Tuesday, July 26, 2016

1980 Off-Season

1980 Entry Draft

There were several interesting storylines in the 1980 PHL entry draft. Finnish goaltender Antero Parvainen became the first goaltender to be selected first overall when the Philadelphia Redshirts selected him to replace Micheal McArdle, who retired after 19 seasons in the league. Parvainen was also the first European to be selected first overall. The Nova Scotia Claymores selected Dave Mack second overall, a power forward who had led his junior team in scoring three years in a row. The Boston Bulldogs added to their list of prospects with USA highschooll superstar Craig Bush. Long Island took Doug Macintyre, a native of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, sixth overall. Macintyre was said to be the best hockey prospect ever to come from PEI. Two sons of former PHL stars were also selected, Olivier Meloche went to the Dallas Metros, while Brett Zimmer was selected by the Washington Generals. Meloche is the son of former Montreal Royale star Didier Meloche, who played for the Royale from 1938-1952, while Brett Zimmer is the son of former superstar goaltender and current Redshirts’ GM David Zimmer. The rest of the picks were as follows;

1.      Philadelphia Redshirts – Antero Parvainen, G, FIN
2.      Nova Scotia Claymores – Dave Mack, F, CAN
3.      Boston Bulldogs – Craig Bush, F, CAN
4.      Vancouver Bighorns – Gene Callahan, D, USA
5.      Winnipeg Pioneers – Jeff Corkum, D, CAN
6.      Long Island Concordes – Doug Macintyre, F, CAN
7.      Seattle Grey Wolves – Reijo Rantala, F, FIN
8.      Edmonton Northern Lights – Dwayne Ingram, D, USA
9.      Dallas Metros – Olivier Meloche, D, CAN (Didier Meloche Son)
10.   Quebec Nationale – JP Renaud, F, CAN
11.   Washington Generals – Brett Zimmer, D, USA (David Zimmer Son)
12.   Calgary Wranglers – Justin Brady, F, CAN
13.   Toronto Racers – Dan Rowe, F, CAN
14.   Detroit Mustangs – Grant Weber, F, USA
15.   Ottawa Beavers – Dana Briggs, G, CAN
16.   Denver Bulls – Ralph Moran, F, CAN
17.   Pittsburgh Stingers – Ron Buckner, G, USA
18.   St. Louis Spirits – Jay Cross, F, CAN
19.   Chicago Shamrocks – Marcus Ekman, D, SWE
20.   California Nuggets – Jed Dunlop, F, CAN
21.   New York Civics – Brian Grove, F, CAN
22.   Montreal Royale – Jeff Dodson, F, USA
23.   Boston Bulldogs (From Minnesota) - Tuevo Heiskanen, F, FIN
24.   LA Wizards – Jason Sibley, F, CAN

Notable Retirements:

Gilbert Giroux, F, QUE, STL, LA, 1959-1980
For 21 years, Gilbert Giroux served as one of the most dangerous scorers in PHL History. Giroux holds the distinction of winning more Lewis Cups than any other player with seven, playing a key role in two dynasties, with Quebec in the early 1960s, and with LA in the late 1970s. Giroux also made headlines in the late ‘60s as perhaps the most high-profile player to jump to the GHL when he signed with the St. Louis Spirits. Giroux retired in third place all-time in PHL scoring with 1601 total points and was the only player to date to reach over 1000 assists thanks in large part to the eight years he spent on a line with Stuart Holly and Ray Fowler, two of the most dynamic scorers ever to play the game.

Guy Dupont, F, MTL, MIN, 1961-1980
It was a long time coming for Guy Dupont when he finally broke into the PHL with Montreal in 1961. Originally recruited by the Royale as a 15-year-old in 1954, Dupont struggled to impress the Royale during a mediocre career with their junior club. When he finally did make the big club at age 22, he immediately became a star, even scoring the Lewis Cup winning goal in overtime in 1966. To everyone’s shock, just two months later Dupont was traded to the expansion Minnesota Lumberjacks. Then-Montreal coach/GM Eugene Hebert would later say that trading Dupont was the biggest mistake he ever made in his forty-year career. Dupont went on to become the face of the Lumberjacks for 14 years, winning the Lewis Cup with them in 1972 and 1979. In 1980, Dupont retired from the PHL, but would finish his career as the captain of team Canada at the 1980 World Hockey Challenge.

Bobby Kitchen, F, TOR, DET, 1959-1980
Bobby Kitchen entered the PHL as a 19-year-old in 1959, scoring 44 goals in his first season while playing on a line with Mark Benson. Although the Racers were upset by Montreal in the playoffs that year, Kitchen would go on to help lead the Racers to the Lewis Cup in 1964. The Kitchen/Benson duo became one of the most dangerous throughout the 1960s as the two players became fan favorites in Toronto and across Canada. Toronto fans’ hearts were broken in 1971 however, when the rebuilding Racers traded Kitchen to the Detroit Mustangs. After bidding a tearful farewell to Toronto, Kitchen went on to win two more Lewis Cups with Detroit, playing nine seasons with the Mustangs before retiring in 1980.

Jean-Claude Richard, G, MTL, 1961-1980
JC Richard quietly enjoyed a very successful 19-year career despite never really getting the credit he deserved. Richard backstopped Montreal to two Lewis Cup Finals appearances in 1963, 1966, 1968, and 1972, including two victories in ’66 and ’68. Richard continued with Montreal throughout the 1970s and in 1976 was selected to represent Canada as Bobby Sorel’s backup in the inaugural World Hockey Challenge before a lingering injury forced him to decline the invitation. Richard retired in 1980 as perhaps the most underrated player in PHL history.


Boston trades G Ricky Spooner to St. Louis in exchange for F Ralph Dixon.
In Spooner, the Spirits get an elite goaltender who has won a Lewis Cup, possibly giving them the final piece they need, while the rebuild continues in Boston with another solid young player in Dixon.


The biggest story of the 1980 off-season involved the launch of the Pacific Hockey Association, which would be one of the primary affiliate leagues for the PHL. The cities who would comprise the league for the first season and their PHL parent clubs include;
Bakersfield Sharks – LA Wizards
Portland Wildcats – California Nuggets
Everett Black Bears – Seattle Grey Wolves
Victoria Monarchs – Vancouver Bighorns
Houston Saturns – Dallas Metros
Lethbridge Wranglers – Calgary Wranglers
Red Deer Desperados – Edmonton Northern Lights
Brandon Prairie Dogs – Winnipeg Pioneers

Affiliation agreements for the Canadian/American League were changed as well, with expansion teams added in Indianapolis IN and Norfolk VA;

Hartford Bulldogs – Boston Bulldogs
Windsor Wings – Detroit Mustangs
Brooklyn Civics – New York Civics
Indianapolis Speed – Chicago Shamrocks
Toronto Junior Racers – Toronto Racers
Trois Riveres Couronnes – Montreal Royale
Cape Breton Highlanders – Nova Scotia Claymores
Hull Castors – Ottawa Beavers
Rochester Warriors – Denver Bulls
Kansas City Falcons – St. Louis Spirits
Springfield Tigers – Long Island Concordes
Scranton Miners – Pittsburgh Stingers
Hershey Keystones – Philadelphia Redshirts
Norfolk Warships – Washington Generals
Cincinnati Eagles – Minnesota Lumberjacks
Laval Blanc et Bleu – Quebec Nationale

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