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Up to date as of February 02, 2010

An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

Kansas City Scouts
Kansas City Scouts
Founded 1974
History Kansas City Scouts
1974 – 1976
Colorado Rockies
1976 – 1982
New Jersey Devils
1982 - present
Home Arena Kemper Arena
City Kansas City, Missouri
Colors Blue, Red, Yellow and White

                   

The Kansas City Scouts was a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1974–76. In 1976 the franchise relocated to Denver, Colorado and became the Colorado Rockies. In 1982, the Rockies relocated to New Jersey where they are now known as the New Jersey Devils.

Contents

Franchise history

In 1974, the NHL ended its first expansion period by adding teams in Kansas City, Missouri and Washington, D.C. Kansas City was awarded their franchise on June 8, 1972, and Kemper Arena was constructed to host the team's games. Kansas City had been the home of several minor league ice hockey teams through the years. The Scouts shared Kemper Arena with the Kansas City Kings basketball franchise from the National Basketball Association. The arrival of the Scouts and Washington Capitals resulted in the NHL creating four divisions, and the Scouts were placed in the Smythe Division.

The Kansas City Scout statue inspired the franchise's name.
Kemper Arena served as the Scouts' home arena.

The Kansas City franchise was to be called the Kansas City MO-Hawks, since the Kansas City metropolitan area includes portions of Missouri and Kansas. The name would have combined Missouri's postal abbreviation (MO) and the Kansas nickname of "Jayhawkers." However, the Chicago Black Hawks objected to the name because it came too close to that of their own franchise. The team then chose the name Kansas City Scouts, named after the Kansas City Scout statue that overlooks the city.

On October 9, 1974, the Scouts took the ice for the first time at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto and lost 6–2 to the Maple Leafs. To allow construction to be completed on Kemper Arena, the Scouts played their first eight games on the road. In those eight games, the Scouts lost seven games and tied one game. The Scouts made their home debut on November 2, losing to the Black Hawks 4–3. The following day, the team got their first victory, coming against the Capitals by a score of 5–4 in Washington.

Like most expansion teams, the Scouts played poorly, garnering only 41 points in their inaugural season.

The next season, the team won only 12 games, which still stands as the worst in Scouts/Rockies/Devils franchise history. For a time in late 1975, the team was poised to compete for a playoff spot. After a 3–1 win over the California Golden Seals on December 28, they stood just one point behind the St. Louis Blues and playoff position in the weak Smythe Division. But the Scouts entered into a free-fall once 1976 hit, winning only one of their remaining 44 games (1–35–8), ending the season with a 27 game winless stretch, and finishing their second and final season with a record of 12–56–12 and 36 points.

In their two seasons the Scouts went through three coaches–Bep Guidolin, Sid Abel (3-game interim stint), and Eddie Bush. The team had two captains, Simon Nolet and Guy Charron. Steve Durbano led the league in penalty minutes during the 1975–76 season. Wilf Paiement was the last active player in the NHL to have played for the Scouts. He retired in 1988, ending his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Scouts failed to make the playoffs in either season in Kansas City and won only 27 of 160 games.

With a combined 32 teams between the NHL and the rival World Hockey Association, the talent available to stock the new teams in Kansas City and Washington was stretched thin. In their first season, the Capitals would set an NHL record for futility, losing 67 of 80 games, and only winning one on the road. The Scouts fared only marginally better, and the 1974 expansion was widely seen as having been a mistake.

The Scouts suffered from inflated player costs, a weak ownership group, an economic downturn, poor performance on the ice and poor attendance. The Scouts drew an average of just 8,218 fans during their two years (at a time when the league average was approximately 13,000). The owners quickly amassed massive debts. The team's 30 or so investors tried to initiate a ticket drive to allow the team to remain in Kansas City for a third season, but it failed.

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Relocation to Denver

After just two seasons, the Scouts franchise was sold and relocated to Denver and renamed the Colorado Rockies. The Colorado Rockies would play six NHL seasons in Denver, relocating to the east coast to become the New Jersey Devils following the 1982 season.

The Scouts and the California Golden Seals, who moved to Cleveland and became the Cleveland Barons the same year, were the first NHL teams to relocate since the 1935 season . Denver and Seattle were to have been granted franchises in an aborted 1976 NHL expansion.

Legacy

Following the departure of the Scouts, Kansas City became a minor league hockey town again affiliating with a number of teams. Most notably, the Kansas City Blades, who operated from 1990–2001 in the International Hockey League. Within a few years of the Blades' departure, plans started for a new arena in downtown Kansas City, which has led city officials to actively pursue a return to the NHL, speaking with several teams about possible relocation.

In 2009, the Scouts were named as having one of the five ugliest uniforms in NHL history by Versus.com.

Season-by-season record

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Season GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
1974–75 80 15 54 11 41 184 328 744 5th in Smythe Division Out of playoffs
1975–76 80 12 56 12 36 190 351 984 5th in Smythe Division Out of playoffs
Totals 160 27 110 23 77 374 679 1728

Team captains

First round draft picks

See also

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Kansas City Scouts. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

This article uses material from the "Kansas City Scouts" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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