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North American Hockey Association


The Imperfect

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The North American Hockey Association (NAHA) was formed in 1968 to compete with the recently expanded National Hockey League (NHL). The way the owners of the NAHA figured, the NHL has just recently expanded, thus the talent pool was thinning the competitiveness of their teams, especially the new ones. The NHL has only expanded when they were worried about the possible expansion of the Western Hockey League, which would have declared itself as a major force in the sport of hockey, and would have attempted to compete with the NHL on a national-level. With a new television-contract, six new teams would pop up on the map, the Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Oakland Seals, and St. Louis Blues, in 1967.

With this knowledge already known, former owners of WHL teams and potential new owners who were convinced that they could compete with the NHL and expand in the growing market of the sport of hockey, were collected to form a new league, the North American Hockey Association

Note from author: The reason the look and appeal of the NAHA was chosen was because in the same year, there was a major soccer league merged, as was essentially was like the MLS, kinda, before the MLS was created. This was known as the North American Soccer League. I really, wanted to do the idea of growing a league and looking at the growth of the styles and identities of each team in a specific league. I love designing hockey logos, however, I wanted to do something which represented major cities, and not minor league teams, nor NHL concepts. Thus, I took the teams from the NASL, and fitted them into debuting in the NAHA. Their identities will also be used as well, while I modify them to how I see them fitting into a hockey league, and then their uniforms will change every couple of years just like a real professional league.

Eight teams were announced to be brewing, some of which in cities with NHL teams already, and others in markets the NHL had yet to tap. Attempting to compete with perhaps more prestigious franchises were the Los Angeles Wolves and New York Cosmos, both considered the flagship franchises of the new league. There was an advertence to avoid directly competing in the NHL, and instead prevent them from taking over more markets and thus holding a monopoly over the sport itself. Of the six other teams formed, two of them would be in Canada, the western part, as the Vancouver Royals and Edmonton Drillers were announced to be joining the Wolves in the Western Division of the NAHA. To fill the division in, the San Diego Toros were created, the first hockey team to come to the large Californian city. In the east, the three other teams would be the Atlanta Chiefs, Kansas City Spurs, and Washington Whips; all also the first professional hockey franchises for each metropolitan area.

After the first season, the standings would look like this.

East Division

Atlanta Chiefs

Kansas City Spurs

Washington Whips

New York Cosmos

West Division

San Diego Toros

Los Angeles Wolves

Vancouver Royals

Edmonton Drillers

Note from author: I would totally love to have real standings and stats for teams, but to calculate how many games each team won and how many points they would have is too much work for my lack of caring about the history of the league. BTW, these were decided by how each team finished their NASL season the first season they played as a franchise.

From here I will finish with the West Division and then the East Division for the league's first year.

Here is the Vancouver Royals, who were created in 1968, and would outbid to play in the brand new Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia. This would forbid the Vancouver Canucks from playing in the new stadium, as the WHL franchise was forced to remain playing at the PNE Forum.

fullconceptroyals.png

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The effort's there, but the logos need some work. It's hard to send yourself back to 1968, consider logo's just weren't that good back then. So I don't know whether to comment on believability or the actual composition. The wolves one especially need to look less "wtf"-ey.

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The effort's there, but the logos need some work. It's hard to send yourself back to 1968, consider logo's just weren't that good back then. So I don't know whether to comment on believability or the actual composition. The wolves one especially need to look less "wtf"-ey.

I'm using the original logos from the original NASL, just a little modified (poorly) to represent hockey and not soccer. I'd rather more attention be brought upon the uniforms and not the logos, and I like the crappiness of the logos because I think it goes to show the ability of the league upstarting on its own and goes with the time period (and because they were the real logos.)

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