Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are a professional ice hockey team based in Detroit. They are members of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League and are one of the Original Six teams of the league. Founded in 1926, the team was known as the Detroit Cougars from until 1930. For the 1930–31 and 1931–32 seasons the team was called the Detroit Falcons, in 1932 changed their name to the Red Wings; as of 2019, the Red Wings have won the most Stanley Cup championships of any NHL franchise based in the United States and are third overall in total Stanley Cup championships, behind the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Wings played their home games at Joe Louis Arena from 1979 until 2017, after playing for 52 years in Olympia Stadium, they moved into the new Little Caesars Arena beginning with the 2017–18 season. The Red Wings are one of the most popular and successful franchises in the NHL. Between the 1931–32 and 1965–66 seasons, the Red Wings missed the playoffs only four times.
Between the 1966–67 and 1982–83 seasons, the Red Wings made the playoffs only two times. However, from 1983–84 to 2015–16, they made the playoffs 30 times in 32 seasons, including 25-straight from 1990–91 to 2015–16, at the time the longest streak of postseason appearances in all of North American professional sports. Since 1983–84, the Red Wings have tallied six regular season first-place finishes and have won the Stanley Cup four times. Following the 1926 Stanley Cup playoffs, during which the Western Hockey League was reported to be on the verge of folding, the NHL held a meeting on April 17 to consider applications for expansion franchises, at which it was reported that five different groups sought a team for Detroit. During a subsequent meeting on May 15, the league approved a franchise to the Townsend-Seyburn group of Detroit and named Charles A. Hughes as governor. Frank and Lester Patrick, the owners of the WHL, made a deal to sell the league's players to the NHL and cease league operations.
The new Detroit franchise purchased the players of the WHL's Victoria Cougars, who had won the Stanley Cup in 1925 and had made the Finals the previous winter, to play for the team. The new Detroit franchise adopted the Cougars' nickname in honor of the folded franchise. Since no arena in Detroit was ready at the time, the Cougars played their first season at the Border Cities Arena in Windsor, Ontario. For the 1927–28 season, the Cougars moved into the new Detroit Olympia, which would be their home rink until December 15, 1979; this was the first season behind the bench for Jack Adams, who would be the face of the franchise for the next 36 years as either coach or general manager. The Cougars made the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in 1929 with Carson Cooper leading the team in scoring; the Cougars were outscored 7–2 in the two-game series with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 1930, the Cougars were renamed the Falcons, but their woes continued, as they finished near the bottom of the standings though they made the playoffs again in 1932.
In 1932, the NHL let grain merchant James E. Norris, who had made two previous unsuccessful bids to buy an NHL team, purchase the Falcons. Norris' first act was to choose a new name for the team—the Red Wings. Earlier in the century, Norris had been a member of the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, a sporting club with cycling roots; the MAAA's teams were known by their club emblem and these Winged Wheelers were the first winners of the Stanley Cup in 1893. Norris decided that a version of their logo was perfect for a team playing in the Motor City and on October 5, 1932, the club was renamed the Red Wings. Norris placed coach Jack Adams on a one-year probation for the 1932–33 NHL season. Adams managed to pass his probationary period by leading the renamed franchise to its first-ever playoff series victory, over the Montreal Maroons; the team lost in the semi-finals to the New York Rangers. In 1934, the Red Wings made the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time, with John Sorrell scoring 21 goals over 47 games and Larry Aurie leading the team in scoring.
However, the Chicago Black Hawks defeated the Red Wings in the Finals, winning the best-of-five series in four games to claim their first title. Two seasons the Red Wings won their first Stanley Cup in 1936, defeating Toronto in four games. Detroit repeated as Stanley Cup champions in 1937. In 1938, the Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens became the first NHL teams to play in Europe, playing in Paris and London; the Wings played nine games against the Canadiens and went 3–5–1. They did not play in Europe again until the pre-season and start of the 2009–10 NHL season, in Sweden, against the St. Louis Blues; the Red Wings made the Stanley Cup Finals in three consecutive years during the early 1940s. In 1941, they were swept by the Boston Bruins, in 1942, they lost a seven-game series to Toronto after winning the first three games. However, in 1943, with Mud Bruneteau and Syd Howe scoring 23 and 20 goals Detroit won their third Stanley Cup by sweeping the Bruins. Through the rest of the decade, the team made the playoffs every year, reached the Finals three more times.
In 1946, one of the greatest players in hockey history came into the NHL with the Red Wings. Gordie Howe, a right winger from Floral, only scored seven goals and 15 assists in his first season and would not reach his prime for a few more years, it was the last season as head coach for Adams, who stepped down after the season to concentrat
Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings are a professional ice hockey team based in Los Angeles. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the team was founded on June 5, 1967, after Jack Kent Cooke was awarded an NHL expansion franchise for Los Angeles on February 9, 1966, becoming one of the six teams that began play as part of the 1967 NHL expansion. The Kings played their home games at The Forum in Inglewood, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, for thirty-two years, until they moved to the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles at the start of the 1999–2000 season. During the 1970s and early 1980s, the Kings had many years marked by impressive play in the regular season only to be washed out by early playoff exits, their highlights in those years included the strong goaltending of Rogie Vachon, the "Triple Crown Line" of Charlie Simmer, Dave Taylor and Hall of Fame player Marcel Dionne, who had a famous upset of the uprising Edmonton Oilers in a 1982 playoff game known as the Miracle on Manchester.
In 1988, the Kings traded with the Oilers to get their captain Wayne Gretzky, leading to a successful phase of the franchise that raised hockey's popularity in Los Angeles, helped raise the sport's profile in the American Sun Belt region. Gretzky, fellow Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille and defenseman Rob Blake led the Kings to the franchise's sole division title in 1990–91, the Kings' first Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1993. After the 1993 Finals, the Kings entered financial problems, with a bankruptcy in 1995, which led to the franchise being acquired by Philip Anschutz and Edward P. Roski. A period of mediocrity ensued, with the Kings only resurging as they broke a six-year playoff drought in the 2009–10 season, with a team that included goaltender Jonathan Quick, defenseman Drew Doughty, forwards Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams. Under coach Darryl Sutter, hired early in the 2011–12 season, the Kings won two Stanley Cups in three years: 2012, over the New Jersey Devils, 2014, against the New York Rangers while Quick and Williams won the Conn Smythe Trophy.
When the NHL decided to expand for the 1967–68 season amid rumblings that the Western Hockey League was proposing to turn itself into a major league and compete for the Stanley Cup, Canadian entrepreneur Jack Kent Cooke paid the NHL $2 million to place one of the six expansion teams in Los Angeles. Following a fan contest to name the team, Cooke chose the name Kings because he wanted his club to take on "an air of royalty," and picked the original team colors of purple and gold because they were colors traditionally associated with royalty; the same color scheme was worn by the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, which Cooke owned. Cooke wanted his new NHL team to play in the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, home of the Lakers, but the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission, which manages the Sports Arena and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to the present day, had entered into an agreement with the WHL's Los Angeles Blades to play their games at the Sports Arena. Frustrated by his dealings with the Coliseum Commission, Cooke said, "I am going to build my own arena...
I've had enough of this balderdash."Construction on Cooke's new arena, the Forum, was not yet complete when the 1967–68 season began, so the Kings opened their first season at the Long Beach Arena in the neighboring city of Long Beach on October 14, 1967, defeating another expansion team, the Philadelphia Flyers, 4–2. The "Fabulous Forum" opened its doors on December 30, 1967, with the Kings being shut out by the Flyers, 2–0. While the first two seasons had the Kings qualifying for the playoffs, afterwards poor management led the Kings into hard times; the general managers established a history of trading away first-round draft picks for veteran players, attendance suffered during this time. The Kings made a few key acquisitions to resurge as a contender. By acquiring Toronto Maple Leafs winger Bob Pulford, who would become the Kings' head coach, in 1970, Finnish center Juha Widing in a trade from the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Rogie Vachon in 1971, the Kings went from being one of the worst defensive teams in the league to one of the best, in 1974 they returned to the playoffs.
After being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in both 1973–74 and 1974–75, the Kings moved to upgrade their offensive firepower when they acquired center Marcel Dionne from the Detroit Red Wings. Behind Dionne's offensive prowess, the strong goaltending of Rogie Vachon, the speed and scoring touch of forward Butch Goring, the Kings played two of their most thrilling seasons yet, with playoff match ups against the then-Atlanta Flames in the first round, the Boston Bruins in the second round, both times being eliminated by Boston. Bob Pulford left the Kings after the 1976–77 season after constant feuding with owner Jack Kent Cooke, General Manager Jake Milford decided to leave as well; this led to struggles in the 1977–78 season, where the Kings finished below.500 and were swept out of the first round by the Maple Leafs. Afterwards Vachon would sign with the Detroit Red Wings; the following season, Kings coach Bob Berry tried juggling line combinations, Dionne found himself on a new line with two young unknown players: second-year right winger Dave Taylor and left winger Charlie Simmer, a career minor-leaguer.
Each player benefited from each other, with Simmer being the gritty player who battled
Aaron Douglas Downey is a Canadian professional ice hockey coach and former player. Downey played 13 seasons of professional ice hockey and played 243 games in the National Hockey League for the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings, he was not drafted by either a major junior team. Downey was known for his role as an enforcer. Downey played in the minor leagues for the Manitoba Moose, Portland Pirates, Providence Bruins, Norfolk Admirals, Hampton Roads Admirals and the Grand Rapids Griffins. Downey grew up in Honeywood, Ontario playing his minor hockey for the Honeywood Minor Hockey Association. In 1990-91, Downey suited up for the Grand Valley Harvesters Jr. C. team. He competed at the OFSSAA boys wrestling championships while in high school. In 1991-92, Downey moved up to the Collingwood Blues of the Ontario Provincial Jr. A. league. In 1992-93, Downey walked on with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League as a free agent.
He was cut at the start of the 1993-94 season and waived through the OHL. He ended up playing two seasons with the Tier II Jr. A. Halifax Lions before signing as a free agent with the ECHL Hampton Roads Admirals. Downey is known for his role as an enforcer, though he shot into notoriety after knocking the Carolina Hurricanes' Jesse Boulerice down with one punch on February 11, 2003. After the fight, Stars color commentator Daryl Reaugh coined the short-lived nickname "Aaron'One punch and he's' Downey." On the flip side, Downey became a YouTube sensation after his 16 April 2006 non-fight with Ottawa Senator Brad Norton. The two squared off with fists raised for forty seconds before being escorted to the penalty box without having made contact or thrown a punch. Downey was invited to the 2007 Red Wings training camp on a tryout basis, he chose to sign. Downey begins the 2007 -- 08 NHL season as a member of his fourth Original Six team, he was called up to the Detroit Red Wings lineup in mid October and had his first major league tilt as a Red Wing in a game against the San Jose Sharks, with Kyle McLaren, after McLaren took a run at Henrik Zetterberg and Dallas Drake.
Less than a week the Wings played the Sharks again and Downey had a heavyweight battle against San Jose tough guy Rob Davison. Downey added an element of toughness to the Red Wings with his willingness to fight. Prior to him joining the Red Wings, the Red Wings had been last in the NHL in fighting majors; the team had six for the 2005–06 NHL season, 10 during the 2006–07 NHL season. Through February 2008, Downey accounted for nine of the team's 19 fights, he was praised by head coach Mike Babcock for his willingness to stick up for teammates and his positive attitude in the dressing room. His most memorable bout was against Colorado Avalanche player Ian Laperrière, who had hit and injured Red Wings superstar defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom earlier in the game; the two came together again early in the third. In 2007–08 season he won the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings. Although he did not appear in a playoff game, he did play the required 40 regular-season games to get his name engraved on the cup.
Downey spent the majority of the 2008-2009 season playing for Detroit's minor league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. Downey played 65 games for the Griffins during the 2008-2009 season, scoring 2 goals, getting 7 assists and racking up 126 penalty minutes, with 9 fights. Downey played four games for the Red Wings in 2008-2009, in those games he had 1 goal, 1 assist, an plus/minus, 7 penalty minutes, one fight and led the team in shooting percentage with an 50.0%. Downey's one fight with the Red Wings during this season was against the St. Louis Blues Cam Janssen. Downey played for the Griffins during the playoffs, getting 1 assist, 44 penalty minutes and 1 fight in 10 games, before the Griffins were eliminated by the Manitoba Moose. Downey was called up to the Red Wings roster for the remainder of their playoff run, but he was a healthy scratch the entire time, not playing a single game. On August 21, 2009 Downey signed with the Phoenix Coyotes. On September 20, 2009, Downey was released from his professional tryout contract with the Coyotes.
In October 2010, Downey returned to the Red Wings as a part-time strength and conditioning coach, benefitting from his, as Mickey Redmond once stated, "absolutely huge, potato-bag carrying hands. On January 24, 2012, Aaron was elected to the Hampton Roads/Norfolk Admirals Hall of Fame along with Chris Phelps. Aaron has one younger brother playing pro in Ontario, in a Senior League, Trevor 6'1"-200 lb who plays for their hometown team the Shelburne Muskies. Eldest brother Paul manages the family farm. Aaron is well known in the community for his various charitable contributions the house 9 foundation for children as well as his fund-raising for leukemia research, a sickness that hit home when Kyle was diagnosed with but beat a rare form of. Biographical information and career statistics from Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database
The Washington Capitals are a professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D. C, they are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League. The Capitals are owned by Monumental Entertainment, headed by Ted Leonsis. From 1974 to 1997 the Capitals played their home games in Landover, Maryland. In 1997 the team moved to the arena now called Capital One Arena, their present home arena in Washington, D. C; the Capitals were founded in 1974 alongside the Kansas City Scouts. Since purchasing the team in 1999, Leonsis revitalized the franchise by drafting star players such as Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and Braden Holtby; the 2009–10 Capitals won the franchise's first Presidents' Trophy for being the team with the most points at the end of the regular season. They won it a second time in 2015–16, did so for a third time the following season in 2016–17. In addition to eleven division titles and three Presidents' Trophies, the Capitals have reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998 and 2018, winning in the latter.
The Capitals have retired the use of four numbers in honor of four players. In addition, the team holds an association with a number of individuals inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame; the Capitals are presently affiliated with two minor league teams, the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL. Along with the Kansas City Scouts, the Capitals joined the NHL as an expansion team for the 1974–75 season; the team was owned by Abe Pollin. Pollin had built the Capital Centre in suburban Landover, Maryland to house both the Bullets and the Capitals, his first act as owner was to hire Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt as general manager. With a combined 30 teams between the NHL and the World Hockey Association, the available talent was stretched thin; the Capitals had few players with professional experience and were at a disadvantage against the long-standing teams that were stocked with veteran players. Like the other three teams who joined the league during the WHA era—the Scouts, Atlanta Flames, New York Islanders—the Capitals did not factor the survival of the rival league into their plans.
The Capitals' inaugural season was dreadful by expansion standards. They finished with far and away the worst record in the league at 8–67–5; the eight wins are the fewest for an NHL team playing at least 70 games, the.131 winning percentage is still the worst in NHL history. They set records for most road losses, most consecutive road losses, most consecutive losses. Head coach Jim Anderson said, "I'd rather find out my wife was cheating on me than keep losing like this. At least I could tell my wife to cut it out." Schmidt himself had to take over the coaching reins late in the season. In 1975–76, Washington went 25 straight games without a win and allowed 394 goals en route to another horrendous record: 11–59–10. In the middle of the season, Schmidt was replaced as general manager by Max McNab and as head coach by Tom McVie. For the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s, the Capitals alternated between dreadful seasons and finishing only a few points out of the Stanley Cup playoffs; the one bright spot during these years of futility was that many of McNab's draft picks would impact the team for years to come, either as important members of the roster or as crucial pieces in major trades.
Pollin stuck it out through the Capitals' first decade though they were barely competitive. This stood in contrast to the Scouts. By the summer of 1982, there was serious talk of the team moving out of the U. S. capital, a "Save the Caps" campaign was underway. Two significant events took place to revive the franchise. First, the team hired David Poile as general manager. Second, as his first move, Poile pulled off one of the largest trades in franchise history on September 9, 1982, when he dealt longtime regulars Ryan Walter and Rick Green to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Rod Langway, Brian Engblom, Doug Jarvis and Craig Laughlin; this move turned the franchise around, as Langway's solid defense helped the team to reduce its goals-against, the explosive goal-scoring of Dennis Maruk, Mike Gartner and Bobby Carpenter fueled the offensive attack. Another significant move was the drafting of defenseman Scott Stevens during the 1982 NHL Entry Draft; the result was a 29-point jump, a third-place finish in the powerful Patrick Division, the team's first playoff appearance in 1983.
Although they were eliminated by the three-time-defending Stanley Cup champion New York Islanders, the Caps' dramatic turnaround ended any talk of the club leaving Washington. The Capitals would make the playoffs for each of the next 14 years in a row, becoming known for starting slow before catching fire in January and February. However, regular-season
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams consisting of six players each: one goaltender, five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Ice hockey is most popular in Canada and eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and the United States. Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada. In addition, ice hockey is the most popular winter sport in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland. North America's National Hockey League is the highest level for men's ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world; the Kontinental Hockey League is much of Eastern Europe. The International Ice Hockey Federation is the formal governing body for international ice hockey, with the IIHF managing international tournaments and maintaining the IIHF World Ranking.
Worldwide, there are ice hockey federations in 76 countries. In Canada, the United States, Nordic countries, some other European countries the sport is known as hockey. Ice hockey is believed to have evolved from simple stick and ball games played in the 18th and 19th century United Kingdom and elsewhere; these games were brought to North America and several similar winter games using informal rules as they were developed, such as "shinny" and "ice polo". The contemporary sport of ice hockey was developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, where the first indoor hockey game was played on March 3, 1875; some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, have been retained to this day. Amateur ice hockey leagues began in the 1880s, professional ice hockey originated around 1900; the Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice hockey club supremacy, was first awarded in 1893 to recognize the Canadian amateur champion and became the championship trophy of the NHL. In the early 1900s, the Canadian rules were adopted by the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace, the precursor of the IIHF and the sport was played for the first time at the Olympics during the 1920 Summer Olympics.
In international competitions, the national teams of six countries predominate: Canada, Czech Republic, Russia and the United States. Of the 69 medals awarded all-time in men's competition at the Olympics, only seven medals were not awarded to one of those countries. In the annual Ice Hockey World Championships, 177 of 201 medals have been awarded to the six nations. Teams outside the "Big Six" have won only five medals in either competition since 1953; the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, unlike the annual World Championships and quadrennial Olympic tournament, both run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. World Cup games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF, the tournament occurs prior to the NHL pre-season, allowing for all NHL players to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs. Furthermore, all 12 Women's Olympic and 36 IIHF World Women's Championships medals were awarded to one of these six countries.
The Canadian national team or the United States national team have between them won every gold medal of either series. In England, field hockey has been called "hockey" and what was referenced by first appearances in print; the first known mention spelled as "hockey" occurred in the 1773 book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author: Including a New Mode of Infant Education, by Richard Johnson, whose chapter XI was titled "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey". The 1573 Statute of Galway banned a sport called "'hokie'—the hurling of a little ball with sticks or staves". A form of this word was thus being used in the 16th century, though much removed from its current usage; the belief that hockey was mentioned in a 1363 proclamation by King Edward III of England is based on modern translations of the proclamation, in Latin and explicitly forbade the games "Pilam Manualem, Pedivam, & Bacularem: & ad Canibucam & Gallorum Pugnam". The English historian and biographer John Strype did not use the word "hockey" when he translated the proclamation in 1720, instead translating "Canibucam" as "Cambuck".
According to the Austin Hockey Association, the word "puck" derives from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc. "... The blow given by a hurler to the ball with his camán or hurley is always called a puck." Stick-and-ball games date back to pre-Christian times. In Europe, these games included the Irish game of hurling, the related Scottish game of shinty and versions of field hockey. IJscolf, a game resembling colf on an ice-covered surface, was popular in the Low Countries between the Middle Ages and the Dutch Golden Age, it was played with a wooden curved bat, a wooden or leather ball and two poles, with t
The Edmonton Oilers are a professional ice hockey team based in Edmonton, Alberta. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the Oilers were founded in 1971 by W. D. "Wild Bill" Hunter and Dr. Chuck Allard; the team played its first season in 1972, as one of the twelve founding franchises of the major professional World Hockey Association. They were intended to be one of two WHA Alberta teams, along with the Calgary Broncos. However, when the Broncos relocated to Cleveland, before the WHA's first season began, the Oilers were renamed the Alberta Oilers, they returned to their current name in the following year, subsequently joined the NHL in 1979 as one of four franchises absorbed through the NHL merger with the WHA. After joining the NHL, the Oilers went on to win the Stanley Cup on five occasions: 1983–84, 1984–85, 1986–87, 1987–88 and 1989–90. Along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, they are tied for the most championships won by any team since the NHL-WHA merger and the most won by any team that joined the league in or after 1967.
Among all NHL teams, only the Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup more times since the League's 1967 expansion. For their success in the 1980s, the Oilers team of this era has been honoured with dynasty status by the Hockey Hall of Fame. However, the Oilers began to struggle shortly after the 2004–05 NHL lockout, having missed the playoffs every year since 2006, with the exception of 2016–17; the Oilers have drafted 12 first round selections since 2007, 10 of which were within the first 10 draft choices overall, 6 of those picks were within the first 4 picks overall, 4 of those 6 were first overall selections. In the NHL Entry Draft Edmonton Selected first overall Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov and Connor McDavid with those picks, only two of those players remain with the Oilers today; the Oilers are one of two NHL franchises based in Alberta. Their close proximity to each other has led to a fierce rivalry known as the "Battle of Alberta". On November 1, 1971, the Edmonton Oilers became 1 of the 12 founding WHA franchises.
The original owners were "Wild Bill" Hunter and partner, Dr. Charles A. "Chuck" Allard who, a decade also brought the SCTV sketch comedy TV series to Edmonton. Hunter owned the Edmonton Oil Kings, a junior hockey franchise, founded the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League. Hunter's efforts to bring major professional hockey to Edmonton via an expansion NHL franchise had been rebuffed by the NHL. So, he looked to the upstart WHA instead, it was Hunter. This was a name, used as a nickname for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the 1950s and 1960s. Hunter served as head coach during the 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76 seasons, the Oilers' mascot, Hunter, is named in his honour. After the newly founded Calgary Broncos folded prior to commencement of the inaugural WHA season, the Oilers were renamed the Alberta Oilers as it was planned to split their home games between Edmonton and Calgary. For financial reasons or to allow for a less complicated return of the WHA to Calgary, the team played all of its home games in the Edmonton Gardens and changed its name back to the Edmonton Oilers the following year.
They won the first game in WHA history 7–4 over the Ottawa Nationals. The Oilers drew fans with players such as defenceman and team captain Al Hamilton, goaltender Dave Dryden and forwards Blair MacDonald and Bill Flett. However, a little-noticed move in 1976 would have an important impact on the history of the franchise; that year, journeyman forward Glen Sather was acquired by the Oilers. It turned out to be his final season as a player and was named player-coach late in the season, moving to the bench full-time after the season. Sather would be the coach or general manager of the Oilers for the next 23 years. Although the Oilers' on-ice performance for most of the WHA's history was mediocre, they remained well-supported and financially stable by WHA standards. In 1976, Hunter and Allard sold the franchise to Vancouver real estate tycoon Nelson Skalbania, who would become notorious for flipping property, both real and franchised. Skalbania soon made Peter Pocklington a full partner sold his shares to him the following year.
The team's fortunes improved in 1978 when Pocklington acquired underage player Wayne Gretzky, as well as goaltender Eddie Mio and forward Peter Driscoll, for cash, from Skalbania's folded Indianapolis Racers. His first year of WHA experience prevented Gretzky from being an official 1979–80 NHL rookie). However, Edmonton failed to win the championship, as they fell to the Winnipeg Jets in the Avco World Trophy Final. Dave Semenko of the Oilers scored the last goal in WHA history in the third period of the final game, which they lost 7–3; the Oilers joined the NHL for 1979–80, along with fellow WHA teams Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques and the Jets following a merger agreement between the two leagues. Of these four teams, only Edmonton has avoided renaming; the Oilers lost most of the players from 1978–79 when the NHL held a reclamation draft of players who had bolted to the upstart league as they were allowed to protect two goaltenders and two skill players. Gretzky was not el
Helsingin Jokerit is a professional ice hockey team based in Helsinki, Finland. They are members of the Bobrov Division of the Western Conference of the Kontinental Hockey League; the team won six league championships as a member of the Finnish SM-liiga. Jokerit plays its home games at the Hartwall Arena, they joined the Kontinental Hockey League as of the 2014–15 KHL season, making Finland the first Nordic country to have a team in the league. Jokerit would not have existed without the debt-incumbent ice hockey branch of Töölön Vesa amateur sports club, who were faced with having to discontinue their resource-demanding ice hockey activities in 1967. Master-builder Aimo Mäkinen seized the opportunity to establish a semi-professional sports club of his own, for the price of half of Vesa's ice hockey debts the new ice hockey club inherited everything, including junior players and the vacant position in second highest Finnish series, Suomi-sarja. Jokerit were established on 27 October 1967, at their constitutional meeting.
The club's sole owner Mäkinen chose to wield sovereign power, becoming in practice the board and managing director. The insignia, a winking jester, was adapted from jokers of various card decks and drawn by graphic designer Jorma Hinkka, their home venue was Helsinki Ice Hall. Mäkinen did not intend his new club to loiter in the lower series. Though dramatic changes in the line-up did not appear directly, only a few players from Töölön Vesa saw prolonged employment: Timo Turunen would be the most distinguished, remaining today as the club's all-time goal scoring leader. With him, Pentti Hiiros and Timo Kyntölä would form nallipyssyketju until 1975, when the latter retired. Promotion to the highest level, SM-sarja, took place two years later. After the promotion was secured, Mäkinen began an aggressive acquisition of star players. Among them were the national team regulars defenceman Ilpo Koskela with forwards Henry Leppä and Timo Sutinen, whose relationship with the club lasted long. Other reinforcements worthy of a mention were forward Jouko Öystilä and defenceman Timo Saari, head coach Matti Lampainen.
In 1969, the IIHF had loosened amateur rules by permitting bodychecking anywhere in the rink. SM-sarja underwent a tactical revolution as mean play became a means to success. Lampainen, reckoned physical play unsuitable for the line-up at hand, he guided the team, towards a play that demanded technique and clever tactics. This became the trademark of Jokerit that stuck all the way to the late 1990s and resulted in the way Jokerit played as being branded as "neitikiekko", which translates as "playing like women". To his credit, Mäkinen enhanced the club's junior organization by launching a competition of their own, called Kanada-sarja, with 500 participating junior players, a figure that cumulatively tripled in a few years. Kanada-sarja didn't survive the 1970s, but Jokerit benefited from it through a steady flow of emerging talent including Jari Kurri, by gaining a strong popular base in the outer urban zones of Helsinki. Despite winning Finnish championship silver in 1971 and gold in 1973, Jokerit didn't manage to be financially profitable during Mäkinen's period in charge.
He started downsizing the team's budget by methodically replacing departing stars with junior players. Success declined and Jokerit only just managed to avoid relegation from the Finnish elite-level league several times. This, combined with Mäkinen's controversial manner of management – the emphasis being place on non-physical play – led to the club facing an uncertain and turbulent future; when a replacement candidate turned up in 1980, Mäkinen retired from the ownership, though he went on in the club's junior organization up to the 1990s. New owners, Jokeriklubin Tuki Ry, were a conventional association supervised by its board. Under new management, the club didn't shake off its wobbliness, but they peaked for one season. Having signed outcasts of other clubs, they hit jackpot: for the 1982–1983 season, the club signed Soviet Union's national team defenceman Nikolai Makarov; as a result, Jokerit had a near-perfect season and advanced all the way to the SM-Liiga finals, where they were comprehensively beaten by local rival HIFK.
However, the management ran into unexpected financial problems, the brief success soon withered. Only a few years they had to avert bankruptcy twice, which struck a blow to their credibility, as a mass desertion of the players ensued; the first line was a shambles as wing Risto Kerminen departed and center Jari Lindroos did, but though he had signed elsewhere, the contract was illegitimately nullified. Few others, apart from the longtime goaltender Rauli Sohlman, remained. Jokerit faced the imminent relegation in 1987. In the middle of the bleakest hour of their history, with Jokeriklubin Tuki Ry seeking to discontinue their association, new blood was rushed into Jokerit. In 1988, their 20-year-olds won the Finnish junior championship with several prospective stars: defenceman Waltteri Immonen would be captain of the team 1991–1999. Now that the club was spiced with such promising, new willing owners turned up to save them, they became the first limited company based sports club in Finland. Kalervo Kummola, who played t