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1976-77 Ray McKay Minnesota Fighting Saints Game Worn Jersey
Lot #44

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1976-77 Ray McKay Minnesota Fighting Saints Game Worn Jersey
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1976-77 Ray McKay Minnesota Fighting Saints Game Worn Jersey
Lot #44
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 striking red dureen gamer Rawlings and Steichens was worn by Ray McKay during the 1976-77 WHA season. This 6 season NHL veteran joined the Edmonton Oilers for the start of the 1974-75 WHA season. McKay would later move on to join the Cleveland Crusaders and then travel with the franchise to their new digs in Minnesota in 1976-77 before wrapping up his career with the Birmingham Bulls and Edmonton Oilers.

Offered here is one of the WHA’s true prizes from a team that existed for a mere half a season. The game use is as would be expected from a team that played a total of 42 home and road games combined. There are stick marks, board burns, washed out bloodstains and fine inner pilling that have left their mark on this brilliant red Fighting Saints gamer. Impeccably preserved with its all original nameplate in tow, will surely leave one person mighty pleased with this new centerpiece addition to their collection.