Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 1982: The Colorado Rockies Hockey Franchise Is Sold

On May 27, 1982, John McMullen, Brendan Byrne, and John Whitehead purchased the Colorado Rockies hockey club, then received permission from the NHL to move the team to New Jersey, where they would become known as the Devils. The Rockies had relocated from Kansas City in 1976 where they played just two seasons as the K.C. Scouts. The team lost money in Kansas City and continued to lose money in Denver. In 1978 Arthur Imperatore purchased the Rockies with the intentions of moving the team to New Jersey. Imperatore's efforts were held up by the lack of a place to play in New Jersey, the Brendan Byrne Arena was still under construction which is where they would eventually come to play. Finally in '82 the deal between Imperatore and McMullen's group of buyers came through and with the completion of the Arena the team moved onto East Rutherford. The Rockies struggled throughout their short time in Colorado, in fact they only made the playoffs one time and even then they were 21 games under .500, they made a quick first round exit  that season and it wouldn't be long until they were headed East. The team continued to struggle for a number of years until things turned around, they made their first playoff as the Devils in an appearance in 1988, and would turn into a perennial playoff contender. In 1995 the Devils brought the Stanley Cup to New Jersey, it is something they have accomplished 3 times since the move.

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