Jump to content

Chicago Cougars MVRP


Recommended Posts

Another WHA write up.


  The Chicago Cougars were one of the original clubs in the World Hockey Association. The original owners Walter and Jordon Kaiser were enthusiastic about the club who played their home games at the International Amphitheatre.

  The biggest problem with the Arena was the arena was located next to the stock yards in Chicago, Jacques Demers who got his start in coaching with Chicago as an assistant said "It was pretty bad, we would be playing on the ice and the wind would shift and the next thing you knew the players and the fans would be gagging from the smell of the slaughtered animals wafting from the stockyards." Plans were made to build a new arena but they never came to fruition, after two seasons of struggling the owners bailed on the organization, selling to star players Dave Stapleton, Dave Dryden and Ralph Backstrom.

  The first year, which quite frankly did so much to ruin the WHA the Chicago, New York and Los Angeles franchises were among the leagues worst, so instead of a large market grabbing the headlines smaller cities dominated the league. The Cougars were horrible going 26-50-2 with a -50 goal differential.

  Star players for the Cougars included Rosaire Paiment, older brother of Wilf who played all three seasons for the Cougars averaging 30 goals a year and with a total of 319 penalty minutes showed he was not afraid to mix I up.The club also liked to bring in former Blackhawk players to attempt to draw fans from the more established club such as Stapleton and Lou Angotti as well as Dave Dryden and Reg Fleming and Darryl Maggs. A few other former Black Hawks were with the club as well.

  Attendance was not bad and the second season they improved to 81 points, beating out the Nordiques for the final playoff spot, and winning the first two rounds, led by Backstrom and Paiement before being swept in the finals by Gordie Howe and the Houston Aeros.

  Year three the players purchased the club, no deal could be worked on moving the team from the stockyards and the team smelled worse than the stockyards themselves, slipping back to a 30-47-1 record for 61 points and missing the playoffs. The club could not remain financially solvent and after the third season they more or less folded. The expansion Denver Spurs who lasted half a season before moving to Ottawa as the Civics wound up with most of the Cougar players and most consider them the continuation of the Cougars.



  PAT STAPLETON a puck moving blue liner who played for the Canadian squad during the Summit Series. He is the man who has the puck that Paul Henderson scored with in game eight of the series that won the series for the Canadians. A solid puck moving blue liner. His son Mike Stapleton played for a decade in the NHL. Pat was an inaugural member of the WHA hall of fame


   RALPH BACKSTROM a solid second line center for his entire career, mostly with the Canadiens. he won six Stanley cups and played in six all star games. He was traded to the Kings and then to the Black Hawks and from there on to the Hawks. He jumped to the WHA and played all three seasons of the Cougars existence. After the Cougars folded he played three more seasons in the WHA before retiring.


 CAM NEWTON Not the Quarterback, the very bad goalie.


 DAVE DRYDEN Played only one season in Chicago but was part owner of the club while there. Older brother of Ken Dryden, hall of fame net minder who played for the Habs.


  THE PETER PAN INCIDENT  The Cougars were a surprise addition to the Avco Cup finals in the leagues second season. The problem was Kathy Rigby was scheduled to play Peter Pan at the International Arena at the time of the Cup finals. Left with nowhere to play they ended up playing the Cup Finals, and you cannot make this up at a public skating  park called the Randhurst Ice arena. 2,000 seats were hastily put up and the WHA played the cup finals in a public ice skating rink because of Cathy Freaking Rigby and Peter Freaking Pan.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...