1973/74: After a season in Philadelphia, the Blazers with new Owner Jim Pattison relocated to Vancouver. Much like Philadelphia, the Blazers needed to share the city with a NHL team. They would also share the Pacific Coliseum with the Vancouver Canucks, hoping that Canada’s West Coast could support two teams. Hoping to take a big star with them to Vancouver, the Blazers offered Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins a five year deal, worth $2.5 million. However, Esposito chose to stay in the NHL for less money, as the Blazers even lost Andre Lacroix who was the inaugural MVP of the World Hockey Association after he signed with the New York Golden Blades. In their first game at the Pacific Coliseum the Blazers made their new fans in Vancouver go home happy as they beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 in an overtime thriller. However, success was fleeting as they won just two of their next 15 games. The Blazers never were a factor in the playoff chase, as they finished in fifth place with a record of 27-50-1, as they cycled through three coaches John McKenzie, Phil Watson, and Andy Bathgate. Without Lacroix the team lost much of its scoring ability as Bryan Campbell led the team in scoring with 27 goals and 62 assists, while Danny Lawson led the team with 50 goals. Another bright spot was Claude St. Sauveur who with 30 goals and 30 assists finished second in Rookie of the Year voting.
1974/75: Looking to improve their defense and goaltending, the Blazers picked up Don McLeod who was coming off a championship season with the Houston Aeros in which he was named the WHA’s top goalie. The Blazers move to improve on defense paid off as they allowed 75 fewer goals. However, their scoring under new Coach Joe Crozier was also down, as Danny Lawson was the only player from Vancouver to score more than 30 goals. The Blazers would be in the playoff chase all season. However, they would fall just short as they finished fourth in the Canadian Division with a record of 37-39-2, finishing the season with a 3-2 win over the Indianapolis Racers on April 6th. It would be the final game for the Vancouver Blazers as they determined they would be better off playing in a city of their own and moved to Calgary becoming the Cowboys for the 1975/76 season.
©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 Vancouver Blazers 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 6, 2013. Last updated on August 6, 2013 at 11:50 pm ET.