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Remember the Baby Bulls?

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01-16-2008, 01:15 PM
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Hockeynomad
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Remember the Baby Bulls?

Back in the era of the infamous WHA, there was a team that first, let jog the ole memeory started out as the Ottawa Nationals, became the Toronto Toros, and finally moved to Birmingham, Alabama (not England) to reicarnate as the Bulls.

This team must have been led by some maverick owner, I cannot recall, as this was not your conventional team.

Notables on this team were Frank Mahovlich and Paul Henderson, each squeezing in a few big bucks at the twilight of their careers. There was also that zany, crazy goalie Gilles Gratton.

Being that the rival NHL did not sign underage juniors, this was an opportunity for the WHA, particularly the Bulls to indulge.

The Bulls had a market on underage or before prime time players. There was Mark Messier, Mark Napier, Rob Ramage, Mike Gartner.

I know Mark Napier at 19 scored 76 goals in 1977.

Did I miss any?

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01-16-2008, 01:25 PM
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pappyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeynomad View Post
Back in the era of the infamous WHA, there was a team that first, let jog the ole memeory started out as the Ottawa Nationals, became the Toronto Toros, and finally moved to Birmingham, Alabama (not England) to reicarnate as the Bulls.

This team must have been led by some maverick owner, I cannot recall, as this was not your conventional team.

Notables on this team were Frank Mahovlich and Paul Henderson, each squeezing in a few big bucks at the twilight of their careers. There was also that zany, crazy goalie Gilles Gratton.

Being that the rival NHL did not sign underage juniors, this was an opportunity for the WHA, particularly the Bulls to indulge.

The Bulls had a market on underage or before prime time players. There was Mark Messier, Mark Napier, Rob Ramage, Mike Gartner.

I know Mark Napier at 19 scored 76 goals in 1977.

Did I miss any?
Johnny F. Bassett was the owner. I believe Napier's high was 60 goals. I don't think Messier played for the Bulls. Didn't he play with Indianapolis & Cincinnati?


Last edited by pappyline: 01-16-2008 at 02:30 PM.
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01-16-2008, 01:30 PM
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Pwnasaurus
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Rick Vaive

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01-16-2008, 02:05 PM
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spiny norman
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Craig Hartsburg, Michel Goulet and Pat Riggin were some of the others.

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01-16-2008, 02:26 PM
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reckoning
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The first underagers he signed were Wayne Dillon and Ken Linseman.

He had agreed to terms with Tony McKegney but when word of that became public, some of the more ummm...redneck fans in Birmingham weren't happy about that. To Bassett's credit, he didn't let them intimidate him.

From the book "The Rebel League":

Quote:
"Bassett was getting all these calls about it, and I kept hearing him go 'Same to you buddy!' and he'd slam the phone down."

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01-16-2008, 03:10 PM
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brianscot
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I think Gaston Gingras and Louis Sleigher were down there too.

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Old
01-16-2008, 03:51 PM
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Phil Parent
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From Jacques Demers' book, pages 184-185

"...the chosen ones of the Bulls were defensemen Rob Ramage, Craig Hartsburg & Gaston Gingras, forwards Michel Goulet, Louis Sleigher & Rick Vaive, and finally, goalie Pat Riggins. All seven were 18 years old and because of their young age, they were called the Baby Bulls. Each of them got a 20000$ signing bonus and a 30000$ yearly salary. For teenagers, it was REALLY well paid!"

The funniest thing, they misfired. The best junior player available that year was Raymond Bourque and they didn't go after him.

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