1972-73 Atlanta Flames
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The Atlanta Flames (NHL) 1972-1980
              They all laughed the day hockey came to Atlanta.  It was
             a sick kind of a laugh for it was not a very funny joke
             to most hockey people. They saw this as the last rotten
             board in an already dilapidated house.
              Atlanta  - a city where football was king - a city where
             basketball and baseball were themselves barely hanging on
             (with only minor league baseball seven years earlier) - a city
             where hockey  was foreign and the only ice rink little used.
              "The NHL is  greedy," they wrote in the fall of 1971. "It's only
             expanding for the the six million dollar entry fee. And it's
             foolish, since Atlanta is bound to make the league a
              "The National Hockey League." wrote one Montreal columnist,
             "has become senile."

              Oh, how wrong they all were.   

              Above is the introduction to The Babes of Winter, an inside
              history of the Atlanta Flames early years, written by Jim Huber and Tom Saladino.

                       A short history of the Atlanta Flames. 

                 Nov. 9,1971     - NHL franchise awarded to Atlanta.
                 March 2,1972    - Coliseum named the OMNI.
                 May 22,1972     - "Boom Boom" Geoffrion named coach
                 June 7,1972     - first and second expansion draft choices -                                                       Phil Myre and Dan Bouchard,both goaltenders
                 June 9,1972     - first amateur draft choice - Jacques Richard.
                 June 10,1972    - first signed contract - Bob Leiter.
                 June 11,1972    - Ken (Jiggs) McDonald announced as play-by-play broadcaster.
                 Sept.17,1972    - first exhibition game (Atlanta 4, N.Y. Islanders 1).
                 Oct. 14,1972    - first home game (Altanta 1, Buffalo 1)
                 April 4,1980   -  last home game - versus N.Y. Islanders

                  Although the Flames ranked 15th in the league in attendance, 
                it was not enough to save them from being sold to Calgary.
                It was not a lack of fan support that caused the sale of the
                team.  More so, it was due to a lack of major television
                contract and a crumbling real estate empire that caused
                the sale of the Flames.  
                  In a late bid, actor Glenn Ford offered a reported eight
                million dollars for the team, but it did not come close to
                matching the reported sixteen million dollars offered by
                Calgary interests.  

                                 [JPW - June 1997]

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