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Friday’s FTB: Franchise histories are complicated, but you don’t have to be dumb about them

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It’s not that hard to understand, I swear.

Phoenix Coyotes v Atlanta Thrashers

Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans, and other people who have a passing interest in hockey and hockey accessories.

Last night we saw the return of Frederik Andersen as the starting goalie for the Maple Leafs against the Dallas Stars, who were once the Minnesota North Stars, Cleveland Barons, and Oakland/California Golden Seals.

The Dallas Stars are always a fun team to look back on their history, particularly when we get to the part about the Minnesota North Stars merging with the Cleveland Barons (née California Golden Seals).

With the Dallas Stars being the love child of two 1967 expansion teams, the franchise lives with a complicated legacy, that makes some people very confused - especially now that Minnesota once again has an NHL team in the Minnesota Wild.

People have been debating the title holders of the history and records of teams that relocate to the homes of previously failed NHL teams since the NHL instituted it’s “second chance” program in 1967 when the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins became charter members by giving the former homes of the Quakers and Hornets a second team.

There’s a very simple solution to all of this: stop giving a crap about it.

Sometimes this is a hard thing to do, such as when a replacement team picks up the same name as one of the previously failed teams (Winnipeg Jets*, Ottawa Senators, eventually the Quebec Nordiques probably), and then hangs Stanley Cup banners in their arena that they never earned (Ottawa Senators).

My personal belief is that yes, the records, stats, and championships travel with the franchise itself. The 1927 Stanley Cup was won by the original Ottawa Senators, and that legacy moved when the franchise was relocated out of Ottawa and into St. Louis when they were renamed the Eagles, and it died when the franchise folded in 1935.

The city of Ottawa, and any pro-teams in the city can celebrate the history of hockey in Ottawa by honouring the past teams, just as the current Senators* are doing today. I do make fun of the Senators hanging someone else’s banners in their arena, but it’s something other good, smart teams and cities do to honour past teams - such as the banners for the Memorial Cup winning OHA St. Catharines TeePees hanging in the current home of the OHL Niagara IceDogs. Moving the banners from the old Jack Gatecliff Arena may have been controversial among cranky old curmudgeons (like me), but it allows the memories and history to stay fresh in the minds of current fans.

You’ll always know the past was there, but that it’s someone else’s past, not this teams.

It’s also why teams like the Winnipeg Jets* will host a hall of fame for both iterations of the Winnipeg Jets. It’s a way to honour the NHL history in the city of Winnipeg through both franchises that called themselves the Jets. It’s fine to acknowledge the past and present of high level hockey in the city, but it can be done without being completely obtuse about the business side of the NHL.

No one in the Toronto Maple Leafs organizations claims ownership of the Toronto Blueshirts. No fans will get up on their podcast or blogs or twitter and claim the Maple Leafs have 14 Stanley Cup victories because the Blueshirts won the 1914 Cup in the NHA.

“But Seldo!” you cry, “That was a completely different league!”

Yes dear reader, but so was the origin of the Winnipeg Jets and their Avco Cups, which is a part of the franchise history of the original Winnipeg Jets, but not the current Winnipeg Jets*. This is why the modern Jets* haven’t retired the numbers of Keith Tkachuk, Bobby Hull, Dale Hawerchuk, and Thomas Steen, because those players played for the original Jets franchise which left Winnipeg.

The Arizona Coyotes have decided to keep on honouring these players even after relocation. This was their decision to keep franchise continuity and respect the teams that played before the team moved south. Some teams choose to start fresh after a move, such as the Colorado Avalanche. After the move from Quebec City, the team put the numbers retired by the Nordiques - #3 JC Tremblay, #8 Marc Tardiff, #16 Michel Goulet, and #26 Peter Statsny - back into regular circulation. That was their choice to start fresh, and it’s not a big deal because no one has been able to secure another team for Quebec City and put it into Copps Coliseum 2.0. If there ever was a team to return to Quebec City, and it was called the Nordiques because of nostalgia based peer pressure, then it may become content fodder.

After 800 words what have we learned? That a city can honour it’s hockey history all in one place while the business concept of a franchise can also have it’s own history.

Also, I’m an old crank.

Now, the news.

So the Leafs lost the game last night, but they also lost Andreas Johnsson to a knee injury. It doesn’t sound good, folks.

On Insider Trading, Darren Dreger said that the Leafs and Muzzin are close on an extension.

The Leafs put Hutchinson on waivers, so watch twitter around noon.

Zack Kassian is a real POS.

But because a former goon is in charge of suspensions and stuff, this will be waved away despite the fact that if his foot slipped up a couple inches he’d be looking at a plea deal for manslaughter.

In better news the Leafs Beat is looking at the pairing of Sandin and Liljegren:

The Knights are bringing more hockey to Vegas.

Zdeno Chara gets away with everything...

Alright folks, Saturday it’s a home game in Ottawa. Who’s excited for that!