Defunct and Relocated Teams
There have been 19 NHL teams that either folded or relocated. The first team to disband was the Montreal Wanderers in 1918, due to their arena burning down a mere four games into the season. The blaze destroyed all the team's equipment, and as a consequence the players were dispersed among the three remaining teams. The first team to relocate was the Quebec Athletic Club, who relocated to Hamilton, Ontario in 1920 to become the Hamilton Tigers. NHL president Frank Calder stripped the franchise from owner Mike Quinn and sold it to a Hamilton-based company. Three franchises succumbed to the economic pressures of the Great Depression: the Philadelphia Quakers, St. Louis Eagles, and Montreal Maroons. The Brooklyn Americans were the last team to fold in the NHL. In the early 1940s, the franchise was struggling financially, and was suspended prior to the 1942–43 season due to a lack of players during World War II. The franchise formally ceased operations in 1946, and their demise began a period in the league's history known as the "Original Six".
The 1967 NHL expansion added six teams, but one of those teams, the California Golden Seals, moved to become the Cleveland Barons before merging with the Minnesota North Stars in 1978 when both clubs were on the verge of folding. With six more expansion teams in the 1970s, and the 1979 NHL–WHA merger, the league had 21 teams at the end of the decade. Three of the four teams from the merger have since relocated to other cities: the Quebec Nordiques, the original Winnipeg Jets, and the Hartford Whalers. The Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche in 1995, while the Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996, with the Whalers becoming the Carolina Hurricanes a year later.
During the 2010-11 playoffs, the Atlanta Thrashers franchise was acquired by True North Sports and Entertainment, who moved the team to Winnipeg for 2011–12, giving the team the revived name Winnipeg Jets.
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Famous quotes containing the words teams and/or defunct:
“A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always like a cat falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls. He walks abreast with his days and feels no shame in not studying a profession, for he does not postpone his life, but lives already.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“The consciousness of being deemed dead, is next to the presumable unpleasantness of being so in reality. One feels like his own ghost unlawfully tenanting a defunct carcass.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)