Cleveland Crusaders

The Cleveland Crusaders were a professional ice hockey team from Cleveland, Ohio. The Crusaders were owned by Nick Mileti, and played in the World Hockey Association from 1972 to 1976. Their home ice was the Cleveland Arena from 1972 to 1974, and the Richfield Coliseum from 1974 to 1976.

The first coach for the Crusaders was Bill Needham, a long-time minor leaguer with the AHL's Cleveland Barons. Needham coached the Crusaders to winning records in the first two seasons, but failed to advance past the second playoff round. In the 1974–75 season, John Hanna took over as coach, to be replaced mid-season by Jack Vivian. Cleveland finished second in the east division despite a losing record, but fell in the first round of the playoffs. Johnny Wilson led the team for its final season, also losing in the first round of the post-season.

The Crusaders were displaced from Cleveland in 1976, when the National Hockey League's California Golden Seals moved to Cleveland and became the Cleveland Barons. After a proposed move to Florida fell through, the Crusaders relocated to St. Paul, Minnesota, becoming the second incarnation of the Minnesota Fighting Saints.

Read more about Cleveland Crusaders:  Players, Season-by-season Record

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