Lake Erie Monsters to Wear Cleveland Barons Throwback Uniforms

Once upon a time, Cleveland had an NHL franchise.

They lasted no more than the length of time your cell phone contract, but the lore of the Cleveland Barons will continue to live in 2016.

According to Chris Creamer at the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters will honor the NHL club from 1976-78 with a throwback night February 20 when they host the San Antonio Rampage.


The NHL Barons was the second of three professional hockey teams to carry the name. The original Barons played in the American Hockey League from 1937 to 1973. They won nine Calder Cup championships during that span, which was the league record until Hershey won their 10th in 2009.

The NHL Barons started as the California Seals following the expansion from six to 12 teams in 1967. They underwent two more name changes during their time in the Bay Area before minority owner George Gund III convinced the majority owner in 1976 to move them to Cleveland where Gund was from. Their time in Cleveland wasn’t memorable as they went 47-87-26 and missed the playoffs both seasons. In 1978, Cleveland and Minnesota were struggling financially and the league approved a merger of the two teams. The North Stars name and location won out in the end and they took Cleveland’s place in the Adams Division. Gund became the owner of the North Stars until he sold his share of the team in 1991 when he helped bring hockey back to the Bay Area in San Jose.

The third incarnation of the Barons served as the Shark’s AHL affiliate from 2001-06 before moving to Worcester, Mass. The Worcester Sharks called Massachusetts home until this year when they relocated west with other AHL teams and became the San Jose Barracuda. The present day Monsters relocated to Cleveland from Utah in 2007 and is in their first season being Columbus’ AHL affiliate after being previously affiliated with Colorado.

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