2019 Stanley Cup Final BUCKLEY - Live from Salem, N.H., it’s the Stanley Cup final? At one point, the Bruins considered it

Discussion in 'Boston Bruins' started by Fenway, May 22, 2019.

  1. Fenway

    Fenway Administrator Sponsor

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    Hockey Night In Toronto talked to both Johnny Pierson and Harry Sinden about the plan in March 1981




    Live from Salem, N.H., it's ... the Stanley Cup final? At...

    It is an all but forgotten chapter in the history of Boston’s Original Six NHL franchise. And if it’s mentioned at all anymore, it’s usually in the form of a quip, or as some get-off-my-lawn guy’s let-me-tell-ya story directed at younger, disbelieving Bruins fans.

    But with the 24-year-old TD Garden in the midst of a facelift and the neighborhood around North Station undergoing redevelopment to the point of becoming almost unrecognizable, this is a good time to remind you — or perhaps inform you — that there was a time, albeit briefly, when B’s fans worried they might soon be driving to New Hampshire to watch Ray Bourque, Rick Middleton, Terry O’Reilly and the rest of the Big, Bad Bruins do their thing.

    Imagine NBC’s Doc Emrick welcoming America to the broadcast of Stanley Cup final Game 1 next week with the introductory shot of the building not from Causeway Street, but from a vast parking lot in the Granite State.

    The fun began in January 1981, with media reports telling of an impending move to New Hampshire by the Bruins. The plan was that Delaware North, owners of the Bruins and the original Boston Garden, would purchase the old Rockingham horse racing track, which had been gutted by a fire one year earlier, and build an 18,000-seat arena. As part of the plan, a greyhound track would be included.

    This wasn’t just gossip. The plan made the front page of the Boston Globe, which included a fan-reaction sidebar and an editorial titled “Big-league New Hampshire.”

    But as quickly as the scheme began making the rounds, it disappeared. The owners of the Seabrook Greyhound Park, a little over 20 miles from Salem, weren’t keen on the idea of a rival dog track emerging at Rockingham, and the state wasn’t willing to provide the necessary tax breaks that might have made the deal work.

    An Associated Press report dated June 25, 1981, brought the news that Delaware North “… has given up plans to move the Boston Bruins to New Hampshire. Donald Carmichael, head of Delaware North, a Buffalo-based sports conglomerate, said today that New Hampshire had made it impossible for the company to rebuild the burned-out Rockingham Park race track in Salem, its proposed new home for the Bruins.”
     
  2. McGarnagle

    McGarnagle Yes.

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    What was the position of the Celtics during this whole thing?

    Would they have stayed in the Garden as Delaware North's tenants, bought it from them, gone to the Hartford Civic Center, or something else? I've never heard that side of the story.
     
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  3. mikelvl

    mikelvl Registered User

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    I think Steve Buckley is 'Fenway'. Because they might be the only 'two people' who would remember this!
     
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  4. BigBadBruins7708

    BigBadBruins7708 Registered User

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    hmmm, the cameraman "job" would be a perfect cover to explain why he travels to all these games/sporting events

    has anyone seen Fenway and Buckley in the same room?
     
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  5. HockeyMomx2

    HockeyMomx2 HFBoards Sponsor Sponsor

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    Fenway is a veritable vault of sports and Boston history in general. It's amazing really.
     
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  6. sarge88

    sarge88 Registered User Sponsor

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    I remember my father promising that we'd get Bruins season tickets if they did go to Salem. We lived about 10 minutes from Rockingham park at the time.
     
  7. McGarnagle

    McGarnagle Yes.

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    I really want to make an off-color joke right now, but I'll keep my mouth shut.
     
  8. BruinsFanSince94

    BruinsFanSince94 ExpertSince94

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    What a disaster this would have been.
     
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  9. Fenway

    Fenway Administrator Sponsor

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    The Celtics were looking at building their own arena or even moving to Hartford.

    The commuter rail would have restored the tracks that went to Rockingham as that line was closed when I-93 opened.

    It would have been a disaster.

    Oddly enough 15 years earlier there was talk of a new stadium and arena at South Station that also would have been funded by dog racing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. McGarnagle

    McGarnagle Yes.

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    That would've been a disgusting eyesore.
     
  11. Saxon Eric

    Saxon Eric Registered User

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    I remember this article they even had a spoked S instead of the spoked B,absolutely disgusting to look at
     
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  12. Fenway

    Fenway Administrator Sponsor

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    upload_2019-5-22_16-44-44.png
     
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  13. BigGoalBrad

    BigGoalBrad Registered User

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    Seaport currently is a disgusting eye sore they’ve found a way to make it worse than when it was little but empty parking lots owned by Frank McCourt. Unless you like 4K per month 1br apartments 11 dollar beers every building looking the same and a lot of rich white people.
     
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  14. BigGoalBrad

    BigGoalBrad Registered User

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    Wonder if there was any talk back then of linking North and South station?

    Definitely a shame you can’t get anywhere north of MA from North Station other than Portland Maine these days. Would be great to train up to Montreal.
     
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  15. Gator Mike

    Gator Mike Registered User

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    I keep thinking that at some point, the Celtics will get sick of paying rent to Jeremy Jacobs and just decide to go out and build their own place.
     
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  16. BigGoalBrad

    BigGoalBrad Registered User

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    Key word in your post is 'out' the location isn't going to be anywhere near downtown and teams are trending away from that hard I can't see the Celtics building a Palace at Auburn Hills this day in age. FWIW if they were to build one I can't really think of a better location than Salem NH geographically its right off 495 so not THAT bad for people West/South and is obviously easy for anyone North.
     
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  17. TP

    TP Global Moderator

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    Almost 40 years later and Rockingham is still sitting there rotting.
     
  18. GordonHowe

    GordonHowe Registered User

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    For those who care about media and the Bruins, he's consistently one of our best posters. Keep it coming, Fens.
     
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  19. blkandgold77

    blkandgold77 Registered User

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    Not anymore. The mall isn't going anywhere, but the track was torn down a couple years ago. The owners of Tuscan Kitchen are building this:

    www.tuscanvillagesalem.com
     
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  20. Ludwig Fell Down

    Ludwig Fell Down Registered User

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    I remember this well, and being upset as a child that the B's were leaving town. I also remember doodling the Bruins logo with an "S" in the middle of the spoke. Then arguing with my brother as to whether or not the "B" stood for "Boston" or "Bruins."

    I'd analogize it to the Patriots threat to move to Hartford.
     
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  21. BMC

    BMC Per Johan Axelsson Sponsor

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    I would love it if the trains went to Canada. Hockey Hall of Fame, here I come!
     
  22. GordonHowe

    GordonHowe Registered User

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    Haven't been there since 1976. It must be even better now.
     

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