Cleveland Barons (1937-1973)
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Cleveland Barons 1937%E2%80%931973
Cleveland Barons
Cleveland barons old ahl 200x200.png
CityCleveland, Ohio
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
Operated1937-February 1973
Home arenaCleveland Arena
ColorsRoyal Blue & White
Franchise history
1929-1934 IHLCleveland Indians
1934-1937 IHL/I-AHLCleveland Falcons
1937-
February 1973 I-AHL/AHL
Cleveland Barons
Feb/73-
1974
Jacksonville Barons
Championships
Regular season titles8 (1937-38, 1943-44, 1944-45, 1946-47, 1947-48, 1949-50, 1950-51, 1952-53)
Division Championships10 (1937-38, 1940-41,
1943-44, 1944-45, 1946-47, 1947-48, 1949-50, 1950-51, 1952-53, 1961-62)
Calder Cups9 (1938-39, 1940-41,
1944-45, 1947-48, 1950-51, 1952-53, 1953-54, 1956-57, 1963-64)

The Cleveland Barons were a minor league professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They played in Cleveland, Ohio at the Cleveland Arena. The most successful team in AHL history, the original incarnation of the Barons played in the AHL from 1937 to 1973. In that time, they won ten division titles and nine Calder Cups, which, although the team had been defunct for over three decades, remained a record until 2009, when the Hershey Bears won their 10th Calder Cup. In 1973, they relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, where they were known as the Jacksonville Barons; they lasted only through the 1973-1974 season before folding.

History

Barons alternate logo.

The team traces its roots back to the 1929-30 season of the International Hockey League, as the "Cleveland Indians." The Indians played for five seasons, until being renamed the Cleveland Falcons for the 1934-35 season. The Falcons played for three more years, when they became the Barons in 1937-38.

From 1934 to 1949, the team was owned by Al Sutphin, who was also an owner of the Braden-Sutphin Ink Company in Cleveland.[1] Sutphin, a true sportsman, was known to often pay better salaries than NHL teams at the time (1930s and 1940s), and some players preferred to remain in "minor league" Cleveland instead of playing in the "major" NHL. Sutphin built the Cleveland Arena, at the time one of the largest and most beautiful hockey facilities in North America. It was rumored that the dormant Montreal Maroons NHL franchise would be transferred to Cleveland but nothing came of it.[2]

Sutphin sold the team and arena in 1949. The Barons sought acceptance into the National Hockey League during the early 1950s, but purported financing irregularities caused the NHL to turn down the bid. The Barons then challenged the NHL for the right to play for the Stanley Cup, which was also rejected. During the 1940s and 1950s, the Barons played to standing-room-only audiences.

The preeminent star of the franchise was Fred Glover, the team's career leader in goals, assists, points, penalty minutes and seasons, (and second in league history in all those categories). Also notable was Hall of Famer goaltender Johnny Bower, who before he starred in the NHL played brilliantly for the Barons for nine seasons and is the AHL's career shutout leader. From 1949 to 1961, the Barons' general manager was James C. Hendy, a Hall of Fame Builder and the first prominent statistician in the history of the sport. Other notable players included Les Cunningham, a five-time league All-Star for whom the AHL's MVP award is named, Jack Gordon, Norm Beaudin, Bill Needham (the team's career leader in games played), Cal Stearns, Fred Thurier and Les Binkley.

In 1972, Barons owner Nick Mileti became the owner of a new team in the World Hockey Association (WHA), which had been founded as a second major league in competition with the NHL. The appearance of this new team, the Cleveland Crusaders, saw the market for the minor league product vanish almost overnight. The Barons could not compete with the WHA practice of hiring ex-NHL players whose contracts had expired, and consequently lost many fans. In addition, creation of the new "major league" drew much of the established talent away from the AHL. Mileti decided the teams could not co-exist, and moved the Barons mid-season in January 1973, to Jacksonville, Florida.[3] Scheduling conflicts caused the Barons to stay in Cleveland for a month The Barons played their last game in Cleveland, a 5-1 loss to the Richmond Robins on February 4, 1973 on front of 435 fans. The Jacksonville Barons, as they were then known, played in the Jacksonville Coliseum, which had previously been home to the Jacksonville Rockets of the Eastern Hockey League. The Barons drew a crowd of 9,189 to their first game in the Jacksonville, but attendance declined afterward. They played one further season in Jacksonville before Mileti determined the franchise was not viable. Stating that he had lost around $1 million, he folded the team and sold it to a group in Syracuse, New York which became the Syracuse Eagles.[3]

The team was replaced in this market by:

Team records

Single season
Goals: Lou Trudel, 45, 1945
Assists: Fred Glover, 69, 1960
Points: Glover, 107, 1960
Career
Career goals: Glover, 410
Career assists: Glover, 695
Career points: Glover, 1105
Career penalty minutes: Glover, 2164
Career goaltending Wins: Johnny Bower, 284
Career shutouts: Bower, 38
Career games: Bill Needham, 981

Season-by-season results

Regular season

Season Games Won Lost Tied Points Goals
for
Goals
against
Standing
1929-30 42 24 9 9 57 125 78 1st, IHL
1930-31 48 24 18 6 54 131 112 3rd, IHL
1931-32 48 15 25 8 38 110 142 7th, IHL
1932-33 42 10 27 5 25 100 147 6th, IHL
1933-34 44 16 24 4 36 104 121 6th, IHL
1934-35 44 20 23 1 40 115 132 4th, IHL
1935-36 48 25 19 4 54 149 146 2nd, West
1936-37 48 13 27 8 34 113 152 3rd, West
1937-38 48 25 12 11 61 126 114 1st, West
1938-39 54 23 22 9 55 145 138 3rd, West
1939-40 56 24 24 8 56 127 130 4th, West
1940-41 56 26 21 9 61 177 162 1st, West
1941-42 56 33 19 4 70 174 152 3rd, West
1942-43 56 21 29 6 48 190 196 4th, West
1943-44 54 33 14 7 73 224 176 1st, West
1944-45 60 34 10 16 78 256 199 1st, West
1945-46 62 28 26 8 64 269 254 3rd, West
1946-47 64 38 18 8 84 272 215 1st, West
1947-48 68 43 13 12 98 332 197 1st, West
1948-49 68 41 21 6 88 286 251 3rd, West
1949-50 70 45 15 10 100 357 230 1st, West
1950-51 71 44 22 5 93 281 221 1st, West
1951-52 68 44 19 5 93 265 166 2nd, West
1952-53 64 42 20 2 86 248 164 1st, AHL
1953-54 70 38 32 0 76 269 227 3rd, AHL
1954-55 64 32 29 3 67 254 222 2nd, AHL
1955-56 64 26 31 7 59 225 231 4th, AHL
1956-57 64 35 26 3 73 249 210 2nd, AHL
1957-58 70 39 28 3 81 232 163 2nd, AHL
1958-59 70 37 30 3 77 261 252 2nd, AHL
1959-60 72 34 30 8 76 267 229 4th, AHL
1960-61 72 36 35 1 73 231 234 3rd, AHL
1961-62 70 39 28 3 81 255 203 1st, West
1962-63 72 31 34 7 69 270 253 2nd, West
1963-64 72 37 30 5 79 239 207 3rd, West
1964-65 72 24 43 5 53 228 285 4th, West
1965-66 72 38 32 2 78 243 217 2nd, West
1966-67 72 36 27 9 81 284 230 3rd, West
1967-68 72 28 30 14 70 236 255 4th, West
1968-69 74 30 32 12 72 213 245 2nd, West
1969-70 72 23 33 16 62 222 255 4th, West
1970-71 72 39 26 7 85 272 208 2nd, West
1971-72 76 32 34 10 74 269 263 4th, West
1972-73 76 23 44 9 55 251 329 5th, West
1973-74 76 24 44 8 56 244 334 5th, South

Playoffs

Season 1st round 2nd round Finals
1929-30 W, 2-0, London -- W, 3-1, Buffalo
1930-31 3rd place in double round robin.
1931-32 Out of playoffs
1932-33 Out of playoffs
1933-34 Out of playoffs
1934-35 L, 0-2, London -- --
1935-36 L, 1-3, Buffalo -- --
1936-37 Data unavailable
1937-38 Data unavailable
1938-39 W, 3-1, Philadelphia
1939-40 Out of playoffs
1940-41 W, 3-1, Providence bye W, 3-2, Hershey
1941-42 W, 2-0, Washington L, 1-2, Hershey --
1942-43 W, 2-0, Providence L, 0-2, Indianapolis --
1943-44 W, 4-3, Hershey -- L, 0-4, Buffalo
1944-45 W, 4-2, Buffalo -- W, 4-2, Hershey
1945-46 W, 2-0, Providence W, 2-1, Pittsburgh L, 3-4, Buffalo
1946-47 L, 0-4, Hershey -- --
1947-48 W, 4-1, Providence bye W, 4-0, Buffalo
1948-49 W, 2-1, Springfield L, 0-2, Hershey --
1949-50 W, 4-1, Buffalo bye L, 0-4, Indianapolis
1950-51 W, 4-0, Buffalo bye W, 4-3, Pittsburgh
1951-52 L, 2-3, Providence -- --
1952-53 W, 3-1, Syracuse -- W, 4-3, Pittsburgh
1953-54 W, 3-0, Buffalo -- W, 4-2, Hershey
1954-55 L, 1-3, Buffalo -- --
1955-56 W, 3-1, Pittsburgh -- L, 0-4, Providence
1956-57 W, 4-3, Hershey -- W, 4-1, Rochester
1957-58 L, 3-4, Springfield -- --
1958-59 L, 3-4, Hershey -- --
1959-60 L, 3-4, Rochester -- --
1960-61 L, 0-4, Springfield -- --
1961-62 L, 2-4, Springfield -- --
1962-63 W, 2-0, Rochester L, 2-3, Hershey --
1963-64 W, 2-0, Rochester W, 3-0, Hershey W, 4-0, Quebec
1964-65 Out of playoffs
1965-66 W, 3-0, Pittsburgh W, 3-0, Springfield L, 2-4, Rochester
1966-67 L, 2-3, Rochester -- --
1967-68 Out of playoffs
1968-69 L, 2-3, Quebec -- --
1969-70 Out of playoffs
1970-71 W, 3-1, Hershey L, 1-3, Springfield --
1971-72 L, 2-4, Baltimore -- --
1972-73 Out of playoffs
1973-74 Out of playoffs

References

  1. ^ George Condon (1995). "Chapter 7, Sutphin's Surprise". The Man in the Arena: The Life and Times of A.C. Sutphin. The A.C. Sutphin Foundation. pp. 51-67. ISBN 0-9649900-1-6.
  2. ^ Condon, op.cit. p.75-77
  3. ^ a b Basch, Mark (November 8, 2004). "Hockey's future a lot brighter in Jacksonville". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 2010.

External links


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