Golden Eagles Timeline
including major events
in Utah's hockey history
The Pre Golden Eagles
1940s/1950s: Joe Rogers, the father of Utah
Hockey, is stationed at Kearns and Wendover as part of the Air Force. Once
he gets out, he decides to stay. He starts an amateur club (for adults),
that plays against other Western US cities. By the 1960s, he has started
youth hockey in Salt Lake.
1968: A new Western Hockey League team is
announced for Salt Lake. The owner is to be Dan Meyer, the coach/GM Ray
Kinasewich. The first Golden Eagle player is Dale Conrad of Edmonton.
The WHL Era (1969-1974)
1969: The Salt Palace is completed. Clarance
S. Campbell, president of the NHL, called the Salt Palace, "the finest
hockey viewing arena on the North American continent."
1969: The first Golden Eagle, Dale Conrad,
of Edmonton is signed.
The Eagles have some of their players supplied
by Buffalo but have to supply many players on their own.
Oct 19, 1969: The Eagles win their home opener
against San Diego, 4-2. It is one of only 15 wins in the 1969/70 season.
1969: Lyle Bradley plays the first 16 games
of the Eagles season, on loan to the team. He is transferred back to Denver
after 16 games.
1970: In spite of a losing record, the Eagles
average 6000 fans per game.
1970: The leading scorer for the Eagles is
Guyle Fiedler with 58 assists and 66 points.
Aug 5, 1970: The Eagles extend their affiliation
with the Buffalo Sabres for two more years.
Aug 18, 1970: Ray Kinasewich unexpectedly
resigns citing family health problems.
Sept 7, 1970: Gus Bodner named coach/GM
1971: Jake Rathwell named WHL Rookie of the
1971: Dennis Kassian is the leading scorer
for 70/71 with 61 points.
May 26, 1971: Al Rollins named new coach.
Gus Bodner's departure is termed mutually agreeable.
Jan 1972: Lyle Bradley comes back to the Eagles
as he is traded with Guyle Fielder to Portland.
Jan 25, 1972: Team owner and founder, Dan
Meyer, dies from a fall from a 19th story hotel room while attending league
meetings in Bloomington, Minn.
May 19, 1972: Charlie Finley buys the Eagle
from the Meyer's Estate. He changes the team's colors to the kelly green
and gold of his Golden Seals and baseball A's.
1972/73: The Eagles start playing their fist
winning hockey, spending 15 straight weeks at the top of the WHL. They
end up finishing second in the WHL.
1973: The NHL ousts Finley and takes over
operation of the club. However, the green and gold remain their colors
for another decade and a half.
1974: The NHL threatens the Eagles with extinction,
as the Seals are sold to Mel Swig of Cleveland. At the last minute, Art
Teece and Thayne Acord save the Eagles.
1974: The WHL folds, due to pressure from
NHL and WHA teams taking over its prime markets. The Eagles join the Central
Hockey League (CHL) along with the Seattle Totems and the Denver Spurs.
Those two teams would only last a year in the CHL.
The CHL Era (1974-1984)
June 1974: Al Rollins quits as coach.
Jun 26, 1974: Dick Rosetta of the Salt Lake
Tribune declares "Golden Eagles now Extinct in Salt Lake".
Aug 23, 1974: Jack Evans becomes coach.
Oct 1974: The Eagles win their first CHL game,
beating the Seattle Totems 4-2.
1975: The Eagles win the Jack Adams Cup (CHL
Playoff Championship), beating the Dallas Blackhawks 4 games to 3.
1975: Jack Evans is named CHL and minor league
hockey coach of the yeah.
1975: Jack Evans becomes the coach of the
parent team, Cleveland Barons.
Aug 20, 1975: Marv Edwards becomes head coach.
1976: Denis Meloche finishes 75/76 season
with 80 points.
1976: Eagles make playoffs, finishing third
in the CHL, but lose 4 games to 1 to Dallas in the semi-finals.
1977: Art Teece and Thayne Acord avoid a
crisis, as the parent Cleveland team fails to pay their players. Teece
and Acord pay the players out of their own pockets.
1977: This is the only year the Eagles miss
the playoffs as they finish 5th in the six team CHL.
Feb 1977: The Cleveland Barons are having
financial problems. They fail to play several Salt Lake players owned by
them. Art Teece and Thayne Acord come to the rescue, paying the players
out of their own pockets.
Aug 3, 1977: The St. Louis Blues take over
from the (practically bankrupt) Cleveland Barons as parent club. Phoenix
becomes Cleveland's farm club. A season later, the Cleveland Barons would
become extinct as they merged with the Minnesota North Stars.
Aug 3, 1977: Barclay Plager is named the Eagle's
Feb 6, 1978: Barclay Plager becomes the Blues
coach, and younger brother Bob Plager takes over as coach.
1978: Eagles finish second in the CHL but
lose to Dallas 4 games to 2 in the Adams Cup semi-finals.
July 17, 1978: Jack Evans becomes coach again.
Dec 8th, 1978: Lyle Bradley's last game as
Dec 21st, 1978: Doug Palazzari plays first
game as an Eagle.
1979: Eagles win CHL regular season championship.
They beat Fort Worth 4 games to 1 in the semi-finals, but lose to Dallas
4 games to 1 in the Adams Cup finals.
1979: Eagles play the US Olympic Team in home
Feb 27, 1980: Team co-owner, Thayne Acord,
and wife, Lorraine, are murdered in their Granger home. Their two sons,
Dean and Bill take over co-ownership.
1980: Eagles win both the regular season (finishing
18 points ahead of second place Indianapolis) and Adams Cup championship.
1980: Joe Mullen's first season as an Eagle.
1981: Eagles finish second to Dallas in the
regular season. They defeat Wichita to win their second straight Adams
1981: Art Teece is named minor league hockey
executive of the year.
1982: Salt Lake hosts the first CHL All Star
1982: The Eagles, scoring 368 goals, finish
first in the CHL during regular season. During the season they have a 12
game winning streak and a 18 game unbeaten streak. However, they lose to
Dallas in the Adams Cup semi-finals.
1983: The Blues supply the Eagles with some
lousy players, and the Eagles finish fourth in the CHL. They lose to Indianapolis
in the Adams Cup semifinals.
1983: Eagles affiliation with the Blues is
terminated. The team is affiliated with Minnesota for the 83/84 season.
1983: J.P. Parise becomes the new coach.
1983: US Olympic Team hero, goalie Jim Craig,
plays for the Eagles.
1984: Eagles finish third in the five team
CHL. The Tulsa Oilers (who had financial problems and were homeless) beat
the Eagles in the semifinals, and go on to win the Adams Cup.
May-July 1984: The CHL folds. Colorado, Indianapolis,
Montana and Salt Lake try to get in the IHL. Their efforts are made difficult
by the current IHL teams. The Eagles were declared dead by the Salt Lake
media. Two weeks later, with much effort by Art Teece, the Eagles are let
into the IHL on a one year trial basis. Indianapolis also joins the IHL.
The agreement includes the Eagles paying all travel costs to Salt Lake
for other teams in the Midwest league. Salt Lake became the first team
outside of the Midwest in the league. In retrospect, the Eagles were a
stepping stone into the West, which allowed the league to become the coast
to coast league it is today.
The IHL Era (1984-1994)
1984: The new coach is to be Tom Webster.
1984: Scott MacLeod comes to the Golden Eagles.
1985: The Eagles finish their first season
in the IHL third in the West Division. They lose in the first round of
the playoffs to Ft. Wayne 4-3.
1985: GM Schell id dismissed.
Sept 1985: Co-owners, Bill and Dean Acord,
sell their interest in the club to Art Teece.
1985: The Eagles go back to the spread eagle
logo used in the team's early existence.
1985: Wayne Thomas becomes Eagles new coach.
1985: The IHL starts using shoot-outs to settle
Nov 17, 1985: Goalie Rick Heinz breaks Paul
Skidmore's record with 79 wins.
1986: Eagles finish fourth in the IHL West
and are defeated by Ft. Wayne 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs.
Jan 1987: The Eagles are in last place for
the entire IHL.
Apr 1987: The Eagles finish the season second
in the IHL West and fifth overall.
May 20, 1987: The Eagles beat Muskegon, 4-2,
to win the Turner Cup Championship on May 20.
1987: The Eagles (sole) affiliation with the
Calgary Flames begins. The teams colors change to the red and gold of Calgary.
June 30, 1987: The Flames name Paul Baxter
as the Eagle's coach. Bob Francis is to be his assistant.
1988: The Eagles win their second straight
Turner cup, beating Flint 4-2.
1989: The Eagles finish first in the IHL West.
They lose the Turner Cup finals, 4-1, to Muskegon.
1989: Paul Baxter moves up to the coaching
job in Calgary. Bob Francis becomes the new coach.
Sept 1989: Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller
buys the team from Art Teece.
1990: The Eagles finish 2nd in the IHL West
1991: The Eagles finish 2nd in the IHL West
Sept 18, 1991: The final hockey game is played
in the Salt Palace. Calgary (with many players who were sent down to the
Eagles) beat team USA 7-3. A non competition agreement was signed between
Salt Lake County (Salt Palace) and Larry Miller (Delta Center).
1991: Eagles, along with the Utah Jazz, move
to the Delta Center. The arena has some nice features, but is awful as
a hockey viewing venue.
Oct 16, 1991: The Eagles play their first
game in the Delta Center. The Eagles lost to Peoria in front of a crowd
of 13,482. The game is the first athletic event in the new venue.
Oct 28, 1991: The Eagles end a 9 game losing
streak with a victory over the San Diego Gulls.
Oct 29, 1991: Salt Lake County chooses a new
design for the Salt Palace which will knock down the familiar drum.
1992: The Eagles finish 4th in the IHL West
Dec 13, 1992: The gender barrier is broken.
Manon Rheaume of the Atlanta Knights becomes the first female to play in
a regular season professional hockey game. The game came against the Golden
Eagles in Atlanta in front of 9,027 fans. Rheaume replaced goalie David
Littman and stopped 2 of 3 shot The Eagles won the game 4-1.
1993: Calgary terminates its affiliation with
the Golden Eagles. The New York Islanders become the new parent team. The
New coach is Dave Tarrish.
1993: The Eagles logo is changed to Icey.
March 1994: With the Eagles having the worst
record in the IHL, the Islanders agree to get better players for the club
for the next season.
March 1994: Larry Miller announces the sell
of the Eagles to a group in Michigan. The team becomes the Detroit Vipers
in the 94/95 season.
April 1994: The Eagles play their last home
game in front of a sell out crowd in the Delta Center. Ironically, the
game is against the San Diego Gulls. The Eagles played their first game,
25 years ago in the WHL, against another team named the San Diego gulls.
The Eagles play three more road games, as the death knell is sounded for
April 1994: The Eagles finish with the worst
record in the entire IHL.
The Year of Darkness (1994-1995)
1994: The Isles farm club is in Denver for
the 94/95 season. With the better players, and a new coach, Butch Goring,
the Grizzlies win the IHL's Turner Cup. If only they were in Salt Lake.
The Grizzlies Era
1995: With the Quebec Nordiques moving to
Denver, and becoming the Colorado Avalanche, the Grizzlies move to Salt
Lake. The Utah Grizzlies bring the Turner Cup back to Salt Lake as they
win their second straight championship. And the fans love it.
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