Saturday, July 17, 2010

On This Day in EHL History - July 17

Happy Birthday!
* July 17, 1933 - Alan "Skip" Teal, C, Clinton Comets
* July 17, 1935 - Hank Therrien, RW, Johnstown Jets, Greensboro Generals
* July 17, 1935 - Don Davidson, C, Charlotte Clippers, New Haven Blades, Greensboro Generals, Clinton Comets
* July 17, 1946 - Kevin Smith, D, Nashville Dixie Flyers

* July 17, 1958 - The Eastern Hockey League admitted the New York Rovers as the seventh member. The Rovers are headed by Tom Lockhart, president of the league. Lockhart heads a group which has been building an arena in Commack, LI. He said the building would be ready for use this season. The league is keeping its Washington franchise. There was talk that West Orange, NJ might become the league's eighth member. The Eastern loop also declined Wednesday to absorb or play an interlocking schedule with three clubs of the wavering International League. This was decided at an Eastern-International meeting here under Tom Lockhart, who heads both leagues and the Rovers. Directors planned a post-season playoff between their league champions, the winner challenging Canada's Allen Cup hockey champions. Remaining in the International are Louisville, Ky, Toledo, Ohio, and Fort Wayne. Ind. Arena leasing trouble knocked out Cincinnati and Indianapolis for at least a year, while Troy, Ohio, has heavy financial problems.
An April 18, 1954 article says that Tom Lockhart was building a new arena in Commack, with James Van Alst of Centerport as the architect. The building was scheduled to be completed "by winter". Pretty much every year in the 1950s, the Rovers were admitted to the league, and then had to back out when they realized the arena wouldn't be ready. The Rovers finally made it in for the 1959-60 season, but even then, John Muckler relates that there was still a whole bunch of work to do on the arena. The troubled Troy, Ohio IHL franchise also joined the EHL in 1959-60 as the Greensboro Generals. West Orange, and the South Mountain Arena, finally got an EHL level team when the Jersey Rockhoppers won the 2008-9 championship in the EPHL's only season.

* July 17, 1967 - A local group, formed recently to bring organized hockey to Syracuse has wired officials that it will formally apply for mrmbership in the Eastern Hockey League. According to Frank Barker, spokesperson for the group, a telegram was sent over the weekend to Nathan Podoloff of New Haven, an EHL representative. The league had granted the Syracuse group until July 21 to confirm that formal application will be made at a league meeting July 24 in Pittsburgh.
Barker said financial arrangements were not complete an that their group was negotiating with prospective backers who may be interested in supporting the hockey club. Barker said that plans are progressing well for a working agreement with the Boston Bruins of the NHL.
This Syracuse group was formed earlier in the summer, when the Jersey Devils were on shaky financial ground. A West Palm Beach, Florida group had offered to buy the Devils, but the EHL deemed the travel to be too far. Then the Syracuse group formed quickly to buy the Devils, but new backers jumped in to bail the team out and keep them in Cherry Hill. Without which, I'd have never seen an EHL game and there would be no

* July 17, 1972 - The New York Raiders of the WHA announced the signing of center-right wing Jamie Kennedy of the Eastern Hockey League Jersey Devils.
The Devils' Kennedy, Claude Chartre, Ted Scharf and G Pete Donnelly all signed with the Raiders that summer. The Devils had actually been picked to win their division that year (they were in the newly formed Central Division with the LI Ducks and two expansion teams - the Rhode Island Eagles and the Cape Cod Cubs.) However, the parent Philadelphia Flyers decreed that no player signed by the WHA, which was in its first season, could play for the Devils. The ex-Devils started the season with the Raiders. Not able to send the players to the Devils, the Raiders tried to send the players to the Ducks. The Devils balked, and the EHL intervened. The Devils had to work out a trade with the Ducks, otherwise the Raiders would have sent the players to the IHL. Having no leverage, the Devils received Mel Gushattey and Bill Morris from the Ducks. According to the Hockey News stats issue from that year, neither player ever played for the Devils. Gushattey ended up in Cape Cod shortly thereafter. Morris didn't appear to play again that season. In spite of the added help, the Ducks lost their last 15 games. Still, they ended up one point ahead of the Devils for the last playoff spot. The Ducks tried to fold, and hand the last spot to the Devils, but the league intervened and transferred the Ducks to Cape Cod for the remainder of the playoffs, which turned out to be a four game sweep by the Cubs. More on that:

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