Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘CHL 1963-1984’ tag

April 28, 1979 – Dallas Black Hawks vs. Salt Lake Golden Eagles

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Dallas Black Hawks vs. Salt Lake Golden Eagles
Adams Cup Finals. Game Four
April 28, 1979
State Fair Coliseum
Attendance: 5,858

Central Hockey League Programs
52 pages


5,858 Texans, the largest crowd of the season, packed into Dallas’ State Fair Coliseum for Game Four of the 1979 Adams Cup finals to determine the champions of the Central Hockey League.

The host Dallas Black Hawks were chasing their fourth Adams Cup.  Although they continued to use the traditional Chicago Blackhawks logo (see game program upper right), their decade-long run as a farm club for the Chicago NHL franchise had ended the previous year.  Dallas was a farm team for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks in 1978-79.  Their opponents, the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, were a St. Louis Blues affiliate.

Knotted 2-2 at the second intermission, Dallas routed the Golden Eagles with four goals in the final stanza for a 6-2 victory and a commanding 3 games to 1 series lead.  Rob Flockhart and Dave Gardner led the way with two goals each.  The series moved back to Salt Lake three night later, where the Black Hawks closed out the series with a 6-4 victory in Game 5.

After the game, the victors got a little rowdy back at Salt Lake City’s International Dunes Hotel, hurling furniture off the building’s 7th floor balcony.  Both of Dallas goaltenders, Curt Ridley and Ed Walsh got arrested.  Ridley was the league’s MVP of the playoffs.  But the hoteliers were nothing if not indulgent of the marauders from Texas:

“At least they opened the windows before they threw the chairs out,”a hotel spokesman told the local press.



Dallas Black Hawks Home Page


==Additional Sources==

“Salt Lakes Bids Dallas Hearty Adieu”, United Press International,Galveston (TX) Daily News, May 3, 1979.



Written by andycrossley

January 22nd, 2014 at 3:14 pm

1982-1984 Colorado Flames

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Central Hockey League (1982-1984)

Born: July 1982 – CHL expansion franchise.
Died: May 1984 – The CHL ceases operations.

Arena: McNichols Arena

Team Colors:

Owner: Douglas Spedding


Denver lost its NHL hockey team when the Colorado Rockies were sold and shipped east to become the New Jersey Devils in May of 1982.  Two months later, Denver car dealer Douglas Spedding stepped into the pro hockey void, entering the Colorado Flames expansion team into the Central Hockey League (1963-1984).  The Flames would serve as a farm club for the NHL’s Calgary Flames and play at McNichols Arena, the same building just abandoned by the Rockies.

Calgary had a strong farm system at the time.  Although the Flames lasted only two seasons in Denver, the club played a role in developing two future NHL All-Stars for Calgary in defenseman Al MacInnis and goaltender Mike Vernon.  MacInnis was Calgary’s 1st round selection in the 1981 NHL entry draft and Vernon was the team’s 3rd round pick in the same draft.  In 1989, five years after the demise of the Colorado Flames, Calgary won its first and only Stanley Cup.  MacInnis and Vernon were both All-Stars that season, and MacInnis won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the postseason after becoming the first defenseman ever to lead the NHL in playoff scoring.

During the Colorado Flames’ second season in the winter of 1983-84, the Central Hockey League began to collapse around the team.  League membership was down to just five teams.  The Montana Magic nearly folded during the season, and the Tulsa Oilers went bankrupt and had to play most of the season as an ownerless barnstorming team (amazingly, the Oilers won the title anyway).  The CHL folded in May of 1984.  Spedding made a few noises about applying for membership to the International Hockey League, which took in the two other solvent CHL clubs, the Indianapolis Checkers and the Salt Lake Golden Eagles.  But nothing came of those talks and the Flames ended up going out of business.

Perhaps this was because Doug Spedding had found a new plaything by this time.  In April 1984, as the CHL was coming apart, Spedding purchased the Denver Gold of the spring season United States Football League for $10 million.  As with the Flames, the auto dealer’s timing was terrible.  Just four months after he bought the Gold, a faction of USFL owners led byDonald Trump pushed through a plan to move to a fall season in 1986, which would pit the league head-to-head with the NFL.   This spelled doom for the Gold, who were one of the USFL’s most popular franchises prior to this move, but had no hope competing against the Denver Broncos in the fall.  Gold fans saw the writing on the wall and abandoned the team and Spedding lost millions operating the Gold for a year-and-a-half before the USFL folded in early 1986.


==Key Players==

  • Al MacInnis
  • Mike Vernon




Central Hockey League Media Guides

Central Hockey League Programs




Written by andycrossley

November 2nd, 2013 at 5:53 pm

1981-82 Cincinnati Tigers

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Central Hockey League (1981-1982)

Born: Summer 1981 – CHL expansion franchise.
May 27, 1982 - The Tigers cease operations.

Arena: Riverfront Coliseum

Team Colors:

Owner: Maple Leaf Gardens, Ltd. (Harold Ballard)


The Cincinnati Tigers were a very strong farm club of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs in the winter of 1981-82.  Under Head Coach Doug Carpenter the Tigers were 46-30-4, good for the second best record in the Central Hockey League that season.  The Tigers lost to the Dallas Black Hawks in the first round of the CHL playoffs in a mild upset.

Despite the Tigers’ winning ways, Cincinnati was a graveyard for pro hockey teams and attendance was meager.  The Tigers reportedly lost around a million dollars for Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard.   The Leafs folded the Tigers in May of 1982 shortly after the club’s first and only season ended.  The Tigers became the third pro hockey team to fail at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum in just the past three years, following two different incarnation of the Cincinnati Stingers, which both bit the dust in 1979.

The Leafs established the Ontario-based St. Catharines Saints in the American Hockey League to replace Cincinnati as their top farm club for the 1982-83 season.

Tigers coach Doug Carpenter later became an NHL head coach with the New Jersey Devils (1984-1988) and the Maple Leafs (1989-1991).

Another future NHL coach on the Tigers was center Bruce Boudreau, who finished 2nd on the club in scoring with 103 points and was named to the All-CHL team.  Boudreau is currently the Head Coach of the Anaheim Ducks and also served the same role for the Washington Capitals from 2007 to 2011.



==Tigers Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1981-82 11/24/1981 vs. Dallas Black Hawks W 5-4 (OT) Program



Central Hockey League Media Guides

Central Hockey League Programs


1967-1982 Dallas Black Hawks

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Central Hockey League (1967-1982)

Born: June 10, 1967 - The St. Louis Braves relocate to Dallas, TX.
Died: 1982 – The Black Hawks cease operations.

Arena: State Fair Coliseum (7,513)

Team Colors: Red, Black & White



The Dallas Black Hawks were a minor league hockey club that played 15 seasons in the Central Hockey League (1963-1984).  From 1967 to 1978, Dallas was a farm club of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.  During their final four seasons, they provided players for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers.

The Black Hawks were a powerhouse in the Central League, appearing in the Adams Cup championship series in ten of their fifteen seasons.  They won the championship four times: 1969, 1972, 1974 and 1979.   The Black Hawks first three Adams Cup victories came under the direction of Head Coach Bobby Kromm, who helmed the club for eight seasons from 1967 to 1975.  Kromm went on to the majors in 1975, coaching the Winnipeg Jets to a World Hockey Association championship in 1976.  He later coached the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL from 1977 to 1980.  Long-time minor league coach John Muckler was behind the bench when the Black Hawks won their fourth and final championship in 1979.  Muckler would later coach the Edmonton Oilers to the Stanley Cup in 1990.

Another notable coach for the ‘Hawks was Roger Neilson.  Neilson coached the team for one season only (1976-77) before moving on to the NHL, where he coached 1,000 games between 1977 and 2002.  He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.

Throughout their history, the Black Hawks engaged in a heated rivalry with the Central League’s nearby Fort Worth franchise, which was known as the Wings from 1967-1974 and the Texans from 1974 to 1982.  The Dallas and Fort Worth clubs both folded in the spring of 1982, ending the CHL’s greatest geographic rivalry and boding ill for the overall health of the league.  The CHL itself folded two years later in May 1984.


==Black Hawks Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1969-70 3/7/1970 vs. Fort Worth Wings ?? Program
1971-72 11/24/1971 vs. Tulsa Oilers ?? Program
1971-72 11/27/1971 vs. Fort Worth Wings ?? Program
1972-73 11/4/1972 vs. Fort Worth Wings ?? Program
1973-74 11/23/1973 vs. Omaha Knights ?? Program
1973-74 11/30/1973 vs. Fort Worth Wings ?? Program
1973-74 12/8/1973 vs. Oklahoma City Blazers ?? Program
1974-75 10/26/1974 vs. Oklahoma City Blazers ?? Program
1974-75 12/27/1974 vs. Denver Spurs ?? Program
1974-75 1/27/1975 @ Salt Lake Golden Eagles ?? Program
1977-78 12/23/1977 vs. Fort Worth Texans ?? Program
1978-79 4/28/1979 vs. Salt Lake Golden Eagles W 6-2 Program
1979-80 10/24/1979 @ Cincinnati Stingers ?? Program
1979-80 1/18/1980 vs. United States Olympic Team L 4-3 (OT) Program
1980-81 4/4/1981 vs. Fort Worth Texans ??  Program
1980-1981 4/25/1981 @ Wichita Wind ?? Program
1981-82 11/24/1981 @ Cincinnati Tigers L 5-4 (OT) Program


==In Memoriam== 

Roger Neilson, coach of the Black Hawks for the 1976-77 campaign, died of cancer on June 21, 2003.  He was 69 years old.

Former Black Hawks center Jim Stanfield passed away passed away on November 19, 2009 at age 62.

Bobby Kromm, Black Hawks head coach from 1967-1975, died of cancer on

Gord Fashoway coached the Black Hawks during the 1975-76 season.  He passed on May 1, 2012, age 85.



Central Hockey League Media Guides

Central Hockey League Programs


Written by andycrossley

July 5th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

December 9, 1977 – Phoenix Roadrunners vs. Fort Worth Texans

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Phoenix Roadrunners vs. Fort Worth Texans
December 9, 1977
Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Attendance: ?

Central Hockey League Programs


The Phoenix Roadrunners brand has been used by no less than five separate pro hockey organizations operating in Phoenix, Arizona between 1967 and 2009.

The original Roadrunners came to Arizona in 1967 as members of the minor Western Hockey League (1952-1974).  The Roadrunners won a couple of Western League titles in the early 1970′s and then jumped up to the World Hockey Association in 1974 after the WHL went out of business.  The World Hockey Association brought true major league hockey to Phoenix for the first time – a worthy rival to the caliber of play in the National Hockey League.  The original Roadrunners lasted three seasons in the WHA but folded under financial strain in the spring of 1977.

A local Roadrunners fan named Mike Leonard quickly secured the rights to the Roadrunners name and logo.  Leonard started a new Roadrunners team in the minor Central Hockey League during the summer of 1977 and persuaded the NHL’s Cleveland Barons and Colorado Rockies to designate Phoenix as their top farm club.  Sandy Hucul, a popular former Roadrunners player and coach who was fired by the previous ownership in 1976, was brought back to coach the new club.

The “new” Roadrunners were terrible, just like their parent clubs in Cleveland and Denver.   By early December, the ‘Runners had a record of 4-20-3.  Mike Leonard’s relationship with CHL officials deteriorated rapidly.  This December 9th, 1977 program is from one of the Roadrunners’ final nights in the Central League.  Three days later on December 12th, 1977 Leonard pulled the club out of the CHL, complaining that the league made it impossible for Phoenix to field a competitive team.   Rather than fold, Leonard immediately entered the Roadrunners into the Pacific Hockey League, a new independent outfit organized by World Hockey Association founder Dennis Murphy and San Diego Sports Arena owner Peter Graham.  The Roadrunners went onto play 42 more games that winter as members of the PHL.  The Roadrunners played one more full season (1978-79) before folding along with the rest of the Pacific League in 1979.

Bjorn Johansson of the Roadrunners is pictured in the cover illustration for this evening’s game program.  The Swedish defenseman was an infamous draft bust, a top ten overall selection in both the NHL and World Hockey Association drafts in 1976.  He would appear in just 15 NHL games with the Cleveland Barons between 1976 and 1978, scoring two points and logging a minus-13.  He went back to Sweden in 1978 and finished his career quietly in 1981.


The Roadrunners were revived again in 1989 as an entry in the ambitious International Hockey League, a minor league with team stretched from Manitoba to Florida.  This third incarnation of the Roadrunners lasted eight seasons, folding in 1997.

A fourth version of the Roadrunners played in the ECHL from 2005 to 2009.



Written by andycrossley

December 9th, 2012 at 10:40 pm