WHA Teams: Los Angeles Sharks
By Patrick Mondout
The Los Angeles Sharks were a professional ice hockey team based
in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California in the World
Hockey Association (WHA). The team moved to Detroit to become the Michigan
Stags before finally moving to Maryland as the Baltimore Blades.
Angeles Sharks (1972-73)
Michigan Stags (1974-75)
Baltimore Blades (1975)
Memorial Sports Arena (14,700)
Long Beach Sports Arena (11,325)
Detroit Cobo Arena (10,200)
Baltimore Civic Center (11,000)
In 1972 the Los Angeles Sharks joined the WHA as a founding
member. The team alternated home games between the Los Angeles Memorial
Sports Arena and the Long Beach Sports Arena.
On April 11, 1974, a group headed by Peter Shagena and Charles Nolton
bought the Los Angeles franchise from WHA co-founder Dennis Murphy, moved
them to Detroit and re-named them the Michigan Stags. The team attempted
to take on the Detroit Red Wings in their own backyard, but averaged less
than 3,000 in attendance with a mediocre roster featuring ex-Montreal
Canadien great Marc Tardiff. The financial troubles of the team forced a
trade of Tardiff to Quebec. The league did them no favors by not
scheduling the Houston Aeros - and 46 year
old former Red Wing Gordie Howe - to play in Detroit until February. But
by then the struggling team had folded.
The Baltimore Blades were created a week after the demise of the Stags.
The Blades played out of the Baltimore Arena, but like the Stags
attendance was a major problem. Also it never helped when the team
finished out the season with a 3-13-1 record. The Blades at the end of the
season were planning to move to Seattle, but the move never materialized
and the Baltimore Blades later folded in May of 1975.
On January 18, 1975, about a week after the Stags disbanded, the WHA
placed a team in Maryland (known as the Baltimore Blades) to take their
place and finish out their schedule. The team was no more successful in
Baltimore and disbanded for good following the season despite rumors of a
move to Seattle.
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
eBay - check our links on the far right of this page!