Kansas City Blues (ice hockey)
The Kansas City Blues were a minor-league hockey team based in Kansas City, Missouri that played in the Central Hockey League from 1967 to 1972, and again in the 1976-77 season, mainly as an affiliate of the in-state St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. The 1967 Blues were owned by Missouri Lieutenant Governor (1968-1972) William S. (Bill) Morris, and represented the return of hockey to Kansas City for the first time in over 30 years. Morris was determined to bring an NHL team to Kansas City and tried to lay the groundwork by convincing his friend Sid Soloman, owner of the St. Louis Blues, to create a farm team in Kansas City. The Blues made history on February 21, 1971, when Blues goalie Michel Plasse became the first goaltender to score a goal in a professional hockey game, scoring against the Oklahoma City Blazers. This goal was unfortunately witnessed by few as a snow storm was moving through the Kansas City area causing even the team's owner to leave the arena early.
|Kansas City Blues|
|City||Kansas City, Missouri|
|League||Central Hockey League|
|Home arena||American Royal Building (1967-72), Kemper Arena (1976-77)|
|Affiliates||St. Louis Blues|
Although the Blues weren't always winners on the ice, they brought an exciting brand of hockey to Kansas City. Claude Cardin, who played in three seasons for the team, was once featured on the cover of a prominent Kansas City magazine with a chart of all of the scars on his face superimposed on his picture. Hardly any of his face was visible. Hockey from 1967-1972 featured fights that erupted into bench clearing brawls and some that erupted outside the rink with fans joining the action. Few players wore helmets in those days. Many future St. Louis Blues players made appearances on the ice at the American Royal Building, if only briefly, which was a thrill for fans of hockey of that era. A partial list of those players can be found here.
The first incarnation of the Kansas City Blues played their home games at the American Royal Building, while the second incarnation played their home games at Kemper Arena, once the NHL's Kansas City Scouts moved to Denver and became the Colorado Rockies.