The TMMOTS Video file is a weekly thread where we share hockey videos that caught our eye on YouTube. Everything from historical videos to present day highlights will be shared here. The only rule is it will not be the stuff you’ll see on a Sports Center highlight package.
For the first edition of the TMMOTS Video File, I thought I would go with a team that is often forgotten by most, the Cleveland Barons. Being from Cleveland I have an interest in the team, but I can understand how they are overlooked, as they only lasted two seasons in the NHL.
The California Golden Seals relocated to the shores of Lake Erie (sort of) before the 1976 season and became the Cleveland Barons. I say sort of, because the team played its games at the Richfield Coliseum, which was located between Cleveland and Akron. The poor location contributed to the Barons ceasing operations and merging with the Minnesota North Stars two years later.
Since it was the mid-70s, very little footage remains from Barons games, so I dug up what I could find on YouTube, and posted them below.
The first video is a fight between Dave Forbes of the Boston Bruins and Rick Hampton of the Cleveland Barons:
The second video that appears to be from a road game between the Barons and the Vancouver Canucks. There is no audio, but the video quality is actually quite good:
The third and final video is a November 24th, 1976 game from the Richfield Coliseum between the Montreal Canadiens and the Barons. According to the video details the Habs would go on to win 8-1 in front of a sparsely filled arena.
I wish I could say there was a happy ending for the story of the Cleveland Barons. However, as I mentioned earlier, the team was largely a two year failure and was never really given a chance to succeed. Cleveland had a long and storied history with the AHL Barons (who could have joined the NHL as a 7th franchise back in the 50s), but neither the Barons or the Cleveland Crusaders of the WHA could catch on. The arena was too far away and the quality of the teams too poor to gain interest from a non-traditional hockey market. It would not be until 2000 that Ohio would be given another chance at an NHL franchise with the Columbus Blue Jackets.