billsportsmaps.com

March 30, 2015

2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Tournament – the 2015 Frozen Four: Boston University, North Dakota, Providence, Omaha.

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA - ice hockey — admin @ 12:01 pm




Links…
My map of the 2015 tournament, 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2015 tournament, with 2013-14 attendances, plus all-time Division I ice hockey titles list (including all-time Frozen Four appearances).

Qualifying teams/Bracket2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament/Qualifying teams/Tournament bracket (en.wikipedia.org).
Schedule2015 D-I men’s ice hockey NCAA tournament schedule and results (espn.go.com)Best site for in-game scoresncaa.com/scoreboard/icehockey-men/d1.

    The 2015 Frozen Four: Boston University, North Dakota, Providence, Omaha.

By Bill Turianski on 30 March 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Boston University Terriers…
1R: Boston University 3, Yale 2 (OT). 2R: Boston University 3, Minnesota-Duluth 2.
Boston University Terriers’ 22nd Frozen Four appearance.
The Terriers are host of the 2015 Frozen Four in Boston, on April 9th through Saturday April 11th, at TD Garden (home of the Bruins).
boston-university-terriers_2015-frozen-four_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Barry Chin/Boston Globe at BU advances to the Frozen Four with win over Minnesota-Duluth (bostonglobe.com). Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Boston_University_Terriers.

University of North Dakota…
1R: North Dakota 4, Quinnipiac 1. 2R: North Dakota 4, St. Cloud St. 1.
The University of North Dakota advances to the Frozen Four for the 7th time in 11 years.
university-of-north-dakota_2015-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo by David Samson/The Forum at grandforksherald.com/north-dakota-advances-frozen-four; grandforksherald.com/ [photo]. Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/North_Dakota_Fighting_Sioux. Jersey photo from shop.cbssports.com/CBS_North_Dakota

Providence Friars…
1R: Providence 7, Miami (OH) 5. 2R: Providence 4, Denver 1.
The Providence Friars advance to the Frozen Four for the first time in 30 years.
providence-friars_2015-frozen-four_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo by Matt Eisenberg at uscho.com. Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Providence_Friars.

Omaha Mavericks…
1R: Omaha 4, Harvard 1. 2R: Omaha 4, RIT 0.
The Omaha Mavericks make it to the Frozen Four for the first time ever.
[Note: you can click on image below to see it in a separate page.]
omaha-mavericks_2015-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo from http://pics.mcclatchyinteractive.com/wire_photos/4y4wbk/picture16881716/ALTERNATES/FREE_960/Nebraska%20Omaha%20RIT%20Hockey.JPEG [I could not find attribution or the place the photo was situated] via Nebraska-Omaha beats RIT 4-0 to reach Frozen Four . Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Nebraska-Omaha_Mavericks.
Photo of Omaha Mavericks white jersey from omavs.com [the "15" was drawn in using font at link below].
___
Thanks to Free Vector Download for that jersey-font template, http://osc-vector.com/tag/block-font-numbers.
Thanks to the contributors at 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament (en.wikipedia.org).

March 25, 2015

2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2015 tournament, with 2013-14 attendances, plus all-time Division I ice hockey titles list (including all-time Frozen Four appearances).

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA - ice hockey — admin @ 4:44 pm

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ncaa_ice-hockey_2015-mens-division-i-tournament_post_i_.gif
2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams, with 2013-14 attendances, with chart of all-time D-1 ice hockey titles list (including all-time Frozen Four appearances)



Links…
PreviewsTen things to watch in the NCAA men’s hockey tournament (by Eric Sorenson at espn.go.com).
…From USCHO.com, 16 numbers: A look at some facts and figures on the 2015 NCAA tournament (by Alex Faust at uscho.com).
Qualifying teams/Bracket2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament/Qualifying teams/Tournament bracket (en.wikipedia.org).
Schedule2015 D-I men’s ice hockey NCAA tournament schedule and results (espn.go.com).
Best site for in-game scoresncaa.com/scoreboard/icehockey-men/d1.

    2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament

By Bill Turianski on 25 March 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
#1 seeds, etc
#1 seed this year are the Minnesota State Mavericks, who are from Mankato, MN, which is in the far southern part of the state, where there is more of a plains-state feel to it. Mankato has a metro-area population of only around 98,000 {2013 estimate}, and the Mavericks hockey team plays in a 4,800-capaity arena in the city’s downtown area. Minnesota State wear purple-black-and-yellow. In 1980, the Minnesota State Mavericks men’s ice hockey team won the D-2 title as an Independent (or non-conference-aligned) team. Since 1997-98, they have competed in D-1. The second-ranked #1 seed are the 7-time champions the University of North Dakota, of Grand Forks, ND. The kelly-green-and-black-clad University of North Dakota teams are the only Division I teams in the United States without a nickname (see the article that I linked to, from Slate.com, at the foot of this post, for more on this). The UND hockey team plays in a 12,400-capacity stadium, which is rather large for D-1 college hockey…all the more so because Grand Forks is a pretty small city: it is the 351st-largest city in the USA, with a metro-area of only about 100,000. The third-ranked #1 seed are the red-and-white Boston University Terriers. Boston U., who are 5-time champions (last in 2009), are one of three teams from Boston in the tournament this year – the other two Boston-based teams who qualified are 5-time winners Boston College Eagles and the Harvard Crimson (D-1 champions in 1989). The fourth-ranked #1 seed are the red-and-white-clad Miami RedHawks (aka Miami of Ohio), whose best tournament showing was as the losing finalist in 2009. The RedHawks are from Oxford, OH (population of only around 28,000), which is 31 miles north of Cincinnati. The 2015 D-1 men’s hockey tournament starts at 2 pm ET on Fri. March 27 (see full schedule at the third link in the first paragraph above).

Eight teams are returning from last year’s tournament…Denver, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State, Minnesota, Quinnipiac, Providence, Boston College.
Six teams are making it three-tournaments-in-a-row (since 2013)…Denver, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State, Minnesota, Boston College.
Four teams have a 4-tournament-streak (since 2012)…Denver, North Dakota, Minnesota, Boston College.
Boston College has the third-longest current streak at 6 straight tournaments (since 2010).
Denver has the second-longest current streak at 8 straight tournaments (since 2008).
North Dakota has the longest current streak, with 13 consecutive tournament appearances (since 2003) [but North Dakota has not won the title since 2000].

In this year’s tournament, the team with the all-time least tournament appearances (2 appearances), is a team from my hometown of Rochester, NY – Rochester Institute of Technology. RIT won a D-2 and a D-3 hockey title (in the mid-1980s), and the men’s team has been a D-1 team since 2005-06. The Tigers’ best season was 2010, when they made it to the Frozen Four. The school just built a larger arena for the team, going from a 2,100-seat arena to a 4,300-seat arena, the Gene Polisseni Center, on-campus in Henrietta, NY.

2015 Frozen Four schedule
The Frozen Four will take place 2 weeks later (Thur. Apr.9-Sat. Apr.11th), at the TD Garden (capacity 17,565) in Boston, Massachusetts. Semifinal games on Thursday April 9, and the Final is on Saturday April 11th at 7:30 pm ET.

Last season’s final
Union College won last year’s [2014] Frozen Four, their first D-1 men’s ice hockey title, (but the Dutchmen did not qualify for the 2015 tournament). The final last year was a 7-4 thriller, with Union College (a Division I team since only 1991), beating perennial powerhouse Minnesota, before a sell-out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center, in Philadelphia (attendance: 18,742). The score was 5-4 to Union with about 4 minutes to go, when Union scored two unanswered goals, {see this report + 1-minute highlights video, from the NHL.com site from April 13, 2014, Union beats Minnesota 7-4 to win NCAA hockey title (by Adam Kimelman at nhl.com).

On the map page
In the long horizontal chart at the top-center-right of the map page, the 16 teams in the 2015 tournament are listed by average attendance (2013-14 home regular season attendance), along with conference, location [of arena], arena seated capacity, 2013-14 percent-capacity, Division I men’s ice hockey titles won (with last title noted), Frozen Four appearances (with last one noted), and all-time Division I Tournament appearances (the Minnesota Golden Gophers have the most D-I tournament appearances, with 36).

Teams in the 2015 tournament, by conference
I have shown team-distribution-by-conference in the 6 boxes at the upper-left-hand side of the map page. In each of these 6 Division I men’s ice hockey conferences boxes, the date of conference-establishment is listed along with the number of teams in the conference. Also listed in those 6 boxes are total Divison I men’s ice hockey titles won by conference members (with most recent title-winner noted). Then the teams who made this tournament [2015] are listed. Last season [2014], the conference with the most teams in the tournament was Hockey East, with 5 teams (Hockey East has 3 teams in it this year…Boston College, Boston University, Providence). This season, the conference that has put the most teams in the tournament is the two-year-old National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The NCHC was established in 2013-14, from 6 previous members of the WCHA (Colorado College, Denver, Miami of Ohio, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, and North Dakota), and 2 teams that left the now-defunct CCHA (St. Cloud State and Western Michigan). The conference is spread from the north-central Ohio Valley across the Upper Midwest through the Northern Great Plains to the foothills of the Rockies.

Here are the 8 NCHA teams, with the six 2015-tournament-qualifiers shown in bold…
2 teams from Colorado (Denver, Colorado College),
1 team from Nebraska (Omaha),
1 team from North Dakota (North Dakota),
2 teams from Minnesota (Duluth, St. Cloud State),
1 team from Michigan (Western Michigan),
1 team from Ohio (Miami).

The D-I Men’s Hockey Titles & Frozen Four chart
The D-I Men’s Hockey Titles & Frozen Four chart (at the left on the map page) was put together via the two sources linked to below. Michigan has the most D-I titles in men’s hockey, with 9 (but the Wolverines have not won it since 1998); second-most titles is 7 (a tie between Denver [last in 2005] and North Dakota [last in 2000]); third-most titles is 6, won by Wisconsin [last in 2006].

Sources,
For titles in the titles/Frozen Four chart at the far right-hand side of the map page, I used this list, List of NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament champions/Team titles. For all-time Frozen Four appearances I used this list, List of NCAA Men’s Division I Frozen Four appearances by school (en.wikipedia.org at [college hockey]).

Attendances are from NCAA via USCHO.com site, Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2013-2014 (uscho.com). [Note: the excellent USCHO.com is on my blogroll.]

Here is an interesting article on North Dakota’s situation with respect to the hockey team’s former nickname of the Fighting Sioux…
From Slate.com, from Jan 12, 2015, by James I. Bowie, The University of North Dakota Dropped Its Offensive Nickname. How Does the School Replace It?.

___

Thanks to
For the blank map of USA, thanks to AMK1211 at File:Blank US Map with borders.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Two Hearted River at en.wikipedia for several of the team logos (8 jersey illustrations) on the map page [ such as File:WCHA-Uniform-MTU.png ]. These illustrations can be found at many of the D-I teams’ Wikipedia pages, such as Minnesota State Mavericks men’s ice hockey.
Thanks to North Dakota Men’s Hockey facebook page for that logo.
Thanks to Chris Creamer’s SportLogos.net, for several of the logos used on the map and the charts.
Thanks to the contributors at College ice hockey/Division I (en.wikipedia.org).

December 19, 2014

National Hockey League, 1991-92 season, 22 teams, with one team added (San Jose Sharks)./ Origin of the Sharks franchise and nickname./ Stats leaders in 1991-92 NHL./ Map features dark-jersey-logo histories of the 22 oldest active NHL franchises.

Filed under: Hockey,Hockey-NHL and expansion — admin @ 5:04 pm

nhl_1991-92_map_with_dark-jersey-history_of-the-22-oldest-hockey-clubs_post_i_.gif"
National Hockey League, 1991-92 location-map, featuring dark-jersey-logo-histories of the 22 oldest active NHL franchises
...


...

This continues my category of Hockey - NHL and expansion (my last post from this category was about 3 years ago, National Hockey League, 1979-80 season, with four teams added (all from the WHA): the Edmonton Oilers, the Hartford Whalers, the Quebec Nordiques, and the Winnipeg Jets (I).

The 1991-92 season was the first expansion the NHL had in 12 seasons. Their last "expansion" was only technically an expansion...it was really a merger between the NHL and the outlaw-league the World Hockey Association, but it was decidedly a merger that was totally on the NHL's terms (with the 4 WHA franchises coming into the league allowed to only retain 4 players per team, and the 4 WHA franchises being obliged to buy back former WHA players at $125,000 per player in the re-entry draft). If you want to read/see more about all that, click on the link above.

The NHL's one-team-expansion of 1991-92 was something that was long overdue if only to balance out the schedule, because the NHL hobbled itself by operating for 13 seasons as a league with an odd-number of teams (which makes scheduling a nightmare). The creation of the San Jose Sharks franchise in 1991-92 saw the NHL's return to the San Francisco/Bay Area after a 14-and-a-half-year gap. The previous NHL team in the Bay Area was of course the California Seals/Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals, who existed under 3 different names for just 9 seasons (from 1967-68 to 1975-76), then, due to the lack of adequate ticket-paying support, the franchise moved to Cleveland, Ohio as the similarly-poorly-supported Cleveland Barons for a mere 2 seasons, before going defunct after the 1977-78 season. An unusual deal was then set up between the dead-in-the-water Cleveland Barons franchise and the then-struggling Minnesota North Stars franchise (present-day Dallas Stars franchise). The Barons ownership group, headed by brothers George and Gordon Gund, took over the North Stars franchise, and the Barons roster was absorbed into the North Stars team.

As it is pointed out at the Sharks' page at Sports E-Cyclopedia.com, following the considerable fan-excitement in California created by Wayne Gretzky's 1988 arrival from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings, there became renewed interest in placing a second NHL team again in the state of California. The Gund brothers tried to return to California by moving their still-struggling Minnesota North Stars franchise to the Bay Area. But the NHL balked at giving up on the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (though they did give up on the Twin Cities a few years later, and let the North Stars move to Dallas in 1993) [seven years later, the NHL returned to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota with the creation of the Minnesota Wild in 2000].

San Jose Sharks, established 1991-92 (the 22nd NHL franchise)...
So the NHL engineered a franchise transaction in which the Gund brothers sold the North Stars to a consortium including former Hartford Whalers owner Howard Baldwin and headed by Norm Green; and at the same time the NHL awarded a new franchise to the Gund brothers in San Jose, CA (with the team slated to start for the 1991-92 season). Because of building delays at the arena in San Jose, caused by the decision to increase the size and amount of luxury suites, the Sharks ended up playing their first 2 seasons (1991-93) at the old Cow Palace just outside of San Francisco (in Daly City, CA). In October 1993 the San Jose Sharks moved into the 17.5 K-capacity San Jose Arena (present-day name: SAP Center at San Jose).

Back-tracking a couple years to when the San Jose NHL franchise was first awarded (in 1990), an open poll was undertaken to determine the team's new nickname. Over 5,000 names were submitted by mail, with the most popular nickname chosen being the Blades. That nickname was rejected by the Gunds, because they did not want a name associated with weapons. So the second-most popular nickname submitted was selected - the Sharks. There was a precedent for the name in California, the short-lived WHA team the Los Angeles Sharks. Also, sharks are very prevalent in that part of the California coast. As it says in the San Jose Sharks page at en.wikipedia.org, ..."The name was said to have been inspired by the large number of sharks living in the Pacific Ocean. Seven different varieties live there, and one area of water near the Bay Area is known as the "red triangle" because of its shark population."...{end of excerpt from San Jose Sharks/History}. {The prevalence of Shark-attacks in the waters near the Bay Area is shown in this chart by John Blanchard/San Francisco Chronicle at SFgate.com, here}. Also, see the images below for more on that. The map below also shows the locations of the two arenas that the San Jose Sharks have played in.

san-jose-sharks_red-triangle_pacific-ocean_map_sharks-logos_m_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Map, US Geological Survey document in Public Domain at en.wikipedia.org page Red Triangle (Pacific Ocean).
San Jose Sharks 1991-92 jerseys, illustrations by Jersey Database.com at jerseydatabase.com/ [browse - Hockey...see column for "Jersey Fronts", by team].
San Jose Sharks jersey logos, illustrations by Andrew M. Greenstein at nhluniforms.com/Sharks/Sharks.html.

A lot had changed in the 15 years in which San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (aka the Bay Area) had no NHL team. And the much-improved Bay Area economy of the early 1990s (and onwards into the Silicon Valley era of today) has contributed to the creation of an essentially healthy NHL team in a warm-weather locale (no small feat). The Sharks, who, although never having made it to a Stanley Cup finals, to this day play to full-or-nearly-full capacity most seasons (the Sharks played to 100 percent-capacity in 2012-13, and to 97.6 percent-capacity in 2013-14).

The Cleveland Barons was the last major league sports franchise in USA and Canada to go defunct (in the 4 Major leagues of the NFL, MLB, the NBA and the NHL). The failure of the Cleveland Barons after the 1977-78 season was the reason the league got stuck with an odd-number of teams for 1978-79, and when the four WHA teams came into the NHL the following season (1979-80), the odd number of teams remained. It ended up taking the NHL thirteen years to fix it. In 1991-92 the San Jose Sharks were placed in the Smythe Division, joining Calgary, Edmonton, LA Kings, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

In 1991-92, the Sharks shook up tradition by having the then-unheard-of color teal (a dark-greenish blue-green), as their primary color. In that, one can see a connection to the late and unlamented California Golden Seals of the mid-1970s, whose third and final primary color was bright teal (a light-blue-ish blue-green). The original franchise, as the California/Oakland Seals circa 1967-70, wore dark blue with green and pale-green trim {see the 1967-68 California Seals uniforms here}. When Charlie Finley (then-owner of MLB's Oakland A's) bought the Oakland Seals in 1970, he renamed the hockey club the California Golden Seals and switched their colors to green and yellow-gold (like the A's) {see the 1970-71 California Golden Seals uniforms, here}. Then three years later he upped the ante and switched the Golden Seals' colors to that aforementioned pale teal and yellow-gold. {see the 1974-75 & 1975-76 California Golden Seals' uniforms, here].}

So all that teal and all those other variations of weird greenish-blue, in the color schemes of (expansion) sports teams? Like this (Mighty Ducks of Anaheim), and this (Vancouver Grizzlies), and this (Florida Marlins), and this (Charlotte Hornets), and this (Arizona Diamondbacks)?. Well, thank (or blame) Charlie Finley for the idea, and thank (or blame) the Gund brothers for reviving it. This is all opinion of course, and in my opinion there are very few exceptions where teal, or a color similar to teal, is appropriate and looks good...like this (Seattle Mariners) [which is technically not teal but rather a color greener than teal called Northwest Green] or like this (Miami Dolphins), [which is technically not teal but rather a color with more light blue than teal called Aqua]. I think teal is a color that belongs in the minor leagues, like this (Ogden Raptors Pioneer League ball club's mascot; photo from murphsroadtrips.blogspot.com/2011/07/ogden-raptors-vs-orem-owls).

...

1991-92 NHL season...
1991-92 was the 75th anniversary of the NHL, and each team wore the 75th anniversary logo on their jerseys. There was a 10-day player strike late in the season in April, 1992, but the work-stoppage did not affect the final standings as all strike-cancelled games were made up. This necessitated an extension of the season schedule, and 91/92 ended up being the first NHL season whose playoffs extended into June.

In the 1991-92 Stanley Cup Finals, the Pittsburgh Penguins retained the Cup. Led by Hockey Hall of Famer (and current principal owner and chairman) Mario Lemieux, the Penguins won their second straight Stanley Cup title, sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks in four games.

Statistical leaders in 1991-92 NHL
nhl_1991-92_stats-leaders_patrick-roy_brett-hull_wayne-gretzky_mario-lemieux_.gif
Photo credits above -
Patrick Roy, photo from 24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1idj8TTkm1qm9rypo1_1280.jpg. Brett Hulll, photo unattributed at cbssports.com/nhl/halloffame/inductees. Wayne Gretzky, photo unattributed at gameusedonly.com. Mario Lemieux, photo unattributed at fansshare.com.

...
Elements of the map page
The map page features profile-boxes for each of the 22 NHL teams from 1991-92. These profile boxes are arranged by conferences (2) and divisions (4), and are arranged according to 1991-92 final standings. The profile boxes flank either side of the map itself, with the mostly-western-based-teams in the Campbell Conference on the left-side of the map page; and the mostly-eastern-based-teams in the Prince of Wales Conference on the right-hand-side of the map page.

The main feature of the map itself are the 1991-92 home, away and alternate (throwback) uniforms for each of the 22 teams from 91/92 {source: http://www.jerseydatabase.com/browse.php?sport=nhl}.

Inside each team's profile box are the following...
-Selected dark-jersey-logos from the team's (ie, the franchise's) history, with dates of each jersey listed.
[These selected dark-jersey-logos from the franchise's history are located in a long-and-narrow pale-greyish-blue-colored box at the upper-left of each team's larger profile box. {Sources for all the old jersey-logos are:
jerseydatabase.com/ [browse - NHL];
nhluniforms.com;
whauniforms.com;
sportslogos.net/ [NHL].}]
-1991-92 uniforms (2 per team, or 3 for the "Original Six" teams).
-Text-block synopsis of team's (franchise's) history, with: date of establishment [first season], name-changes & franchise-shifts; Stanley Cup titles (with last SC title listed); Stanley Cup Finals runners-up appearances (with last SC Finals runners-up appearance listed).
-Current official logo [2014-15].
-Current [2014-15] home jersey (photos of the jerseys from shop.nhl.com).

Notes on the jersey-logo-history sections for the 22 teams -
Why am I showing the history of only dark jerseys? For brevity's' sake, and because that is what folks want. At this link at Yahoo.com Answers they cite the statistic that dark jerseys have always accounted for 65 to 75% of all sales of NHL jerseys (I bet it's more like 80%+). The thinking in the 1970 to 2004 time-period was that it was better for the regularly-attending home fan to see all the other teams' dark-colored jerseys...for the sake of variation. But as the sale of replica jerseys had become more crucial as a revenue-stream for each NHL team, by the early 2000s it was becoming apparent that more NHL teams wanted the switch to dark-jerseys-at-home in order to encourage the sale of more jerseys. I can't say it any better than Jamie Fitzpatrick does in the following article on the subject, from 2009, from the About.com site,
What's Up With The NHL Dress Code? - It used to be good guys wear white, bad guys wear black. Not anymore. (proicehockey.about.com/cs/businessofhockey/a/NHLjerseycolors).

White as the home team's color in the NHL...
[In the NHL, white as the official color of each team's home jersey existed from 1970-71 to 2003-04. Prior to that it was the dark jerseys at home all through the "Original Six" era (1942-43 to 1966-67) and into the first three years of the second expansion era of the NHL (1967-68, 1968-69 and 1969-70). There was one major exception, and that was the Boston Bruins {Bruins; uniforms history at nhluniforms.com/Bruins}. Aside from their first season in 1924-25 (when the Bruins wore brown jerseys), the Boston Bruins in their first 24 seasons had only one jersey - and that was white (except for 1940-44 when they had an alternate yellow jersey). Then when the Bruins finally also wore a dark jersey (black), in the 1948-57 time period, they still wore white at home. In fact, the Bruins never started wearing black at home until 1967-68, and as just mentioned, a few season later the whole league switched to whites-at-home. The other minor exception was the Chicago Black Hawks of 1951-55, who wore their white jerseys at home in this time period {here}.]

The dark-jersey-logos from each franchise's history are not a comprehensive set, but are pretty close to that, and represent all fundamental changes in each hockey club's jersey evolution. I have avoided depicting white (or lighter-colored jerseys), except when that was the only jersey the team wore that season (circa 1910s and early 1920s), but a special exception was made for the first appearance of the Boston Bruins wheel-with-spokes logo (for the Hub-city team's 25th anniversary in 1948-49, when that soon-to-be-iconic logo was only worn on the Bruins' home-whites that season).

Also note that I avoided alternate jerseys in each team's set of old jersey-logos (which would have made the whole exercise an incoherent mess). And if you are wondering why I included the god-awful Calgary Flames horse-head-puffing-out-flames-from-its-nostrils logo circa 2000-03 - well that is because that creepy logo was part of their 2nd uniform then, not their 3rd uniform/alternate (the Flames finally retired that bush-league logo in 2006). That is also the case for why the Washington Capitals black jersey with Capitol-dome logo (circa 2000-07) is shown, likewise the ridiculous Gorton's-Fishsticks-fisherman logo that the clueless Islanders organization subjected Isles fans to (in 1995-97), and likewise the Flyers black jerseys (in the 2000s).

One other note, the Detroit Red Wings had their winged-wheel logo placed on their jersey un-centered, from 1934-35 to 1981-82 (the center of the wheel was where it was centered on, so that the right side of the jersey was blank, and on the map page you can see that by seeing the lower tip of the jersey-collar [on the Red Wings 1948-73 and 1973-82 logos]). The Wings finally nailed it down by enlarging the winged-wheel logo and centering it at the mid-point of the wing itself - that was in 1982-83, and the design remains the same to this day (that design is a work of art).

And speaking of logos that are works of art, there is probably an extra slight-tweak that the Montreal Canadiens had with their C-with-H-inside logo, and that was in 1932-33 to 1934-35, where the site called (the unofficial) NHL Uniforms.com has the C narrower {see it here, Canadiens [1932-35]. The official Montreal Canadiens site does not include that version of their logo, however, but that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't exist, especially because with respect to another, much older jersey design the jury is still out - and that is the recently-unearthed jersey design of the Canadiens from way back in their early NHA days in 1911-12, the design of which the official Canadiens' site recently displayed (see 5 paragraphs below, in the PS). So I included the 1932-35 narrow-C logo because, outside of a few slight color issues (see next paragraph) NHL Uniforms.com is pretty much the first and last word on the whole subject matter of major league hockey uniforms throughout the NHL's (and WHA's) existence.

Another issue I see with old Canadiens jersey logos is that the blue band on their red jerseys in the late 1910s through early-to-mid 1930s was probably a slightly lighter shade of royal blue. Going by old black-and-white photos of Canadiens' jerseys from the 1920s and the 1930s will get you nowhere and lead you to erroneous conclusions, because reds and blues in old black-and-white photos often look misleadingly darker or lighter than their true shades of color (mainly because many photographers back then used color filters that rendered some reds darker and some blues lighter than what they looked like in real life). Jersey Database is the one source I used that depicts a shift in color in the Canadiens royal-blue-band in their red jerseys, and Jersey Database has the Canadiens' royal-blue-band as a distinctly lighter-shade-of-royal-blue until 1934-35 {here}, with the modern-day darker-royal-blue band on the Canadiens red jersey beginning in 1935-36 (which was also the first season a white jersey was employed as an alternate jersey for the Canadiens, see this). The others simply maintain that the Canadiens have been wearing a darkish-royal blue band ever since the C-with-letter-inside style first came out (in 1913-14). But then what about this?...hockeygods.com/images/10663-Beehive_Team_Shields___Crests___Complete_Set___1930s. That blue in the Canadiens' badge is clearly lighter than the modern-day blue in their jersey. Visual proof is obtained by simply comparing other teams' badges there...and the shade of blue on the Canadiens' circa-early-1930s badge is distinctly lighter-colored than the blue in the Maple Leafs' badge and the blue in the Rangers' badge. They should all be essentially the same color blue (with the Rangers' blue pehaps very slightly lighter-blue than the Leafs' blue), but the Canadiens' blue is not the same as the Leafs' and Rangers' blue in that badge set. OK, so that badge set establishes the fact that it is very likely the Candiens' blue band on their jerseys was noticeably lighter-colored up to the early 1930s. The next link further helps to prove it, because it is an illustration commissioned by the Montreal Canadiens themselves....Here is an old illustration of the 1930-31 Montreal Canadiens team...and although the image is small, you can see that the royal blue band is a lighter shade of royal blue than the one on the modern-day Canadiens' jersey (that shade of blue on the 1930-31 Canadiens jersey and in the badge set from the 1930s both look like the shade of blue that the Quebec Nordiques wore). Then take a look at an old game-worn Rocket Richard uniform (from 1959-60)...the blue is now a bit darker {here}.

Sometime after 1930-31 the Canadiens' blue band on their red jersey got a bit darker; I would have had the darker royal blue band starting in 1935-36, as per the illustrations at Jersey Database.com {again, here}, but then I found this, [Howie Morenz 1934-35 Canadiens jersey at Third String Goalie page at photobucket.com/ from this article, thirdstringgoalie.blogspot.com/2012/11/1934-35-montreal-canadiens-howie-morenz]. So I have the darker royal blue band starting on the Canadiens jersey one year earlier than Jersey Database does, at 1934-35. Anyone out there who has links to images (which either back-up or refute this), would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, the H in the Canadiens' logo does not refer to their other nickname of the Habs (les Habitants), but to the word Hockey - a word that is in the Montreal Canadiens' official name, which is, to this day, Club de hockey Canadien (their official name was previously, Club athlétique Canadien [from 1909 to 1917]). In fact, "Club de hockey Canadien" is the name engraved on the Stanley Cup each time (a record 24 times) that the Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup title (their first Stanley Cup title pre-dates the NHL and was won in 1916 [over the Portland Rosebuds of the PCHA], their last Stanley Cup title was won in 1993 [over the LA Kings]).

PS,
the recently-unearthed 1911-12 Montreal Canadiens white-jersey-with-red/blue-sash-and-Gothic-C (see it here/third jersey & logo featured [1911-12]) is contested (quite convincingly), at Third String Goalie blog site, Setting the Record Straight - The 1911-12 Montreal Canadiens (thirdstringgoalie.blogspot.com). The article is worth checking out if you have some spare time, but essentially what is at issue here is that red-and-blue-sash (red-and-blue diagonal lines)...and Third String Goalie site says that only one photo exists of that sweater and in that photo there is just the Gothic C and no red/blue sash, and the conclusion is that that design with the red/blue sash did not ever exist. A few months later, another site that deals with hockey history from its early days, Hockey Historysis blog, posted illustrated images of very early Montreal Canadiens jerseys, {see it at the following link by scrolling down to see third jersey there at The Unintentional Arrival of Hockey's Most Recognizable Uniform (hockeyhistorysis.blogspot.com, article by Iain Fyffe and illustrations by Danny Laflamme). There, they dispensed entirely with that probably-fictional red-and-blue-sash on that white 1911-12 Canadiens jersey. I have done likewise.
___

Source for Stanley Cup titles and SC Finals appearances by team, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Stanley_Cup_champions#Active_teams.

Thanks to NuclearVacuum for the blank map of North America, File:BlankMap-North America-Subdivisions.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Thanks to shop.nhl.com, for photos of 2014-15 NHL home jerseys.

Special thanks to Jersey Database at Jersey database.com/ [browse - Hockey...see column for "Jersey Fronts", by team].

Special thanks to Andrew M. Greenstein at http://www.nhluniforms.com/index.html, and at http://whauniforms.com/index.html.

Special thanks to Chris Creamers' Sports Logos.net.

And thanks to Third String Goalie blog for various bits of information.

March 31, 2014

2014 NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Tournament – the 2014 Frozen Four: Boston College, Minnesota, North Dakota, Union College.

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA - ice hockey — admin @ 11:02 am

2014 NCAA Division I Hockey Tournament Map
from March 27, 2014, ‘2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2014 tournament, with 2012-13 attendances‘ (billsportsmaps.com).

From USCHO.com/Frozen Four Blog, from March 30, 2014, by Todd D. Milewski, ‘An early look at the 2014 Frozen Four after Boston College, Minnesota, North Dakota, Union claim spots.

2014 Frozen Four Schedule:
At Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA, capacity 19,537.
Thursday April 10, 5:00 pm, Union College vs. Boston College.
Thursday April 10, 8:30 pm, North Dakota vs. Minnesota.
Saturday April 12, 7:30 pm 2014 Frozen Four Final.

    2014 NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Tournament – the 2014 Frozen Four: Boston College, Minnesota, North Dakota, Union College

West Regional – March 29 & 30, 2014 at St. Paul, MN: 2014 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament D-I West Regional winner, Minnesota Golden Gophers.
1st Round: Minnesota 7, Robert Morris 3 /
2nd Round: Minnesota 4, St. Cloud State 0.
minnesota_2014_frozen-four_a_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images via KARE11.com/story/sports/college/minnesota/golden-gophers/2014/03/30/minnesota-tops-st-cloud-to-advance-to-frozen-four.
Minnesota gold jersey, photo from sears.com/minnesota-golden-gophers-gold-tackle-twill-college-hockey.

Northeast Regional – March 29 & 30, 2014 at Worcester, MA: 2014 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament D-I Northeast Regional winner, Boston College Eagles.
1st Round: Boston College 6, Denver 2 /
2nd Round: Boston College 4, UMass-Lowell 3.
boston-college_2014_frozen-four_f_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
Photo of BC celebration by Elise Amendola/AP via kansas.com/bc-beats-lowell-to-reach-frozen [Gallery].
Boston College gold jersey, photo from fansedge.com/Boston_College_Eagles.





East Regional – March 28 & 29, 2014 at Bridgeport, CT: 2014 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament D-I East Regional winner, Union College Dutchmen.
1st Round: Union College 5, Vermont 2 /
2nd Round: Union College 3, Providence 1.
union-college_2014_frozen-four_a_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
Photo of UC hockey team/staff group celebration by Matt Eisenberg at uscho.com, uscho.com/photos/2014/03/29/gallery-union-beats-providence-for-its-second-frozen-four-berth-in-three-years [Gallery]

Midwest Regional – March 28 & 29, 2014 at Cincinnati, OH: 2014 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament D-I Midwest Regional winner, University of North Dakota.
1st Round: North Dakota 5, Wisconsin 2 /
2nd Round: North Dakota 2, Ferris State 1 (Double overtime).
north-dakota_2014_frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo of UND winning goal by Al Berman/AP via newstimes.com/sports/article/North-Dakota-wins-in-2-OT-to-reach-Frozen-Four.
Photo of North Dakota-team-group-hug from undsports.com.
North Dakota green hockey jersey, photo from shop.cbssports.com/North_Dakota.
___
Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Tournament‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

March 27, 2014

2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2014 tournament, with 2012-13 attendances.

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA - ice hockey — admin @ 4:14 pm

ncaa_ice-hockey_2014-mens-division-i-tournament_post_b_.gif
2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2014 tournament, with 2012-13 attendances




Schedule, scores, articles, videos incl. preview…
Division I men’s ice hockey tourney – 2014 NCAA tournament schedule and results (ESPN.com).

Yale won last year’s [2013] Frozen Four, but did not qualify for the 16-team tournament this year. The team Yale beat in the 2013 final, their nearby new rivals Quinnipiac, are back in the tournament this year as one of the 10 at-large bids.

The winners of the 6 Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Conferences for 2014 were:
-Union College Dutchmen (ECAC).
-Minnesota Golden Gophers(Big Ten).
-UMass-Lowell River Hawks(Hockey East).
-Minnesota St.-Mankato Mustangs(WCHA).
-Denver Bears (NCHC).
-Robert Morris Colonials (Atlantic) [D-1 Men's Ice Hockey Tournament debut for the Robert Morris Colonials of Greater Pittsburgh, PA].

# 1 Seeds for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament are:
Minnesota Golden Gophers [#1; 1] (Big Ten),
Boston College Eagles [#1; 2] (ECAC),
Union College Dutchmen [#1; 3] (ECAC)
Wisconsin Badgers [#1; 4] (Big Ten).
___

Thanks to NCAA.org for pdf of 12/13 attendance, here, http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/m_icehockey_rb/2014/Attend.pdf /
Special thanks to Robert Morris Colonials men’s hockey website, for game-by-game attendance figures, at rmucolonials.com/schedule.aspx?path=mhockey .

Thanks to Two Hearted River at en.wikipedia.org, for several illustrations of jerseys, such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HE-Uniform-UVM.png (full list at credits at the lower right of the map page).

Thanks to AMK1211 for blank map of USA, ‘File:Blank US Map with borders.svg”>File:Blank US Map with borders.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).

Thanks to the contributors at the pages at ‘2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament‘ (en.wkiipedia.org).

October 9, 2013

NHL 2013-14: Realignment Location-maps, with the 4 new divisions shown (Western Conference/Pacific Division, Western Conference/Central Division; Eastern Conference/Atlantic Division, Eastern Conference/Metropolitan Division).

Filed under: Hockey,Hockey, NHL re-alignment — admin @ 8:35 pm
    NHL 2013-14: Realignment
    Below are maps of the 4 new divisions in the NHL…

Please note… Each NHL Divisional Realignment map page below features 2 maps: an all-color-logos location-map of the 30 NHL teams [on the left-hand-side of the map page], plus the Divisional maps [on the right-hand-side of the map page], which only show color-logos of those teams in that division (with all the other NHL team-logos in grey-tone). You can see the divisional realignments just by scrolling down, but if you click on any of the four images below, you will get the whole dual-map map page.

    NHL Western Conference / Pacific Division (7 teams: Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks).

Click on image below for full maps…
nhl_2013-14_western-conference_pacific-division_segment_.gif
2013-14 NHL Re-alignment map Western Conference / Pacific Division

    NHL Western Conference / Central Division (7 teams: Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, Winnipeg Jets.

Click on image below for full maps…
nhl_2013-14_western-conference_central-division_segment_.gif"
2013-14 NHL Re-alignment map Western Conference / Central Division



    NHL Eastern Conference / Atlantic Division (8 teams: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Monteal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs).

Click on image below for full maps…
nhl_2013-14_eastern-conference_atlantic-division_segment_.gif
2013-14 NHL Re-alignment map Eastern Conference / Atlantic Division

    NHL Eastern Conference / Metropolitan Division (8 teams: Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals).

Click on image below for full maps…
nhl_2013-14_eastern-conference_metropolitan-division_segment_.gif
2013-14 NHL Re-alignment map Eastern Conference / Metropolitan Division

    Aspects of 2013-14 NHL Realignment

3 teams switch conferences
Columbus to Eastern Conference,
Detroit to Eastern Conference /
Winnipeg to Western Conference
The mighty Detroit Red Wings (with 22 straight playoff appearances), and the perennial basement-dwellers the Columbus Blue Jackets switch from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference. /
The newest NHL team, the Winnipeg Jets (II), switch from the Eastern Conference to the Western Conference [Winnipeg Jets (II) are the former Atlanta Thrashers, who moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada prior to the 2011-12 season].

Divisional shifts to consolidate teams within similar time zones
-Columbus Blue Jackets – now are in a division of all Eastern Time Zone teams [the bizarrely-named Metropolitan Division (Eastern Conference), which is made up of 8 teams: Carolina, Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, NJ Devils, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Washington], whereas before, from 2000-01 to 2012-13, Columbus was in the Western Conference in a division with 3 Central Time Zone teams. Columbus now could have a theoretical rivalry with Pittsburgh (who are only 3 hours away by car [distance from Columbus to Pittsburgh is about 162 mi. or about 260 km]
-Detroit Red Wings – like Columbus, are also now in a division of all Eastern Time Zone teams [the Atlantic Division (Eastern Conference) which is made up of 8 teams: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Monteal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto)]. Detroit had long been promised by league officials a switch to the more natural-for-them Eastern Conference, and Wings fans will certainly get more sleep come playoff time. Detroit loses its rivalry with Chicago, but gains a long-dormant rivalry with the Toronto Maple Leafs (who are only 4 hours away by car [distance from Detroit to Toronto is about 230 mi. or about 332 km]).
-Winnipeg Jets (II) – now in the Central Division (Western Conference), a division of mostly Central Time Zone teams (except for Colorado, who are a Mountain Time Zone team). Winnipeg will now cut their travel distance considerably. Winnipeg can also now look forward to a rivalry with the Minnesota Wild (who are around 6-and-a-half hours away by car [distance from Winnipeg to Minneapolis/St.Paul is about 389 mi. or about 626 km]).
-Dallas Stars – like Winnipeg, are also another Central Time Zone team now in the Central Division (Western Conference), having switched from the former Pacific Division. Dallas no longer plays in a division which is primarily made up of Pacific Time Zone teams, as they did from 2006-07 to 2012-13.

Every team now plays in every other NHL arena each season
This is one of the best things about the NHL realignment. Each team will play 50 or 54 games within their conference, depending on whether they are in a 7-team or an 8-team division, and two games (home and road) against each non-conference club (28 or 32 games outside their conference).

Dismantling the much-ignored Southeast Division (Southeast Division lineup circa 1999-2013)
-Winnipeg (formerly based in Atlanta) switches conferences (see first paragraph above).
-The 2 Florida teams (Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning) now play in the Atlantic Division (Eastern Conference), which otherwise is all cold-weather sites (Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto). [3 Original Six teams in the Atlantic Division].
-The Carolina Hurricanes now play in the Metropolitan Division (along with Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, NJ Devils, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Washington). [2 Original Six teams in the Metropolitan Division].
-The Washington Capitals are also now in the Metropolitan Division (see sentence above), and are no longer stuck in a division of Southern/Sunbelt teams, and now finally get to be back in a division with more natural (but untapped) rivalries, most specifically with the nearby Philadelphia Flyers (who are only 2 hours away by car [distance from Washington DC to Philadelphia is about 125 mi. or about 200 km]), as well as the somewhat nearby Pittsburgh Penguins, plus the three Greater New York City-area teams (Devils, Islanders, Rangers).

There are now 4 divisions instead of 6, and the conferences are now unbalanced
2 divisions of 7 teams in the Western Conference (14 teams) – Western Conference, Pacific Division & Western Conference, Central Division.
2 divisions of 8 teams in the Eastern Conference (16 teams) – Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division & Eastern Conference, Metropolitan Division.

Playoffs
As before, 16 teams qualify for the playoffs – 8 teams per conference.
1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place in each division qualify for the playoffs (12 playoff spots).
4 playoff spots go to wild card teams…Two wild card spots for each conference (wild card teams are the teams with the 7th and 8th best points total in each conference).
That means both wild card teams could come from the same division, with 5 teams conceivably making the playoffs from one division, and thus with only 3 teams from the other division making the playoffs.

Playoff format 1st Round now has a Divisional aspect (see second sentence below)
In each conference, the divisional-winner-with-the-higher-points-total plays the 8th seed [wild card team]; while the divisional-winner-with-the-lower-points-total plays the 7th seed [wild card team]./
In each of the 4 divisions, the 2nd-place-finishers plays the 3rd-place-finishers.

The 2nd Round Playoffs (between 4 teams) are seeded (to put highest-points-total-in-regular-season vs. lowest, and 2nd-highest-points-total-in-regular-season vs. 3rd).

The 3rd Round Playoffs (between 2 teams, for the conference title) are also seeded (for home ice advantage).

Stanley Cup Finals (Western Conference champions vs. Eastern Conference champions):
This is when the fans traditionally boo Gary Bettman when he makes the Cup presentation to the winners. From Grantland.com, by Sean McIndoe on June 24, 2013, ‘20 Years of Awkwardness: A Celebration of Gary Bettman Stanley Cup Presentations‘.

From NationalPost.com (a Canadian news outlet], from 30 September, 2013, by Stephen Whyno, ‘NHL preview 2013: Realignment has benefits but creates plenty of questions‘ (sports.nationalpost.com).

The NHL went out of their way to make unbalanced conferences. NHL re-alignment now makes it mathematically harder for any given Eastern Conference team to make the playoffs than any given Western Conference team – 7.1% harder. That is because there are only 14 teams in the West and 16 teams in the East, but there are nevertheless 8 playoff spots in each conference.

Here is what much-reviled NHL commissioner and failed-Sun-Belt-expansion-architect Gary Bettman has to say about that…
…’frankly, the addition of a team, seven versus eight, those aren’t the teams that are really competing for the playoffs. It’s really the top five or six teams that are doing it. I don’t think it’s a good idea for clubs to be using this as an excuse as to whether or not they make the playoffs.”…{excerpt from article linked to 2 paragraphs above}.

He is obfuscating the central issue here. This is not rocket science. At the end of the day, only 6 teams will miss out on the playoffs in the West, but 8 teams will miss out on the playoffs in the East. It is now 7 percent harder to make the playoffs for Eastern teams. It is actually even harder than that for 15 of the 16 teams in the Eastern Conference now, though…because Detroit is in the East now, and the Red Wings have not missed the playoffs in over two decades. The Red Wings have made the playoffs for 22 consecutive seasons (since 1990-91)]. So for all the other teams in the Eastern Conference, it essentially is like there are really only 7 playoff spots available in the Eastern Conference – once Detroit clinches its inevitable, annual, post-season appearance.

As Marc Donatiello points out at rantsports.com …’When the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets could have simply and effectively switched spots under the current divisional layout, the NHL elected to take more drastic, unfair, and inefficient measures to address a minor problem created by one team’s relocation two years ago (with the Atlanta Thrashers representing another mistake by the NHL powers that be).’… {quote from this article, rantsports.com/nhl/2013/03/14/nhl-realignment-plan-is-a-disaster-for-atlantic-division-new-jersey-devils-and-eastern-conference/.

So the question is, have the new time-zone-consolidations helped the NHL more than the new conference-imbalance has hurt it? It looks to me like the biggest winners with respect to realignment are Detroit and Winnipeg (with Dallas and Columbus and Washington also sitting better now). It looks to me like the biggest losers with respect to realignment are all the teams in the East that struggle to make the playoffs each season (like Buffalo, Ottawa, NY Islanders, and Toronto).

This year [2013], Major League Baseball solved its unbalanced leagues problem, with the Astros moving to the American League. Eleven years ago [in 2002], the NFL solved its unbalanced conferences problem by having the Seahawks move to the NFC. But now the NHL has CREATED an unbalanced conferences problem when they didn’t have to. As Andydrmm at hockeybuzz.com points out, ‘Notice how [the NFL and MLB] went to even things out instead of making it unbalanced? That’s called progress and intelligence. You can come up with your own terminology for what the NHL is doing.’
{That quote from this article, ‘Dear NHL; There’s This Thing Called Logic‘ (hockeybuzz.com).
___

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2013–14 NHL season‘.
Thanks to http://www.distancefromto.net/.

March 25, 2013

2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2013 tournament, with attendance data.

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA - ice hockey — admin @ 9:39 pm

ncaa_ice-hockey_2013_division-i-tournament_post_.gif
2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament- map



D-I Tournament Scores (ncaa.com/scoreboards/icehockey-men).

The 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament begins on March 29. The 16 qualified teams meet up in 4 regionals. Info here: ‘2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

The Frozen Four for 2013 will be in Pittsburgh, PA on April 11th and the final is on April 13th at the Consol Energy Center (home of the Pittsburgh Penguins) on April 13th.

Defending champions are the Boston College Eagles of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It was the Eagles’ 5th national championship won on the ice, and their second title in 3 years.

#1 seed overall this year is the Quinnipiac Bobcats. Quinnipiac University of Hamden, Connecticut is private/non-sectarian school about 5 miles north of another tournament qualifier, Yale (of New Haven, CT). Qunnnipiac has an undergraduate enrollment of 6,000, and is best known for something which has nothing to do with college athletics, and that is its widely-utilized polling service, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute {see this (en.wikipedia.org)}.

The Quinnipiac Bobcats play in the TD Bank Center in Hamden, CT, which opened in 2007 and has a capacity for ice hockey of 3,386. The Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s ice hockey team drew 3,122 per game at ‘The Bank’ in 2012-13, which made for a respectable 92.2 percent-capacity, and was an increase in attendance of 598 per game from 2011-12. The Bobcats’ 3,122 per game put them at 27th out of 59 Division I teams {attendance data here, ‘Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2012-2013‘ (uscho.com)}.

The Quinnipiac Bobcats (formely the Quinnipiac Braves) have only made the tournament once before, in 2002. The 2012-13 Quinnipiac Bobcats are powered by Senior Goalie Eric Hartzell, a workhorse who played in 38 games for the Bobcats in 2012-13, and ended up with a whopping 2,282.59 minutes, going 27-6-5 and with a goals-against-average of just 1.5243 per game – which was third best in D-I in this season, behind Goalie Ryan McKay of Miami (of Ohio), and Goalie Conor Hellebucyk of UMass-Lowell [note: Miami and Mass-Lowell are two other teams which have made the tournament this season]. [D-I stats, here (uscho.com).]

The three other #1 seeds in the 2013 Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament are the Minnesota Golden Gophers (#1/2 overall), the Massachusetts-Lowell RiverHawks (#1/3 overall), and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (#1/4 overall). Notre Dame just upended the most successful D-I men’s ice hockey team, the Michigan Wolverines, on Sunday March 24 in the CCHA tournament final by a score of 3-1. This means that Michigan’s consecutive tournaments streak is over at 22 straight (from 1991 to 2012) [Note: on the map page here I don't have a list for all-time tournament appearances, but I do have one for all-time Frozen Four appearances (at the bottom right-hand corner). If you want to see a specific team's tournament appearance history, click on the following link, '2013 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament', then click within the text there onto the blue-lit team's name, to get to their Wikipedia page.].

7 of the 16 teams are back from the 2012 tournament (listed from the western-most to the eastern-most team) -
The Denver Pioneers.
The University of North Dakota (note: North Dakota has no nickname anymore thanks to PC pressure to get rid of their actually rather dignified ‘Sioux’ nickname and logo).
The Minnesota Golden Gophers (who made the Frozen Four in 2012).
The Miami (of Ohio) RedHawks.
The Union College Dutchmen (who made the Frozen Four in 2012).
The UMass-Lowell River Hawks.
The Boston College Eagles (reigning champions).

__
Thanks to USCHO.com for attendance figures, ‘Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2012-2013‘ (uscho.com).
Thanks to Jayson Moy at the Bracketology blog at USCHO.com site.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship‘ ; ‘List of NCAA Men’s Division I Frozen Four appearances by school‘.

Thanks to Two Hearted River at en.wikipedia.org, for 4 college hockey teams’ sweater logo illustrations used on the map (Boston College, Miami of Ohio, Minnesota, and Union College), at each team’s Wikipedia page, such as ‘Boston College Eagles’ men’s hockey‘.

Thanks to sioux-jersey.com for illustration of 2012-13 North Dakota sweater.

Thanks to buckyslockerroom.com [Wisconsin Badgers' store] for photo of 2-12-13 Wisconsin sweater.

Thanks to und.com und.com/sports/m-hockey for Notre Dame logo.

Thanks to USCHO.com, for stats and coverage.

Thanks to Luke DeVoe for Quinnipiac Bobcats info, at quhockeyblog.com (From The NIP To The Bank – Quinnipiac Bobcats Hockey Blog).

November 8, 2012

Canadian Hockey League: location maps for WHL, OHL, and QMJHL teams (60 teams) and 2011-12 attendance data. Plus the top 3 highest drawing teams, the top 10-highest percent-capacities, and the Shawingan Cataractes – the 2012 CHL Memorial Cup winners.

Filed under: Canada,Hockey — admin @ 9:14 pm

canadian-hockey-league_whl_ohl_qmjhl_2012_segment_.gif
WHL, OHL, and QMJHL teams (60 teams)



WHL standings‘ (whl.ca).
OHL standings‘ (ontariohockeyleague.com).
QMJHL standings‘ (theqmjhl.ca).

From the CHL official website, from Nov. 7 2012, ‘CHL Announces BMO CHL Mastercard Top 10 Rankings, November 7, 2012‘.

The Canadian Hockey League is an umbrella-organization for the 3 Canadian major junior hockey leagues, the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The leagues are the top echelon of junior hockey on Canada and are for players aged 16 to 20 years old. Every June, the NHL has an entry draft where WHL, OHL, AND QMJHL players figure prominently.

There are 52 Canadian-based teams in the CHL, and 8 teams in the CHL that are based in the United States. The 5 American-based teams in the WHL are the Everett Silvertips (from Everett, Washington); the Seattle Thunderbirds (from Seattle, Washington); the Tri-City Americans (from Kennewick/Pasco/Richland, Washington); the Spokane Chiefs (from Spokane, Washington); and the Portland Winterhawks (from Portland, Oregon). The 3 American-based teams in the OHL are the Saginaw Spirit (from Saginaw, Michigan); the Plymouth Whalers (from Plymouth Township, Michigan); and the Erie Otters (from Erie, Pennsylvania). The one American-based team in the QMJHL, from Lewiston, Maine, folded after the 2010-11 season. The franchise remained dormant for the 2011-12 season, then the city of Sherbrooke in southern Quebec was awarded the franchise and the Sherbrooke Phoenix began play in 2012-13.

The Memorial Cup has been awarded to a Canadian junior hockey club since 1919. The Memorial Cup tournament as a three-team tournament dates to 1972 {see this, ‘List of Memorial Cup champions‘ en.wikipedia.org)}. The inclusion of a 4th team/host-city team began in 1982-83. The winners of the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL play in a 4-team round-robin tournament along with the team from the host-city (the host city changes each year). The format now has an initial 3-games-per-team round robin stage, followed by a semifinals which has second place in the round robin versus third, followed by the final which has the semifinal winner versus first place in the round robin. The inclusion of the fourth team/host-city team was done to boost attendance at the tournament (and recent tournaments being played to near capacity [see second paragraph below] show that this decision was a good one). From cbc.ca, ‘Shawinigan takes Memorial Cup in OT win over London‘.
From National Post.com, from May 28, 2012, by Bill Beacon, ‘Cataractes win Memorial Cup in overtime over Knights‘.

The Shawingan Cataractes were 2012 CHL Memorial Cup champions. The hockey club, from Shawingan, Quebec, had been the only franchise that was a founding member of the QMJHL when the league was formed in 1969-70 that had never claimed Canada’s top junior hockey prize. Shawingan is the only team in the QMJHL still operating in the same city of its founding. The Shawingan Cataractes play at Centre Bionest de Shawinigan, a 4,125-seat multi-purpose arena, which opened in 2008. Shawingan is 134 km. (83 mi.) north-east of Montreal and 116 km. (72 mi.) south-west of Quebec City. Shawinigan, QC has a metro area population of around 52,000 {2011 figure}. The most famous citizen of Shawingan is Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada from 1993 to 2003. The most notable former Shawingun Catarctes player in the NHL these days is Buffalo Sabres’ right-winger Jason Pominville, who was an NHL All-Star in 2011-12. He played for Shawingan from 1998-2002. 39 former Shawingan players have played in the NHL.
The Cataractes averaged 3,258 per game in 2011-12 (at 78.9 percent-capacity).

    2012 CHL Memorial Cup champions: Shawingan Cataractes.

shawingun-cataractes_2012-chl-memorial-cup_champions_shawingun-quebec_e.gif
Photo credits above –
Photo of 2012 Memorial Cup semifinal game by JC Pinheiro for sportsnet.ca.
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images via sports.nationalpost.com/2012/05/27/cataractes-win-memorial-cup-in-overtime-over-knights/.
cldshawinigan.qc.ca.
Shawingan Cataractes players with Memorial Cup trophy by (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images) at cbc.ca.

On May 27, 2012, the Shawinigan Cataractes defeated the London Knights 2-1 in overtime to win the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup, and also become the sixth team in CHL history (since 1983) to win the Canadian Junior Hockey championship as the host team without having won their league title that season. Host teams that didn’t win their league that season get a big break in being allowed to enter the tournament, but they still have to get by the 3 league champions to win the Memorial Cup title. The first time a host-city won the CHL title without having won their league that season was in the first year of the 4-team format, in 1983, when the Portland Winterhawks were champions. The second time was when the Soo Greyhounds did it in 1993. The third time was when the Ottawa 67s did it in 1999. The fourth time was when the Kelowna Rockets did it in 2004. The fifth time was when the Vancouver Giants did it in 2007. That was when a record was set for highest attendance for the tournament – the 2007 tournament in Vancouver set a new Memorial Cup attendance record with 121,561 fans attending the nine games (for a 13,506 per game average). Since then, the Memorial Cup has played to 90%-to-100%+ capacity in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario in 2008; in Rimouski, Quebec in 2009; in Brandon, Manitoba in 2010; in Missisauga, Ontario in 2011; and in Shawingan, Quebec in 2012. This season, in May 2013, the Memorial Cup tournament will be played in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, at the 15,195-capacity Credit Union Centre there in central Saskatchewan {see this ‘2013 Memorial Cup‘.(en.wikipedia.org)}. So there might be a new Memorial Cup attendance record set, especially if another team from Saskatchewan gets in to the tournament.

Lists of CHL titles, including WHL titles, OHL titles, and QMJHL titles…
MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPIONS‘ (tsn.ca).
List of Memorial Cup champions‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
WHL titles, ‘Ed Chynoweth Cup‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
OHL titles, ‘J. Ross Robertson Cup‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
QMJHL tirles, ‘President’s Cup (QMJHL)‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

List of CHL franchise post-season droughts‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

    The 3 highest-drawing teams in Canadian Junior Hockey – the Quebec Remparts, the London Knights, and the Calgary Hitmen.

Quebec Remparts. The original Quebec Remparts were a QMJHL team that played from 1969-70 to 1984-85, and were initially a very successful team. The Remparts were eastern Canadian champions in 1970–71. It was this team, which featured future Hockey Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, that won a Memorial Cup title in 1971. The team also won the QMJHL title (called the President’s Cup) 5 times.

The present-day Quebec Remparts’ franchise was originally located in the Quebec City suburb of Beauport and were a QMJHL team called the Beauport Harfangs, who played in a 2,000 seat arena in Beauport. That was in the 1990-91 to 1996-97 time period. In 1995, the former-WHA-and-NHL team the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver, Colorado, USA (becoming the Colorado Avalanche) and left the citizens of Quebec City without a pro hockey team to support. Two years later the Beauport Harfangs moved from the eastern suburbs a few kilometers west to Quebec City proper, into the Nordiques’ old arena, the Colisée de Québec, a 15,176-capacity arena built in 1949 which is now called the Colisée Pepsi. So the Quebec Remparts inherited the Nordiques’ arena. But it took a while for the Quebec Remparts to inherit the Nordiques’ fan base, because when the Beauport Harfangs first moved to downtown Quebec City and became the Quebec Remparts (II),, they were only drawing in the mid-2,000-per game range. By 2001-02 the Remparts were averaging 3,349 per game. By 2003-04 the Remparts were averaging 5,932 per game. Two seasons later, in 2005-06, the Remparts drew 8,603 per game and surpassed the Halifax Mooseheads as the highest-drawing QMJHL team. The Quebec Remparts have been drawing above 10,000 per game since 2006-07 and they reached their peak attendance in 2009-10, drawing an astounding 12,089 per game. Twelve thousand per game to watch junior hockey! Quebec City is the 7th-largest metropolitan area in Canada and has a metro population of around 765,000 {2011 figure}. Quebec City might be, from a purely mathematical viewpoint, viewed as too small a city to support a major league sports franchise. But that pure numbers viewpoint fails to factor in Canadian hockey culture, and anyway, Winnipeg is slightly smaller than Quebec City and the Winnipeg Jets (II) had no trouble at all selling out their NHL games in their first season in 2011-12. If a junior hockey team in Quebec City can draw over 10,000 per game for several years in a row now, then Quebec City can surely fill their arena for an NHL team if and hopefully when the NHL finally puts a team back where it belongs in Quebec City. The name ‘Remparts’ means curtain walls in French, and is a nod to the history of the city – the ramparts surrounding Old Quebec are the only remaining fortified city walls that still exist in Canada or in the USA. The current head coach and general manager of the Quebec Remparts is 2006 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Patrick Roy, the great goaltender who won Stanley Cup titles with the Montreal Canadians and the Colorado Avalanche. 37 former Quebec Remparts players from the first incarnation of the team played in the NHL, including Hockey Hall of Famers Guy Lafluer and Michel Goulet. 19 former Beauport Harfangs/Quebec Remparts (II) players have played in the NHL, including LA Kings’ Cup-winner and left-winger Simon Gagné.
The Quebec Remparts averaged 10,525 per game in 2011-12.
quebec-city_quebec-remparts_colisee-pepsi_.gif
Photo credits above – gocanada.about.com
Jean Chiasson at pbase.com.

London Knights. Established in 1965. This was in the era when some junior hockey teams in Canada were affiliated with NHL teams as farm teams, and before the OHL existed [NHL-team-sponsorship of Canadian junior hockey teams ended in 1967-68; and the OHL was established in 1968-69]. The London Nationals, est. 1965 were owned by the Toronto Maple Leafs for their first 3 seasons, and sported a variation of the Leafs’ logo {see it here (en.wikipedia.org)}. In 1968 the franchise was sold and the teams’ colors became green and gold and their name was changed to the London Knights. The Knights’ name was submitted by a London, Ontario native named Brian Logie and was the winner of the team’s name-the-team contest. The London Knights played at the London Gardens (later called the Ice House), a 5,075-seat arena that was built in 1963 and was the Nationals/Knights’ home from 1965 to 2002. Then in 2002, the London Knights moved into their current home, the 9,100-seat John Labatt Centre, usually referred to as the “JLC”. The name was changed to Budweiser Gardens in 2012, but some folks and media outlets, like the site that posted the photo from the 2012 OHL finals (below) still call it the Labatt Centre (nativist impulse). The London Knights are owned by NHL veterans Dale Hunter and Mark Hunter. Dale was head coach until being hired by the Washington Capitals as head coach in Nov. 2011; while his brother Mark has been the general manager of the Knights and is now the head coach as well. An impressive 158 former London Nationals/London Knights players have played in the WHA and/or the NHL. There are 2 former London Knights players in the Hockey Hall of Fame – Leafs’ great center Daryl Sittler (on London from 1967-70) and North Stars and Capitals right-winger Dino Ciccarelli (on London from 1976-80). Another notable London Knight player in recent times was 3-time Cup winner at Detroit, the Red Wings’ right-winger Brendan Shanahan (who played for the London Knights from 1985-87). A notable present-day NHL player who played for the London Knights is Anaheim Ducks’ right-winger Corey Perry, who played for the Knights from 2001-04. Corey Perry, who won the Cup with the Ducks in 2007, is also the all-time leading scorer of the London Knights. Blackhawks’ scoring machine and 2010 Cup-winner, the American-born Patrick Kane, also played for the London Knights (in 2006-07). So did another US-born player, Islanders’ centre John Tavares (in 2008-09). Those last three players mentioned, along with Daryl Sittler, Brendan Shanahan, and Columbus Blue Jackets’ right-winger Rick Nash, are among the 21 London Knights players who were selected in the 1st round of the NHL draft.
[Note- there is another illustration and more team/city info for the London Knights further down in this post in the next section at 5th-highest percent-capacity].
The London Knights averaged 8,525 per game in 2011-12.
london-knights_2012-ohl-champions_.gif
Photo credits above -
123rf.com.
Adam Colvin at en.wikipedia.org

Calgary Hitmen. Established in 1994, the team has been owned by the NHL’s Calgary Flames since 1997. Like the Flames, the Calgary Hitmen play their home games at the Saddledome, which was opened in 1983 and which has a capacity of 19,289 seated. Bret “The Hitman” Hart, a local-born professional wrestler, was in the original ownership group of the Calgary Hitmen and was the inspiration for the team’s name. Calgary, Alberta is the fifth-largest metro area in Canada (Calgary metro population is 1.2 million {2011 figure}). Since 2005-06 the Calgary Flames have been playing to sell-out crowds of 19,289, and for the last 8 seasons the Calgary Hitmen have been averaging over 7,000 per game, with a peak of 10,061 per game in 2004-05. In other words, Calgary really supports their hockey teams. 36 Calgary Hitmen player have gone on to play in the NHL. Two Hitmen alumni have won Stanley Cup titles – Andrew Ladd has gone on to win two Stanley Cup titles since playing for the Hitmen: with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. His former Hitmen teammate, Ryan Getzlaf won the Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. The Calgary Hitmen have won 1 WHL title (in 1999).

The Calgary Hitmen averaged 7,428 per game in 2011-12.
calgary-hitmen_saddledome_h.gif
Photo credits above –
Gorgo at en.wikipedia.org.
visitcalgary.com.

    The teams that fill their arenas the best – the 10 WHL, OHL, and QMJHL teams with the highest percent-capacity figures in Canadian Junior Hockey.
    The Kelowna Rockets – highest percent-capacity in Canadian Junior Hockey at 101.0%-capacity.

1. at 101.0%-capacity (and 6,072 per game), the Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Kelowna, BC metro population is around 173,000 {2011 figure}. Kelowna, BC is 273 km. (169 mi.) east of Vancouver, BC. Kelowna Rockets (WHL) est. 1991. 36 former Kelowna Rockets players have played in the NHL. Kelowna Rockets, 3 WHL titles (last in 2009). 1 CHL Memorial Cup title (in 2004).
kelowna-rockets_canadian-hockey-league_whll_best-percent-capacity_kelowna-bc_k.gif
Image and photo credits above -
kelowna.ca.
reginapatsalumni.net/2010_07_01_archive.html.
Aidan Rice at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prosperaplace.
http://www.lre.usace.army.mil/newsandevents/publications/publications/soolocks-saultste-marie/aerialpicture2/.


2. at 100.9%-capacity (and 6,236 per game) the Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Kitchener-Waterloo, ON metro population is around 477,000 {2011 figure}. Kitchener, ON is 90 km. (56 mi.) north-west of Toronto, ON. Kitchener Rangers (OHL) est. 1963. The Kitchener Rangers played to standing-room-only last season [2011-12], and the city of Kitchener (the arena’s owner) expanded the arena by 973 seats during the off-season to a 7,241 seated capacity [Note: thanks to commenter Chris (see comment #3 below) for pointing this out to me]. The city of Kitchener hopes to soon build a new arena with a capacity of 10,000 or so. The Kitchener Rangers are a publicly owned hockey team, governed by a 40-person Board of Directors made up of season ticket subscribers. Former Kitchener Rangers players include Hall of Famers Scott Stevens, Bill Barber, Paul Coffey, Larry Robinson and Al MacInnis. 136 former Kitchener Rangers players have played in the National Hockey League. Kitchener Rangers, 4 OHL titles (last in 2008). 2 CHL Memorial Cup titles (in 1982 and in 2004).
kitchener-rangers_kitchener-memorial-auditorium-complex_e.gif
Photo credits above -
Jenn Wilson Photography via kitchener.cityseekr.com.
In midst of NHL absence, local talent shines‘ (theimprint.ca).


3. at 100.6%-capacity (and 2,817 per game), the Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada. St. Catherines, ON metro population is around 392,000 {2011 figure}. St. Catherines, ON is 56 km. (34 mi.) east of Hamilton, ON. Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL) est. 1998. There are 4 former Ice Dogs players who have played in the NHL including 22-year-old Blues’ defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who played full seasons for St. Louis in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
niagara-ice-dogs_st-catherines-ontario_d.gif
Photo credits above –
my.opera.com.
mrc.ca/mrc_projects.
Ryanz4 at en.wikipedia.org
stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/gatorade-garden-city-complex.
Bob Tymczyszyn/St. Catherines Standard at stcatharinesstandard.ca/2011/11/28/city-staff-recommend-new-spectator-facility-and-ice-rink-read-report.


4. at 100.0%-capacity (and 4,006 per game), the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). Medicine Hat, Alberta Canada. Medicine Hat, AB population is around 60,000 {2011 figure}. Medicine Hat, AB is 267 km. (166 mi.) south of Calgary, AB. Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) est. 1970. 99 former Medicine Hat players have played in the NHL, including southern-Alberta-born right-winger Lanny MacDonald, who played for Medicine Hat from 1971-73 (see photo of his banner in the Tigers’ arena, below) and who went on to play 16 seasons in the NHL with Toronto, Colorado, and Calgary, finishing of in 1989 as captain of the Stanley Cup winning 1988-89 Calgary Flames. MacDonald was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. Medicine Hat Tigers, 5 WHL titles (last in 2007). 2 CHL Memorial Cup titles (in 1987 and 1988).
medicine-hat-tigers_f.gif
Photo credits above –
activerain.com/overview-of-medicine-hat-alberta.
sportsroadtrips.blogspot.com/2012/02/brandon-wheat-kings-2-at-medicine-hat.html.
ohlarenaguide.com.


5. at 97.3%-capacity (and 8,859 per game), the London Knights (OHL). London, Ontario, Canada. London, ON metro population is around 474,000 {2011 figure}. London, ON is 166 km. (103 mi.) west of Toronto, ON. London, ON is also 166 km. (103 mi.) east of Detroit, MI, USA. London Knights (OHL) est. 1965. London Knights, 2 OHL titles (last in 2012). 1 CHL Memorial Cup title (in 2005).
london-knights_budweiser-gardens_m.gif
Image and photo credits above -
penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=642843.
Go Knights Go!!‘, photo by Dude with a Canon at flickr.com.
London Knights logos, http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/list_by_team/369/London_Knights/.


6. at 96.0%-capacity (and 2,976 per game), the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL). Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. Boisbriand, QC is 22 km. (13 mi.) north-west of Montreal, QC and is an off-island suburb of Montreal. Boisbriand, QC has a population of around 23,000 and is part of Greater Montreal [metro population, 3.8 million {2011 figures}]. Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL) est. 2011 (when the Verdun, Montreall-based QMJHL franchise named Montreal Junior Hockey Club moved about 28 km. north-west to become the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada).
blainville-boisbriand-armada_centre-d-excellence-sports-rousseau_f.gif
Photo credits above -
Quevillon at .flickr.com.


7. at 88.1%-capacity (and 2,283 per game), the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL). Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. Prince Albert, SK population is around 42,000 {2011 figure}. Prince Albert, SK is 515 km. (320 mi.) east of Edmonton, AB. Prince Albert, SK is 306 km. (190 mi.) north of Regina, SK. Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) est. 1982. 56 former Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) players have played in the NHL, including future-Hall of Famer and 5-time All-Star and 1999 Stanley Cup winner (with Dallas) Mike Modano, the longtime centre for the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars. Modano is from Michigan, and has the NHL record for the most goals by a player born in the United States, with 561 goals. Circa 1986-89, Modano simultaneously played for an elite midgets team in Michigan called Detroit Compuware Ambassadors, while also playing in the WHL for the Prince Albert Raiders (1986-89). That era was right after Prince Albert won their only national title in 1985. Modano was drafted #1 by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988 (one of only 5 Americans to do so). Prince Albert Raiders, 1 WHL title (in 1985). 1 CHL Memorial Cup title (in 1985).
prince-albert-raiders_northern-saskatchewan_d.gif
Photo credits above -
ca.epodunk.com.
raiderhockey.com/article/raiders-host-4th-annual-raider-day.


8. at 87.5%-capacity (and 4,375 per game), the Soo Greyhounds (OHL). Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario , Canada. Sault Ste. Marie, ON population is around 79,000 {2011 figure}. Sault Ste. Marie, ON is 498 km. (309 mi.) north-west of Toronto, ON. Sault Ste. Marie, ON is 470 km. (292 mi.) north of Detriot, MI, USA. Soo Greyhounds (OHL) est. 1962. There are 6 members of the Hockey Hall of Fame that have played for a team known as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. New York Rangers legends Bill Cook and Bun Cook played for the Greyhounds of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA) from 1921–25, and were instrumental in helping the Rangers win their first Stanley Cup title in 1928. Canadiens’ and Black Hawks’ goaltender Tony Esposito played for the Greyhounds of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) in 1962–63, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988. 31 Soo Greyhounds from the first era played in the NHL [1919 to 1945, 1949 to 1958 (NOHA )]. 5 Soo Greyhounds from the 1960s-early 1970s time period played in the NHL, including Jerry Korab and Ivan Boldirev [1962 to 1972 (NOJHL)]. The present-day Soo Greyhoinds’ franchise dates back to 1962 (see last sentence). That Soo Greyhounds team switched leagues after the 1971-72 season and joined the precursor-league to the present-day OHL in 1972. Since 1972, 86 former Soo Greyhounds players have played in the NHL [1972 to present (OHA / OMJHL / OHL)]. Wayne Grezsky is one of these Greyhounds alumni. The Great One played for the Soo Greyhounds in 1977-78 as a 16-year old and broke the league scoring record with 70 goals and 112 assists for 182 points in 64 games (2.84 pts. per game). Gretzky then went on to the short-lived Indianapolis Racers of the WHA (because the NHL did not allow the drafting of teen-aged players back then). After the briefest of spells at Indianapolis (8 games), Gretzky was sold to the WHA’s Edmonton Oilers in late 1978 and the rest was history, including winning 4 Stanley Cup titles with Edmonton and becoming the all-time NHL points leader (with 2,957 points in 20 NHL seasons). The Soo Greyhounds of the 1972-to-present era have three former players in the Hockey Hall of Fame – Wayne Gretzky (a 1999 Hall of Fame inductee), Paul Coffey (in 2004), and Ron Francis (in 2007). In total, spanning 87 seasons, 123 Soo Greyhounds players have made it to the NHL. Soo Greyhounds, 3 OHL titles (last in 1992). 1 CHL Memorial Cup title (in 1993).
soo-greyhounds_sault-ste-marie-ontario_m.gif
Photo credits above -
lre.usace.army.mil/newsandevents/publications/publications/soolocks-saultste-marie/aerialpicture2/.
http://www.ohlarenaguide.com/greyhounds.htm.


9. at 86.3%-capacity (and 5,613 per game) the Windsor Spitfires (OHL). Windsor, Ontario. Windsor, ON metro population is around 319,000 {2011 figure}. Windsor, ON is across the Detroit River from Detroit, MI, USA (6 km. east of Detroit). Windsor, ON is 329 km. (204 mi.) west of Toronto, ON. Windsor Spitfires (OHL) est. 1975. 96 former Windsor players have played in the NHL. Windsor Spitfires, 3 OHL titles (last in 2010). 2 CHL Memorial Cups (in 2009 and 2010).
windsor-spitfires_wfcu-stadium_e.gif
Photo credits above -
os2voice.org.
robsarenatour.com.


10. at 84.0%-capacity (and 3,752 per game), the Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. Moose Jaw, SK metro population is around 35,000 {2011 figure}. Moose Jaw, SK is 605 km. (376 mi.) east of Calgary; and it is 66 km. (41 mi.) west of Regina, SK. Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) est. 1980. 42 former Moose Jaw Warriors players have played in the NHL, including 1989 Flames’ Cup-winning pocket-dynamo right-winger and fan favorite Theo Fleury, an Oxbow, Saskatchewan native.
moose-jaw_warriors_mosaic-place_d.gif
Photo credits above –
bcrealestateconvention.com.
ibackpackcanada.com.
voicevicroyals.blogspot.com/2012/01/preview-victoria-at-moose-jaw.html.

Here is a great site – OHL Arena Guide.com, http://www.ohlarenaguide.com/.

___
Thanks very much to Hans Hornstein’s Hockey Attendance Page at www.mib.org/~lennier/hockey/leagueatt.cgi.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘Canadian Hockey League‘.

March 21, 2012

2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2012 tournament, with 2011-12 attendance data, all-time Division I Titles list, and all-time Frozen Four Appearances list / Plus, photos and stats of top NHL Prospects in NCAA Division I Hockey – 2012 Hobey Baker Award finalists & statistical leaders for 2011-12 (17 players).

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA - ice hockey — admin @ 4:47 pm

ncaa_ice-hockey_2012-frozen-four_w-all-time-div-i-titles-list_frozen-four-appearances-list_post_.gif
2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament


Updateteams who qualified for 2012 Frozen FourFerris State Bulldogs, Union Dutchmen, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Boston College Eagles.

NORTHEAST – at Worcester, MA. Host, College of the Holy Cross.
#1: Boston College vs.
#4: Air Force

#3: Maine vs.
#2: Minnesota–Duluth
March 25, 2012 at Worcester, MA – Boston College 4, Minnesota-Duluth 0.
The Boston College Eagles advance to the 2012 Frozen Four
(their 23rd Frozen Four appearance, and their first since 2010, when they won their 4th NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament title).
boston-college_2012-frozen-four_b.gif
Photo credit above – Melissa Wade/uscho.com.

WEST – at St. Paul, MN. Host, University of Minnesota.
#1: North Dakota vs.
#4: Western Michigan

#3: Boston University vs.
#2: Minnesota
March 25, 2012 at St. Paul, MN – Minnesota 5, North Dakota 2.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers advance to the 2012 Frozen Four
(their 20th Frozen Four appearance, and their first since 2005).
minnesota-golden-gophers_2012-frozen-four_.gif
Photo credit above – Tim Baum/photo.uscho.com/[photo gallery North Dakota vs. Minnesota 3-25-2012].

_ _

EAST- at Bridgeport, CT. Hosts, Yale University and Fairfield University.
#1: Union College vs.
#4: Michigan State

#3: Massachusetts–Lowell vs.
#2: Miami (of Ohio)
March 24, 2012 at Bridgeport, CT – Union College 4, Massachusetts-Lowell 2.
The Union Dutchmen advance to the 2012 Frozen Four
(their first-ever Frozen Four appearance).
union-dutchmen_2012-frozen-four_-.gif
Photo credit above – Union Dutchmen celebrate after clinching their first-ever trip to the Division I Frozen Four, photo by Trent Hermann/Union Athletics at unionathletics.com.

MIDWEST – at Green Bay, WI. Host, Michigan Technological University.
#1: Michigan vs.
#4: Cornell

#3: Denver vs.
#2: Ferris State
March 24, 2012 at Green Bay, WI – Ferris State 2, Cornell 1.
The Ferris State Bulldogs advance to the 2012 Frozen Four
(their first-ever Division I Frozen Four appearance).
ferris-state-bulldogs_2012-frozen-four_c-.gif
Photo credit above – ferrisstatebulldogs.com via photo.uscho.com/[photo gallery Ferris State vs. Cornell 3-24-2012].

__

FROZEN FOUR
National Semifinals & Final – at Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.
Hosts, Univesity of Alabama-Huntsvile and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.
NORTHEAST winner vs. WEST winner
EAST winner vs. MIDWEST winner.

FINAL (2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey National Championship Game):
APRIL 7, 2012 AT 7:00 EDT.

Division I Tournament – live blog, scores, schedule, articles (USCHO.com).

2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

A video from espn.go.com, a three-minute ESPN Sportscenter preview of the tournament, ‘Division I men’s ice hockey tourney‘.

From ncaa.com, 2012 Bracket.

Breakdown of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2012 tournament, by the 5 Division I conferences (with links) -

Reigning champion – Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, of the WCHA (the Bulldogs’ first NCAA Division I hockey title was won in 2011).

CCHA, ‘Central Collegiate Hockey Association‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
http://www.ccha.com/
5 teams in the 2012 tournament from the CCHA – Ferris State Bulldogs, Miami (of Ohio) RedHawks, Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Western Michigan Broncos.

WCHA, ‘Western Collegiate Hockey Association‘ (en.wikipedia.org)
http://www.wcha.com/
4 teams in the 2012 tournament from the WCHA – Denver Pioneers, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, North Dakota Fighting Sioux.

Hockey East, ‘Hockey East‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
http://www.hockeyeastonline.com/
4 teams in the 2012 tournament from Hockey East – Boston College Eagles, Boston University Terriers, Maine Black Bears, UMass-Lowell Riverhawks.

ECAC Hockey, ‘ECAC Hockey’ (en.wikipedia.org).
http://www.ecachockey.com/
2 teams in the 2012 tournament from ECAC Hockey – Cornell Big Red, Union College Dutchmen.

Atlantic Hockey, ‘Atlantic Hockey‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
http://www.atlantichockeyonline.com/
1 team in the 2012 tournament from Atlantic Hockey – Air Force Academy Falcons.

The map on the map page shows the locations of the 16 teams that have qualified for the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament. Accompanying each team’s dot on the map is either their primary logo or their script logo from one of their current sweaters. At the upper left-hand corner of the map page is a brief description of the selection process, with the four #1 seeded teams listed.

To the right of that, at the top-center of the map page, are the 16 teams in the tournament, listed by 2011-12 average home attendance.
Here is where I got the attendance data from: ‘Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2011-2012‘ (USCHO.com).
Accompanying columns list the following – the schools’ locations, and the teams’ conferences; plus 4 aspects of each team’s attendance data… 2011-12 average attendance and rank (from home, regular season games), percentage-change from 2010-11, stadium capacity, and 2011-12 percent-capacity [Percent-capacity equals average attendance divided by stadium capacity].

Finally, at the far right-hand side of the map page are 2 lists. The top list shows NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament titles (with the year of last title). The list below that shows All-time NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament Frozen Four appearances (with the year of their last Frozen Four appearance).

One thing you should be aware of is that, as opposed to the logos on the map itself, for the 3 charts I used different logos (tiny icon-sized logos) for some of the teams. I did did because of easier visibility (when the logos are shrunk so much) – not very consistent of me, I know, but I figured it wouldn’t cause confusion on a map that features only 16 teams.

One note…both these lists on the far right-hand side of the map page are for ALL teams in the 58-team Division I men’s Ice Hockey set-up, not just the 16 teams who have qualified for the tournament this season. I make this note because on some of my NCAA Basketball Tournament maps, I have listed only the participating teams’ all-time tournament appearances and touirnament titles, but here, with the ice hockey tournament, I am listing NCAA Division I Titles and Frozen Four appearances of all the teams in Division I. I did it this way for two reasons. The far smaller size of Division I men’s ice hockey made it both feasible to include a comprehensive list – there are 58 teams in NCAA Division I men’s hockey, versus 345 teams in NCAA Division I men’s basketball – and sort of pointless to list the more run-of-the-mill accomplishment of simply qualifying. 68 divided by 345 equals 19.7 %, which means that 19.7% of Division I men’s basketball teams make March Madness each year / while 16 divided by 58 equals 27.5%, which means that 27.5% of Division I men’s ice hockey teams make the NCAA Tournament each year.

The Hobey Baker Award is given each season to the top NCAA college hockey player [ Hobey Baker was a military veteran and Princeton graduate who played varsity hockey. Baker died in 1918 in France during World War I as a test pilot. ] The first Hobey Baker Award was given in 1981, and was won by Minnesota-born Minnesota Golden Gophers and 1980 US Olympic hockey team Gold Medalist Center Neal Broten. Other notable Hobey Baker Award winners are Ducks/Avalanche/Predators/Blues Canadian-born Left Winger Paul Kariya (in 1993, as a player on the Maine Black Bears), and East Lansing, Michigan-born Buffalo Sabres Goaltender Ryan Miller (in 2001, as a player on the Michigan State Spartans). ‘Hobey Baker Award‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Below are the Hobey Baker Award finalists for 2012 (10 players), plus the top statistical leaders for 2011-12 …(photos and stats of 17 players).
Note: 4 of the Hobey Baker Award finalists are listed immediately below but shown in the stats leaders’ section further down.
From NHL.com, from March 15 2012, ‘10 finalists announced for Hobey Baker Award‘.
ncaa_ice-hockey_2012-hobey-baker-award_finalists_shaun-hunwick_tim-kirby_torey-krug_brian-dumoulin_justin-schultz_reilly-smith_d.gif
Photo credits above – Shaun Hurtwick, AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt via espn.go.com. Tim Kirby, postbulletin.com. Torey Krug, msuspartans.com. Brian Dumoulin, Boston College via pressherald.com. Justin Schultz: collegehockeynews.com. Reilly Smith, stars.nhl.com.

Below: the 8 Points leaders (as measured by Goals + Assists), and the 3 top goaltenders (as measured by Goals Against Average), in the 2011-12 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey season (note: stats include regular season and conference playoffs) -
ncaa_ice-hockey_2011-12_top-scorers_spencer-abbott_jack-connolly_austin-smith_mark-zengerle_travis-oleksuk_chris-wagner_drew-shore_brett-gensler_b.gif

ncaa_ice-hockey_2011-12_top-goaltenders_conner-knapp_troy-grosenick_chris-noonan_g.gif

Photo credits above – Spencer Abbott, mainehockeyjournal.com/abbott-enjoying-a-memorable-season-with-black-bears. Jack Connolly, Melissa Wade/uscho.com. Ausrin Smith, alliance.pucksystems.com. Drew Shore, Melissa Wade/uscho.com. Travis Oleksuk, wcha.com. Chris Wagner, collegehockeynews.com. Brett Gensler, bentleyfalcons.com wcha.com. Mark Zengerle, Erica Treais/uscho.com. Connor Knapp, buffalonews.com. Chris Noonan, buffalonews.com. Troy Grosineck, John Carl D’Annibale/timesunion.com.

_

Thanks to Jayson Moy at the Bracketology blog at USCHO.com site.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship‘ ; ‘List of NCAA Men’s Division I Frozen Four appearances by school‘.
Thanks to blindschalet.com for the Michigan Wolverines logo.
Thanks to New Hampshire Wildcats store, for the UNH hockey sweater script logo.
Thanks to Gamewornauctions.net, for the Clarkson hockey sweater script logo.
Thanks to shop.uscho.com/College_Hockey_Jerseys for the Miami (of Ohio) hockey sweater logo, and the Vermont hockey sweater logo.
Thanks to the article from bleacherreport.com, by Nicholas Goss, from Sept. 6 2011, ‘The 50 Best Non-NHL Hockey Jerseys of All Time‘ (Minnesota hockey sweater script logo).
Thanks to sketchup.google.com, for the Providence College Friars Hockey Team Logo.
Thanks to Northeastern Univ. store, for Northeastern Huskies hockey sweater logo.

Thanks to Two Hearted River at en.wikipedia.org, for the college hockey teams’ sweater logo illustrations used on the map (at each team’s Wikipedia page, such as UMass-Lowell’s, here).
Thanks to USCHO.com, for stats and coverage.

November 21, 2011

National Hockey League, 1979-80 season, with four teams added (all from the WHA): the Edmonton Oilers, the Hartford Whalers, the Quebec Nordiques, and the Winnipeg Jets (I).

Filed under: Hockey,Hockey-NHL and expansion — admin @ 9:03 pm

nhl1979-80map-w-jerseys_post_c.gif
1979-80 NHL




Note about the map page…teams are listed not by divisions, but alphabetically – with 1979-80 NHL teams starting with the letters A through M on the left side of the map page; and 1979-80 NHL teams starting with the letters N through W on the right side of the map page. The explanation for this is in the following paragraph.

[In all the other installments of this series (Hockey - NHL and Expansion]) I have grouped the teams on the map page by divisions and conferences. But for this map, I have listed the NHL teams by alphabetical order, going from ‘A’ at the top left, to ‘W’ at the bottom right. I did this because the league format that the NHL created in 1979-80 rendered the divisional set-up meaningless. For two seasons, 1979-80 and 1980-81, the 21-team NHL had a balanced schedule with all teams playing other teams 4 times (80-game regular season), and, crucial to my point here, all the playoff teams (16 playoff teams) were seeded. In other words, for two seasons, the NHL’s divisions were pointless, because the only way that divisional status had an impact was this: the divisional winners automatically qualified for the playoffs (as did the 12 next-best teams as wild-cards). But since over three-quarters (76%) of the teams qualified for the playoffs back then (talk about watering down your product), the divisions meant nothing. That is because the only way this “divisional” format would have come into actual relevance was if one of the divisional winners had a worse record than one of the 5 teams that didn’t qualify for the playoffs. And both seasons, of course, this did not even come close to happening.

The NH:-WHA merger, officially known as the NHL’s 4-team expansion of 1979-80
Only 4 teams survived all 7 seasons of the World Hockey Association. Those 4 WHA teams would become NHL expansion franchises in 1979-80.
[Note, if you want to know more about the WHA, you can see my post on it {here (billsportsmaps, Feb. 10, 2010)}, and/or you can read this brilliant article from SI.com/vault, from May 28, 1979, by Reyn Davis, 'A Nowhere Ride'.

The NHL had had talks with the WHA about some kind of merger almost from the start of the rebel-league's existence in 1972-73. The first talks, in 1972, had the NHL offering to buy each WHA team for $4 million, provided all lawsuits were dropped. That got nowhere. Subsequent sets of talks over the next 5 seasons had various proposals - for 6 WHA teams to join the NHL; or for 4 WHA teams to join; or for 2 WHA teams to join; or even for just one team (the Houson Aeros) to join the NHL. These all went nowhere. The one constant, from the NHL owners' bargaining position, was that there was a small and obstinate faction of NHL owners (Boston's Paul Mooney, and Toronto's Harold Ballard especially, but also initially including Chicago's Bill Wirtz), that were blocking any attempt at coming to an agreement. Those three owners wanted revenge, because the Bruins, the Maple Leafs, and the Black Hawks were the among the NHL teams that got hurt most by the WHA's existence.

Most WHA teams lived hand-to-mouth. By 1976 or so, it was obvious to WHA owners that "the game was to hang on long enough to get into the NHL," as former-Edmonton Oilers' owner, future-Calgary Flames' owner, and then-Indianapolis Racers' owner Nelson Skalbania said.

But for the first 5 years of the WHA's existence, any kind of merger with the NHL just wasn't going to happen, because NHL president Clarence Campbell was steadfastly opposed to a merger, insisting that the WHA had set out to destroy the NHL. So real merger discussions were only really possible when John Zeigler replaced Clarence Campbell as NHL president in 1977. Talks got more serious, and it looked like a 6-team/quasi-merger was set to take place after the 1977-78 WHA season ended in May, 1978. This deal would have included the 4 WHA teams that eventually joined the NHL, plus the two that were eventually paid-off to disband - the Cincinnati Stingers and the Indianapolis Racers - and would have had those 6 teams play in the NHL in a separate division, playing only versus themselves, and then to slowly begin playing a combined schedule with the NHL-proper over a 5-year-period. But the Ballard-Mooney-out-for-blood-faction got some other NHL owners to switch at the last minute, and this plan was defeated by one single vote.

The WHA owners were so incensed by this sabotage of their agreement that they decided on some hard-ball tactics, and to hit the NHL where it would hurt the most...by signing under-age juniors [at that time, the NHL did not allow players under the age of 20]. The Birmingham Bulls signed 6 teenagers, and several other WHA teams like Cincinnati and Indianapolis also signed teenagers. So that is why Wayne Gretztky and Mike Gartner and Mark Messier – all Hall of Famers – got their starts in the WHA. And that is really why the NHL finally got serious about letting WHA teams join their league – they wanted the WHA’s future stars, and were not prepared to see top-shelf talent like Gretzky play in a rival league.

Below: in honor of Mark Messier, who in 2004 was the last active WHA player playing in the NHL…
mark-messier_n.gif
Photo credits -
lowetide.blogspot.com, hhof.com/Messier, canadacardworldblog.com, Doug Pensinger/Allsports via espn.go.com/readers/beloved/newyorkers, brothersoft.com/mobile/.

The WHA’s last season (1978-79)
When the WHA’s Houston Aeros learned that the NHL did not have intentions of expanding south into the Sunbelt (not yet, anyway), the Aeros, one of the stronger WHA teams, cut their losses and folded after the 1977-78 season. That left a 7-team WHA to limp through their final season of 1978-79. Midway through that last WHA season, the Indianapolis Racers folded. The Indianapolis Racers are today best known for being the first pro team of Wayne Gretzky, who was 17 years old then. Gretzky only played 8 games for the Racers, then Racers’ owner Nelson Skalbania, who earlier that year, on the advice of Brmingham Bulls’ owner Tom Bassett, had signed Gretzky (to a 7-year personal-services contract worth $1.75 (US) million), sold Gretzky to the Edmonton Oilers. Gretzky, as a 17/18-year-old, then went on to finish third in scoring that season (behind Robbie Ftorek and Réal Cloutier), and helped lead the Oilers to the Avco Cup finals, which they lost to Winnipeg. It was the Winnipeg Jets’ 3rd Avco Cup title. [The Winnipeg Jets won the most titles in the 7-season WHA; the second-most was the 2 Avco Cup titles won by the Houston Aeros (last in 1975); and the other Avco Cup title winners were the Quebec Nordiques (in 1978) and the New England Whalers (in the first WHA season in 1973).] The $750,000 Skalbania got for Gretzky wasn’t enough to keep the Indianapolis team alive, though, and the Racers folded in December, 1978. The WHA finished their final season with just 6 teams – the Birmingham Bulls, the Cincinnati Stingers, the Edmonton Oilers, the New England Whalers, the Quebec Nordiques, and the Winnipeg Jets (I).

The NHL/WHA merger seems scuttled, until the power of the people (Canadian-style) prevails
In March, 1979, another merger proposal – the one that eventually passed – was again voted down by one vote. The 5 NHL teams that voted against the merger on March 17, 1979 were the Montreal Canadiens, the Vancouver Canucks, the Boston Bruins, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Los Angeles Kings.

The reasons why those 5 NHL teams initially voted against the merger with the WHA…
Boston: did not want to share New England with the Whalers, plus the owner (Paul Mooney) never forgave the Whalers for signng so many ex-Bruins players circa 1972-75.
Montreal: see above, with respect to the fact that the Habs did not want to share the Francophone hockey fan base in Canada with the Quebec Nordiques. Plus, just as when, circa 1969-70, Montreal and Toronto tried to keep Vancouver out of the league because the 2 Canadian NHL teams then didn’t want to lose their lucrative slice of the pie from Hockey Night In Canada broadcasts, now those 3 Canadian NHL teams didn’t want to share that revenue 6 ways. In other words, the Montreal (and Toronto and Vancouver) top brass turned their backs on fellow Canadians by being Canadian citizens who did everything in their power to prevent Canadian hockey fans in 3 provincial cities the chance to be able to continue having local major-league-hockey teams.
Toronto: see Montreal, above, second and third sentences. Plus factor in how angry Leafs’ owner Harold Ballard was at the WHA for raiding the Leafs’ roster in the early days of the WHA (circa 1972-75), plus factor in what an unreasonable person the felon Ballard was.
Vancouver: see Montreal above, second and third sentences. In other words, the Canucks’ top brass were hypocrites, because in 1970 they almost didn’t get into the NHL for the same reason – now they were on the other side of the fence trying to keep other Canadian teams out. Plus they were afraid gates would suffer because they would not have as many home games versus Original 6 teams.
Los Angeles: See Vancouver, above, second sentence.

So what changed it? What got some of those teams to reverse their position and let there be major-league-NHL-hockey in Alberta, in the Canadian prairies, in the frozen north of Quebec, and in the state of Connecticut? A fan boycott. Over Molson Beer products, first organized in Edmonton, Quebec City, and Winnipeg, then spreading swiftly across all of Canada. Period.

From en.wikipedia.org/NHL-WHA merger,
{excerpt} …”The Canadiens were owned by Molson Brewery, and the Canucks served Molson products at their games. Fans in Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Quebec City, believing that Molson was standing in the way of their cities remaining big-league hockey towns, organized a boycott of Molson products. The boycott quickly spread nationwide. The Canadian House of Commons weighed in as well, unanimously passing a motion urging the NHL to reconsider. A second vote was held in Chicago on March 22, 1979, which passed by a 14–3 margin as both Montreal and Vancouver reversed their positions. Both teams’ hands were forced by the boycott, and the Canucks were also won over by the promise of a balanced schedule, with each team playing the others twice at home and twice on the road…”
{end of excerpt}.

The 1979 merger between the NHL and the WHA
The NHL did not see Cincinnati or Birmingham as viable locations for franchises, and the Stingers and Bulls were paid to disband by getting $1.5 million apiece in parachute payments, then joining the Central Hockey League, the NHL-owned minor league, for one season each. The Stingers lasted just 33 games in the CHL in 1979-80; while the Birmingham Bulls played two full seasons in the CHL, folding after the 1980-81 season. Meanwhile, at the insistence of the Boston Bruins (again, one of the teams most hurt by the WHA), the New England Whalers were forced to change their name to the Hartford Whalers [the Whalers also got rid of their whale-harpoon-with-the-letter-W logo, and replaced it with a logo that had a white H and a green W under a blue whale fluke; plus the Whalers changed their colors to kelly green with blue trim (instead of dark green with yellow-orange trim) - see this, Hartford Whalers logos, from Chris Creamer's SportsLogos.net/Hartford Whalers].

So the 4 hockey franchises that moved over from the WHA to the NHL – as expansion teams – for the 1979-80 season were the Hartford Whalers, the Edmonton Oilers, the Quebec Nordiques, and the Winnipeg Jets (I).

4-wha-teams_joined-nhl-in1979-80_edmonton_hartford_quebec_winnipeg_b.gif

The NHL really got the better of the WHA teams, to the point where it was officially called an expansion, not a merger. The WHA teams were stripped of almost all their players, and were only allowed to keep 2 goaltenders and two skating players. The four ex-WHA teams had to rebuild their rosters through the re-entry draft at $125,000 per player. [Note: that makes the fact that the Edmonton Oilers won their first Stanley Cup title in just their fifth season in the NHL (in 1984) all the more impressive.]

The 1979-80 NHL season

Protective helmets were declared mandatory for all players, with players who signed contracts before June 1, 1979 having the option to not wear helmets (once they signed a waiver).

In December, 1979, the Detroit Red Wings moved over from the Detroit Olympia (capacity 15,000) to the Joe Louis Arena (capacity 19,875 [now it has a 20,066 capacity]).

The New York Islanders had a 25-point drop from the best-regular-season-points-tally of 116 in the previous season, to 86 points in 1979-90. But in the post-season, where it mattered, the Islanders 5th-seeding in the playoffs did not hold them back at all. On the other hand, the Philadelphia Flyers improved by 21 points over the previous season, and, propelled by a still-North-American-major-league-sports-record 35-game unbeaten run from mid-October to mid-January (25-0-10), the Flyers ended up with the best regular season record in 1979-80, with 116 points. The Buffalo Sabres finished as the second seed in the playoffs, with 110 points. Leading scorers were Marcel Dionne (of the Los Angeles Kings) and the 18/19 year-old Wayne Gretzky (of the Edmonton Oilers), both of whom had 137 points (with Dionne winning the Art Ross Trophy by virtue of having scored 2 more goals [53 goals] than Gretzky). Bob Edwards and Bob Suave of the Buffalo Sabres combined for the lowest goals-against-percentage and won the Vezina Trophy. None of the 4 new teams that had come over from the WHA had winning records, which came as no surprise, seeing as how the 4 “expansion teams” were stripped of all but 4 players each when they joined the NHL. Hartford and Edmonton did make the playoffs, though, as the 14th and 16th seeds, but both were swept in the 1st round of the playoffs.

1979-80 Stanley Cup Finals
The Philadelphia Flyers met the New York Islanders in the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals. It was the then-8-year-old-Islanders’ first Finals appearance. The Islanders were led by the “Trio Grande” line of C Bryan Trottier, LW Clark Gilles, and RW Mike Bossy (all Hall of Famers), and featured 2 other future Hall of Famers in D Denis Potvin and G Billy Smith. The Flyers had the second-best offense that season, with 327 goals (Montreal had 328 goals), and it was a real team effort as there were no Flyers players in the top 10 in scoring, although RW Reggie Leach had 50 goals (7th best); and Bobby Clarke and Ken Linseman both had 58 assists (tied for 8th best). Philadelphia also had the most players in the All-Star Game that season, with 7, including Leach, Rick MacLeish, and Bill Barber.

In Game 1, in Philadelphia, Denis Potvin won it for the Islanders with a power-play goal in overtime, for a 4-3 score. The Flyers answered with a flurry of goals in the second game, winning 8-3. The series resumed, at the Islanders’ home ice in Uniondale, New York, and saw the Islanders take control with a 6-2 win in Game 3; and then a 5-2 win in Game 4. Back at the Forum in Philly, the Flyers got back into it with a 6-3 win in Game 5. Back on Long Island for Game 6, Philadelphia looked poised to send the series back to Philadelphia and a seventh game, when they scored two late goals in the 3rd period – and the game went to overtime knotted at 4-4…

Via Youtube, here is Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals (Youtube video posted by Hockey Videos, a 3:46 video), which, at the 1:55 mark of the video, shows Isles’ C Lorne Henning, near the center-circle, threading the needle to fellow-third-line left-winger John Tonelli, whose goal-mouth-cross to RW Bob Nystrom is re-directed and floated over Flyers’ G Pete Peeters’ blocker pad, making the New York Islanders the champions. The Islanders would go on to establish themselves as one of the great dynasties of the NHL, winning four consecutive Stanley Cup titles…over Minnesota in 1981; over Vancouver in 1982; and over Edmonton in 1983. That 4-consecutive-Stanley-Cup-titles-run by the New York Islanders (1979-80 through to 1982-83) is surpassed only by the Montreal Canadiens, who won 5 straight Stanley Cup titles in the Original Six era, from 1955-56 through to 1959-60; and who also won 4 straight Stanley Cup titles from 1975-76 through to 1978-79.
new-york-islanders_4-stanley-cups-logo_.gif

The Islanders’ victory over the Flyers in Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals was the last NHL game to air on network television in the United States for 9 years.

The following season, 1980-81, ex-WHA owner Nelson Skalbania purchased the foundering Atlanta Flames’ franchise and moved the team north, to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as the Calgary Flames (NHL, 1980-present).
atlanta-flames_move-to_calgary_flames_1980.gif

The season after that, 1981-82, the NHL went to geographically-oriented divisions and conferences.

The season after that, 1982-83, the Colorado Rockies were purchased by an East Coast-based consortium, and moved to northern New Jersey, as the New Jersey Devils (NHL, 1982-present).
kansas-city-scouts_move-to_colorado_rockies_move-to_new-jersey_devils_.gif

The season after that, 1983-84, the Edmonton Oilers, with Wayne Gretzky as team captain and league-MVP, won the first of their 5 Stanley Cup titles.
{Old content disclaimer…the image-sequence below first appeared on this site here (The World Hockey Association, 1972-73 to 1978-79: map of all 26 teams, with attendance figures and notes.)}.
Below is a tribute to the WHA-era Edmonton Oilers, and to Glen Sather and Wayne Gretzky, the two people most responsible for bringing the Stanley Cup to Edmonton

wha_alberta-oilers_edmonton-oilers_edmonton-gardens_al-hamilton_northlands-coliseum_rexall-place_glen-sather_wayne-gretzky_indianapolis-racers_si-cover1984_.gif

Photo and image credits –
Al Hamilton, HFboards.com/thread.
Old Oilers jersey illustration, http://whauniforms.com/.
Edmonton arenas: Edmonton Gardens (aka Livestock Pavillion), hockey.ballparks.com; Northlands Coliseum, http://hockey.ballparks.com/WHA/AlbertaOilers/index.htm
Gretzky on Indianapolis, 1978-79 indianapolis racers wayne gretzky jersey photos.
Wayne Gretzky on Sports illustrated cover, Wayne Gretzky Sports Illustrated covers gallery [12 SI covers between 1981 and 1999]..
_

Thanks to the JerseyDatabase.com site, for the jersey illustrations on the map page. As great as this site is, it is rather hard to navigate, so here is the page that will get you to NHL teams’ jerseys, http://www.jerseydatabase.com/browse.php?sport=nhl.

Thanks to NHL Uniforms.com, for bits of jerseys I needed to fill in (1979-80 Edmonton Oilers and 1979-80 Winnipeg Jets) because of gaps in the aforementioned database…www.nhluniforms.com/1979-80.

Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos.net/NHL.

Thanks to WHA Hockey.com. Birmingham Bulls at WHA Hockey.com.

Thanks to WHA Hockey.tv. [Note, lots of Whalers' content here.]

Thanks to Ed Willes, for his book on the WHA…‘Rebel League, the short and unruly life of the World Hockey Association’, published by McLelland & Stewart, Toronto, 2004 {at Amazon, here}.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress