North American Hockey League (1973–77)

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North American Hockey League
North american hockey league 1973-77.gif
Founded 1973
Ceased 1977
Replaced by American Hockey League
No. of teams 7 to 10
Country United States & Canada
Most titles Syracuse Blazers (2)

The North American Hockey League was a low-level minor professional hockey league that existed from 1973 to 1977. Several of the NAHL teams operated as developmental ("farm") teams for World Hockey Association franchises. The NAHL was one of two leagues, along with the Southern Hockey League, that were formed after the Eastern Hockey League ceased operations in 1973. The Lockhart Cup was the league's championship trophy. With the loss of a number of franchises, the NAHL elected to fold in September 1977.[1]

The league served as the inspiration for the movie Slap Shot.[citation needed] The Inspiration came from screenwriter Nancy Dowd, whose brother Ned Dowd, who played the Character "Ogie" Oglethorpe, was a real Professional Hockey Player in the NAHL, playing in Johnstown, PA for the Johnstown Jets[2], during a season where the team was for sale, when his sister came to live in Johnstown and got the inspiration for the movie.[citation needed] And then there are the references to "Syracuse", and "Broome County", all of which were teams in the NAHL [3], as were some of the incidents depicted actually occurred in actual NAHL Games with the Johnstown Jets and the Carlson Brothers (who were portrayed with the characters Hanson Brothers).[citation needed]


Team name Years Seasons City
Beauce Jaros 1975–1976 2 Saint-Georges, Quebec
Broome Dusters 1973–1977 4 Binghamton, New York
Buffalo Norsemen 1975–1976 1 North Tonawanda, New York
Cape Cod Cubs / Cape Codders 1973–1976 3 South Yarmouth, Massachusetts
Erie Blades 1975–1977 2 Erie, Pennsylvania
Johnstown Jets 1973–1977 4 Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Long Island Cougars 1973–1975 2 Commack, New York
Maine Nordiques 1973–1977 4 Lewiston, Maine
Mohawk Valley Comets 1973–1977 4 Utica, New York
Philadelphia Firebirds 1974–1977 3 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Syracuse Blazers 1973–1977 4 Syracuse, New York

Lockhart Cup[edit]

Season Champion Finalist
1973-74 Syracuse Blazers Long Island Cougars
1974-75 Johnstown Jets Broome Dusters
1975-76 Philadelphia Firebirds Beauce Jaros
1976-77 Syracuse Blazers Maine Nordiques

External links[edit]