Actually, the original WHA team in New York was named the New York Raiders. They played in Madison Square Garden and were one of that league's original teams in the fall of 1972. The team was renamed the Golden Blades in its second season (wearing white skates, no less) and was quickly out of NY, on to Cherry Hill, NJ of all places (as the Knights). Then it was on to San Diego, CA as the Mariners, before disbanding in the mid-70s. (Such migration was not uncommon among WHA teams, as nearly every franchise was on rocky financial grounds from Day One.)
Along with attending a couple of NYR games that season, my folks took me (a young lad in single digits at the time) to a Raider game one Saturday afternoon vs. Gary Cheevers and Cleveland Crusaders. I had had a stick signed at a local sporting goods store a few days earlier by Raiders center Ron Ward, who was the team's "star," and the second leading scorer in the WHA that first season. (Ward was a fringe NHLer prior to achieving his short-lived WHA fame.) Anyhow, my memory that day is of a MSG that was 3/4 empty. But it was hockey.
New York area fans will get a kick out of the fact that the Raiders' play-by-play guy was none other than John Sterling, now the longtime announcer for the NY Yankees.
You'll find the Raiders, Golden Blades, Knights, Mariners and other WHA team logos (all very primitive looking compared to modern logos!) here: http://www.logoserver.com/WHA.html
Thanks for sparking a fond memory from the distant past.