moose played out of the Saint Paul Civic Center, but also played 14 dates at the Target Center in Minneapolis during their second and final season.

The Moose’ debut game in St. Paul on October 7, 1994 – a 2-1 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals – attracted 11,652 fans.  Attendance dropped off quickly and the Moose finished the year ranked 12th in the 17-team International Hockey League with average crowds of 6,787 – a somewhat disconcerting result for an expansion team in what should have been its honeymoon phase.  On the plus side, the team’s fun, eye-catching logo was a big hit.  The Hockey News named the Minnesota Moose logo as the best in all of minor league hockey in February 1995 and the team would later claim an eye-popping $1.3 million in souvenir sales during their inaugural season.

Minnesota Moose IHLOn the ice, the Moose squeaked into the 1995 Turner Cup playoffs with  34-35-12 record.  They were swiftly dispatched by the eventual champion Denver Grizzlies in a three-game sweep in the first round.  Center Stephane Morin led the IHL in scoring with 38 goals and 71 assists.  The team’s big name was Minnesota native Dave Christian, a 14-year NHL veteran and member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey “Miracle On Ice” squad.  Christian finished second on the team in scoring with a 38-42-80 line.

In 1995 the City of St. Paul launched a courtship to persuade the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets to relocate to Minnesota.  The prospect of the NHL returning to the Twin Cities further eroded interest in the Moose.  Ultimately the Jets moved to Arizona instead, but the experience seemed to sap the enthusiasm of Moose ownership.  A few days after the Jets’ move to Phoenix was revealed in December 1995, the Moose announced a sale and relocation of their own – to Winnipeg, of all places, to replace the Jets at Winnipeg Arena.

The Moose played out their second and final season in Minnesota as lame ducks.  They missed the playoffs with a 30-45-7 record.

The franchise flourished in Winnipeg, lasting 15 seasons at the Manitoba Moose.  The team was displaced by the NHL (and the Jets!) once again in 2011 when the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg to become a revival of the Winnipeg Jets.  The hockey franchise that started out as the Minnesota Moose in 1995 to Newfoundland and plays on today as the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League.

 

==Minnesota Moose Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
10/5/1995  @ Los Angeles Ice Dogs ?? Program

 

==Links==

International Hockey League Media Guides

International Hockey League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

September 16th, 2014 at 3:10 am

1979-1981 Baltimore Clippers

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Baltimore ClippersEastern Hockey League (1979-1981)

Born: September 12, 1979 – EHL expansion franchise.
Died: September 1981 – Re-branded as the Baltimore Skipjacks.

Arena: Baltimore Civic Center (11,000)

Team Colors: Green, White & Yellow

Owners: Baltimore Hockey Advocates (James Watson, et. al) & Minnesota North Stars

 

The Baltimore Clippers name was a proud one in minor league hockey, used by several clubs operating in various different leagues from 1944 until 1977.  The longest tenured and most successful of these teams were the Clippers of the American Hockey League (1962-1975).  But the Clips fell on hard times in the mid-1970’s, shifting leagues and folding several times amidst the market upheaval caused by the NHL-WHA competition and the overall hard times for the  minor league hockey business in the 1970’s.

This 1979 incarnation – dubbed “The New Baltimore Clippers” on the program above right – was the final attempt to restore the Clippers name.  The Eastern Hockey League franchise was owned jointly by the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL and a group of 19 local investors and hockey boosters known as Baltimore Hockey Advocates.  The club served as a farm club for the North Stars and took their green, white & yellow color scheme from the parent club.

The Clippers’ top scorer during the 1979-80 season was Warren Young (53 goals, 53 assists).  Young later went on to have a 40-goal season with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL in 1984-85.  Clippers Head Coach and General Manager Gene Ubriaco went on to coach the Penguins in the late 1980’s.

The Eastern Hockey League folded in July 1981.  Baltimore Hockey Advocates decided to keep the club going in the new Atlantic Coast Hockey League, but dropped the historic Clippers name in favor of a new identity: the Baltimore Skipjacks.

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Written by andycrossley

September 9th, 2014 at 1:32 am

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 andycrossley

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.
Died: January 4, 1977 – The Generals cease operations in midseason.

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 Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1960-61 1/4/1961 @ Clinton Comets ?? Program
1964-65 12/5/1964 vs. Jacksonville Rockets ?? Program
1975-76 10/11/1975 vs. Winston-Salem Polar Twins L 3-2 Program

 

==Links==

Eastern Hockey League Programs

Southern Hockey League Programs

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