Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Michel Plasse and Peter McDuffe were selected in the expansion draft. Kansas City hockey fans were already familiar with Plasse. He had played 16 games in '70-'71 with the CHL Kansas City Blues, in one of which he became the first professional goalie to score a goal. Plasse got the nod to start the franchise's first game, but he and McDuffe split time fairly evenly until January 10, 1975 when Plasse was traded to Pittsburgh for Denis Herron.
From that point on, Herron was the man for the Scouts, and with good reason. While his 15-52-15 record might not seem impressive, consider that when he was in the net, the Scouts had a .274 points percentage, compared to .205 for all other netminders. In '75-'76, Herron had 11 of the 12 Scouts victories.
A game-used Herron jersey:
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
"The man behind the Isles possible move to Kansas City" is an informative look at Tim Leiweke.
"Isles moving? Not likely" is a refreshingly realistic piece. (Though it is a little misleading to say Kansas City has a population of 450,000 when the metro is around two million. Here's a link to the "Islanders next contestant on 'Who's Threatening to Move to K.C.?' " post on fieldofschemes.com mentioned in the article.)
Sunday, January 18, 2009
More links than you need, all from Newsday.com:
News of preseason game in KC worries Isles fans
Keep Isles with their namesake
Give Wang, Islanders credit for making bold threat
KC has the arena, but no major sports team
(I notice Paul McGannon scales the rhetoric back when talking to Newsday: "We're not looking to take anybody's team.")
Isles game in KC doesn't phase Hempstead's Murray
Plus, here's some talk from New York sports radio.
Perhaps if all of this speculation keeps up through September, there will be buzz in Kansas City too and fans will come out to try and make a statement that we want a team.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Paul McGannon, the head of NHL21, an organization (or just Paul McGannon?) dedicated to bringing the NHL back to Kansas City, makes some rather bold comments in the article. He cuts right to the quick: “New York has three teams. If they don’t want to build a new rink in Long Island, we’ll take their team.” Also: “I think it’s a big deal, that we’re having two teams on the coast meet in Kansas City for a game, and we better sell it out. I love the regional appeal of the Blues and the Blackhawks, but we better send a message and sell the game out.”
Hopefully the NHL doesn’t take the view that Kansas City “better sell it out,” because I just can’t see that happening. I’ll be glad if we can top last year’s crowd.
According to the Kansas City Hockey History website, here are the attendance figures for preseason games in Kansas City (all at Kemper except for 2008):
9,346 Blues vs. Predators 1998
17,285 Blues vs. Blackhawks 2003
12,686 Blues vs. Predators 2005
11,603 Blues vs. Kings 2008
(For an average of 12,730)
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I mentioned in my last post that Guy Charron was the leading scorer in Scouts history; below is a chart of the top 20. Kind of pitiful that 18 points is good enough to make this list. The all-time leading numbers for games played, goals, assists, points and points-per-game are highlighted in red. No player dressed in all 160 Scouts games; LW Gary Croteau came closest, playing in all but four.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
It seems impossible to get good looking scans of photographs from microfilm, but I offer up a couple here anyway. Above is a photo of the Scouts' Lynn Powis, and below is a shot of the Montreal Canadiens skating in Kansas City. The guy getting sandwiched in the middle is none other than Glen Sather, current GM of the New York Rangers.
" 'That's a pretty good little hockey team,' offered Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion, the Flames' coach, without being asked. 'Bep's got his guys working. They were on top of us all night.' "
- from Jay Greenberg's wrap after the Flames beat the Scouts 1-0 on November 20, 1974
"(Goaltender Peter McDuffe) doesn't deserve to be pulled. Sunday night he's getting bombed like the second world war. I'm going to put him right back in. (Michel) Plasse will have his chance to get bombarded, too."
- Scouts coach Bep Guidolin after the Scouts were beaten 10-0 by the Flyers on December 1. Plasse wouldn't have to wait long for his chance to get bombarded - McDuffe allowed 6 goals in the first period of the next game, and Plasse replaced him for the second and third periods.
On December 6, the fans at Kemper were treated to the first fight in arena history when Lynn Powis of the Scouts battled Andre Dupont of the Flyers. Sounds like it was a doozy: "A fan got into the action, reaching over and grabbing (Flyer) Don Saleski's hair, and players from both the Scouts and Flyers were then waving sticks at the fans." - Jay Greenberg
That same night the Scouts managed the only point they would ever get from the Flyers in 10 meetings with a 3-3 tie.
When the Scouts showed up for a morning practice on December 9, they were greeted with some terrible news: their head trainer, Gordie Marchant, had committed suicide. Coach Guidolin decided to try to hold the practice after GM Sid Abel broke the news to the players, but it broke up after just half an hour. "I could see there was no enthusiasm for practice. I didn't have much enthusiasm to practice myself," he said.
The next night they had to attempt to focus on the formidable Boston Bruins coming to town, a team that featured John Bucyk, Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr. The Bruins disposed of them 6-2. After the game, Bobby Orr had this take on the Scouts: "If they get a guy who could score 30-40 goals for them, and get a few more draft choices, they'll be all right. It's a darn shame people don't come to see them."
One person who came to see them that night was Bob Frank, who was stationed in the visiting team's penalty box as the penalty time keeper. When Orr landed in the box, he asked Frank for a towel... "Frank gave it to him. Orr said, 'Thank you.' 'That's the first time that's happened to me in six years at the job,' said Frank, who also served as a penalty timekeeper for Kansas City Blues games in the old American Royal Arena."
- Ken Rudrick, Kansas City Star
December 14 brought a significant trade: Bart Crashley (D), Ted Snell (RW) and Larry Giroux (D) were shipped to Detroit in exchange for Guy Charron (C) and Claude Houde (D). Crashley and Charron were both in their respective teams' doghouses and had been getting next to zero ice time. "I feel very bad about playing so poorly for the fans in Kansas City. I was very happy to leave," said Crashley. Charron had put up 25 goals and 55 points the previous season, but for reasons that were unclear to him (most likely defensive liabilities), he had been riding the pine so far in the '74-'75 season, and had just one goal in 26 games at the time of the trade.
The debut of Charron and Houde as Scouts did not go well, as they were shutout 0-6 by the Kings. In their second game however, Charron led the way with three assists in a 4-4 tie with Pittsburgh. Charron would go on to score 42 points in 51 games with the Scouts in '74-'75, and 71 points in 78 games in '75-'76, making him the Scouts all-time leading scorer, and the only player to score 100 or more points in a Scouts uniform.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
As you can see below in my chart of team-by-team results for both years of their existence, the Scouts had success when they met up with the Washington Capitals or California Golden Seals. If they had to play one of the other 15 teams in the league, things didn't go so well.
They got at least one point off of every team, but never a W against Buffalo, Philadelphia or Atlanta in 28 combined attempts.
The fact that they beat up on the Capitals does reflect well on the Scouts, as the Caps were the only team that the Scouts were really on an even playing field with. GM Sid Abel and his staff were able to squeeze considerably more talent out of the nearly barren expansion draft than their counterparts in Washington.
If you think the .241 overall points percentage is bad, consider that it was .194 against all opponents other than the Capitals and Seals.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I haven't been able to find attendance figures online for 1974-1976, so I'll be tracking the attendance game by game as I go through the microfilm. My prediction is that as the losses pile up, attendance will just get worse after an already shaky start.
Click the pic for the KC Times wrap and summary:
Sadly, the Scouts would have only 14 more victories to celebrate that season, and just 12 during their next (and last).