Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Scouts Notes, February 1975

Dave Hudson and the Scouts battle the Maple Leafs on February 6th in Kansas City

The relatively good times continued to roll for the Scouts in February 1975. They managed to pick up points against the Black Hawks, Maple Leafs, Golden Seals, Capitals, Rangers and North Stars. Their 14-40-8 (.281) record at the end of the month was actually considered respectable, particularly compared with the 6-53-5 (.133) record of the fellow expansionee Capitals. The Guy Charron acquisition in December had sparked the club, with Charron putting up 26 points in his first 21 games as a Scout. On February 5th, GM Sid Abel told Star reporter Joe McGuff, “We’ve played well since we acquired Charron. He is one of our better players and the line of Charron, (Simon) Nolet and (Robin) Burns can play with any of them. We’re playing better than I thought we would when the season started. We’re green and we’ve had problems on the road coughing up the puck when the pressure is on, but we’ve played well at home.” The term “respectable” was thrown around a lot in coverage of the team, and there seemed to be a real optimism that they were preparing to take a significant step forward the following season.

There were of course bumps in the road as well, including getting shutout in 4 of 6 games between the 7th and 16th, and serious injury trouble cropping up in the middle and end of the month. Team MVP Nolet missed time, and defensemen were dropping so fast that Dennis Patterson logged “45 to 50” minutes on the blueline on the 16th against the Capitals! Coach Bep Guidolin even played some forwards at D here and there to spell the few defensemen who were healthy enough to play. Their top defenseman, Jean-Guy Lagace, broke an ankle and missed a large chunk of time.

Nevertheless, after the Scouts defeated the North Stars 4-2 on the 23rd, they were only 4 points out of the cellar in their division. Unfortunately for them, they would only manage a 1-15-3 record the rest of the season.

Here are some articles from the

This article from the 11th takes a look at business troubles facing the Scouts, including underwhelming attendance, and owner Edwin Thompson deflecting criticism and any notion that the club is not on solid financial footing. Maddening quote: “The club will lose money this year, but less than was expected, Thompson says. Losses are projected for next year, too, but he is still hopeful the club will begin to turn a profit by the third year of operation.” So why did he abandon ship after just two years?

On the 12th appeared this critical look at the Scouts promotional efforts off the ice. An interesting couple of notes about attendance: it was “ahead of team projections,” and “A look at the comparative first-year attendance figures for the other post-1967 teams indicates they’re not doing badly. The Scouts are averaging 8,120 a game, which puts them ahead of three others: California (4,600); Pittsburgh (7,292); Los Angeles (8,037).” (Kind of contradictory to the stance taken in the previous column that attendance was a problem.) The rest of the article paints a bleak picture of a lack of promotion the team was pursuing to sell tickets—something that seems to be an obvious need in a non-traditional hockey market like KC.

On the 16th, this long feature on Wilf Paiement:

On the 18th, this pat on the back for GM Sid Abel and assistant GM Baz Bastien:

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