Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Western Hockey League 1952’ Category

1966-1974 San Diego Gulls

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1969-70 San Diego Gulls WHL Media GuideWestern Hockey League (1966-1974)

Born: 1966 – WHL expansion franchise
Folded: June 1974

Arena: San Diego Sports Arena

Team Colors:

Owner: Bob Breitbard

Lester Patrick Cup Championships: None


The San Diego Gulls were a popular entry in the minor Western Hockey League in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  The club was the brainchild of veteran San Diego sports booster Bob Breitbard, who oversaw construction of the San Diego Sports Arena in 1966 and owned both of its major tenants: the Gulls and the NBA’s San Diego Rockets.

Tax pressures on the Arena overtook Breitbard in 1971, forcing him to sell off the Rockets basketball team to Houston interests and relinquish control of the Arena to Canadian businessman Peter Graham.  But Breitbard held onto the Gulls for several more seasons and continued to nurture dreams of attracting a National Hockey League expansion franchise to San Diego. Meanwhile, the Gulls continued to pull strong crowds throughout the early Seventies, both for WHL play and for a pair of high profile international exhibitions against the Soviet National Team.

The death knell for the San Diego Gulls WHL franchise rang in the spring of 1974. The National Hockey League went to war with the upstart World Hockey Association over players and expansion markets. The NHL awarded expansion franchises to long-time WHL cities Denver and Seattle. Arena owner Peter Graham served an eviction notice on the Gulls to make way for the relocating Jersey Knights of the WHA. Without a building or a viable league to play in, the Gulls called it quits in June 1974.

The “Gulls” nickname has subsequently been revived by three different San Diego minor league hockey franchises. Most recently, the American Hockey League’s San Diego Gulls opened for business in the fall of 2015.


San Diego Gulls Programs


==In Memoriam==

Gulls founder Bob Breitbard passed away on May 17, 2010 at the age of 91. San Diego Union-Tribune obit.


==Links== – excellent fan history site

Western Hockey League Media Guides

Western Hockey League Programs


Written by Drew Crossley

June 20th, 2016 at 4:47 pm

1955-1961 Winnipeg Warriors

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Winnipeg Warriors ProgramWestern Hockey League (1955-1961)

Born: 1955
Folded: Postseason 1961

Arena: Winnipeg Arena

Team Colors:

Owner: Jack Perrin


The Winnipeg Warriors were a professional minor league hockey team that played six campaigns in the Western Hockey League between 1955 and 1961.

The Warriors’ big name was Bill Mosienko.  The diminutive winger was a Winnipeg native who helped to launch the Warriors after completing a 14-year NHL career.  At the time Mosienko retired from the NHL, he was the league’s 7th all-time leading scorer.  He would go on to play four more seasons in the WHL, finally retiring in 1959 at the age of 38.

The Warriors won the President’s Cup as champions of the Western Hockey League during their charmed debut season of 1955-56.

The Warriors struggled financially at Winnipeg Arena and with the long travel distances required to reach WHL opponents in Alberta, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.  The club’s closest rival, the Calgary Stampeders, were 600 miles away.  After a failed effort by Warriors owner to move the team to San Francisco in the spring of 1961, the Warriors ceased operations.


==Winnipeg Warriors Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Year Date Opponent Score Program Other


1958-59 11/8/1958 @ Calgary Stampeders L 5-2 Program



Western Hockey League Programs


Written by AC

June 25th, 2015 at 4:41 pm

1958-1975 Seattle Totems

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Seattle TotemsWestern Hockey League (1958-1974)
Central Hockey League (1974-1975)

Born: 1958 – The Seattle Americans are re-branded as the Seattle Totems
Postseason 1976


Team Colors:



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In Memoriam

Defenseman John Hanna (1968-1972) passed away on November 20, 2005 at age 70.


Links – An outstanding Totems history site with lots of memorabilia

Western Hockey League Programs

Central Hockey League Media Guides

Central Hockey League Programs


1967-1979 Phoenix Roadrunners

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Sandy HuculWestern Hockey League (1967-1974)
World Hockey Association (1974-1977)
Central Hockey League (1977)
Pacific Hockey League (1977-1979)

Born: May 16, 1967 – The Victoria Maple Leafs relocate to Phoenix, AZ
Folded: June 22, 1979

Arena: Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Team Colors:


Lester Patrick Cup Champions (WHL): 1973 & 1974
AVCO Cup Championships (WHA): None
Adams Cup Championships (CHL): None


Text coming soon…


Phoenix Roadrunners Shop

Roadrunners Retro T-Shirt by Throwback Max

Phoenix Roadrunners Memorabilia



Pacific Hockey League Programs


November 7, 1969 – Salt Lake Golden Eagles vs. Phoenix Roadrunners

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Russ GillowSalt Lake Golden Eagles vs. Phoenix Roadrunners
November 7, 1969
The Salt Palace
Attendance: ?

Western Hockey League Programs
48 pages


Great eye appeal to this program from the very early days of the Salt Lake Golden Eagles minor league hockey team.  The Eagles would go on to play for 25 seasons from 1969 until 1994, surviving the demise of two leagues along the route.  But this November 1969 program was from just the 11th game of their inaugural season as an expansion team in the Western Hockey League (1952-1974).

That’s starting goaltender Russ Gillow on the cover, accompanied by his facsimile autograph (a common convention of the age that you pretty much never find on game programs any more).  Gillow was a minor league warhorse who played the better part of 15 years in the minors and senior amateur leagues.  He never made it to the NHL, but did later see significant action in the World Hockey Association, playing four seasons with the Los Angeles Sharks (1972-1974) and the San Diego Mariners (1974-1976).

On this Friday night at the Salt Palace, Gillow allowed three goals to the visiting Phoenix Roadrunners.  But Gillow and the Eagles emerged with a tie, thanks to two goals from Bobby Schmautz, including the equalizer on a 3rd period penalty shot.  Schmautz played the entire 1969-70 season in the Western League, a temporary detour on what would otherwise be a long NHL career that stretched from 1967 until 1981.



Russ Gillow career statistics at

Phoenix Roadrunners Home Page



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