The NHL expanded to two cities for the 1974-75 season: Kansas City and Washington. Washington, of course, has turned into one of the National Hockey League’s marquee teams having won the 2017-18 Stanley Cup Championship. Kansas City, however, is one of the least-known teams in the history of sports. The Scouts, a team that lasted just two years, were moved to Colorado and played six years as the Rockies before moving again to New Jersey where, as the Devils, they have won three Stanley Cup Championships. But long before they were the Devils, the Scouts played in Kansas City – and they played to an empty house almost every night they took the ice at the Kemper Arena. The Scouts, as managing general partner Ed Thompson noted, were virtually doomed from the beginning. The NHL expansion draft was not set up like it is today, where a new team like the Vegas Golden Knights could be competitive right from the start, the Scouts had to play their first eight games on the road because their building wasn’t ready, ownership did not have deep pockets and tragedy struck very early. There was some good, like two victories against the Boston Bruins, a win over the Montreal Canadiens, but the good was too few and too far between as Kansas City won just 15 games in its first year and 12 in its final year. The Scouts endured winless streaks of 16 games and 27 games … and there were too few stars, but the ones they did have were pretty good: Simon Nolet, Guy Charron (via trade), Wilf Paiemont, Dennis Herron (via trade), Gary Croteau … but there just wasn’t enough depth to help them sustain any sort of consistent attack. Troy Treasure who recently released the book, “Icing on the Plains – The Rough Ride of Kansas City’s NHL Scouts,” joins the podcast to discuss the Scouts and brings along some terrific and unreal stories about their two-year existence.
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