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1974-1975 Montreal Quebecois

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National Lacrosse League (1975)

Born: 1974 - NLL founding franchise.
Died: February 1976 – The NLL ceases operations.

Arena: The Montreal Forum (16,544)

Team Colors:

Owner: Nelson Stoll & John Ferguson

 

The Montreal Quebecois were one of six founding members of the National Lacrosse League in 1974.  The NLL was a summer-season operation that played box (indoor) lacrosse on wooden floors in NHL and minor league hockey arenas.  The other five cities in the league in 1974 were Maryland, Philadelphia, Rochester, Syracuse and Toronto.

Originally the Quebecois were going to be a joint venture between Quebec investors Nelson Stoll and John Ferguson along with Sydney Salomon, owner of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues.  Shortly before the inaugural season began though, Stoll and Ferguson bought out Salomon’s 50% interest to make the Quebecois into a fully locally-owned franchise.  Ferguson was a former Montreal Canadiens ice hockey star who won five Stanley Cups during his 12-year career with the NHL team from 1959 to 1971.  Ferguson was pressed into coaching the Quebecois during the 1974 season when the club’s original hire, Bill Bradley, had a change of heart and decided he wanted to play only and not manage the team.

The Quebecois’ top player was John Davis, who finished 2nd in the league in scoring in 1974 (78 goals, 105 assists) and 3rd in 1975 (79 goals, 129 assists).

During the 1975 season, the Quebecois acquired a provincial rival when the NLL’s Syracuse Stingers franchise moved to Quebec City and became Les Caribous de Quebec.  The Quebecois and the Caribous met in the Nations Cup championship series in September 1975, with the Caribous upsetting Montreal 4 games to 2.   The games drew large crowds in both cities, but they also proved to be the final lacrosse matches ever staged by the NLL.  The league folded in February 1976 after membership dwindled to only three viable clubs.

 

==Quebecois Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
1974 5/15/1974 vs. Toronto Tomahawks W 14-8 Program
1974 8/8/1974 vs. Maryland Arrows W 14-12 Program
1974 8/13/1974 vs. Philadelphia Wings L 23-13 Program
1974 9/8/1974 vs. Rochester Griffins W 20-11 Program

 

==Downloads==

1974 Montreal Quebecois Regular Season Final Statistics

 

==Links==

It Was Provincial Indeed” – October 6, 1975 Sports Illustrated coverage of the 1975 NLL Nations Cup final.

National Lacrosse League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

March 10th, 2014 at 4:29 pm

1974-1975 Maryland Arrows

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National Lacrosse League (1974-1975)

Born: 1974 – NLL founding franchise.
Died: February 1976 – The NLL ceases operations.

Arena: The Capital Centre (17,500)

Team Colors:

Owner:

 

The Maryland Arrows were an indoor (box) lacrosse team that was active for both seasons of the short-lived National Lacrosse League (1974-1975.)  The NLL went out of business in February 1976 before a third season could be staged.  The Arrows were reportedly ready and willing to continue on, but there weren’t enough viable teams and the Arrows faded into history with the rest of the league.

While they lasted the Arrows featured one of the greatest lacrosse players of the era in Paul Suggate.  Suggate easily led the NLL in scoring in 1974 with a ridiculous 115 goals and 124 assists in only 40 games.  That was over 50 points ahead of the league’s second leading scorer.  In 1975 he finished 2nd to Doug Hayes of the Long Island Tomahawks and was overall the greatest scorer in the National Lacrosse League’s brief history.

Americans of the 1970′s weren’t all that familiar with box lacrosse and the NLL wasn’t shy about marketing the sport’s hockey-style s“violence to get them through the turnstiles.  The Arrows’ radio commercials featured a voiceover endorsement from Attila the Hun.  The team’s mascot was a Neanderthal goon named Crunch Crosscheck (see logo above right).  A fight-filled June 1975 game against the Philadelphia Wings at the Capital Centre in Landover included a wild bench-clearing brawl and the spectacle of Wings’ players Carm Collins, Larry Lloyd and Zeny Lipinski allegedly beating a group of Arrows fans with their lacrosse sticks.  13 Arrows and 12 Wings players were later fined by Commissioner Gerry Patterson and Collins, Lloyd and Lipinsky were charged with assault and battery by the local state’s attorney.

 

==Arrows Matches on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1974 8/8/1974 @ Montreal Quebecois L 14-12 Program
1974 8/18/1974 vs. Rochester Griffins W 12-9 Program
1975 4/12/1975 @ Philadelphia Wings ?? Program

 

==Links==

National Lacrosse League Programs

Attila Gives His Approval“, Joe Jares, Sports Illustrated, June 3, 1974

Two Ways To Stick It To ‘em” Larry Keith, Sports Illustrated, July 7, 1975

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Written by andycrossley

March 10th, 2014 at 2:54 am

1975 Long Island Tomahawks

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National Lacrosse League (1975)

Born: 1975 – The Toronto Tomahawks relocate to Long Island, NY.
Died: February 1976 – The NLL ceases operations.

Arena: Nassau Coliseum (14,300)

Team Colors:

Owner: Bruce Norris

 

The Long Island Tomahawks were a pro box lacrosse team that played at Nassau Coliseum in the summer of 1975.  The team’s ancestry is a little convoluted.  Owner Bruce Norris, who also owned the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, was an original investor in the National Lacrosse League.  During the league’s first season in 1974, Norris owned the league’s Toronto Tomahawks franchise.  The Tomahawks floundered at Maple Leaf Gardens and the team was shifted to new ownership in Boston for the 1975 season.  Norris, meanwhile, kept the Tomahawks name and logo and bought the 1974 league champion Rochester Griffins franchise and moved it downstate to Long Island.

Despite the name lifted from Norris’ old Toronto club, the Long Island Tomahawks traced their history to the Griffins and you can see on their game program (above right) that they promoted themselves as the “1974 World Champions” of pro lacrosse.

Modern day box lacrosse fans are familiar with the game played on Astroturf carpets, but the National Lacrosse League of the 1970′s played on wooden courts laid over the ice at hockey arenas.  The Tomahawks’ court was painted an unusual white color, which you can see in the video below.  The league’s other teams typically played on green wooden surfaces.

The Tomahawks were the best team in the 6-team NLL during the 1975 season with a 31-17 record.  But they lost to the 4th-place Quebec Caribous 4 games to 2 in the semi-final playoff series in September 1975.  Doug Hayes (104 goals, 126 assists) led the league in scoring.

In February 1976 the National Lacrosse League went out of business, saying that only the Maryland, Philadelphia and Quebec franchises were prepared to move forward with a third season.  Pro lacrosse returned to the Nassau Coliseum in 1989 with the arrival of the New York Saints (1989-2003) of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League.

 

==Tomahawks Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
4/28/1975 @ Boston Bolts  W 19-17 (OT) Program
5/27/1975 vs. Quebec Caribous  W 19-17 Program

 

==YouTube==

The Long Island Tomahawks host the Philadelphia Wings at Nassau Coliseum. August 29, 1975

 

==Links==

National Lacrosse League Media Guides

National Lacrosse League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

February 22nd, 2014 at 8:08 pm

1975 Quebec Caribous

one comment

National Lacrosse League (1975)

Born: November 1974 - The Syracuse Stingers relocate to Quebec City.
Died: February 1976 – The NLL ceases operations.

Arena: Le Colisee de Quebec (10,070)

Team Colors:

Owner: Roger Barre

 

The Quebec Caribous – or “Les Caribous” – were a pro box lacrosse team that existed for one season in the summer of 1975.  The National Lacrosse League franchise originated in Syracuse, New York during the league’s inaugural season in 1974 and relocated to Quebec City prior to the 1975 campaign.

The Caribous languished at the bottom of the six-team league for much of the season and were in last place as late as August 25th.  Then they got hot, winning six of their final seven games to earn the fourth and final playoff spot.  In the post-season, the Caribous upset the defending champion Long Island Tomahawks in the semis and then defeated their provincial rivals the Montreal Quebecois for the NLL’s Nations Cup championship.

Les Caribous were reportedly prepared to continue for a second season in 1976, but the National Lacrosse League dwindled to only three active clubs during the winter of 1975-76.  The NLL folded in February 1976 before a third season could be launched.

 

==Caribous Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
5/27/1975 at Long Island Tomahawks  W 19-17 Program

 

==Links==

It Was Provincial Indeed” – October 6, 1975 Sports Illustrated coverage of the 1975 NLL Nations Cup final.

National Lacrosse League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

June 28th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

1974-1975 Philadelphia Wings

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National Lacrosse League (1974-1975)

Born: February 11, 1974 – NLL founding franchise.
Died: February 1976 – The NLL ceases operations.

Arena: The Spectrum (17,007)

Team Colors:

Owners

 

The Philadelphia Wings were one of the founding franchises in the National Lacrosse League (1974-1975), a mid-1970′s attempt to introduce the sport of box lacrosse to major arenas in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada.

The original six clubs were the Maryland Arrows, Montreal Quebecois, Philadelphia, Rochester Griffins, Syracuse Stingers and Toronto Tomahawks.  Teams played a 40-game summer schedule between May and September 1974.

Culturally, the sport of box lacrosse shared a lot of DNA with ice hockey.  Many Canadian players of the era also had experience playing lacrosse and several NHL players moonlighted in the National Lacrosse League to make extra cash during the summer.  Wings forward Doug Favell was a goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the winter (and a former Philadelphia Flyer).

The NLL also attracted NHL owners and investors with NHL connections.  Detroit Red Wings owner Bruce Norris owned the Toronto franchise.  Wings owner Ed Tepper, a local real estate developer, was a personal friend of Flyers owner Ed Snider.

The Wings debuted in Philadelphia in remarkable fashion on Sunday night, May 19th, 1974.  The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Boston Bruins that afternoon at the Spectrum to capture the Stanley Cup.  While the city celebrated, stadium workers hurriedly flipped the building, laying the NLL”s wooden court over the ice for the Wings game that same night.  Wings players made their way through the revelers out on the streets to get to the arena.  But the lacrosse team was hardly an afterthought.  An announced crowd of 12,841 turned out to watch the Wings beat the Montreal Quebecois 18-11.

Philadelphia put up the best record in the NLL in 1974, finishing the regular season at 27-13.  They were also the most popular box office draw, claiming just under 9,000 fans per game.  Larry Lloyd (82 goals) and John Grant (78 goals) finished #3 and #4 in the league in scoring, respectively.  In a mild upset, the Wings lost the best-of-seven Nations Trophy championship series to the 2nd place Rochester Griffins in September 1974.

After the 1974 inaugural season, three of the NLL’s original six franchise shifted cities and the league was unable to attract new expansion teams, despite Wings’ owner Ed Tepper’s public pronouncement in January 1975 that the league expected to add new clubs in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Kansas City.  Philadelphia remained as one of the league’s few stable franchises.

The team itself was a disappointment in 1975, finishing in 5th place and out of the playoffs with a 21-25-2 record.  Following the season, the NLL’s Boston, Long Island and Montreal ran into financial and arena problems.  With only the Wings, the Maryland Arrows and the Quebec Caribous prepared to continue, and no expansion prospects in sight, the National Lacrosse League folded in February 1976, almost two years to the day after its formation was first announced.

In 1987, professional box lacrosse returned to the American sports scene with the debut of Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse.  Among the league’s four teams was a Philadelphia club, which chose to revive the Wings brand name.  The “new” Wings still exist to this day after more than a quarter century of play.  They are the longest continuously operating pro lacrosse team in American history.  One player – John Grant Sr. – returned from the original Wings of the 1970′s to see action for the new Wings.  In later years, his son John Grant Jr.would also come to star for the Wings.

 

==Wings Matches on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1974 8/13/1974 @ Montreal Quebecois ?? Program
1975 4/12/1975 vs. Maryland Arrows ?? Program

 

==Downloads==

1974 Philadelphia Wings Final Statistics

 

==Links==

National Lacrosse League Programs

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