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Calgary Stampeders (hockey)


Calgary Stampeders (hockey)

For the CFL football team, see Calgary Stampeders. For the WIHL ice hockey team that played the 1978–79 season, see Calgary Stampeders (WIHL ice hockey).

The Calgary Stampeders are a defunct ice hockey team that was based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The team existed from 1938 until 1972, playing in various senior and minor professional leagues during that time. In 1946, the Stampeders captured the Allan Cup as Canadian senior hockey champions, the first Alberta based club to do so.

A team of this same name also played the 1978–79 season in the Western International Hockey League.


Senior hockey

The 1945–46 Stampeders were a powerhouse in the Western Canada Senior Hockey League (WCSHL). Led by Ken "Red" Hunter's then senior-amateur record 81 points, the Stamps finished first overall in the WCSHL with a 28–7–1 record, earning a bye into the league championship where they quickly dispatched the Edmonton Flyers four games to one.[1] The Stamps then faced the Winnipeg Orioles for the Prairie championship. While Winnipeg's coach predicted his team would sweep Calgary in three games, it was instead the Stampeders who eliminated Winnipeg in three by scores of 5–1, 10–2 and 8–2.[2] In the Western Canada final, the Stampeders once again easily handled their opponents, this time, the Trail Smoke Eaters. After tying the first two games, Calgary won the next two by 7–3 and 4–2 scores to reach the Allan Cup final against the Hamilton Tigers.[2]

The series almost never happened. With the tournament scheduled to be held out west, the Hamilton players considered forgoing the Allan Cup final as the $6 per day they were offered for the trip was not enough to be able to take time off from their jobs. The Tigers did make the trip, however, and were easily dispatched by the Stampeders in five games, winning the fifth game by a 1–0 score in Edmonton before a crowd of 6,000.[3]

In 1946-47, the Stampeders once again reached the Allan Cup final. They were defeated, however, by the Montreal Royals. The deciding game was held in Quebec City in front of over 11,000 spectators.[4]

As occurred frequently with senior hockey, growing concerns were surfacing regarding the status of players, as many teams were using former professionals in violation of the rules laid out by the Allan Cup committee. Many teams, including the Stampeders, were facing pressure to declare whether they were professional or amateur teams.[5]

Professional hockey

In 1951, the Stampeders, along with their provincial cousins, the Edmonton Flyers, officially turned professional, joining the Pacific Coast Hockey League, later the Western Hockey League — the top professional league in the Western Canada and the United States. In doing so, the Stampeders became the minor-league affiliate of the Chicago Black Hawks.[6]

The Stampeders quickly found success in the professional ranks, winning the WHL title in 1953–54, defeating the Vancouver Canucks four games to one.[7] The Stampeders then went on to face the Quebec Aces of the Quebec Hockey League in the Edinburgh Trophy for the championship of Canadian minor professional hockey. Calgary won the best-of-nine series in six games, with the clinching game held in Calgary, a 4–2 victory in front of 6,500 fans.[7]

The Stampeders also reached the WHL final in 1955, falling to the Flyers in a four game sweep.[8] In 1958, when they fell to the Canucks,[9] and 1959, falling to the Victoria Cougars.[10] During this time, The Stampeders were one of the top draws in the league. Including all playoff games, the 1953–54 Stampeders drew over 300,000 fans in a city of 150,000.[7] In 1955–56, Calgary drew 157,803 fans in the regular season, second only to the Winnipeg Warriors.[9]

In 1963, disenchanted with their affiliation with the Chicago Black Hawks, the Stampeders took a one year leave of absence. Gordon Love, chairman of the Calgary Stampede Board, owners of the Stampeders stated: "We have been treated so shabbily by Chicago, that we have no alternative... Tommy Ivan simply wasn't interested in the future of hockey in Calgary, and that's all there is to it."[11] The Stampeders had also lost $90,000 during the season. Isolated in what was now a mostly Pacific coast league, Edmonton suspended operations along with Calgary. Neither team would ever resume operations, as the Flyers decided they could not be financially stable in the old Edmonton Gardens, and Calgary could not go it alone without an Edmonton team.[11]

League membership

The Stampeders played in the following leagues:

Season-by-season record

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season League GP W L T GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
1938-39 ASHL 32 6 21 5 81 113 17 7th Overall Out of playoffs
1939-40 ASHL
1940-41 ASHL 30 17 13 0 119 90 34
1941-42 ABCSL 32 22 6 4 154 97 48
1945-46 WCSHL 36 28 7 1 219 95 57 1st Overall Won league and Allan Cup
1946-47 WCSHL 40 27 9 4 187 105 58 1st Overall Won league
1947-48 WCSHL 48 28 19 1 225 191 57 1st Overall Lost final
1948-49 WCSHL 48 23 22 3 220 177 49 3rd Overall
1949-50 WCSHL 50 22 23 5 176 163 49 2nd Overall Won league
1950-51 WCSHL 60 38 21 1 282 202 77 1st Overall
1951-52 PCHL 70 24 37 9 278 320 57 7th Overall
1952-53 WHL 70 31 27 12 254 252 74 3rd Overall
1953-54 WHL 70 38 25 7 266 206 84 2nd Overall Won championship
1954-55 WHL 70 29 29 12 262 258 70 4th Overall Lost final
1955-56 WHL 70 40 30 0 292 242 80 2nd Prairie
1956-57 WHL 70 29 37 4 220 230 62 3rd Prairie
1957-58 WHL 70 30 35 5 222 223 65 3rd Prairie Lost final
1958-59 WHL 64 42 21 1 263 196 85 1st Prairie Lost final
1959-60 WHL 70 32 36 2 245 227 66 5th Overall
1960-61 WHL 70 44 22 4 300 215 92 1st Overall
1961-62 WHL 70 36 29 5 292 271 77 T-2 North Lost final
1962-63 WHL 70 23 45 2 227 284 48 4th North Out of playoffs
1968-69 ASHL
1969-70 ASHL 38 30 8 0 60
1970-71 ASHL 48 28 17 3 224 163 59
1971-72 PrHL 28 14 13 1 96 91 29
1978-79 WIHL 25 12 11 2 117 112 26

NHL alumni

Partially as a result of their affiliation with the Black Hawks, 84 former Stampeders would also play in the National Hockey League.[12]

See also




  • Calgary Public Library article on Stampede Corral
  • Edmonton Oilers Heritage: Calgary Stampeders
  • WCSHL standings

External links

  • 1946 Calgary Herald article celebrating Allan Cup victory
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