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The Oklahoma City Blazers were a professional ice hockey team that played in the Northwest Division of the Central Hockey League. The Blazers played at the Ford Centermarker, located in downtown Oklahoma Citymarker. Its colors were burgundy, gold and white. On July 2nd, 2009, the Blazers ceased operations after failing to reach a lease agreement with the city.

History

The current incarnation of the Blazers came into being in 1992 with the revival of the CHL, and has been one of the most successful minor league hockey franchises of all time, routinely drawing 8,000 fans or more and even matching a couple National Hockey League clubs for seasonal attendance over the years. On ice, the Blazers have excelled as well, winning an unprecedented nine regular season division championships (including seven straight, 1996-2003), five regular-season points titles and CHL championships in 1996 and 2001. The franchise's two great stars, Joe Burton and Hardy Sauter, are the CHL's first and third all-time career leading scorers, and Burton is the fourth leading goal scorer in minor league hockey history.

In 2009 the Blazers withdrew their lease with Oklahoma City and ceased operations citing that "it is not economically feasible for us to go on at this point." Oklahoma City is now pursuing an AHL team to improve its hockey status.

Original Blazers franchise, 1965-1977

The first incarnation of the Blazers, played in an earlier Central Hockey League between 1965 and 1977. Initially, it was a Boston Bruins farm team - the first coach was Harry Sinden - and NHL stars Bernie Parent, Gerry Cheevers, Doug Favell, Reggie Leach, Rick MacLeish, Wayne Cashman, Ivan Boldirev, J. P. Parise, Ross Lonsberry, Dallas Smith, Bill Goldsworthy and Jean Pronovost were among the members of the Blazers. From 1973 to 1976, the team was affiliated with the Toronto Maple Leafs and included such players as Mike Palmateer, Blaine Stoughton and Pat Boutette.

Gregg Sheppard was the franchise's leading career scorer. Their home arenas during this time were the Fairgrounds Arenamarker and the Myriad Convention Center Arena. The Blazers won the CHL championship in 1966 under player-coach Harry Sinden and repeated in 1967.

This team was created through the relocation of the Minneapolis Bruins, who themselves began in 1963 as a relocation of the Kingston Frontenacs from the defunct Eastern Professional Hockey League.

Championships

Year League Trophy
2000-2001 CHL Ray Miron President's Cup
1995-1996 CHL William “Bill” Levins Memorial Cup


External links



References




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