Monday, September 6, 2010

"City of Various Pro Levels"

Teebz at Hockey Blog In Canada has a post up about pro hockey's history in KC from the Scouts to the Outlaws.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Islanders Shmilanders

Charles Wang's Lighthouse Project appears dead, which has lead to more baseless but predictable mentions of KC as a potential landing spot for the Islanders. To me there is zero link between the Islanders and KC at the moment, but it's made enough noise on the intertubes I figured I'd toss up some links.

It's true Wang was mentioning KC as a bargaining ploy a year ago, but to his credit, he hasn't brought up KC once since the preseason game last September that I'm aware of. (Perhaps he wasn't pleased that we didn't play along with a big turnout for the game.) Wang bought the Islanders because he loves Long Island, not because he loved hockey. By his own admission, he didn't know much about hockey when he bought the team. I can see him selling the team, but I can't see him moving the team out of the NYC area. Oh, and the Isles' lease at their current arena doesn't expire until 2015.


Report: NY Islanders Keeping KC As A Backup Plan
 (the interview with Chris Botta on that page is worth a listen)
Kansas City Reportedly Remains An Option For The NHL's NY Islanders
Is Kansas City a Plan B if NY Islanders' Lighthouse Project falls through?

KC Still In Mix For Islanders? Doubtful

Why Not KC For The NHL?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kansas City Concepts at Hockey Jersey Concepts

Blogger Ryan over at Hockey Jersey Concepts has posted concepts both for an update of Scouts uniforms and for a hypothetical team, the Kansas City Express.

Scouts (click for more images):

Express (click for more images):

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Artwork by Mark Penxa featuring Denis Herron

Had to share this great piece of art by Mark Penxa featuring Denis Herron in Scouts garb. There's lots more of Penxa's work to see here at his site.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sam Mellinger of the Star Paints a Bleak Picture

Sam Mellinger of the Star has a depressingly realistic look at the chances for KC gaining an NBA or NHL team anytime soon. A couple of lines that stood out to me:

"...Anschutz Entertainment Group is set to lose exclusive negotiating rights on landing a team."

AEG apparently had a three year window with exclusive negotiating rights. But what does that mean - Who else would be negotiating?

And regarding the Penguins:

"Revisionist history says Kansas City was just used as leverage, but decision-makers with the Penguins had begun planning on what the franchise would look like in Kansas City."

Doesn't matter either way, but interesting.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eddie Bush of Your 1938-39 Kansas City Greyhounds

All my best stuff is stolen from Puck Daddy or Uni Watch...

This gem comes from a link on Uni Watch. Jake Doyle has posted photos from a scrapbook that features all sorts of great hockey coverage and photos from 1938-39. I couldn't believe my eyes when I came across a shot of Scouts coach Eddie Bush in a Kansas City Greyhounds uniform. I knew Bush had played briefly for the Greyhounds, but wouldn't have expected to see a photo from his 25 game stint in KC 81 years ago.
The Greyhounds were the American Hockey Association affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. Bush had a long and winding minor league career, and two cups of coffee with the Red Wings, including eight games in 1938-39, probably soon after this photo was taken. He was back for 18 regular season games with the Red Wings in 1941-42, plus an eleven game run in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Wings lost in the seventh game of the finals to Toronto. Bush, a defenseman, scored 7 points in his eleven playoff games, good for fourth best on the Red Wings. Scouts GM Sid Abel was Bush's teammate in Detroit, which probably was the basis for a relationship that led to Abel choosing Bush as the Scouts new coach after Bep Guidolin stepped down in January, 1976. It turned out to be Bush's only shot at coaching in the NHL after the Scouts went a woeful 1-23-8 after his hiring.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

KSHB-TV Reports Three Dates Being Held For Preseason Game, McGannon Interview

According to KSHB-TV, Friday, September 24, Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2 are being held open at Sprint Center for a possible NHL preseason game this year.

The same article also says Paul McGannon is "optimistic that an NHL team could relocate to the metro as soon as next season." That guy certainly doesn't lack for optimism! You can watch KSHB's ten minute interview with McGannon here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Where There's Smoke, There's Smoke

Plenty of chatter with no actual substance going on:

Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal contributed a piece to the Kansas City Business Journal with the earth-shattering news that the NHL wants to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix, but if they can't, Kansas City has an arena. Seriously though, it is news if he's correct that the NHL is determined to not run the Coyotes next season, even if it means new ownership would move the team. However, this doesn't mean anything for Kansas City unless there is a secret ownership group waiting in the wings.

The Star chimes in with a story about how an NBA preseason game has been announced for the Sprint Center this fall, but no NHL game as yet. Author Randy Covitz speculates that AEG may not want to schedule a preseason game in KC in case they can get their own team in place for next season.

Tony's Kansas City blog shows hockey ignorance by bemoaning the thought of the Coyotes moving to KC since they're "horrible;" the Coyotes are having a Cinderella season, sitting at 47-25-6 and having clinched a playoff spot. Even if they were horrible, beggars can't be choosers, Tony.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Derek Zona of From The Rink Takes a Look at Potential NHL Markets

Here's a new column on the website From The Rink comparing the following cities as potential NHL markets: Cincinnati, Halifax, Hamilton, Hartford, Houston, Kansas City, Quebec, Seattle and Winnipeg. Author Derek Zona says, "Kansas City is the only city on the continent with an NHL-ready arena."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ken Campbell of The Hockey News Says KC Making "Serious Push" For Predators

In spite of what a couple hockey writers have said recently about KC falling off the radar, Ken Campbell at The Hockey News brings us up again in a recent column. The relevant passage:
The Nashville Predators have reached an agreement with the Metro Sports Authority to keep the team in Nashville for at least another two seasons, but the deal has yet to be signed and there are rumblings Kansas City is making a serious push for the Predators to relocate there.

Los Angeles Kings governor Tim Leiweke is also the CEO of AEG, the company that owns the Sprint Center in Kansas City, a building that is ready-made for hockey and seeking a tenant. There are those who maintain it is only a matter of time before one of the NHL’s struggling franchises relocates to Kansas City.
A little contradictory to say a new deal has been reached in Nashville but KC is pushing hard.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Don Cherry: Kansas City is a Graveyard For Hockey

Crazy Don Cherry chimes in on where he feels the NHL should expand/relocate on the March 20th broadcast of Hockey Night In Canada. Hint: Not KC. (Cherry was coach of the Bruins in the mid-'70s, so he came to Kemper a few times to meet the Scouts.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Scouts Off-Ice Notes: March, 1976

Way more detail than you need about the Scouts slowly falling apart:

The season ticket drive to save the Scouts “officially launched (March 1st) by Mayor Charles B. Wheeler, Jr., at a breakfast for business and civic leaders at the Plaza Inn…The turnout…was smaller than expected, but several firms pledged to double their season ticket orders and now solicitations will continue on an individual basis.” –Joe McGuff, 3/2 Star

• “I will agree that from the standpoint of sales, promotions and educating the public to the game the Scouts overall have been less than efficient.” –Joe McGuff, 3/2 Star

• On March 10
th came word that the NHL had done an about face and would loan the Scouts money after all. The league loaned $300,000 and the Scouts ownership group scraped together another $100,000 in order to allow the Scouts to finish the season. “The total appearances of the league are best served by the arrangement,” said NHL president Clarence Campbell, meaning they didn’t want to suffer the embarrassment of a team folding mid-season. (3/10 Times)

• By March 11
th, it was already apparent the ticket drive was a mess. Scouts president Edwin Thompson was under the impression that Henry Bloch, president of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, was in charge of the drive. Bloch was not. It turned out no one was running the ticket drive. Joe McGuff wrote, “…the members of the Scouts organization cannot expect someone else to do all of their work while they watch. The drive will not run itself and since the Scouts have the most to gain from it they had better start worrying about such things as having a chairman.” (3/11 Star)

• Lots of good info in Joe McGuff’s March 23
rd “Sporting Comment:” “Edwin Thompson…has said that the present owners cannot operate beyond April 15 without a season ticket sale of 8,000. Yesterday Mayor Charles B. Wheeler, Jr., called on the National Hockey League to clarify the status of the franchise and made it clear that the business community is not going to make a substantial dollar commitment unless there are assurances of stability in the ownership situation. In brief, Thompson says he cannot continue without a major sale of season tickets, the mayor is saying the tickets cannot be sold for a team that may or may not be here. The ticket drive started slowly and has come to a standstill…The Scouts and the business community are blaming each other for the failure of the drive…it is apparent that if the franchise is to be saved for Kansas City new ownership must be developed…The Scouts still owe the league $4,250,000 for the franchise and when the interest is added the figure exceeds $5 million. They owe the St. Louis Blues $800,000 for territorial rights. The Scouts recently borrowed $300,000 from the league, they are not current on the rent at Kemper Arena and they have other debts…the crowd of 16,219 last Saturday was significant. All tickets were priced at $2 so management did not make a profit from the promotion, but the size of the crowd shows that there is a strong base of hockey interest. If the public has no interest a promoter can give away his product and no one will come.”

• On March 24
th the Times published the below look at Scouts fans.

• March 27th brought the first mention of Denver as a potential landing spot for the Scouts. “We have also been contacted by representatives from Cleveland and Miami, Florida,” said Edwin Thompson. (3/27 Times)

• The NBA Kansas City Kings were continually mentioned as a potential buyer that would keep the team in KC: “Of all the parties involved, only the Kings have made an offer, though the Scouts insist it is not a formal legalized bid. In any case, the Kings reportedly are willing to assume the Scouts’ liabilities, approximately $7 million, as the purchase price.” –Steve Marantz, 3/30

• “Denver must be considered the strongest out-of-town contender. The Denver interest is headed by Carl Scheer, president and general manager of the Denver Nuggets basketball team…The likelihood of the Scouts leaving Kansas City increased dramatically when Scheer entered the picture.” –Steve Marantz, 3/30

• The below columns ran on March 31st following the last Scouts home game the night before. Thompson says the previous report that the Kings had made an offer to assume the Scouts debt was incorrect, and that the Scouts had made an offer to the Kings to sell for $5.5 million but hadn’t heard back. He also says, “What’s happened to us is very simple. Salaries have gone up 180 percent (since first applying for a team in 1971), and instead of averaging 9,000 or 10,000 persons a game we’re averaging 6,000 a game.”

Kansas City No Longer Being Considered says Steve Thompson of Bleacher Report

Here's another hockey writer saying Kansas City has left the picture in regards to gaining an NHL franchise. The focus of the article is Winnipeg and Canada in general, but author Steve Thompson has come up with what he believes are Gary Bettman and the NHL's four conditions for gaining a franchise:

1. Adequate fan support
2. A proper NHL-size arena
3. Credible investor(s)
4. No territorial conflicts

Thompson writes because of the first conditionfan supportKansas City is no longer being considered. I asked Steve in the comments where he came up with the conditions; he responded here and said, in part, "Kansas City built a proper NHL arena (18,000+) and there was speculation that the Islanders would move there. The Islanders played a pre-season game there and drew under 10,000. Since then there has been no talk about Kansas City getting a team. The bad fan support turned off the NHL."

So that makes two recent columns stating that no one's talking about Kansas City anymore (see my previous post). Even if that's the case, the only mentions of the NHL coming to Kansas City come in the form of speculation from the media and fans, not from the NHL. Bettman's company line all along has been that they will protect current markets and expansion is not imminent. Nothing has changed in that regard.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Still Kickin'

Sorry for the long dry spell, sports fans. I lost the memory stick on which scans from the Kansas City Times and Star were stored, so I haven't been able to get to Scouts notes. I began the tedious process of combing microfilm for the SECOND time in order to wrap up the off-ice notes for the end of the '75-'76 season and the sale and transfer of the team. Still have more to look through at the library though, so it might be a ways off. Also, I've been spending free time delving into Kansas City baseball history over at my new blog. As for coverage of the potential for a new NHL team in KC, I'm just not all that interested in passing along rumors and speculation, and that's all there is at the moment.

I will direct you to this column from the Winnipeg Free Press. The author, Randy Turner, is admittedly bitter about Winnipeg losing their team and the NHL's practice of moving into "non-traditional" markets in the US, and his tone is off-putting. But here is the relevant passage from the column:'s obvious to anyone listening to what you can't hear that the NHL's Great American Experiment is dead. Do you notice that no one ever mentions Kansas City or Las Vegas as possible relocation sites anymore? Just a few months ago, all you ever heard was that those two cities were one-two on the NHL's list. Now? Not a peep. And Kansas City is still sitting there with a brand-new arena, dying for a team.

And you're more likely to read a story about Quebec City's preparation to return to the NHL than Las Vegas.

Of course, putting teams in Las Vegas or Kansas City was a pipe dream to begin with, but that never stopped the league from floating the idea or pundits from repeating the possibility, without taking into account the millions of dollars flushed down the toilet in places like Tampa, Phoenix, Nashville and Atlanta.

I really haven't noticed a drop-off in rumors about KC. I still see "peeps" on my "Kansas City NHL" Google news alert. But all the smoke with no fire is getting old.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rivermen Staying In Peoria

Not that there was ever any reason to think they were coming to Kansas City, but the St. Louis Blues AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, are officially remaining in Peoria for the next five seasons. There is no evidence Im aware of that AEG/Sprint Center made any attempts to lure the Rivermen to Kansas City. Blues blogger Andy Strickland claims Kansas City and the Sprint Center were very hopeful the Rivermen would have eventually landed in K.C., but I have no idea where hes getting that. Peoria Journal Star reporter Dave Eminian says, They envy you, Peoria, in places like Des Moines, Iowa, Omaha, Neb., and Kansas City. Eminian also writes that the Blues check(ed) around for other optionsbefore agreeing to extend their time in Peoria, but gives no specifics. In an email to me, Eminian wrote: Kansas City’s venue is too new, too big and too costly to operate a minor-league team in. Sprint Center wants an NHL team. If there was any lingering hope that AEG might pursue the AHL for Kansas City, the apparent lack of interest in the Blues affiliate puts that to rest. Are we too big for the AHL and too small for the NHL?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Scouts Uni Watch Membership Card

Uni Watch, one of my favorite websites, ran a Christmas-time raffle for various prizes. I was the lucky winner of a Uni Watch membership, which carries the awesome responsibility of choosing a jersey design, name and number to be featured on the back of the membership card. (You can see a gallery of card designs here.) The decision was actually an easy one for me - a Scouts jersey of course. Specifically, a #11 home jersey, a la my DIY project (that Uni Watch prez Paul Lukas featured on Shes a beaut:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski Supports NHL in KC

Four respected hockey bloggers took part in what host site Crash The Crease called the Internet Hockey Summit recently. The last topic covered was potential NHL expansion and relocation. Greg Wyshynski (the 99th most influential person in hockey, dont ya know) of Yahoos Puck Daddy was the only one to mention Kansas City. Unlike most hockey scribes, Wyshynski “would like to see a team in Kansas City” (by way of expansion).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Scouts & Capitals Tour of Japan, April 1976

If you're interested in the Scouts, you may know that they ended their final season with a then-record 27 game winless streak. So what would you say if I told you the Scouts won the last game they ever played?

Turns out the Scouts weren't quite done at the conclusion of the '75-'76 regular season: They had a four-game exhibition tour to play with the Washington Capitals in Japan in mid-April. It was the first time the NHL had gone to Japan, and the curious Japanese onlookers were treated to the two newest and worst teams in the league. In 2008, Guy Charron told, "Basically, the two teams they selected...had to be pretty well out of the playoffs by a certain time."

The Scouts dropped the first three games (the first two played in Sapporo, the third in Tokyo). That means the team actually managed to run the winless streak up to an unofficial 30 games before winning the final game, played in Tokyo, 4-2. The players were awarded with watches for their victory. Here are summaries for games 2, 3 and 4:

Related article: "Capitals, Scouts Received Rare Shot at April Hockey"