Philadelphia Firebirds (ice hockey)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Philadelphia Firebirds (hockey))
Jump to: navigation, search
Philadelphia Firebirds
Philly Firebirds.png
City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Syracuse, New York
League NAHL (1974–1977)
AHL (1977–1980)
Operated 1974–1980
Home arena Philadelphia Civic Center
Onondaga County War Memorial
Colors White, Orange, Yellow, Green
Affiliates Philadelphia Flyers
Detroit Red Wings
Colorado Rockies
Quebec Nordiques
Pittsburgh Penguins
Franchise history
1974–1979 Philadelphia Firebirds
1979–1980 Syracuse Firebirds
Playoff championships 1: 1975–76
(Lockhart Cup)
The 1976-77 Philadelphia Firebirds with the Lockhart Cup.

The Philadelphia Firebirds were a minor league professional ice hockey team that played in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1974 to 1979.

From 1974 to 1977 the Firebirds were a member club of the North American Hockey League winning the league's Lockhart Cup play-off championship in 1976. The Firebirds featured several key players during their time in Philadelphia. Goaltender Rejean Lemelin moved on from the Firebirds to a long career with Calgary and Boston in the NHL. The tandem of center Bobby Collyard and right wing Gordie Brooks were consistently among the leading scorers in both the NAHL and AHL during their Firebird careers. The Firebirds (and the whole NAHL) played a free-wheeling, high-scoring brand of hockey. Philadelphia averaged over 4.50 goals scored per game during their three NAHL seasons, and averaged 5.94 goals scored per game during the 16 games of their Lockhart Cup championship run in 1976. One playoff game in 1976 between the Firebirds and the Johnstown (Pa.) Jets ended with the Firebirds winning 14-10. Firebird crowds were generally sparse, but over 9,223 fans jammed into the Philadelphia Civic Center to see the Firebirds defeat the Beauce Jaros 5-2 on April 14, 1976 and win the Lockhart Cup, although seating capacity for hockey was only 8,500.

When the NAHL folded in 1977, the Firebirds, along with the Broome Dusters, joined the then-struggling American Hockey League. The Firebirds played all five seasons in Philadelphia (three NAHL and two AHL seasons) at the Philadelphia Civic Center (formerly Convention Hall - see below), which has since been torn down. The Firebirds were affiliated with the NHL Detroit Red Wings in 1977–78 and the Colorado Rockies in 1978–79. However, minor league hockey placement of prospects was much less well structured in the 1970s (compared to today), and Philadelphia's roster did not have many top-drawer players. The Firebirds lost their first 10 games of the 1978-79 season before defeating the Hershey Bears on November 10, 1978, en route to a last place 23-49-8 season.

Following the 1979 season, the franchise moved to Syracuse, New York, where the club played one final season as the Syracuse Firebirds before folding.

Season-by-season results[edit]

  • Philadelphia Firebirds 1974–1977 (North American Hockey League)
  • Philadelphia Firebirds 1977–1979 (American Hockey League)
  • Syracuse Firebirds 1979–1980 (American Hockey League)

Regular season[edit]

Season Games Won Lost Tied Points Goals
1974–75 74 40 31 3 83 311 288 2nd, NAHL
1975–76 74 45 29 0 90 373 319 2nd, West
1976–77 74 38 33 3 79 319 294 4th, NAHL
1977–78 81 35 35 11 81 294 290 3rd, South
1978–79 80 23 49 8 54 230 347 5th, South
1979–80 80 31 42 7 69 303 364 3rd, South


Season 1st round 2nd round Finals
1974–75 L, 1–3, Long Island
1975–76 W, 3–2, Erie W, 4–2, Johnstown W, 4–2, Beauce
Lockhart Cup Champions
1976–77 L, 1–3, Erie
1977–78 L, 1–3, New Haven
1978–79 Out of Playoffs
1979–80 L, 0–4, Hershey

External links[edit]