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Blazers History











WHA's Philadelphia Blazers started life as the Miami Screaming Eagles. Herb Martin was the Eagle's owner and was the first man to sign away an NHL'er - the Leaf's Bernie Parent. Unfortunately, Martin had trouble obtaining a building permit to erect a new arena. Furthermore, the NHL announced plans to expand into the Deep South when Atlanta was awarded a franchise. When an April 15th deadline approached where $100,000 was due to the new league, Martin was unable to pay and the team was in limbo. Then entered James L Cooper and Bernard Brown, owner of one of the biggest freight companies in the USA. On May 31st 1972, they took over the franchise, getting the rights to all players Miami picked in the WHA expansion draft.

Within a couple of days they announced the team name as the Blazers and they had agreed in terms with Parent. They initially tried to get dates to play their games in the Spectrum, but the Flyers, as would be further shown later, were in no mood to help this upstart team and league. The Blazers would have to play their games in the 9000 seat Civic Center.

The next major signing game on June 13th, when they obtained the Bruin's John McKenzie, who would become player-coach. 17 days later they hired Dave Creighton as their first GM, plus 4 other players, including Danny Lawson. At that times rumors swirled that Derek Sanderson would be signed. 2 days later it was made official. Sanderson was signed to a $2,625,000 five year pact. That contract made Derek the highest paid athlete in North America. Derek's father was also given a position as a scout within the organization.

On August 10th, the Flyers obtained the NHL rights to John McKenzie, which set off a chain of events with the Flyers and Blazers plus their respective leagues suing each other over the rights of these players. Eventually a judge would rule against the NHL, stating that they were subject to anti-trust rules and they couldn't prevent players from finding employment in the new league.

In the meantime, the team was preparing for a new season. Parent was getting offers from the Leafs to rejoin the team at an increased salary, but he stayed with the Blazers as they headed to Roanoke for their training camp. Sanderson's preparation, or lack thereof, did prove to be a distraction. Then McKenzie would fracture his arm on a goalpost in Quebec City in an exhibition game. This was just the beginning. The Blazers lost their first game 4-3 in Boston against the New England Whalers. Sanderson admitted to be out of shape. He scored a goal an assist in the first period, but after that he was done. In a Globe and Mail interview after the game Sanderson said, "I never played a tougher game, I was soaking wet. I came in at the end of the second period, had a shower and changed completely. Then I brought up. I feel like bringing up again".

If Sanderson felt sick then, he probably felt even sicker after the team's scheduled home opener. Before the Blazers arrived, the Civic Center never had ice installed. When a new Zamboni arrived just before the Friday the 13th game, the structure beneath the ice buckled, unable to support the weight of the ice plus the Zamboni. It caused the ice to crack and the game had to be cancelled. Fans were given an orange puck as a memento of the game and showered the ice with them after the announcement of the cancellation. The Blazers must have felt hexed as problems just continued to escalate. Bernie Parent would break his foot. They would lose their first seven games, at which point McKenzie handed over the coaching reigns to chief scout Phil Watson. The team's downward spiral would continue, with a 4-16 start. But an amazing turnaround started to happen.

Derek Sanderson wrenched his back on a piece of paper on the ice. It would be the last time he would play for the Blazers. As he recuperated in Florida, a $1,000,000 buyout would later arrive on January 2nd. Until the buyout, Sanderson was permanently benched. His lack of commitment was deemed a distraction to the team. In the meantime, Bernie Parent returned from his injury and would play in 58 straight games. Andre Lacroix, signed from Chicago started to pile up points and Danny Lawson started scoring at an amazing rate.

Despite the improved play the Blazers couldn't get many people to attend games. They had only 1000 season tickets. For a December 8th game, the AP reported only 750 fans showed up to a game against the New York Raiders. By mid November, Brown took over sole ownership from Cooper, who was the man who was responsible for the Sanderson signing.

By the end of February the Blazers were actually in a playoff race. On Febuary 22nd, Danny Lawson became the first player in WHA history to get 50 goals. His "Fire Line" linemate, Andre Lacroix was battling the Raiders' Ron Ward for the scoring race. On March 31st, Lacroix would clinch the scoring title. Then on the last game of the season and on the last goal of the season, Lacroix would pot his 50th goal. Lacroix would end up being the leading scorer in the history of the WHA. The team would elevate itself to third place, and a playoff date against the Cleveland Crusaders.

Even at this point, off ice problems weren't a thing of the past. There was a special escrow account where the money for Bernie Parent's contract was held. Even if the WHA folded, Bernie was supposed to be guaranteed this money. Bernie and his agent discovered that this account was emptied, so after a game 1 overtime playoff loss, Parent left the team in protest. The Blazers suspended Parent and were swept by Cleveland.

An average attendance of just over 4000 game per game wasn't enough to support the team. On May 11th, the Blazers were bought by Vancouver's Jim Pattison. On May 22nd the sale was completed and the team relocated to Vancouver.





1972-73



click here for complete game by game results

Key Personnel

Coach
Coach Pic
John McKenzie
Coach
Coach Pic
Phil Watson
G.M.
GM Pic
Dave Creighton
G.M.
GM Pic
Phil Watson
Captain
Captain Pic
Derek Sanderson
Captain
Captain Pic
Andre Lacroix

W-L-T Record

GP W L T Pts Win% GF GA Division
Overall 78 38 40 0 76 0.487 288 305 3rd
Home 23 15 0 46 0.605 164 139
Road 15 25 0 30 0.375 124 166

Playoff Games

Lost Quarterfinals 0-4
4-Apr-73Blazers2atCleveland Crusaders3OTLBoxscore
7-Apr-73Blazers1atCleveland Crusaders7LBoxscore
8-Apr-73Cleveland Crusaders3atBlazers1OTLBoxscore
11-Apr-73Cleveland Crusaders6atBlazers2LBoxscore

Scoring Leaders

Goals
Goal Leader Pic
Danny Lawson -61
Assists
Assist Leader Pic
Andre Lacroix -74
Points
Point Leader Pic
Andre Lacroix -124

Scoring Statistics

Name Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PP SH GW GT Sht Sh%
Andre LacroixC 785074124 83
Danny LawsonRW 786145106 35
John McKenzieRW 60285078 157
Bryan CampbellC 75254873 85
Don HerrimanLW 78244872 63
Ron PlumbD 78104151 66
Don BurgessLW 74202242 15
Don O'DonoghueRW 74162339 43
Irv SpencerD 5422729 43
Jim CardiffD 7832427 185
Michel PlanteLW 70131225 35
Rychard CampeauD 7511819 72
John MigneaultLW 5510818 38
Michel BoudreauD 337714 4
Camille LapierreC 245914 2
John BennettLW 344610 18
Derek SandersonC 8336 69
Pierre HenryLW 19235 13
Derek HarkerD 27055 46
John GravelD 8134 0
Nick PolanoD 17033 24
Denis MelocheC 4112 0
Dave HutchisonD 28022 34
Claude St-SauveurLW 2101 0
Pierre PaiementD 8101 18
Michel RouleauC * 6011 15
Yves ArchambaultG 6011 0
Wayne MosdellD 8011 12
Bernie ParentG 63011 36
Danny SullivanG 1000 0
Darwin MottLW 1000 0
Tom CottringerG 2000 0
Bob BrownD * 4000 2
Jack ChipchaseD 4000 2
Larry MavetyD * 4000 14
Sam GellardLW 5000 0
Murray MyersRW 7000 0
Frank GolembroskyRW * 8000 9
Marcel PailleG 15000 0
Bench 78 22
* = did not finish season with Blazers
click on goals, assists or penalty minutes for complete list for that player

Goaltending Statistics

Name GP Mins GA Avg W L T EN SO Shts Pct
Danny Sullivan16033.00100 00340.912
Bernie Parent6336532203.6133280 5219360.886
Yves Archambault6260173.92130 001220.861
Tom Cottringer212283.93110 00650.877
Marcel Paille15611494.81280 303770.870

Playoff Statistics

Name Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PP SH GW OT Sht Sh%
John McKenzieRW 4314 8 0
Andre LacroixC 4022 18 0
Camille LapierreC 4022 0 0
Ron PlumbD 4022 13 0
Rychard CampeauD 4101 17 0
Don BurgessLW 4101 0 0
Don HerrimanLW 4101 14 0
Danny LawsonRW 4011 0 0
Don O'DonoghueRW 4011 0 0
Bryan CampbellC 3011 8 0
Irv SpencerD 4000 4 0
Jim CardiffD 4000 11 0
John MigneaultLW 4000 0 0
Michel PlanteLW 4000 2 0
Dave HutchisonD 3000 0 0
Yves Archambault G 3000 0 0
Michel BoudreauD 2000 0 0
Murray MyersRW 2000 0 0
Bernie ParentG 1000 0 0
Marcel Paille G 1000 0 0

click on goals, assists or penalty minutes for complete list for that player

Name GP Mins GA GAA W L EN SO Shts Pct
Bernie Parent17032.570100450.933
Yves Archambault3153114.310200850.871
Marcel Paille127511.460100260.808

click on games played for indiviual list of games played by goalie

All-Star Game Representatives

Danny Lawson, John McKenzie

Shutouts

Date Opponent Score Goalie #
1-Jan-73at New York Raiders3-0Bernie Parent 1
27-Jan-73at Alberta Oilers1-0Bernie Parent 2
# = career number as a Blazer P = playoffs

Hattricks

Date Player # Score Goalie(s)
1-Nov-72Danny Lawson1 (4)Cleveland Crusaders 5 - Blazers 7Gerry Cheevers
17-Dec-72Don Herriman1 New England Whalers 3 - Blazers 6Al Smith
20-Dec-72Danny Lawson2 (4)Chicago Cougars 5 - Blazers 8Andre Gill
26-Dec-72Danny Lawson3 Minnesota Fighting Saints 2 - Blazers 6Jack McCartan
13-Jan-73Danny Lawson4 Blazers 9 - Quebec Nordiques 4Richard Brodeur
13-Jan-73Andre Lacroix1 (4)Blazers 9 - Quebec Nordiques 4Richard Brodeur
24-Jan-73John McKenzie1 Quebec Nordiques 4 - Blazers 6Richard Brodeur
13-Feb-73Danny Lawson5 (4)Blazers 5 - New England Whalers 4Al Smith
16-Feb-73John McKenzie2 Blazers 9 - New York Raiders 2Pete Donnelly
9-Mar-73Andre Lacroix2 Blazers 11 - Quebec Nordiques 3Serge Aubry Richard Brodeur
21-Mar-73Andre Lacroix3 Houston Aeros 3 - Blazers 7Don McLeod
31-Mar-73Danny Lawson6 Blazers 5 - Chicago Cougars 1Andre Gill
po = playoffs, n=natural, 4=4goals, 5=5goals #=career number as a Blazer

Opening Games

SeasonBlazers 3 - NE Whalers 4 (L)
HomeCleveland 8 - Blazers 2 (L)
RoadBlazers 3 - NE Whalers 4 (L)

NHL Awards

Bill Hunter Trophy
Winner
Award Pic
Winner Pic
WHA Scoring Champion
Andre Lacroix
1st Team
Winner
Award Pic
Winner Pic
Center
Andre Lacroix
1st Team
Winner
Award Pic
Winner Pic
Right Wing
Danny Lawson
2nd Team
Winner
Award Pic
Winner Pic
Goalie
Bernie Parent

Trades

Date To Blazers Other Team From Blazers
12-Feb-72futuresCleveland CrusadersPaul Shmyr
1-Mar-72Andre LacroixQuebec Nordiquescash
1-May-72John McKenzieQuebec Nordiquesfutures
1-May-72Bill Young, cash and futuresMinnesota Fighting SaintsRick Smith
1-May-72Bryan CampbellChicago Cougarscash
1-Jun-72Marcel PailleChicago Cougarsfutures
1-Jun-72Don O'DonoghueNew England Whalerscash
1-Jun-72futuresNew England WhalersTerry Caffery
1-Oct-72Larry MavetyLos Angeles SharksCash
1-Nov-72John Gravel & Brit SelbyQuebec NordiquesMichel Rouleau & Frank Golembrosky
1-Nov-72Bob BrownNew England WhalersBrit Selby
1-Nov-72Roger Cote & Derek HarkerAlberta OilersCash
7-Nov-72CashChicago CougarsLarry Mavety

Transactions

Date Acquisition
22-Feb-72Bernie Parent signed
6-Jun-72Andre Lacroix signed
15-Jun-72Irv Spencer signed as a free agent
29-Jun-72Bryan Campbell signed
29-Jun-72Danny Lawson signed
29-Jun-72Don O'Donoghue signed
29-Jun-72Rychard Campeau signed
29-Jun-72Ron Plumb signed
13-Jul-72John McKenzie signed
26-Jul-72Jim Cardiff signed as a free agent
27-Jul-72Nick Polano signed as a free agent
27-Jul-72Camille Lapierre signed as a free agent
27-Jul-72Frank Golembrosky signed
27-Jul-72Don Herriman signed as a free agent
27-Jul-72Don Burgess signed
27-Jul-72Michel Rouleau signed as a free agent
27-Jul-72Claude St-Sauveur signed
27-Jul-72Pierre Henry signed
27-Jul-72Denis Meloche signed
27-Jul-72Michel Plante signed
27-Jul-72Dave Hutchison signed
27-Jul-72Murray Myers signed as a free agent
27-Jul-72Jack Rathwell signed as a free agent
27-Jul-72Serge Beaudoin signed
27-Jul-72Yvon Blais signed
27-Jul-72Phil Iwaskieski signed as a free agent
27-Jul-72Steve Davis signed as a free agent
31-Jul-72Derek Sanderson signed
22-Sep-72Marcel Paille signed
27-Oct-72Yves Archambault called up
27-Oct-72Rychard Campeau called up
27-Oct-72Pierre Paiement called up
27-Oct-72Denis Meloche called up
27-Oct-72Sam Gellard called up
27-Oct-72Jack Chipchase demoted
27-Oct-72Dave Hutchinson demoted
19-Jan-73John Migneault called up
7-Apr-73Yves Archambault called up

Draft Picks

Rd # Player Pos
Pre Bernie ParentG
Pre Jude DrouinC
Pre Derek SandersonC
Pre Bill WhiteD
Exp Don CaleyG
Exp Pierre SigmanG
Exp Bernie ParentG
Exp Jacques PlanteG
Exp Yvan PouliotG
Exp Mike BloomD
Exp Bruce CowickD
Exp Rick FoleyD
Exp Dave HutchisonD
Exp Neil KomodoskiD
Exp Keith MagnussenD
Exp Glenn PatrickD
Exp Ron PlumbD
Exp Jean PotvinD
Exp Phil RussellD
Exp Paul ShmyrD
Exp Rick SmithD
Exp Ron StackhouseD
Exp Ron VadnaisD
Exp Bill WhiteD
Exp Mike ArchambaultF
Exp Dave ArundelF
Exp Andry BathgateF
Exp Serge BeaudoinF
Exp John BennettF
Exp Yvon BlaisF
Exp Michael BoudreauF
Exp Pat BoutetteF
Exp Brian BowlesF
Exp Don BurgessF
Exp Rychard CampeauF
Exp Gene CarrF
Exp Ray CarmichaelF
Exp Terry CaffreyF
Exp Barry ChernosF
Exp Bob DundeenF
Exp Rick DudleyF
Exp Denis DupereF
Exp Jude DrouinF
Exp Wayne ElderF
Exp George FergusonF
Exp Richard GrenierF
Exp Gary GambucciF
Exp Frank GolembroskyF
Exp Andry HebentonF
Exp Pierre HenryF
Exp Dennis HullF
Exp Jack LynchF
Exp Yvon LambertF
Exp Danny LawsonF
Exp Sandy McCannelF
Exp Danny McCarthyF
Exp Walt McKechnieF
Exp Brian McLayF
Exp Brian McSheffreyF
Exp Don MartineauF
Exp Wayne MerrickF
Exp Murray MeyersF
Exp Denis MelocheF
Exp Larry MickeyF
Exp E MishakocF
Exp Boris MikhailovF
Exp David MurphyF
Exp Simon NoletF
Exp Jim NicholsF
Exp Bob NystromF
Exp Bill NyropF
Exp Craig PatrickF
Exp Michel PlanteF
Exp Dean PrenticeF
Exp Jean PronovostF
Exp Paul RaymerF
Exp Rene RobertF
Exp Mike RouleauF
Exp Serge RochF
Exp Bobby RousseauF
Exp Claude St-SauveurF
Exp Derek SandersonF
Exp Ken SchinkelF
Exp Ron SmithF
Exp Garry UngerF
Exp Rene VillemureF
Exp Steve WestF
Exp Gary WinchesterF

Record vs. Other Teams

Overall Home Road
Team W L T OL GF GA W L T OL GF GA W L T OL GF GA
Alberta Oilers33001215 21087 12048
Chicago Cougars33002421 11085 2201616
Cleveland Crusaders46003952 2302022 2301930
Houston Aeros24002026 120911 1201115
Los Angeles Sharks42002219 2101011 210128
Minnesota Fighting Saints24001720 1201012 12078
New England Whalers44003338 3102019 1301319
New York Raiders44002226 2201514 220712
Ottawa Nationals53003327 3101811 2201516
Quebec Nordiques44004035 3102917 1301118
Winnipeg Jets33002626 3001710 030916


Much thanks to Kathy "Kellogg" Robarge for her help with information and player photos !









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