WHA Teams: Cleveland Crusaders
The Cleveland Crusaders (also known as the Calgary Cowboys and
the Minnesota Fighting Saints) were a professional ice hockey team
in World Hockey Association (WHA).
St. Paul, Minnesota
Cleveland Crusaders (1972-1976)
Minnesota New Fighting Saints
Arena (9,300) 1972-74
Richfield Coliseum (18,500) 1974-76
St. Paul Civic Center (1976-1977)
The franchise began in the WHA as the Calgary Broncos on
November 1, 1971. In the first WHA draft, the
Broncos chose: Barry Gibbs, Jim Harrison, Dale Hoganson and Jack Norris.
Prior to the start of the first WHA season, the franchise folded.
The team was established with the anticipation of an Alberta rivalry
between the Broncos and the Edmonton Oil
Kings. The Oil Kings were then renamed the Alberta Oilers with the
intention of sharing home games between Calgary and Edmonton. The Oilers
did not have any home games in Calgary and were later renamed the Edmonton
After the team folded, their spot in the league was taken by the Cleveland
Crusaders. Calgary later joined the WHA in 1975 with the Calgary
The team played in the Cleveland Arena from 1972-1974 and then in the
Richfield Coliseum from 1974-1976. The team was moved to St. Paul,
Minnesota, becoming the second incarnation of the Minnesota Fighting
Saints in 1976 (not to be confused with
the first), when the NHL's California Golden Seals moved to Cleveland
and became the Cleveland Barons.
Like their predecessors,
this second version of the Saints (called the "New Fighting Saints")
had a winning record through their first 42 games (19-18-5), but
Crusaders/Saints owner Nick Mileti was unable to sell the team to local
buyers, and elected to fold the franchise on January 20, 1977. Their logo
and uniforms were identical to the old ones, but with scarlet replacing
blue in the color scheme.
Rebel League: The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association by
Complete Historical and Statistical Reference to the World Hockey Association
by Scott Adam Surgent
Pro Hockey '75 - '76 by Dan Proudfoot
WHA Media Guides (each team published one each year)
These and many other WHA items can be found at
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