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1972-73 Ted Hampson WHA Minnesota Fighting Saints Game Worn Jersey - 1st Year WHA
Lot #28

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1972-73 Ted Hampson WHA Minnesota Fighting Saints Game Worn Jersey - 1st Year WHA
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1972-73 Ted Hampson WHA Minnesota Fighting Saints Game Worn Jersey - 1st Year WHA
Lot #28

The Minnesota Fighting Saints were one of the WHA’s original 12 franchises. Construction on their new home, the St. Paul Civic Center was not complete when the 1972-73 season began forcing the Fighting Saints to begin play in the 8,000 seat St. Paul Auditorium. The Fighting Saints made the playoffs in year one after defeating the Oilers in a 1-game playoff. Harry Neale assumed the team’s coaching duties late in the 1st season, taking over for Glen Sonmor who became the full-time GM. The Fighting Saints would also make the playoffs in each of the next 2 seasons, but never made a serious playoff run.

Despite playing well on the ice, the franchise was in dire financial straits. The end was near for the franchise as play began in 1975-76. Despite the addition of Dave Keon, the team wouldn’t survive the month of February, continually missing payroll checks and losing money hand over fist until they officially folded on February 27th 1976.

In the summer of 1976, the Cleveland Crusaders were convinced to move out of Ohio and play in the vacant St. Paul Arena for the 1976-77 season. They assumed the Minnesota Fighting Saints team name, but they too would suffer the same fate as the original franchise and fold on January 17th of 1977 after only 42 games.

This road blue dureen gamer by General Athletic and Steichens was worn by Ted Hampson during the 1972-73 inaugural WHA season. This Saskatoon native began his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs back in 1959-60. He would spend 13 seasons in the National Hockey League representing the Leafs, Rangers, Red Wings, Seals and North Stars. Ted jumped from the North Stars to the WHA’s Fighting Saints and became the team’s very first Captain as the franchise began action in 1972-73. He would remain in that role until a deal sent him to Quebec in the midst of the 1975-76 WHA season. Beloved by his teammates, this center iceman contributed both veteran leadership and 17 goals a season for each of his 3 full years with the Fighting Saints.

Proudly sewn to the left breast of this gamer is the Captain’s “C”. There is fine game wear to speak of with stick marks, board burns, board paint transfer, un-repaired holes, inner pilling and team-sewn repair work. The Steichens and size tagging remain sewn in the collar, whereas the General Athletic tag has gone missing from the hem, as has Ted’s surname from the back, a commonality of the era. On the inside hem is an autograph in Ted’s own hand. Fantastic opportunity to acquire a first year Fighting Saints “Blue”, and the team Captain’s sweater at that!