ENID — Seeing the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals brings back some childhood memories going back to the days of the original Oklahoma City Blazers, who were a Bruins farm club from 1965-72.
The Blazers came to Oklahoma City through the relocation of the Minneapolis Bruins.
The Blazers were formed when the NHL only had six teams. When the NHL expanded to 12 teams, many Central Hockey League players moved up to the majors.
We were watching what would be the foundation of future Boston championship teams and some who would go on to stardom elsewhere.
It was doing University of Oklahoma football and basketball announcer John Brooks originally gained fame, but Brooks made his mark as the first voice of the Blazers handling hockey as if he had done it his whole life. I remember how excited I was to get an AM/FM radio for Christmas because I could now hear the Blazers games.
He was known for “Let’s play hockey,’’ before “Jiminy Christmas.’’
Take a look at some of the names who played on that first Blazers team:
All three goaltenders — Gerry Cheevers, Doug Favell and Bernie Parent would go on to stardom in the NHL.
And how about these future NHL players:
Skip Krake, 24 goals and 37 assists for 61 points; Jean-Paul Parise with 19 goals and 30 assists for 49 points; Ted Irvine, 26 goals and 20 assists for 46 points; Terry Crisp, 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points; Joe Watson, 8 goals and 24 assists for 32 points; Dallas Smith, five goals and 23 assists for 28 points.
Not to mention two players who would take teams to Stanley Cup championships as coaches — Glen Sather, 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points and Harry Sinden, three goals and 10 assists for 13 points.
Sinden was a player-coach, which was common in the CHL. He would be moved up to the Bruins.