Which NHL Teams No Longer Exist?

 Sporting franchises have come and gone across history, with teams of the past being lost to mergers, disasters or economic troubles. In particular, the National Hockey League has seen its fair share of names go under since its official foundation in 1917.

Across the continent of North America, there are a large number of cases where past teams, no matter how big, have ceased to exist after some turning point, never to grace the rink again.

In this post, we’ll take a look at a handful of examples that every hardcore hockey fan should know of.

Montreal Wanderers

Far before sports fans could check this for all of the betting needs, the birth of the NHL came with a host of exciting new sporting names that local cities could support. Unfortunately for many teams at the time, the league was set up during the late stages of the first World War and so franchises lost many players to the army drafts.

One team in particular, the Montreal Wanderers, were badly hit during this period in history, losing a good part of the squad to the War. On top of this, when the Wanderers attempted to enlist new players for replacement, their stadium burned down in 1918 – the team was disbanded shortly after.

Pittsburgh Pirates

One of the most notable moments in American history is that of the Great Depression, the years leading up to the beginning of World War II. For many sporting franchises this was an incredibly tough time, with many cases of defunct teams happening around this era.

For the 5-year-strong Pittsburgh Pirates it was doubly difficult, as despite finding a new home across the state and being renamed the Philadelphia Quakers to avoid financial ruin, they still couldn’t evade the effects of the Great Depression and were lost in 1931.

Minnesota North Stars

The single longest running team to exist before becoming obsolete is the Minnesota North Stars, who, from 1967 to 1993, played over 2000 games and made the NHL playoffs 17 times.

In 1993, owner Norman Green looked to get his team out of dire financial conditions by moving them to Los Angeles. The deal was scuppered by Disney, however, who moved to create the now famous Anaheim ‘Mighty’ Ducks, later becoming the basis for a film .

Green instead took his team to Dallas, Texas where they would thankfully keep the Stars name but leave behind a disappointed and bitter Minnesota fanbase.

Atlanta Thrashers

The city of Atlanta has had an unfortunate history with its NHL teams, with its first, the Flames, sold to a Calgary franchise in 1980.

If Atlantans thought this was a one-time occurrence, however, they were sadly wrong. In 2011, the Atlanta Thrashers, who’d only been playing in the NHL since 1999, were bought by another Canada-based consortium who moved the franchise up to Winnipeg to become the Jets.

Since then, Atlanta have had another team named after it, when the Gwinnett Gladiators merged with Boston Bruins and became the Atlanta Gladiators in 2015.

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