July 26 in Indianapolis hockey history
1984: Indianapolis businessman Al Savill purchases the assets of the Indianapolis Checkers from the New York Islanders, preserve the team’s existence. It would begin play in the International Hockey League that fall. The move was necessitated when the Central Hockey League folded after the 1984 season. In April, the Islanders announced they were moving their primary affiliate to the American Hockey League, leaving the Checkers’ future in doubt. The Checkers would compete for three more years in the IHL, with the Islanders providing a secondary affiliation for two of those three years.
Happy birthday to …
Dalton “Nakina” Smith: Capitals center in the 1943-44 season. He had 11 goals and 23 assists in 34 games with the Caps, as well as an assist in five postseason contests. He also had three points in 10 NHL games with the Red Wings that season. He was one of a few players to play through World War II, doing so largely in the old American Hockey Association with St. Louis, and later in the AHL. He retired after the 1953 season, his 17th year as a professional player. A native of Cache Bay, Ontario, he was born in 1913. He passed away in 1982 at age 68.
Sebastian Geoffrion: Ice forward during the 2008-09 season. He had four goals and four assists in 31 games with the team, as well as 140 PIM. He also had five points in 11 playoff games en route to a Clark Cup title. He came to the team in a mid-season deal with the Lincoln Stars. He is the grandson of NHL great Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion and great-grandson of Howie Morenz, and the brother of former Canadiens player Blake Geoffrion. He went from the Ice to a four-year career at Alabama-Huntsville, where he had 17 points in 106 games. He signed with the CHL’s Arizona Sundogs after finishing at UAH, and recently completed his first full pro season with the team, totaling 14 points and 168 PIM in 55 games. A native of Brentwood, Tenn., he is 25.