Cleveland Barons (NHL)
The Cleveland Barons were a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League from 1976 to 1978. They were a relocation of the California Golden Seals franchise that had played in Oakland since 1967. After just two seasons, the team merged with the Minnesota North Stars; as a result, the NHL operated with 17 teams during the 1978–79 season. As of 2019, the Barons remain the last franchise in the four major North American sports leagues to cease operations. Ohio did not have another NHL team until the Columbus Blue Jackets joined the league 22 years in 2000; the Barons originated as the California Golden Seals in the 1967 NHL expansion. After new arena plans in San Francisco were cancelled, the NHL dropped its objection to a relocation of the perpetually troubled franchise from Oakland. Minority owner George Gund III persuaded majority owner Melvin Swig to move the team to his hometown of Cleveland for the 1976–77 season; the team was named "Barons" in honor of the successful team in the American Hockey League that played in the city from 1929 to 1973, winning nine Calder Cups.
The AHL Barons' owner, Nick Mileti, moved that team to Florida in favor of his Cleveland Crusaders team in the new World Hockey Association. Cleveland had been mentioned as a possible NHL city as early as the 1930s, when the then-struggling Montreal Canadiens considered moving there, it had been turned down for an NHL expansion team on three previous occasions, in the 1950s and 1960s. The Barons played in the suburban Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio, an arena built for the WHA's Crusaders and the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. At the time, the Richfield Coliseum had the largest seating capacity in the NHL, at 18,544; the NHL approved the move to Cleveland on July 14, 1976, but details were not finalized until late August, there was little time or money for promotion of the new team. The Barons never recovered from this lack of visibility, they never came close to filling the Coliseum in their two years in Cleveland. The team's home opener on October 7, 1976, drew only 8,900 fans, they drew 10,000 or more fans in only seven out of forty home games.
Attendance was worse than it had been in Oakland and the team did not draw as many fans as the WHA's Crusaders had. The Barons were troubled by an unfavorable lease with the Coliseum. In January 1977, Swig hinted, he asked the board of governors for a bailout. The board turned down Swig's request out of hand. At the time, no one in the NHL offices believed. No NHL team had folded since 1942 and only one team had folded mid-season, when the Montreal Wanderers disbanded during the NHL's inaugural season in 1917-18; the situation deteriorated and team workers went unpaid for two months. The bottom fell out in February; the league considered folding the team and holding a dispersal draft for the players. By February 18, the players had lost their patience, threatened to not take the ice for their game against the Colorado Rockies. Wanting to avoid the embarrassment of a player strike, as well as a team folding at mid-season, the league and the NHLPA made a last-minute $1.3 million loan to allow the Barons to finish the season.
After the team finished last in the Adams Division again, Swig sold his interest to Gund and his brother Gordon. For 1977–78, the Gunds poured money into the team, it seemed to make a difference at first; the Barons stunned the defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens on November 23 before a boisterous crowd of 12,859. After a brief slump, general manager Harry Howell pulled off several trades in an attempt to make the team tougher, it paid off, the Barons knocked off three of the NHL's top teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres in consecutive games in January 1978. A few weeks a record crowd of 13,110 saw the Barons tie the Philadelphia Flyers 2–2, it did not last. After the season, the Gunds failed. With the Barons registering on Cleveland's sports landscape, the Gunds searched for a way out. Meanwhile, the group of eight owners of the Minnesota North Stars found the team facing financial difficulties similar to those weighing down the Barons. Fearing that two franchises were on the verge of folding, the league granted approval on June 14, 1978 for the two teams to merge.
The amalgamated team retained the North Stars' name and history. However, the wealthier Gunds were majority owners, the North Stars assumed the Barons' place in the Adams Division, they moved to the Norris Division in the league's 1981 realignment. In 1991, the Gunds were chosen as inaugural owners of the new San Jose Sharks expansion franchise, selling their North Stars shares to a new ownership group; the league arranged a special dispersal and expansion draft in which the Sharks claimed 16 North Stars players in a dispersal draft, with both teams allowed to choose players in an expansion draft. Although the NHL considers the Sharks to be a separate franchise from the Seals/Golden Seals/Barons, the dispersal to San Jose had the effect of reversing the original Barons-North Stars merger, with the Sharks occupying the same market as the Golden Seals did prior to their move to Cleveland; the new North Stars owners moved their team to Dallas as the Dallas Stars in 1993. The Gunds move
American Hockey League
The American Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League. Since the 2010–11 season, every team in the league has an affiliation agreement with one NHL team; when NHL teams do not have an AHL affiliate, players are assigned to AHL teams affiliated with other NHL teams. Twenty-seven AHL teams are located in the United States and the remaining four are in Canada; the league offices are located in Springfield and its current president is David Andrews. In general, a player must be at least 18 years of age to play in the AHL or not be beholden to a junior ice hockey team; the league limits the number of experienced professional players on a team's active roster during any given game. The AHL allows for practice squad contracts; the annual playoff champion is awarded the Calder Cup, named for Frank Calder, the first President of the NHL. The reigning champions are the Toronto Marlies.
The AHL traces its origins directly to two predecessor professional leagues: the Canadian-American Hockey League, founded in 1926, the first International Hockey League, established in 1929. Although the Can-Am League never operated with more than six teams, the departure of the Boston Bruin Cubs after the 1935–36 season reduced it down to just four member clubs – the Springfield Indians, Philadelphia Ramblers, Providence Reds, New Haven Eagles – for the first time in its history. At the same time, the then-rival IHL lost half of its eight members after the 1935–36 season leaving it with just four member teams: the Buffalo Bisons, Syracuse Stars, Pittsburgh Hornets, Cleveland Falcons. With both leagues down to the bare minimum in membership, the governors of each recognized the need for action to assure their member clubs' long-term survival, their solution was to play an interlocking schedule. While the Can-Am League was based in the Northeast and the IHL in the Great Lakes, their footprints were close enough for this to be a viable option.
The two older leagues' eight surviving clubs began joint play in November 1936 as a new two-division "circuit of mutual convenience" known as the International-American Hockey League. The four Can-Am teams became the I-AHL East Division, with the IHL quartet playing as the West Division; the IHL contributed its former championship trophy, the F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy, which would go to the regular-season winners of the merged league's West Division until 1952. The Oke Trophy is now awarded to the regular-season winners of the AHL's Northeast Division. A little more than a month into that first season, the balance and symmetry of the new combined circuit suffered a setback when its membership unexpectedly fell to seven teams; the West's Buffalo Bisons were forced to cease operations on December 6, 1936, after playing just 11 games, because of what proved to be insurmountable financial problems and lack of access to a suitable arena. The makeshift new I-AHL played out the rest of its first season with just seven teams.
At the end of the 1936–37 season, a modified three-round playoff format was devised and a new championship trophy, the Calder Cup, was established. The Syracuse Stars defeated the Philadelphia Ramblers in the final, three-games-to-one, to win the first-ever Calder Cup championship; the Calder Cup continues on today as the AHL's playoff championship trophy. After two seasons of interlocking play, the governors of the two leagues' seven active teams met in New York City on June 28, 1938, agreed that it was time to formally consolidate. Maurice Podoloff of New Haven, the former head of the Can-Am League, was elected the I-AHL's first president; the former IHL president, John Chick of Windsor, became vice-president in charge of officials. The new I-AHL added an eighth franchise at the 1938 meeting to fill the void in its membership left by the loss of Buffalo two years earlier with the admission of the two-time defending Eastern Amateur Hockey League champion Hershey Bears; the Bears remain the only one of these eight original I-AHL/AHL franchises to have been represented in the league without interruption since the 1938–39 season.
The newly merged circuit increased its regular-season schedule for each team by six games from 48 to 54. After the 1939–40 season the I-AHL renamed itself the American Hockey League, it enjoyed both consistent success on the ice and relative financial stability over its first three decades of operation. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the cost of doing business in professional ice hockey began to rise with NHL expansion and relocation and the 1972 formation of the World Hockey Association, which forced the relocation and subsequent folding of the Cleveland Barons, Baltimore Clippers, Quebec Aces; the number of major-league teams competing for players rose from six to thirty in just seven years. Player salaries at all levels shot up with the increased demand and competition for their services; this did not seem to affect the AHL at first, as it expanded to 12 teams by 1970. However, to help compensate for the rise in player salaries, many NHL clubs cut back on the number of p
The Montreal Maroons were a professional men's ice hockey team in the National Hockey League. They played in the NHL from 1924 to 1938, winning the Stanley Cup in 1926 and 1935, they were the last non-Original Six team to win the Stanley Cup until the expansion Philadelphia Flyers won in 1974. Founded as a team for the English community in Montreal, they shared their home city with the Canadiens, who came under the same ownership as the Maroons but were intended to appeal to the French Canadian population; this was the first time since 1918, when the Montreal Wanderers folded, that Montreal would have a second hockey team. In order to accommodate the Maroons, a new arena was built for them in the Montreal Forum; the Maroons were a competitive team, winning the Stanley Cup twice and finishing first in their division twice more. Some of the best players of the era played for the Maroons. Financial difficulties resulting from the Great Depression led to the Maroons suspending play after 1938. Despite efforts to revive the team, the franchise was cancelled in 1947, leaving the Canadiens as the sole team in Montreal.
Since the Maroons' demise, no NHL team that has won a Stanley Cup at any point in its history has subsequently folded or relocated. The Montreal Maroons hockey team was created to appeal to the anglophone neighbourhoods of Montreal. On January 2, 1918, the Montreal Arena, shared by the Montreal Canadiens and the Montreal Wanderers, burnt down; the Canadiens, who drew Montreal's francophones, moved to the Jubilee Arena which, in 1919 burnt down, before settling in the Mount Royal Arena, which had natural ice and seating for 3,250. The Wanderers, team of Montreal's anglophone community, folded. By 1922, work began to build a team to appeal to the anglophones and return to the NHL. In July 1924, construction began on a new arena, on the site of a former roller-skating rink known as the Forum. By fall, at a cost of $1.5 million, the Montreal Forum was complete. The Montreal Forum was the first large arena in the NHL; the Maroons joined the NHL in 1924, along with the Boston Bruins. The Canadiens objected to a second team in Montreal, but relented when compensated by the expansion fee.
The expansion fees for each team was $15,000. $11,000 of the Maroons' fee went to the Canadiens. While the Canadiens owner lodged a formal objection to ensure he would get adequate compensation for sharing his franchise's territory, he was quite enthusiastic about having a second franchise in the same city. At the time of their founding, the Maroons had no nickname; the Maroons' president James Strachan had been the owner of the Wanderers in the 1900s. He attempted to secure the Wanderers name, but negotiations failed, so the club was known by its official name, the Montreal Professional Hockey Club; the Maroons nickname was picked up by the media, after the colour of their jerseys. The club never changed the organizational name to incorporate the Maroons name; the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association had changed their name to the Vancouver Maroons, but that club had folded before Montreal began. In the Maroons' first season of operation they finished second last in the league.
However, the new Forum was selling out and, with the addition of players Nelson Stewart, Babe Siebert and Bill Phillips, success came quickly. In a single year, the Maroons went from having their worst record in franchise history to their best. In only their second season of operation, Montreal won their first Stanley Cup; the NHL playoffs that year were a two-game total-goals format. Montreal won the opening series over the Pittsburgh Pirates 6–4 upset the favored Ottawa Senators 2–1. In the NHL playoff final, Montreal defeated Ottawa to advance to the Stanley Cup final, against the Victoria Cougars of the Western Hockey League. In the last Stanley Cup final involving two different leagues, Montreal defeated Victoria three games to one. Contributing to the victory was rookie, future Hall of Fame member, Nels Stewart, who scored six of the Maroons' ten goals in the series. Stewart won the Hart Trophy for most valuable player. While not a smooth skater, Stewart compensated with size and shooting.
Stewart's 34 goals remained an NHL record for rookies until the 1970–71 season. During this era, a team's best players played the entire game with substitutions only made for injuries. For the 1926–27 season, the NHL expanded to ten teams and was divided into American and Canadian divisions; the Maroons finished third in the Canadian division, behind their rivals the Canadiens, with whom they now shared the Forum. The two teams met in the playoffs for a two-game total-goals series; the forum was packed with 11,000 fans, in a building whose capacity was listed at 10,000, to watch the Canadiens defeat the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Maroons participated in another moment of hockey history when, on November 26, 1926, they were the competition in the New York Rangers' NHL debut game; the Maroons got revenge on the Canadiens in the 1927–28 season, by eliminating them in the semi-finals of the playoffs. The Maroons met the New York Rangers for the Stanley Cup, but lost the series three games to two.
Because the circus occupied Madison Square Garden, all five games were played at the Forum. The 1928–29 season was a rare bad on
Dallas the City of Dallas, is a city in the U. S. state of Texas and the seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,341,075, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U. S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. It is the eighteenth most-populous city in North America as of 2015. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U. S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.3 million people as of 2017. The city's combined statistical area is the seventh-largest in the U. S. as of 2017, with 7,846,293 residents. Dallas and nearby Fort Worth were developed due to the construction of major railroad lines through the area allowing access to cotton and oil in North and East Texas.
The construction of the Interstate Highway System reinforced Dallas's prominence as a transportation hub, with four major interstate highways converging in the city and a fifth interstate loop around it. Dallas developed as a strong industrial and financial center and a major inland port, due to the convergence of major railroad lines, interstate highways and the construction of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. A "beta" global city, the economy of Dallas has been considered diverse with dominant sectors including defense, financial services, information technology, telecommunications, transportation. Dallas is home to 9 Fortune 500 companies within the city limits; the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex hosts additional Fortune 500 companies, including American Airlines, ExxonMobil and J. C. Penney. Over 41 colleges and universities are in its metropolitan area, the most of any metropolitan area in Texas; the city has a population from a myriad of ethnic and religious backgrounds and the sixth-largest LGBT population in the United States as of 2016.
WalletHub named Dallas the fifth most-diverse city in the U. S. in 2018. Preceded by thousands of years of varying cultures, the Caddo people inhabited the Dallas area before Spanish colonists claimed the territory of Texas in the 18th century as a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. France claimed the area but never established much settlement. In 1819, the Adams-Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain defined the Red River as the northern boundary of New Spain placing the future location of Dallas well within Spanish territory; the area remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico declared independence from Spain, the area was considered part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, with a majority of Anglo-American settlers, gained independence from Mexico and formed the Republic of Texas. Three years after Texas achieved independence, John Neely Bryan surveyed the area around present-day Dallas, he established a permanent settlement near the Trinity River named Dallas in 1841.
The origin of the name is uncertain. The official historical marker states it was named after Vice President George M. Dallas of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, this is disputed. Other potential theories for the origin include his brother, Commodore Alexander James Dallas, as well as brothers Walter R. Dallas or James R. Dallas. A further theory gives the origin as the village of Dallas, Scotland, similar to the way Houston, Texas was named after Sam Houston whose ancestors came from the Scottish village of Houston, Renfrewshire; the Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845 and Dallas County was established the following year. Dallas was formally incorporated as a city on February 2, 1856. With the construction of railroads, Dallas became a business and trading center and was booming by the end of the 19th century, it became an industrial city, attracting workers from Texas, the South, the Midwest. The Praetorian Building in Dallas of 15 stories, built in 1909, was the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi and the tallest building in Texas for some time.
It marked the prominence of Dallas as a city. A racetrack for thoroughbreds was built and their owners established the Dallas Jockey Club. Trotters raced at a track in Fort Worth; the rapid expansion of population increased competition for jobs and housing. In 1921, the Mexican president Álvaro Obregón along with the former revolutionary general visited Downtown Dallas's Mexican Park in Little Mexico; the small neighborhood of Little Mexico was home to a Latin American population, drawn to Dallas by factors including the American Dream, better living conditions, the Mexican Revolution. On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Elm Street while his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Downtown Dallas; the upper two floors of the building from which alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, the Texas School Book Depository, have been converted into a historical museum covering the former president's life and accomplishments. On July 7, 2016, multiple shots were fired at a peaceful protest in Downtown Dallas, held against the police killings of two black men from other states.
The gunman identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, began firing at police officers at 8:58 p.m. killing five officers and injuring nine. Two bystanders were injured; this marked the deadliest day for U. S. law enforcement since the September 11 attacks. Johnson told police during a standoff that he
History of the National Hockey League (1942–1967)
The Original Six era of the National Hockey League began in 1942 with the demise of the Brooklyn Americans, reducing the league to six teams: Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs. This structure remained stable for a quarter century; the Stanley Cup, was the de facto championship since 1926, becoming the de jure championship in 1947, when the NHL completed a deal with the Stanley Cup trustees to gain control of the Cup. Toronto and Montreal evidenced dynasties, as the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup nine times from 1942 onwards, while the Canadiens won ten times, including five consecutive titles between 1956 and 1960; the 1967 championship is the last Maple Leafs title to date. Remarkably, Maurice Richard became the first player to score 50 goals in a season in 1944–45. In 1955, Richard was suspended for leading to the Richard Riot. Gordie Howe made his debut in 1946, retiring 32 years as the NHL's all-time leader in both goals and points.
Willie O'Ree broke the NHL's colour barrier when he dressed for the Bruins in 1958. The NHL continued to develop throughout the era. In 1943, in an attempt to'open up' the game, the league introduced the centre-ice red line allowing players for the first time to pass out of their defensive zone. In 1959, Jacques Plante became the first goaltender to wear a face mask for protection. Off the ice, the business of hockey was changing as well; the first amateur draft was held in 1963 as part of efforts to balance talent distribution within the league. The National Hockey League Players Association was formed in 1967, ten years after Ted Lindsay's attempts at unionization failed. In the 1930s and early 1940s, both the Great Depression and World War II were detrimental to the NHL. Although the league peaked at ten teams between 1926 and 1931, financial pressures led to the demise of several of these. In 1930, the Pittsburgh Pirates relocated to become the Philadelphia Quakers before folding in 1931. In 1934, the Ottawa Senators became the St. Louis Eagles, ceased operations after one year in their new market.
The Montreal Maroons suspended operations in 1937 as the Montreal market was unable to support two teams. The New York Americans, renamed the Brooklyn Americans, suspended operations in 1942, citing financial difficulty, a lack of players due to the war. By the 1942–43 season, the league was reduced to six teams; those six teams are now known, somewhat misleadingly, as the "Original Six." There was no more expansion or contraction until 1967. There was change at the top. After receiving assurances from the league the Brooklyn franchise he operated would resume play after the war, Red Dutton agreed to take over as president; when the other team owners reneged on this promise in 1946, Dutton resigned as league president. In 1946, with Dutton's recommendation, Clarence Campbell was named president of the NHL. Campbell remained until retirement in 1977. Campbell's tenure matched the league's stability. For the first 21 years of his presidency, the same six teams competed for the Stanley Cup; the NHL featured intense rivalries coupled with rule innovations that opened up the game.
World War II extensively ravaged the rosters of many teams. In need of a goaltender, the Bruins won a fight with the Canadiens over the services of Bert Gardiner. Meanwhile, the Rangers were forced to lend forward Phil Watson to the Canadiens in exchange for two players, as Watson was required in Montreal for a war job, refused permission to play in New York. With only five returning players from the previous season, Rangers general manager Lester Patrick suggested suspension of his team's play for the duration of the war. Patrick was otherwise persuaded; the Rangers were so desperate for players that 42-year-old coach Frank Boucher made a brief comeback, recording four goals and ten assists in 15 games. That year the Canadiens dominated the league. Five losses remains a league record for the fewest in one season, their 1944 Stanley Cup victory was the team's first in 14 seasons. The Canadiens again dominated the 1944 -- finishing with a 38 -- 8 -- 4 record, they were defeated in the playoffs by the underdog Maple Leafs, who won the Cup.
NHL teams competed for the Stanley Cup following the 1926 demise of the Western Hockey League. Though rejected by Cup trustees for various reasons, in the intervening years other teams, leagues, attempted to challenge for the Cup. In 1947, the NHL reached an agreement with trustees P. D. Ross and Cooper Smeaton to grant Cup control to the NHL, thereby allowing the league to reject challenges from other leagues; the last such challenge came from the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League. The Hockey Hall of Fame was established in 1943 under the leadership of James T. Sutherland, a former President of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association; the Hall of Fame was established as a joint venture between the NHL and the CAHA, in Kingston, considered by Sutherland the birthplace of hockey. Called the "International Hockey Hall of Fame", its mandate was to honor great hockey players and to raise funds for a pe
Minneapolis–Saint Paul is a major metropolitan area built around the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers in east central Minnesota; the area is known as the Twin Cities after its two largest cities, the most populous city in the state, Saint Paul, the state capital. It is an example of twin cities in the sense of geographical proximity. Minnesotans living outside of Minneapolis and Saint Paul refer to the two together as "The Cities". There are several different definitions of the region. Many refer to the Twin Cities as the seven-county region, governed under the Metropolitan Council regional governmental agency and planning organization; the Office of Management and Budget designates 16 counties as the "Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington MN–WI Metropolitan Statistical Area", the 16th largest in the United States; the entire region known as the "Minneapolis–St. Paul MN–WI Combined Statistical Area", has a population of 3,946,533, the 14th largest, according to 2017 Census estimates. Despite the Twin moniker, both cities are independent municipalities with defined borders.
Minneapolis is somewhat younger with more modern skyscrapers downtown, while Saint Paul has been likened to an East Coast city, with quaint neighborhoods and a vast collection of well-preserved late-Victorian architecture. Minneapolis was influenced by its early Lutheran heritage. Saint Paul was influenced by its early French and German Catholic roots; the first European settlement in the region was near what is now known as the town of Stillwater, Minnesota. The city is 20 miles from downtown Saint Paul and lies on the western bank of the St. Croix River, which forms the border of central Minnesota and Wisconsin. Another settlement that began fueling early interest in the area was the outpost at Fort Snelling, constructed from 1820 to 1825 at the confluence of the Minnesota River and the Mississippi River. Fort Snelling held jurisdiction over the land south of Saint Anthony Falls, thus a town known as Saint Anthony grew just north of the river. For several years, the only European resident to live on the south bank of the river was Colonel John H. Stevens, who operated a ferry service across the river.
As soon as the land area controlled by Fort Snelling was reduced, new settlers began flocking across to the new village of Minneapolis. The town grew and Minneapolis and Saint Anthony merged. On the eastern side of the Mississippi, a few villages such as Pig's Eye and Lambert's Landing developed and would soon grow to become Saint Paul. Natural geography played a role in the development of the two cities; the Mississippi River Valley in this area is defined by a series of stone bluffs that line both sides of the river. Saint Paul grew up around Lambert's Landing, the last place to unload boats coming upriver at an accessible point, some seven miles downstream from Saint Anthony Falls, the geographic feature that, due to the value of its immense water power for industry, defined the location of Minneapolis and its prominence as the Mill City; the falls can be seen today from the Mill City Museum, housed in the former Washburn "A" Mill, among the world's largest mills in its time. The oldest farms in the state are located in Washington County, the eastern most county on the Minnesota side of the metropolitan area.
Joseph Haskell was Minnesota's first farmer, harvesting the first crops in the state in 1840 on what is now part of Afton Township on Trading Post Trail. The Grand Excursion, a trip into the Upper Midwest sponsored by the Rock Island Railroad, brought more than a thousand curious travelers into the area by rail and steamboat in 1854; the next year, in 1855, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published The Song of Hiawatha, an epic poem based on the Ojibwe legends of Hiawatha. A number of natural area landmarks were included in the story, such as Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Falls. Tourists inspired by the coverage of the Grand Excursion in eastern newspapers and those who read Longfellow's story flocked to the area in the following decades. At one time, the region had numerous passenger rail services, including both interurban streetcar systems and interstate rail. Due to the width of the river at points further south, the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area was one of the few places where the Mississippi could be crossed by railroad.
A great amount of commercial rail traffic ran through the area carrying grain to be processed at mills in Minneapolis or delivering other goods to Saint Paul to be transported along the Mississippi. Saint Paul had long been at the head of navigation on the river, prior to a new lock and dam facility being added upriver in Minneapolis. Passenger travel hit its peak in 1888 with nearly eight million traversing to and from the Saint Paul Union Depot; this amounted to 150 trains daily. Before long, other rail crossings were built farther south and travel through the region began to decline. In an effort by the rail companies to combat the rise of the automobile, some of the earliest streamliners ran from Chicago to Minneapolis/Saint Paul and served distant points in the Pacific Northwest. Today, the only vestige of this interstate service comes by Amtrak's Seattle/Portland to Chicago Empire Builder route, running once daily in each direction, it is named after James J. Hill, a railroad tycoon who settled on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul at what is now known as the James J. Hill House.
Like many Northern cities that grew up with the Industrial Revolution, Minneapolis and St. Paul experienced shifts in their economic base as heavy industry declined in the 1960s and 1970s. Along with the economic decline of the 60s and 70s came pop
The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League, they have won six Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926. The Blackhawks are one of the "Original Six" NHL teams along with the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Since 1994, the club's home rink is the United Center, which they share with the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls; the club had played for 65 years at Chicago Stadium. The club's original owner was Frederic McLaughlin, who owned the club until his death in 1944. Under McLaughlin, a "hands-on" owner who fired many coaches during his ownership, the club won two Stanley Cup titles; the club was owned by the Norris family, who as owners of the Chicago Stadium were the club's landlord, owned stakes in several of the NHL teams. At first, the Norris ownership was as part of a syndicate fronted by long-time executive Bill Tobin, the team languished in favor of the Norris-owned Detroit Red Wings.
After the senior James E. Norris died in 1952, the Norris assets were spread among family members and James D. Norris became owner. Norris Jr. took an active interest in the team and under his ownership, the club won one Stanley Cup title in 1961. After James D. Norris died in 1966, the Wirtz family became owners of the franchise. In 2007, the club came under the control of Rocky Wirtz, credited with turning around the organization, which had lost fan interest and competitiveness. Under Rocky Wirtz, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup three times between 2010 and 2015. On May 1, 1926, the NHL awarded an expansion franchise for Chicago to a syndicate headed by former football star Huntington Hardwick of Boston. At the same meeting, Hardwick arranged the purchase of the players of the Portland Rosebuds of the Western Hockey League for $100,000 from WHL president Frank Patrick in a deal brokered by Boston Bruins' owner Charles Adams. However, only one month Hardwick's group sold out to Chicago coffee tycoon Frederic McLaughlin.
McLaughlin had been a commander with the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry Division during World War I. This division was nicknamed the "Blackhawk Division" after a Native American of the Sauk nation, Black Hawk, a prominent figure in the history of Illinois. McLaughlin named the new hockey team in honor of the military unit, making it one of many sports team names using Native Americans as icons. However, unlike the military division, the team's name was spelled in two words as the "Black Hawks" until 1986, when the club became the "Blackhawks," based on the spelling found in the original franchise documents; the Black Hawks began play in the 1926–27 season, along with fellow expansion franchises the Detroit Cougars and New York Rangers. The team had to face immediate competition in Chicago from Eddie Livingstone's rival Chicago Cardinals, which played in the same building. McLaughlin took a active role in running the team despite having no background in the sport, he was very interested in promoting American hockey players very rare in professional hockey.
Several of them, including Doc Romnes, Taffy Abel, Alex Levinsky, Mike Karakas, Cully Dahlstrom, become staples with the club, under McLaughlin, the Black Hawks were the first NHL team with an all-American-born lineup. The Black Hawks played their first game on November 17, 1926, against the Toronto St. Patricks in the Chicago Coliseum; the Black Hawks won their first game 4–1, in front of a crowd of over 7,000. The Hawks' first season was a moderate success. However, they lost the 1927 first-round playoff series to the Boston Bruins. Following the series, McLaughlin fired head coach Pete Muldoon. According to Jim Coleman, sportswriter for the Toronto-based The Globe and Mail, McLaughlin felt the Hawks were good enough to finish first. Muldoon disagreed, in a fit of pique, McLaughlin fired him. According to Coleman, Muldoon responded by yelling, "Fire me, you'll never finish first. I'll put a curse on this team that will hoodoo it until the end of time." The Curse of Muldoon was born – although Coleman admitted years after the fact that he had fabricated the whole incident – and became one of the first widely-known sports "curses."
While the team would go on to win three Stanley Cups in its first 39 years of existence, it did so without having finished in first place, either in a single- or multi-division format. The Black Hawks proceeded to have the worst record in the league in 1927–28, winning only seven of 44 games. For the 1928–29 season, the Black Hawks were slated to play in the new Chicago Stadium, but due to construction delays and a dispute between McLaughlin and Chicago Stadium promoter Paddy Harmon, they instead divided their time between the Coliseum, the Detroit Olympia, the Peace Bridge Arena in Fort Erie, Ontario, they moved to Chicago Stadium the following season. By 1931, with goal-scorer Johnny Gottselig, Cy Wentworth on defense, Charlie Gardiner in goal, the Hawks reached their first Stanley Cup Final, but fizzled in the final two games against the Montreal Canadiens. Chicago had another stellar season in 1932. However, two years Gardiner led his team to victory by shutting out the Detroit Red Wings in the final game of the Stanley Cup Finals.