Thursday, July 8, 2010
July by the Numbers continues with jersey #8 from the Michigan Stags.
The Los Angeles Sharks were one of the original WHA clubs, formed in 1972. Following their second season, they were sold to new owners, who relocated the team to Detroit and renamed them the Michigan Stags. They were hoping to take advantage of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings current losing ways and develop a rivalry with the Toronto Toros.
Gary Desjardins in net for the Stags
Keeping the red and black color scheme of the Sharks and hoping to fill the Cobo Arena's 12,000 seats, things did not work out as planned. The Stags carried over the poor play on the ice of the last placed Sharks and could not secure a TV deal either. When attendance averaged 3,000 per game, the club ran into money problems which forced the trade of star Marc Tardif to the Quebec Nordiques in early December.
Six weeks later the Stags were no more, with the owners folding the team on January 19th after only 61 games, even before legendary Red Wing Gordie Howe could return to Detroit for a game.
With the league now as owners, a week later the team was resurrected and placed in Baltimore, now known as the Blades, where they finished the remaining 17 games of the schedule, going a dismal 3-13-1, prior to folding after the season.
Today's featured jersey is a 1974-75 Michigan Stags Dan Gruen jersey. The Stags used the same basic jersey as their predecessor Sharks, only with a new, nicely executed logo, with the Stag's legs forming a subtle "M" for Michigan. While not the most dynamic logo ever, it was clean and graphic and has aged very well.
Today's audio file is some classic Stags radio play-by-play action from a game versus the New England Whalers in the 1974-75 season.