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75-76DenSpu.jpg
1975–76 Denver Spurs/Ottawa Civics
Division 6th Canadian
1975–76 record 14–26–1
Home record 8-14-1
Road record 6-12-0
Goals for 134
Goals against 172
Team Information
General Manager Jean-Guy Talbot
Coach Jean-Guy Talbot
Captain Ralph Backstrom
Alternate captains Darryl Maggs
Jean-Paul LeBlanc
Larry Bignell
Arena McNichols Sports Arena
Ottawa Civic Center
Team Leaders
Goals Ralph Backstrom
Don Borgeson (21)
Assists Ralph Backstrom (29)
Points Ralph Backstrom (50)
Penalties in minutes Rick Morris (58)
Wins Bob Johnson (8)
Goals against average Cam Newton (3.66)

The 1975–76 Denver Spurs/Ottawa Civics season was the ill-fated single season of operation of the Denver Spurs/Ottawa Civics in the World Hockey Association (WHA). The Spurs began the season in Denver, Colorado but relocated to Ottawa, Ontario before disbanding after 51 games.

Off-season[]

Ron Delorme and Bob Johnson's 1975-76 jerseys.

The Spurs inaugural jersey colours were dark orange, white and black with a primarily white home jersey and a primarily dark orange away jersey. Three stripes on the arms and body of the home jersey and five stripes on the away jersey completed the design. The numbers and names were outlined. The logo was the same as the 1973-74 Denver Spurs that played in the CHL, a white cowboy boot with a blade and gold spurs on a circle background.

Regular Season[]

John Kiely makes a save on Don Borgeson, December 16, 1975.

The Spurs, not unlike most of the other teams to have played in the WHA, had financial difficulties. The home games drew poor attendences and there were ongoing reports that the National Hockey League was going to establish a team in Denver. Two teams were candidates for relocation there, the Kansas City Scouts and the California Golden Seals. All of those factors led to a legendary hasty mid-season move of the Spurs to Ottawa on January 2, 1976. Allegedly, nobody bothered telling the players that the team had moved, and they learned of it when, standing on the ice before their next game in Cincinnati against the Cincinnati Stingers, heard the O Canada being played. The team lost that night, they also lost on the next against the Houston Aeros. On January 4, the team defeated the Minnesota Fighting Saints, who wouldn't survive the season either, 5-2. This win was the first and last win of the Civics history.

On January 7, 1976, the team played its first home game in Ottawa, the first WHA game in the Canadian capital since the departure of the Ottawa Nationals two years and a half before. The players found themselves playing in front of a crowd not much bigger than that they had been accustomed to in Denver and lost to the New England Whalers 3-2. The team returned on the road for two more losses and went back to the Ottawa Civic Centre on January 15, 1976 for another match against Houston. The Civics fought hard and brought the game in overtime. The Aeros however scored the game winner, ending the game, and the franchise history it turned out, as the team officially declared it ceased activities the next day.

Ted Taylor shoots on Cam Newton in the Civics last game, January 15, 1976. Note the jerseys still have the Spurs logo.

The Civics lasted only seven games and played in the Spurs' uniform. Reports that the jerseys had been stripped bare of its logo are untrue. All Civics players were declared free agents by the league and a dispersal draft was held. Several players found a new address, including leading scorer Ralph Backstrom, who at 37, moved to the New England Whalers. Many of the other players, however, would sit the remainder of the season out before coming back in another league the next season. Others like Brian Lavender retired.

Final Standings[]

Canadian Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Winnipeg Jets 81 52 27 2 106 345 254 940
Quebec Nordiques 81 50 27 4 104 371 316 1654
Calgary Cowboys 80 41 35 4 86 307 282 1064
Edmonton Oilers 81 27 49 5 59 268 345 991
Toronto Toros 81 24 52 5 53 335 398 1099
Denver Spurs / Ottawa Civics+ 41 14 26 1 29 134 172 536

+team started season in the Western Division when playing in Denver, transferred by league to Canadian Division after moving to Ottawa.
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties Minutes
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.


Game Log[]

Regular Season Schedule
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 L October 10, 1975 1–7 Indianapolis Racers (1975–76) 0–1–0
2 L October 16, 1975 3–7 Winnipeg Jets (1975–76) 0–2–0
3 W October 17, 1975 5–4 @ Phoenix Roadrunners (1975–76) 1–2–0
4 W October 18, 1975 6–4 @ Indianapolis Racers (1975–76) 2–2–0
5 W October 22, 1975 2–1 @ Calgary Cowboys (1975–76) 3–2–0
6 L October 24, 1975 2–5 @ Winnipeg Jets (1975–76) 3–3–0
7 L October 30, 1975 2–3 Phoenix Roadrunners (1975–76) 3–4–0
8 L November 1, 1975 2–3 Houston Aeros (1975–76) 3–5–0
9 T November 4, 1975 2–2 Cleveland Crusaders (1975–76) 3–5–1
10 L November 6, 1975 3–5 Quebec Nordiques (1975–76) 3–6–1
11 L November 7, 1975 2–3 OT San Diego Mariners (1975–76) 3–7–1
12 L November 9, 1975 2–3 @ Houston Aeros (1975–76) 3–8–1
13 L November 13, 1975 8–11 Toronto Toros (1975–76) 3–9–1
14 W November 15, 1975 5–4 OT Cleveland Crusaders (1975–76) 4–9–1
15 W November 18, 1975 6–3 Edmonton Oilers (1975–76) 5–9–1
16 L November 20, 1975 1–5 @ San Diego Mariners (1975–76) 5–10–1
17 L November 21, 1975 2–6 Calgary Cowboys (1975–76) 5–11–1
18 W November 23, 1975 5–3 Cincinnati Stingers (1975–76) 6–11–1
19 W November 26, 1975 3–0 @ Cleveland Crusaders (1975–76) 7–11–1
20 L November 28, 1975 3–7 @ New England Whalers (1975–76) 7–12–1
21 W November 30, 1975 4–2 @ Indianapolis Racers (1975–76) 8–12–1
22 L December 2, 1975 3–4 OT Winnipeg Jets (1975–76) 8–13–1
23 L December 5, 1975 3–4 @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1975–76) 8–14–1
24 L December 6, 1975 2–3 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1975–76) 8–15–1
25 W December 7, 1975 5–1 New England Whalers (1975–76) 9–15–1
26 W December 9, 1975 6–3 Cleveland Crusaders (1975–76) 10–15–1
27 L December 13, 1975 1–4 Phoenix Roadrunners (1975–76) 10–16–1
28 W December 16, 1975 3–2 OT Cincinnati Stingers (1975–76) 11–16–1
29 W December 19, 1975 6–3 San Diego Mariners (1975–76) 12–16–1
30 L December 23, 1975 4–5 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1975–76) 12–17–1
31 L December 26, 1975 4–9 @ Houston Aeros (1975–76) 12–18–1
32 L December 27, 1975 0–10 @ Phoenix Roadrunners (1975–76) 12–19–1
33 L December 28, 1975 2–5 Phoenix Roadrunners (1975–76) 12–20–1
34 W December 30, 1975 2–1 OT Indianapolis Racers (1975–76) 13–20–1
35 L January 2, 1976 1–2 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1975–76) 13–21–1
36 L January 3, 1976 2–4 @ Houston Aeros (1975–76) 13–22–1
37 W January 4, 1976 5–2 @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1975–76) 14–22–1
38 L January 7, 1976 2–3 New England Whalers (1975–76) 14–23–1
39 L January 10, 1976 5–8 @ Phoenix Roadrunners (1975–76) 14–24–1
40 L January 11, 1976 5–6 OT @ Winnipeg Jets (1975–76) 14–25–1
41 L January 15, 1976 4–5 OT Houston Aeros (1975–76) 14–26–1
  • Last game for the Denver Spurs.

[1]

Playoffs[]

  • The Spurs/Civics ceased operations after 51 games.

Player Stats[]

Regular Season
Scoring
# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
14 Backstrom, RalphRalph Backstrom C 41 21 29 50 14 9 8 0 4
12 Borgeson, DonDon Borgeson LW 40 21 16 37 24 7 5 0 1
9 MacGregor, GaryGary MacGregor C 38 16 14 30 18 -2 3 0 0
19 Sherrit, JimJim Sherrit C 40 11 19 30 16 -4 0 0 0
4 Maggs, DarylDaryl Maggs D 41 4 23 27 42 -9 1 0 1
8 Lomenda, MarkMark Lomenda RW 37 6 16 22 11 -6 5 0 0
15 Rochon, FrankFrank Rochon LW 41 11 10 21 10 -18 3 0 0
10 Morris, RickRick Morris LW 41 9 6 15 58 -19 0 2 1
7 Liddington, BobBob Liddington LW 35 7 8 15 14 -2 1 0 0
5 Arbour, JohnJohn Arbour D 35 2 13 15 49 -14 0 0 0
3 Legge, BarryBarry Legge D 40 6 8 14 15 -11 4 0 1
21 Lavender, BrianBrian Lavender LW 37 5 6 11 35 -15 0 0 0
2 Bignell, LarryLarry Bignell D 41 5 5 10 43 -4 0 0 0
23 Mara, PeterPeter Mara C 40 3 7 10 8 -15 0 0 0
18 Baltimore, BryonBryon Baltimore D 41 1 8 9 32 -13 0 0 0
17 Bredin, GaryGary Bredin RW 17 4 3 7 2 -7 1 0 0
16 LeBlanc, J.P.J.P. LeBlanc C 15 1 5 6 25 -7 0 0 0
11 Delorme, RonRon Delorme C 22 1 3 4 28 -3 0 0 0
6 Mavety, LarryLarry Mavety D 14 0 4 4 14 -12 0 0 0
24 Kokkola, KeithKeith Kokkola D 16 0 3 3 40 -2 0 0 0
31 Zimmerman, LynnLynn Zimmerman G 8 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
1 Johnson, BobBob Johnson G 24 0 1 1 7 0 0 0 0
22 Pizunski, EdEd Pizunski RW 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
19 Popiel, JanJan Popiel LW 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
5 Gibbons, BrianBrian Gibbons D 2 0 0 0 0 -2 0 0 0
16 Goldthorpe, BillBill Goldthorpe LW 12 0 0 0 31 -5 0 0 0
Sanza, NickNick Sanza G 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 Grigg, ChrisChris Grigg G 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
30 Newton, CamCam Newton G 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Johnson, BobBob Johnson 1345 24 8 14 1 88 3.93 0
Newton, CamCam Newton 573 10 4 6 0 35 3.66 1
Zimmerman, LynnLynn Zimmerman 495 8 2 6 0 31 3.76 0
Grigg, ChrisChris Grigg 80 2 0 0 0 13 9.75 0
Sanza, NickNick Sanza 20 1 0 0 0 5 15.00 0
Team: 2513 41 14 26 1 172 4.11 1

[2]

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = plus/minus; PIM = Penalty minutes; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals

MIN = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts

Awards and Records[]

  • The Spurs/Civics did not win any awards this season.

Transactions[]

Draft Picks[]

Denver's draft picks at the 1975 WHA Amateur Draft.[3]

Round # Player Nationality College/Junior/Club Team (League)
1 4 Mel Bridgman (C)  Canada Victoria Cougars (WCHL)
3 34 Ron Delorme (RW)  Canada Lethbridge Broncos (WCHL)
4 49 Andre Leduc (D)  Canada Sherbrooke Castors (QMJHL)
5 64 Nick Sanza (G)  Canada Sherbrooke Castors (QMJHL)
6 77 Greg Miazga (F)  Canada Victoria Cougars (WCHL)
7 91 Rick Martin (RW)  Canada London Knights (OHA)
10 128 Dave Bossy (D)  Canada University of Notre Dame (WCHA)
11 141 Andy Whitby (F)  Canada Oshawa Generals (OHA)

Farm Teams[]

Gallery[]

See Also[]

References[]

  1. 1975–76 Denver Spurs/Ottawa Civics Games. Hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-07-02.
  2. 1975-76 Denver Spurs/Ottawa Civics Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-07-02.
  3. 1975 WHA Amateur Draft. Retrieved on December 19, 2018.
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