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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

TDIH: September 25, 1971 [WHA] Edmonton Oilers franchise awarded

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Old
09-25-2013, 06:08 PM
  #1
LadyStanley
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TDIH: September 25, 1971 [WHA] Edmonton Oilers franchise awarded

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sport...970/story.html

A look at the awarding of the WHA Edmonton Oilers franchise and the politics of WHA/NHL. With a budget of $1m.

(Joined/merged with NHL in 1979)

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09-26-2013, 09:48 AM
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Oscar Acosta
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Got to wonder what went through Jacques Plante's head as he pulled up to his new rink after years of being a legend at the Montreal Forum



"What did I get myself into? This will never last".


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09-26-2013, 02:47 PM
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brec7
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Very noteworthy piece of history as the Oilers are the only unbroken link to WHA history.

I'm surprised they've never worn throwbacks to honour their WHA days.

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09-26-2013, 04:27 PM
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ResilientBeast
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Very noteworthy piece of history as the Oilers are the only unbroken link to WHA history.

I'm surprised they've never worn throwbacks to honour their WHA days.
Me too, even as a one off game honestly would be great. A winter classic against a old WHA team would be awesome. But they've all been relocated

Since the fans are the same, games like these could be a good idea.

Edmonton vs Minnesota
Edmonton vs Winnepeg

Each have them where an their old WHA jersey's, I think would be a cool idea

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09-26-2013, 04:49 PM
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brec7
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I was disappointed with the lack of acknowledgement by the NHL of the WHA's 40th anniversary. Maybe in 9 years time the fans can start a 'Remember the WHA' campaign, I'd love to see the Wild in Fighting Saints jerseys, the Coyotes in Roadunners jerseys, etc.

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09-26-2013, 05:19 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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Given that the NHL despised the WHA and did everything in its power to destroy it, I'd be very surprised if they ever did anything to acknowledge its history. Although a lot of those guys like Harold Ballard are dead by now, so maybe its possible one day.

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09-26-2013, 05:45 PM
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Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar Acosta View Post
Got to wonder what went through Jacques Plante's head as he pulled up to his new rink....
Ya, no kidding eh? The old Edmonton Agridome or "Cow Barn" as it was called by the locals. Because thats essentially what it was. Built in 1913 and called the Edmonton Stock Pavilion. Sat 5000 & change for hockey in uncomfortable seats with lousy sightlines, water dripping down from the girders and forming "mounds" on the ice surface. The Oilers of the WHA played there from 72, moving into Northlands when it blessedly opened in 74.... around 78 or so, the Edmonton Oil Kings tried to make a comeback after being absent for many years, however they too were relegated to the Cow Barn and averaged about 500 fans per game, moving after just one season. Finally in the early to mid-80's they decided to demolish the old building & packed it full of explosives, twice as much as required in fact, and still that didnt bring her down. Had to bring in a wreckers ball & bulldozers.

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09-26-2013, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Given that the NHL despised the WHA and did everything in its power to destroy it, I'd be very surprised if they ever did anything to acknowledge its history. Although a lot of those guys like Harold Ballard are dead by now, so maybe its possible one day.
Yeah that's probably the problem, but I wish with the strides the NHL seams to be making in improving it's standing outside of North America, I hope they'd be willing to acknowledge a significant part of the NHL's history.

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09-27-2013, 12:54 AM
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brec7
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Yeah that's probably the problem, but I wish with the strides the NHL seams to be making in improving it's standing outside of North America, I hope they'd be willing to acknowledge a significant part of the NHL's history.
Yes... and also, the ABA & AFL were originally put in place to compete with the NBA & NFL, but I'm pretty sure those leagues have been honoured.

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09-27-2013, 01:21 AM
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Yeah that's probably the problem, but I wish with the strides the NHL seams to be making in improving it's standing outside of North America, I hope they'd be willing to acknowledge a significant part of the NHL's history.
Yes but thats the problem isnt it? The WHA is not the NHL's history. It was a separate entity, a rival league that most feel simply wasnt on par with the NHL... On the other side of the equation youve got the facts that the WHA did well in international play & was in exhibition games against NHL teams a formidable foe, doing very well indeed, up to the task, winning games. Then theres the whole business of Amalgamation. If an NHL team is moved like Hartford, Quebec or Winnipeg was, the NHL includes the teams history in the luggage being sent out of province/state to its new locale. Edmonton & Winnipegs top tier hockey history includes the WHA & as they were "amalgamated" I feel they should be permitted to honor players from 72-79 & display banners etc of its championships in their buildings. Theres very little WHA material or displays in the HHOF pertaining to the WHA yet the US HHOF does have a decent collection and a WHA HOF was established on-line at least a few years ago. But sure. Id be all for integration of some kind, recognizing the WHA & its players, that its teams were amalgamated, or 4 were, but remembering too the others, honoring some of its players, coaches & executives.

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09-27-2013, 06:34 AM
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Yes but thats the problem isnt it? The WHA is not the NHL's history. It was a separate entity, a rival league that most feel simply wasnt on par with the NHL... On the other side of the equation youve got the facts that the WHA did well in international play & was in exhibition games against NHL teams a formidable foe, doing very well indeed, up to the task, winning games. Then theres the whole business of Amalgamation. If an NHL team is moved like Hartford, Quebec or Winnipeg was, the NHL includes the teams history in the luggage being sent out of province/state to its new locale. Edmonton & Winnipegs top tier hockey history includes the WHA & as they were "amalgamated" I feel they should be permitted to honor players from 72-79 & display banners etc of its championships in their buildings. Theres very little WHA material or displays in the HHOF pertaining to the WHA yet the US HHOF does have a decent collection and a WHA HOF was established on-line at least a few years ago. But sure. Id be all for integration of some kind, recognizing the WHA & its players, that its teams were amalgamated, or 4 were, but remembering too the others, honoring some of its players, coaches & executives.
There's very little WHA artifacts in the NHL HOF because The NHL took the WHA's creation as a treason.

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09-27-2013, 08:37 AM
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Kyle McMahon
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Yeah that's probably the problem, but I wish with the strides the NHL seams to be making in improving it's standing outside of North America, I hope they'd be willing to acknowledge a significant part of the NHL's history.
I'm not so sure about that. The NHL has treated the KHL with contempt and disdain from Day 1, seemingly offended that another league would even dare to consider itself on par with them. It's apparently some sort of travesty that the NHL not employ the best 600 players on the planet. 550 of them isn't enough. The same dinosaur mentality that permeated the ranks of league owners and executives in 1972 is still alive and well 40 years later.

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09-28-2013, 10:37 AM
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DisgruntledGoat
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If you had to rank the most interesting/dramatic/soap operaish (on and off the ice) franchises in hockey. . . surely the Oilers would be top three, no?

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09-28-2013, 11:23 AM
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Killion
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If you had to rank the most interesting/dramatic/soap operaish (on and off the ice) franchises in hockey. . . surely the Oilers would be top three, no?
I dont know about that, almost all of them, like everywhere you look, histories of beyond intransigence, family squabbles, miscreant ownership, you name it. Really only Montreal, Boston & perhaps New York could one consider "stable" but there too if you dig into the past far enough you'll find skeletons.

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09-28-2013, 10:20 PM
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I grew up hearing horror stories of the first arena in Edmonton before Rexall was built.

My father used to tell be stories about the electrical wiring up the place and how almost on a nightly bases there were small fires in the place towards the end of its life.

Edmonton Gardens was an interesting part of the Cities history, mostly because building of the argument that the Oilers had over the past 5 years about building a new arena is almost the same argument that was made when it became time to replace Edmonton Gardens with Northlands.

Funniest thing I ever saw was the day they tried to blow it up-- lets just say the old gir l was not going quietly into the night and standing there with my grade four class watching and waiting for the big boom--only to have nothing happen was funny.

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09-29-2013, 06:38 PM
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DisgruntledGoat
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I dont know about that, almost all of them, like everywhere you look, histories of beyond intransigence, family squabbles, miscreant ownership, you name it. Really only Montreal, Boston & perhaps New York could one consider "stable" but there too if you dig into the past far enough you'll find skeletons.
Slipped into the NHL via the WHA merger. First two owners were Nelson Skalbania and Peter Pocklington. Great player ever. One of the greatest teams ever. Countless individual records set. Biggest sports trade in history. Sold off a dynasty to prop up a meat-packing company. Under constant threat to re-locate. Les Hamilton. Last minute, grass-roots effort to keep the team. Barely surviving in the pre-cap NHL. Bottoms out, record-tying three straight first overalls. New owner holds city ransom for new arena. Old owner goes to jail.

. . . and that's just the first 30

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