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Ice Hockey

Up to date as of February 02, 2010

An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

St. Louis Eagles
St. Louis Eagles
Founded 1934
History St. Louis Eagles
1934-35

Ottawa Senators
1917-34

Home Arena St. Louis Arena
City St. Louis, Missouri
Colors White and Red

The St. Louis Eagles were a professional ice hockey team, a member of the National Hockey League (NHL), that played during the 1934-35 NHL season in St. Louis, Missouri. They were a relocation of the (1917–1934) Ottawa Senators NHL franchise.

Contents

History

The Senators are generally acknowledged as the greatest team in the early history of hockey, but Ottawa was far and away the smallest market in the league. In its early days, the city could offer good government jobs to players and keep expenses low. However, the NHL expansions in the 1920s hurt the Senators as fans were unwilling to come out to see visiting teams from the United States and revenues suffered. This, along with the Great Depression eventually took its toll on the team's finances. Even sitting out the 1931-32 season didn't relieve the pressure, and the team barely survived the 1933-34 season. The league's other owners, many also in difficulties, turned a deaf ear to the Senator's requests for financial assistance.

However, the league was not willing to lose another team so soon after the Philadelphia Quakers suspended operations (unlike Ottawa, they would never return). On May 14, 1934, the Senators were transferred to St. Louis, where they would be renamed the Eagles, named after the logo of Anheuser-Busch.

At the time, St. Louis was the 7th largest city in the United States, and was far larger than Ottawa. A St. Louis group had originally applied for an NHL franchise in 1932, but was turned down due to concerns about travel costs in the midst of the Great Depression. Most teams travelled by train at the time.

It soon became apparent why the league was skittish about placing a team in St. Louis. While playing to large crowds in the St. Louis Arena,[1] the team soon buckled under the strain of long train rides to Boston, Montreal and Toronto. The Eagles had to play a large number of games in Montreal and Toronto because they had assumed the Senators' place in the Canadian Division, which resulted in the longest road trips in the NHL, and diluted a natural rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks. Under the circumstances, the results were predictable--a record of 11-31-6, dead last in the league. Eddie Gerard began the season as coach, only to be replaced by George Boucher.

Escalating travel costs chewed through what money the team had on hand, and the club sold players Syd Howe and Ralph Bowman to meet expenses. After the season, the club asked to suspend operations for the coming season and this was declined by the league. On October 15, 1935, the NHL bought back the franchise and players contracts for $40,000 and suspended its operations again.[2] Under the agreement, the NHL paid for the players, and took back possession of the franchise. If the franchise was resold, the proceeds would go to the Ottawa Hockey Association. [3]

The players were distributed as follows:

The NHL nixed a bid to move the Montreal Maroons to St. Louis in 1938. The NHL would not return to St. Louis until the St. Louis Blues joined the league in 1967.

A total of 29 different players suited up for the 1934-35 St. Louis Eagles. The last active Eagles player was Bill Cowley, who retired in 1947.

Team captains

Season-by-season record

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

Season GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
1934-35 48 11 31 6 0 28 86 144 385 5th in Canadian Out of playoffs
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See also

  • 1934-35 St. Louis Eagles season

References

  1. Player Frank Finnigan recalled that arena's seating was segregated, a first for the NHL. [Finnigan], pg.
  2. <cite id="icehockey_wikia_CITEREFError: invalid time">"Ottawa Interests Through;NHL Purchases Franchise", Toronto Star, October 16,1935</cite>
  3. Coleman, Charles. Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol. 2, 1927-1946 inc. 
  • Finnigan, Joan (1990). Old Scores, New Goals. 
Relocated and defunct NHL teams
Relocated
(still active)
Atlanta Flames · Colorado Rockies · Hartford Whalers · Kansas City Scouts · Minnesota North Stars · Quebec Nordiques · Winnipeg Jets
Defunct California/Oakland (Golden) Seals · Cleveland Barons · Hamilton Tigers · Montreal Maroons · Montreal Wanderers · New York/Brooklyn Americans · Ottawa Senators (original) · Philadelphia Quakers · Pittsburgh Pirates · Quebec Bulldogs · St. Louis Eagles

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

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