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I am a HOCKEY fan! * Gardening and Quilting are fun hobbies for me.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

“ History Will Be Made” PART 1

“ History Will Be Made”
That was the tagline for Stanley Cup Playoffs for the NHL this past season.

It’s been 30 years since I became a hockey fan, so it’s time to write about my hockey history:
a timeline, memories and photos for Ann.

It began by winning tickets to a hockey game from a radio station. I was living in Hutchinson Kansas at the time. Central Kansas is an unlikely place to be exposed to hockey.
I had seen the publicity from the 1980 Olympics of the Miracle on Ice team.
I had heard of a hockey team in Kansas City called the Scouts. Born in Kansas, I was living in Royals baseball, KU basketball and K-State Football country. The tickets I won were for a game at the Kansas Coliseum near Wichita, 45 miles away.

It was the winter of 1981. The team was the Wichita Wind of the Central Hockey League. It was an affiliate or farm club of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League.

Don, the guy I lived with at the time and I used the free tickets, attending the game not knowing what to expect.

Don, 10 years older than me, having grown up in Kansas City area, was familiar with the KC Scouts name and knew that they had left Kansas City. He was skeptical that seeing live hockey would be anything enjoyable since it had not been successful there.

The Scouts failed to make the playoffs in either season in Kansas City and won only 27 of 160 games. The Scouts began to suffer from an economic downturn in the Midwest. For their second season, the Scouts sold just 2,000 of 8,000 season tickets and were almost $1 million in debt. The Scouts' owners did not have the resources or the patience to handle such massive losses, and decided to get out after only two years. After the 1975-76 season, the franchise was moved to Denver and was renamed the Colorado Rockies.

I had no idea that I would come to love the sport!

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