THE CLEVELAND BARONS
National Hockey League
(1976 - 1978)
1929 - The Kitchener Dutchmen, a club in the Canadian Professional Hockey League is moved from Kitchener, Ontario to Cleveland, Ohio to play in the brand new International Hockey League. The first professional hockey team in Cleveland will be called "The Indians."
1930 - The Indians win the IHL championship defeating the Buffalo Bison 3-1.
1934 - The Indians are renamed the Falcons.
1935 - The Montreal Canadians, a team founded in 1909 and highly regarded as one of the most iconic sports teams in the world and a powerhouse of the NHL for over a century, almost moves to Cleveland, Ohio. Financial troubles and plummeting interest in hockey had owners considering the move. In the end, the team stays in Montreal and wins 10 more Stanley Cups.
1937 - The Falcons are renamed the Cleveland Barons and begin playing in the newly formed American Hockey League. The AHL will serve as the minor league to the highest level of professional hockey in North America, the National Hockey League.
1937-1973 - The Barons become the most successful professional sports team in Cleveland history, winning 10 division titles and 9 Calder Cup Championships.
1948 - The greatest year in Cleveland sports history is played as three championship teams call the forest city home.
Cleveland Barons - 1948 Calder Cup Champions (April 11, 1948)
Cleveland Indians - 1948 World Series Champions (October 11, 1948)
Cleveland Browns - 1948 AAFC Champions (December 19, 1948)
Early 1950's - The Baron's, who play to standing-room-only crowds on a nightly basis, ask to be accepted into the NHL to play alongside the original six. Though the NHL approves the addition, two of its teams, the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Redwings, protest and the team remains in the minors.
1972 - The World Hockey Association is formed as the first major league that could actually threaten the NHL's monopoly on professional hockey. The first season features 12 teams, one of which is the Cleveland Crusaders.
1973 - The Crusaders take over the Cleveland market in under one season. Major league hockey becomes so popular that the minor league Barons can't keep up. To stay afloat, the Barons relocate to Florida to become the Jacksonville Barons. The most successful team in Cleveland history folds a season later.
1976 - NHL hockey finally arrives in Cleveland in the form of the annually unsuccessful California Golden Seals who hope to avoid folding operations by relocating. The team joins the Indians, Browns and Cavaliers as the city's 4th major league sports franchise and is named the Cleveland Barons after the AHL team that still held some popularity in town. The move displaces the Crusaders (as they had done to the original Barons just years earlier) to Minnesota.
October 6, 1976 - After multiple attempts to get an NHL franchise to Northeast Ohio, sports fans in Cleveland see their first NHL game. The Los Angeles Kings help the Barons kick things off with a 2-2 tie. The Richfield Coliseum sees only 8,900 fans attend.
1978 - Following two lackluster seasons, both ending in last place and averaging just 6,000 fans per game, the Barons are in need of some financial help. Luckily for the NHL, the Minnesota North Stars are also facing financial difficulties and to avoid the embarrassment of two teams folding in the same year, the NHL allows the teams to merge. The North Stars would continue operations in Minnesota until 1993 when they would move to Dallas, Texas and form its current iteration, the Dallas Stars. The Cleveland Barons remain the last franchise of the "Big Four" professional sports leagues to cease operations.
June 19, 1999 - The Dallas Stars (of the merged North Stars/Barons franchises) defeat the Buffalo Sabres in 6 games to win the Stanley Cup. The game winning goal in the 3rd overtime is a controversial one as Brett Hull's skate is in the crease as he scores the goal. Despite a rule prohibiting this from happening, the goal is allowed and the cup is awarded to Dallas. The city of Buffalo (another "cursed" sports town) deems this event, "No Goal."
1992-Present - Professional minor league hockey returns to Cleveland in the form of the Lumberjacks of the IHL ('92-'01), the Barons of the AHL ('01-'06) and the current AHL team, the Lake Erie Monsters.
June 11, 2016 - Lake Erie Monsters forward Oliver Bjorkstrand scores with 1.9 seconds remaining in overtime to complete the sweep of the Hershey Bears and win the Calder Cup in front of a sold-out Quicken Loans Arena. This victory marks the 10th Calder Cup for the city of Cleveland and the first since the Barons 1964 Championship, which was won just months before the Cleveland "curse" began. Over the days following the Monsters Cup winner, Cleveland fans argue whether the "curse" had ended or if minor league championships don't count. Although most fans agree the "curse" was not over, the Cleveland Cavaliers never lose a game following the Monsters cup winner en route to their own Championship eight days later.
NHL Seasons: 2
Stanley Cup Final Appearances: 0
Stanley Cups: 0
Current Drought: n/a
AHL Seasons: 49
Calder Cup Final Appearances: 15
Calder Cups: 10
Current Drought: 0 years
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