KANSAS CITY, Mo. - I can't help from wondering, “What if?” when I watch our old Kansas City Scouts play in the Stanley Cup Finals.
I'll never forget, as a cub reporter in 1974, when the NHL began play in Kansas City.
We were like the sports capitol of the Midwest. We had all four major league franchises in town; Chiefs, Royals, NBA Kings and The Scouts of the NHL.
Unfortunately, hockey made it only two years here.
We were awarded an expansion team with awful players.
Kemper Arena was in the final stages of construction, so the Scouts had to play their first eight games on the road, and didn't win any of them.
They never recovered, winning only 15 of 80 games that first season. The second and final season was a complete disaster.
Simon Nolet and Guy Charron weren't exactly household names. They were team captains.
The Scouts won only one time in their last 44 games. They couldn't draw flies, averaging about 8,000 a game.
The team had 37 investors including Chiefs Head Coach Hank Stram. As a group, they lost a couple of million dollars and bailed out.
The Scouts moved to Denver in 1976 and six years later, arrived at their final destination in New Jersey.
The devils have been highly successful.
They've reached the Stanley Cup Finals five times, winning the championship three times.
Kansas City is still lobbying hard to get another team.
The Phoenix Coyotes, which are owned by the league, are expected to be available. They can be had for about a $100 million to $120 million.
The St. Louis Blues recently sold for $140 million.
It’s hard to find anyone in Kansas City who wants to spend that kind of money.
Sprint Center needs a major league sports tenant. The Kansas City Power & Light District may not survive without one.
Forty dates of hockey would generate close to 800,000 bodies, when it comes to foot traffic downtown.
This one is not on us. It's on AEG, who promised taxpayers: if you build it, we'll get you a team.
It's been five years and we're still waiting. Come on AEG, it’s time to hold up your end of the bargain.
That’s Jack Smack.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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