Friday, April 10, 2009

Jersey Larks' Gerry Devaney and Bob Bingley in Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame

Here' a nice little excuse to post about the Jersey Larks. Gerry Devaney bio page from the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame...
In 1960 with senior hockey on the skids in Canada Gerry was signed by the Jersey Larks of the Eastern U.S. Hockey League and backstopped the Larks through the 1960 and 1961 season.
Also in the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame, a 1971 inductee, is Devaney's teammate on the Larks, Bob Bingley (pictured left)
bio page from the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame...
He then joined the Washington Presidents in 1959-1960 in the Eastern Hockey League, and the Jersey Larks in 1960-61.
The Larks were only around for the 1960-61 season, playing in The Ice House in what was either Haddonfield or Delaware Township, NJ. The Ice House had attempted to host an EHL team as far back as 1956, but the league denied the application on grounds of being within the territorial rights of the Philadelphia Ramblers. For the 1960-61 season the Washington Presidents were moved to The Ice House and renamed the Jersey Larks. The Larks had an instant rivalry with the Philadelphia Ramblers. They even battled for the "Weber Trophy", which was donated by Delaware Township Mayor Christian Weber. I'm pretty sure that the Ramblers won that. They were up 3-1-1 after 5 games in the 8-game season series. The Larks lasted one season, but in spite of increasing attendance, ownership lost money. The franchise was forfeited when ownership failed to send its required 5% of the gate to the league. A group raised $50,000 to buy the Larks franchise and keep them in Jersey, but backed out when they found out that $25,000 of that would have to go towards paying down debt on the team. The franchise became the essence of the Knoxville Knights for the 1961-62 season. By 1964, Delaware Township had become Cherry Hill and the Ice House had become the Cherry Hill Arena. The Philadelphia Ramblers, after their best financial year in 1962-63, went bankrupt after the 1963-64 season. The team was moved to Cherry Hill Arena and became the Jersey Devils. A couple of years later, Philadelphia was awarded an NHL franchise, the Flyers, and any possibility of reviving the Weber Cup was gone. (Pictured Right: Alex Kuzma in his Jersey Larks jersey)

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