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The WHA began operations in the '72-'73 season with full intentions of making New York one of their cornerstones. But cracks in the plan showed up before the league ever took to the ice. The New York Raiders were supposed to be playing out of the brand new Nassau County Coliseum in Long Island. But news of the upstart league prompted the NHL to grant their own club to the area, and the New York Islanders were born. Disgruntled at no longer having a home, the Raiders moved upstate and settled in Madison Square Gardens, but by Christmas of the inaugural WHA season, the team was taken over by the league. The club was bought that summer by New York real estate developer Ralph Brent, who renamed the club the Golden Blades for the upcoming season.
Still burdoned with poor crowds and high rent, the team's one bright spot was the signing of Andre Lacroix from the Blazers. But continued problems with both the on-ice product and the daily operations resulted in the league taking over the team after 24 games. Knowing it was futile to try to compete with the both the Islanders and the Rangers, they moved the team to New Jersey, where they played out the remainder of the season as the Knights, before being sold and moved to San Diego where they survived for three seasons.
NY Golden Blades
San Diego Mariners
|'72-'73||first 24 games,|
|final 54 games|