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Michigan Stags

The Michigan Stags were a professional ice hockey team based in Detroit, Michigan that played a portion of the 1974–75 season in the World Hockey Association (WHA).

On January 18, 1975, the franchise was moved to Baltimore where it was known as the Baltimore Blades.

The Stags originated as the Los Angeles Sharks, one of the WHA's original twelve teams & played at Cobo Arena.

HistoryEdit

Having made their fortunes in industrial chemicals, Detroiters Charles Nolton & Peter Shagena bought the Los Angeles Sharks from Dennis Murphy and relocated the club to Detroit as the Michigan Stags.

Coached by former Red Wing player and coach Johnny Wilson, the Stags began play in the 1974–75 season. The owners believed the Stags could be an alternative to the NHL's Detroit Red Wings, who had not been a factor in the NHL for most of the decade.

Unfortunately, the Stags were as much of a disaster on ice as were the Red Wings. The team was composed of journeymen at best, with the exceptions of star left winger Marc Tardif, veteran Western leaguer Gary Veneruzzo and beleaguered ex-NHL goaltender Gerry Desjardins.

On a side note Desjardins found his way back to the NHL in mid-season and helped lead the Buffalo Sabres to the Stanley Cup finals. The Stags also had problems off the ice as well. The team played over .500 at home but only averaged around 3,000 fans a game, not nearly enough to break even.

Additionally, the Stags were unable to secure a television deal, rendering them practically invisible.

The team was eventually forced to trade Tardif to Quebec for Pierre Guite, Michel Rouleau and famed minor league sniper Alain Caron.

Scheduling glitches delayed the highly anticipated return of Gordie Howe to Detroit until early February, before which time the team folded on January 18, 1975.

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