New York Golden Blades

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Jersey Knights)
Jump to: navigation, search
Raiders/Golden Blades/Knights
League World Hockey Association
Operated 19721974
Franchise history
1972–1973 New York Raiders
1973–1974 New York Golden Blades/
Jersey Knights
1974–1977 San Diego Mariners

The New York Raiders were an ice hockey team and founding member of the World Hockey Association based in New York City. Intended to be the WHA's flagship franchise, its short tenure was a result of being unable to compete with the National Hockey League's established New York Rangers, and the expansion New York Islanders. After its inaugural season, the team was known as the New York Golden Blades and eventually relocated to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, becoming the Jersey Knights.

New York Raiders[edit]

New York Raiders
New york raiders.png
City New York City, NY
Home arena Madison Square Garden
Head coach Camille Henry

The New York Raiders participated in the first WHA draft. Its coach was Camille Henry and the very first draft pick – second overall – was Al Sims. Sims did not, however, play for the Raiders, but he signed with the Boston Bruins instead.

The team was initially slated to play in the brand-new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island. However, Nassau County didn't consider the WHA a major league and wanted nothing to do with the Raiders. Nassau County retained William Shea to get an NHL team to play in the new building. The NHL responded by hastily awarding a franchise to Long Island—the New York Islanders. The Islanders' lease with the Coliseum was structured in such a way to effectively lock out non-NHL teams.

The Raiders were forced to play in Madison Square Garden, where they faced being tenants to their major competitor, the New York Rangers. The situation rapidly became untenable, with an onerous lease and poor attendance. The three original owners defaulted, and the league ended up taking control of the team midway through the season.

New York Golden Blades/Jersey Knights[edit]

New York Golden Blades
New york golden blades.png
City New York City, NY
Home arena Madison Square Garden
Jersey Knights
New jersey knights.png
City Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Home arena Cherry Hill Arena

Following the season, New York real estate mogul Ralph Brent bought the team and renamed it the New York Golden Blades. While they managed to acquire Andre Lacroix from the Philadelphia Blazers, he was essentially all the franchise had going for it. The team replaced their original orange and blue uniforms with purple and gold uniforms of a unique design, and to coincide with the new identity, the team started the season wearing white skates with gold-colored blades.

The situation improved very little from the previous season; at times, the Golden Blades played before crowds of only 500 people (in an 18,000-seat arena). Sinking in debt, Brent surrendered the team to the league in late November, 20 games into the season, with a 6-12-2 record. Veteran player Harry Howell, who had been recently picked up by the Golden Blades after being released from the Los Angeles Kings, was elevated to player-coach, and ordered the team's white skates painted black.[1]

Soon after, the WHA moved the team to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia, and renamed it the Jersey Knights. In a sense, this returned the WHA to Philadelphia; the Blazers had moved to Vancouver shortly after Lacroix left for the then-Golden Blades. Having been locked out of Madison Square Garden just prior to their move, the players were unable to take their Blades jerseys with them, so the team reverted to the previous Raiders uniforms, with the original crest replaced with the new Knights logo.

The newly minted Knights soon discovered their new home, Cherry Hill Arena, had a slope in the ice surface, which forced visiting teams to skate uphill two out of three periods.[2] (One drawback was that pucks would sometimes shoot upwards unexpectedly; one Knight was knocked cold when a would-be pass jumped up and nailed him between the eyes.) The arena was also closely cramped, with players not having adequate changing and dressing facilities; visiting teams had to dress at their hotel. On the ice, the Knights played over-.500 hockey and were in playoff contention before losing their last six games to finish 32-42-4, last in the Eastern Division.

After 1974, the team moved to San Diego, California and became known as the San Diego Mariners.

Season-by-season record[edit]

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

Season Team name GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
1972–73 Raiders 78 33 43 2 68 303 334 900 6th, Eastern Did not qualify
1973–74 Golden Blades/Knights 78 32 42 4 68 268 313 933 6th, Eastern Did not qualify
Franchise totals 156 65 85 6 136 571 644 1833

References[edit]

External links[edit]