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Re: WHL/Billings in the 80's

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  • Frank TEX Liebmann
    ... The Franchise history of that Spokane team is this: The Flin Flon Bombers were an expansion (transfer from Junior A) in 67-68 (Bobby Clarke) They moved to
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 1, 1999
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      > I think the WHL may have engaged in some revisionist history in
      > the early 80's.
      >
      > First off, they deleted the Spokane Flyers player stats in the 1982-
      > 83 WHL guide. They mention the team, but no players. They also
      > didn't break down trades that season.

      The Franchise history of that Spokane team is this:

      The Flin Flon Bombers were an expansion (transfer from Junior A) in 67-68 (Bobby Clarke)
      They moved to Edmonton in the 78-79 season.
      They moved to Great Falls for the 79-80 season but failed mid season
      They were resurrected in Spokane for the 80-81 season.
      Spokane folded mid season 81-82. (I think this is the only WHL franchise to ever go under.)

      As was said in an earlier post Billings was moved to Nanaimo for the 82-83 season. They were
      definitely in Billings for they entire 81-82 season. In fact I have a Junior Hockey magazine from
      Feb 82 and it has a picture of Billings Bighorns Gerry Fleming. (It's a shame they moved, Montana
      has the potential of being a great hockey state.)

      That Franchise's history:

      67-68 Winipeg Jets join the league (I believe they were another junior A transfer)
      67-73 Winnipeg Jets
      73-76 Winnipeg Clubs
      76-77 Winnipeg Monarchs
      77-82 Billings Bighorns
      82-83 Nanaimo Islanders (another odd thing, there were a couple of players who started the season
      with Nanaimo, but transferred to the Kelowna Wings)
      83-88 New Westminster Bruins (2nd franchise to have this name)
      88-now Tri City Americans


      > But I'm wondering, did the Billings Bighorns move mid-season to
      > become the Nanaimo Islanders? The reason I ask is that in the
      > draft lists, the NHL guide lists Gord Kluzak, among others, as being
      > drafted from the Nanaimo Islanders. But he played with the Billings
      > Bighorns.

      I show him playing up to the 81-82 season for the Bighorns. It sounds like some misinformation on
      the draft list.



      >
      >
      > If you look at the hockeysfuture.com web site, they list Kluzak as
      > coming from Billings/Nanaimo. The Sporting News guide simply
      > lists him as coming from Billings.
      >
      > The 82-83 guide lists Nanaimo as being a "new franchise" -- in
      > other words, they don't claim that Billings moved during the
      > summer. And since the draft was held in June, that's almost too
      > early for the team to move.
      >
      > Does anyone have a recollection of that team? Frank, are you
      > originally from that area?
      >
      > Ralph
      >
      > --------------------------------------------------
      > Logos, Stats, Cards, and Standings at the
      > Internet Hockey Database: http://www.hockeydb.com
      > --------------------------------------------------
      >
      > > This has been a Hockey History List mailing
      > <A HREF=http://www.enol.com/~liebmann/hockey/hockhist.htm>Our Homepage</A>
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    • Ralph Slate
      ... I could understand if only one player said Billings/Nanaimo , but the strange thing is that each player from Billings was listed that way on
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 1, 1999
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        > As was said in an earlier post Billings was moved to Nanaimo for the
        > 82-83 season. They were definitely in Billings for they entire 81-82
        > season. In fact I have a Junior Hockey magazine from Feb 82 and it has
        > a picture of Billings Bighorns Gerry Fleming. (It's a shame they
        > moved, Montana has the potential of being a great hockey state.)

        > I show him playing up to the 81-82 season for the Bighorns. It sounds
        > like some misinformation on the draft list.

        I could understand if only one player said "Billings/Nanaimo", but
        the strange thing is that each player from Billings was listed that
        way on Hockeysfuture, and each player was listed as being from
        Nanaimo in the NHL guide. It's just a very weird coincidence which
        led me to believe that there was maybe a phantom late-season
        move.

        Ralph

        --------------------------------------------------
        Logos, Stats, Cards, and Standings at the
        Internet Hockey Database: http://www.hockeydb.com
        --------------------------------------------------
      • William Underwood
        According to Home Town Heroes: The History of the Western Hockey League , the Bighorns did move to Naniamo for the 1982-3 season. Apparently, travel costs
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 2, 1999
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          According to "Home Town Heroes: The History of the Western Hockey League",
          the Bighorns did move to Naniamo for the 1982-3 season. Apparently, travel
          costs were terrible and the nearest practice facility was 300 km away in
          Great Falls. Naniamo then went to New Westminster where they were the second
          Bruins until 1988 when they moved to become the Tri City Americans.

          The first Bruin team was the old Estevan Bruins who moved to New Westminster
          in the early 70's and had moved to Kamloops in 1981.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Ralph Slate [mailto:slater@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 1999 9:10 PM
          To: hockhist@onelist.com
          Subject: Re: [hockhist] WHL/Billings in the 80's

          From: "Ralph Slate" <slater@...>

          > As was said in an earlier post Billings was moved to Nanaimo for the
          > 82-83 season. They were definitely in Billings for they entire 81-82
          > season. In fact I have a Junior Hockey magazine from Feb 82 and it has
          > a picture of Billings Bighorns Gerry Fleming. (It's a shame they
          > moved, Montana has the potential of being a great hockey state.)

          > I show him playing up to the 81-82 season for the Bighorns. It sounds
          > like some misinformation on the draft list.

          I could understand if only one player said "Billings/Nanaimo", but
          the strange thing is that each player from Billings was listed that
          way on Hockeysfuture, and each player was listed as being from
          Nanaimo in the NHL guide. It's just a very weird coincidence which
          led me to believe that there was maybe a phantom late-season
          move.

          Ralph

          --------------------------------------------------
          Logos, Stats, Cards, and Standings at the
          Internet Hockey Database: http://www.hockeydb.com
          --------------------------------------------------

          This has been a Hockey History List mailing
          <A HREF=http://www.enol.com/~liebmann/hockey/hockhist.htm>Our Homepage</A>
          The Hockey History List is the official mailing list of the Hockey Research
          Association (HRA)
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