Denver: For the upstart World Hockey Association, some teams were a success story and others were a train wreck. The Denver Spurs were a disaster almost from the start as disappointed fans in the Mile High City viewed the WHA as a minor league, and a major let down after plans for NHL expansion fell apart, due to the league’s financial troubles. With a new arena and a successful ABA team already in place, the WHA tried to take advantage and place an expansion team in Denver for the 1975 season. Problems for the Spurs began right away, as the team owned by Ivan Mullenix could not secure a liquor license for McNichols Arena. Coached by Jean-Guy Talbot the Spurs made their debut on October 10th against the Indianapolis Racers. Things looked good early for Denver, as Frank Rocon scored the first goal at the 7:24 mark. However, the Racers would lap them scoring seven unanswered to win the game 7-1. After losing their first two home games, the Spurs had some success on the road, winning three in a row. It was short lived as the Spurs, started with a 3-9-1 record, while going winless in their first eight home games in as they struggled to fill the 16,800 seat arena. By the end of December the Spurs were in last place with a record of 13-20-1 as they closed 1975 with a 2-1 win in overtime against the Racers on December 30th. That would be the Denver Spurs final game. A few months later the NHL would finally arrive in Denver as the Kansas City Scouts became the Colorado Rockies.
Ottawa: When they took the ice on January 2nd on the road against the Cincinnati Stingers, the team was still dressed like the Denver Spurs, but the team was now known as the Ottawa Civics, as Owner Ivan Mullenix was in negotiations to sell the team group in Ontario called the Founders Club. They would lose that game 2-1, before splitting their next two games on the road. They would make their Ottawa debut on January 7th against the New England Whalers, losing 3-2. It was the second attempt to place a team after the Ottawa Nationals moved to Toronto after the inaugural WHA season. Do to the rushed nature of the sale and move, a logo had yet to be created and the team continued to dress like the Denver Spurs, as sale talks began to hit a road bump. On January 15th a sold out Ottawa Civic Center was on hand to see the Civics host the Houston Aeros led by Gordie Howe. The Civics would lose in overtime 5-4. It would be the final game the Spurs/Civics would play as negotiations between Mullenix and the Founders Club broke down. Two days later the WHA announced the team had ceased operations, posting a combined 14-26-1 record, winning just one of seven games in Ottawa.
©MMXIII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the World Hockey Association. This site is not affiliated with the Ottawa Civic Center or the WHA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on August 11, 2013. Last updated on August 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm ET.