Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wally Sprange - Nashville Dixie Flyers

I was looking for a shot of the Nashville Dixie Flyers "pegasus" uniforms and came across this blog from Lowetide (an Edmonton Oilers based blog) on Wally Sprange. Jackpot on the photo, eh? As I recall, the one time I saw Sprange and the Dixie Flyers in the 1969-71 timeframe, they had "NASHVILLE" written across the front of their purple jerseys. I still haven't found a photo confirming that jersey.

The most memorable part of that game was Nashville scoring a goal in the second period against Jersey goalie Gilles Banville. The goal was insignificant in the big scheme of things, until they announced the shots for the period: Jersey 10, Nashville 1. I hope to track down the boxscore on that next time I'm back in Jersey.

I did see Nashville's purple pants one more time, on October 7, 1972, when the Suncoast Suns played their first game ever, a 7-1 exhibition victory over the Jersey Devils at Cherry Hill Arena. The game was a fundraser for the South Jersey Minor Hockey Association, which I played in that year - possibly the worst player in the league. Apparently, the Suns pants hadn't arrived, yet. So, they used the old purple Nashville pants. Imagine the green Suncoast jerseys with orange and yellow trim with green, orange and yellow stockings (see http://SuncoastSuns.com) and purple pants. It was one of my favorite hockey uniforms of all time.

Sprange won the John Carlin Trophy as EHL leading scorer in 1970-71 with 45 goals and 89 assists for 134 points. Nashville folded at the end of that season, and the players were bought by Greensboro. The Generals kept the players they wanted, including Sprange, from their team and the ex-Dixie Flyers and sold the rest to the new Suncoast franchise. Sprange was a second team All-Star with Greensboro in the EHL's last season of 1972-73 season, with 40 goals and 92 assists for 132 points.

Wally Sprange Links:


  1. I have a program book of the Dixie Flyers. This book covers the 1st seven years of that team. It has all team pictures from 1962 to 1968.The 66-67 team was the only time I ever saw that solid purple jersey with the Flying Horse on it and thats what they have on in the 66-67 pic. They always wore that jersey with purple pants at home games. The 67-68 team wentback to the older Dixie Flyers jersey the next year and that was all I ever saw them in till they folded. I always liked that Flying Horse Jersey and never understood why they never wore it again. Maybe they wore it on the road I don't know. I would like to know what ever happended to all the Flyers uniforms. Like you said I guess it was sold to Suncoast team. I know Lloyd Hinchberger went to coach that team when the Flyers folded
    There were a lot of skilled players that played in The EHL and Wally Sprange was one of them. Marv Edwards is another that spent many years in the minors ang finally made it to the NHL.

  2. I really enjoyed going to these games of The EHL. I really hated to see The Dixie Flyers & The EHL fold. My wife bought me a book a couple of years ago about the Clinton Comets. That brought back a lot of good thoughts. That was the only EHL team I never got to see. They were sure a Dynasty!

  3. I played Juvenile hockey with Wally in Etobicoke probably 55 years ago and I would really like to connect with him. If anyone can help me, please get in touch with me. Wally lived in Weston, Ontario.

    1. Wally's wife is a member of the Eastern Hockey League Facebook group. Please ask us about Wally, and we'll get you hooked up.


  4. This comment has been removed by the author.