Coming series: 75 years of hockey

This fall will be a momentous one in our city’s hockey history. The Indy Fuel will take the ice to open a new chapter. And the traditional home of hockey in the city has a new look — the Fairgrounds Coliseum will open to hockey this fall after a two-year renovation project that turned into a first-rate, modern arena.

We can’t wait until the puck drops, and plan to bring you full coverage of the first Indy Fuel season.

But this fall is also another big anniversary — the diamond anniversary of hockey in Indianapolis. The 2014-15 season marks 75 years since hockey first was introduced to the Circle City, and the Coliseum. The Indianapolis Capitals played their first game in 1939 and ushered in a tremendous era that has seen many names and leagues — seven of each, to be exact — and nine championships, with the first coming in 1942 and the most recent coming this spring. Countless players passed through Indy on their way to winning Stanley Cups, and more than a few have been enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. We’ve been a breeding ground for junior players, the first (or last) step for minor pros on their way to the NHL, and for a brief four-plus years in the 1970s, saw major-league hockey come to Indy in the form of the Racers (and led the WHA in attendance in 1976).

It’s time to celebrate this history, and we’ll do just that at We already got things started with the Indy’s Title Teams retrospective, which ran this summer.  We’ll have some historical features as the 75th anniversary approaches.

But first, we need YOUR input. The next project will be to name an all-time team for each franchise (well, all except the 1963 Capitols, who only played nine games as an Indianapolis entry), starting with the Capitals and working our way through the Racers, Checkers and Ice teams (for the Checkers and Ice, we’ll have separate entries for each league), based on their performances in Indianapolis.

As we celebrate each era, we don’t just want your nominations for each franchise’s all-time team, but also your stories. What are your favorite memories of hockey in Indianapolis? Feel free to give them in the comments or to email them to me at I want this to truly be a celebration of our great game and a community celebration.

Let’s enjoy the great game of hockey! Drop the puck!

118 Responses

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    I don’t remember much about my first hockey game, but I do remember one moment. It was the 1976-77 season of the Indianapolis Racers. I was 7 years old, and I knew nothing about hockey. There was an opposing player (I don’t even remember who we were playing) who had been – let’s just say – a nuisance for most of the game. Some might call him an enforcer, our fans thought he was a thug. There was a quiet moment during a stoppage when suddenly, a loud, drunken voice could be heard across the entire Fairgrounds Coliseum: “NUMBER 42’s AN ASSSSSSSSSSHOOOOOOOOOLE!”

    My dad and I shared a glance, and then joined the rest of the crowd in hearty laughter.

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