Saturday, August 20, 2011
Extra Stuff PART 14
* Scarecrows / Topeka Hockey History
The Topeka Scarecrows were a professional ice hockey team located in Topeka, Kansas, playing their home games at Landon Arena in the Kansas Expocentre. The team founded in 1998 was a member of the Central Hockey League. The Scarecrow team played a third season ending in 2001 when they were sold. The team would then become the Topeka Scarecrows of the Tier 1 Junior A United States Hockey League playing from 2001-2003.
For the 2004-2005 season, the Topeka Tarantulas of the Central Hockey League played at the Expocentre with Joe Coombs as coach.
On February 26, 2007, the team to be named the Topeka Roadrunners announced their move to Topeka from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Poor attendance was said to be the reason for the move to Topeka. The move to Topeka was initiated by a grass roots effort, led by hockey fans from Topeka. In 2005, Topeka Hockey 07' set a goal to obtain an interested owner to believe in the vision they had and be playing in Topeka in 2007 giving the franchise enough time to build a relationship with the city and its business community. Topeka Hockey '07 was founded by two guys with a passion for the game, Mike Cline and Jason "The Bucketman" Simonsen with the interest of finding an owner that could make money in Topeka. Topeka Hockey '07, had built a business model and sent out packets to teams in markets all across the country looking for one of them to either relocate or expand and buy a second franchise to play in the NAHL in Topeka, KS. In their first season in Topeka, 2007–2008, they were third in league attendance. That season the team won the NAHL South Division and South Division Playoffs. They finished in third place at the Robertson Cup competition. The 2008-2009 season saw the RoadRunners finishing fourth in league attendance and 2nd in the South Division. The team lost in the second round of the South Division playoffs. In 2009-2010 The RoadRunners finished first in the South Division, and they were second in attendance. They repeated as Southern Division regular season champions in 2010-2011. (Wikipedia)
* Wichita Wind
Dave Cameron played for Wichita in the 82-83 season. Since 2007, he was the head coach and general manager of the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, a junior hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League. As of June 2011, Cameron has signed on to become an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators in the NHL.
Bailey went to Edmonton to play with the Edmonton Oilers of the World Hockey Association in 1978–79, where he took rookie Wayne Gretzky under his wing. He was head coach of the Wichita Wind, the Oilers' Central Hockey League affiliate, in the 1980–81 season
The Wind were decimated by injuries their inaugural season. In a game against the Dallas Black Hawks on December 27, 1980, they dressed coach Garnet Bailey as a defenseman and a public relations employee as the backup goaltender; they lost the game 6–3
Garnet Edward "Ace" Bailey (June 13, 1948 – September 11, 2001) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player and scout who was a member of Stanley Cup and Memorial Cup winning teams. He died at age 53 when United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City during the September 11 attacks.
Canada saw the loss of two teams—the Winnipeg Jets and the Quebec Nordiques—which left the Great White North for greener pastures in Phoenix (in 1996) and Colorado (in 1995), respectively.
One would think a move in the opposite direction, such as the Atlanta Flames relocation to Calgary in 1980, would make more sense. You go where the hockey fans are.
Apparently, such thoughts are foolish, as America’s two biggest hockey hot spots (Minnesota and New England) also saw teams abandon their hard-core fans for unusual choices.
The Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993 and the Hartford Whalers became the (Raleigh, North) Carolina Hurricanes in 1997.
Absurd on the surface, these franchise moves strategically dotted the southern U.S. with hockey teams.
The NHL has done more than just relocate teams to warm weather climates. The league has also expanded to welcome in new franchises, a majority of which reside south of the Mason-Dixon line.
One of the first was the San Jose Sharks, the entry of which in 1991 was a direct result of Gretzky’s monstrous success in Los Angeles. Two years later, So-Cal welcomed The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
All of this expansion and relocation came on the heels of Gretzky’s arrival in the United States.
Within 20 years, the NHL went from consisting of 21 teams—seven of which (or 33 percent) called Canada home—to 30 teams, of which only six (or 20 percent) play in Canada.
Meanwhile, a full third of the current NHL teams (a total of 10)—Los Angeles, San Jose, Anaheim, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Carolina (Raleigh), Dallas, Florida (Miami), Phoenix, and Atlanta—play in the southern half of the United States.
This is a complete shift in the NHL’s fan base.
* During the 1980’s, the geography of minor-league professional hockey changed radically, moving it’s roots in the Canadian Maritime provinces, New England and the Midwestern states into the American south. Over an 18 year period, minor-league hockey was played in 72 different southern cities, at one point there were more minor-league teams in Texas than in all of Canada, where many of the players learned their hockey skills. (Hockey Night in Dixie book)