The Denver Spurs
were a professional ice hockey
team based out of Denver, Colorado
. The Spurs began play in the Western Hockey League
in 1968, and played at the Denver Coliseum
. The Spurs became the first professional sports team in Colorado to win a championship in 1971–72. After the WHL folded in 1974, the team transferred to the Central Hockey League
for the 1974–75 season.
Spurs in the WHA
In June, 1974, Ivan Mullenix, owner of the CHL Spurs, was awarded a "conditional" Denver NHL franchise for the 1976-77 season. With the McNichols Sports Arena
already complete by 1975, he looked to enter the NHL a year early, and the league attempted to broker an arrangement by which Mullenix would acquire the California Golden Seals
(then under league ownership) and move them to Denver in lieu of an expansion team. At the same time, the bankrupt Pittsburgh Penguins
would be sold to a Seattle
group who held the other conditional franchise that had been awarded.
The proposed arrangement fell through, and with the continuing franchise difficulties, the NHL called off the 1976-77 expansion. Mullenix then opted to move the Spurs to the WHA for the 1975-76 season.
The WHA Spurs are sometimes considered as a continuation of the Chicago Cougars
, who had folded following the 1974-75 season, as most of the team's players were claimed from the Cougars in a dispersal draft, combined with some players from the CHL Spurs.
A Sports Illustrated
preview on the upcoming WHA season... Read More