Tuesday, May 12, 2009
When Norm Greed Moved the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas after the 1992-93 season the professional hockey void in the Twin Cities was filled by the arrival of the IHL Minnesota Moose, starting with the 1994-95 season.
The Moose played in the aging St. Paul Civic Center, former home of the WHA Minnesota Fighting Saints. Still stung by the loss of the North Stars, and probably carrying the attitude that minor league hockey was beneath them, the Moose were never embraced by the population as a whole.
When it was assumed that the relocating Winnipeg Jets were headed for the Target Center in Minneapolis, the Moose management figured the writing was on the wall and moved the team to Winnipeg after their second season in St. Paul, to once more fill the void of a departing NHL team, where they still play today as the Manitoba Moose.
Never the greatest success on the ice or with the fans, the greatest legacy of he Moose is undoubtedly their logo, once ranked by The Hockey News as the best in all the minors. It's featured here on a black road jersey, customized with Minnesota native, member of the Gold Medal winning 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team, and 14 year NHL veteran Dave Christian, who was born on this day in 1959. Christian led the Moose in 94-95 with 38 goals. He was also named to the 1991 NHL All-Star Game, a Captain of the Winnipeg Jets, leading them in points in 80-81 and did the same for the Washington Capitals in 85-86.
Today's featured jersey is a 1994-95 Minnesota Moose Dave Christian jersey. This Starter brand jersey features the IHL 50th Anniversary patch, worn by all the teams in the IHL that season. It might be difficult to make out, but the letters and numbers are three color, white trimmed in forest green and outlined in purple, a frankly impossible combination to see against the black background and probably only visible from the front row of the seats, and even then only when someone was plastered up against the glass!
Even on the white jerseys, where they used purple numbers trimmed in forest green and outlined in black the similar values of the green and purple blended together for the most part. A very odd choice to be certain.
In classic IHL fashion, the 95-96 Moose had seven players with over 100 penalty minutes. Check out the video below for some vintage IHL mayhem.
Dasherboard: Another night of intense playoff hockey last night. Not as exhilarating as Monday night, but both games set up Game 7's as Boston and Anaheim fight off elimination. The problem is that, once more, the games are scheduled to start just an hour apart. Isn't there some way to schedule one for 6 PM Eastern and the other for 9 PM? We'd even settle for 6 PM and 8 PM. C'mon, work with us here.
The ending of the Anaheim/Detroit game was some Old Time Hockey with practically everyone squaring off after the horn sounded. What was with Scott Niedermayer violently elbowing and then punching out Pavel Datsyuk? Doesn't he know that Datsyuk is nominated to win his fourth straight Lady Bing Memorial Trophy? What the hell? That's like picking a fight with a fluffy kitten. Or Alexander Semin.
The intensity of the next game is going to be off the charts with the fans hanging off the rafters at The Joe. Prediction - happy Red Wings fans will celebrate the launching of an octopus as Detroit does their part to give us an renewal of an Original Six rivalry with the Blackhawks for the first time since 1995.
For Boston and Carolina, based on the way this series has gone so far, expect a 4-1 win. Only we're not sure in whose favor it will be. Watch, the damn thing will now go four overtimes now that we've said that. We suspect predictions will not be a regular feature of this blog...