Eastern 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.