Birmingham Bulls (ACHL)
- This article is about Atlantic Coast Hockey League team. For other uses, see Birmingham Bulls.
|League||Atlantic Coast Hockey League|
The Birmingham Bulls was a professional ice hockey team based in Birmingham that briefly played in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League (ACHL) in 1983. Their home ice was the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center (BJCC).
The team played the previous year in the Central Hockey League (CHL) as the Birmingham South Stars and lost money. During the summer, between seasons, team president Mike McClure began negotiations to move from the CHL to the ACHL, primarily in order to cut travel expenses for the team. The franchise had also had their support cut by the NHL's Minnesota North Stars. On July 28, McClure announced the team had officially joined the ACHL, which was hoping to expand from five teams to ten. At the time, Birmingham was to be the seventh.
The team's name proved to be an issue, as the Nashville South Stars, from which the Birmingham South Stars had split, had joined the ACHL the previous season. The Nashville team got into a dispute with the Birmingham team over the South Stars name, which the latter ultimately lost. They then decided to return to the Birmingham Bulls name.
When the official announcement of the Bulls participation in the ACHL was finally made, it was also announced that the head coach would be Dave Hanson, a former Bulls player with no prior coaching experience. On October 14, while the team was on the road for a pre-season game in Nashville, they were evicted from the BJCC until they could pay the $50,000 rental fee they owed.
Although they played some away games, the eviction caused the Bulls to delay their home season opener. ACHL officials gave the Bulls a deadline to find financing, which was then extended. Finally, on October 20, an anonymous donor agreed to provide $50,000. The donor then withdrew the money on October 25, but the league let the Bulls play two home games, giving them until the end of the week to secure financing. Desperate appeals for financing were made to people such as Birmingham Stallions owner Marvin Warner and coach Hanson's Slap Shot co-star Paul Newman, but none panned out. Without backing, the league suspended the team's operations on October 28 and it folded.
- Steve Arnold, forward
- Reg Aubert
- Gilles Bilodeau, left wing
- Ernest Boutin, center
- Tony Circelli
- Dave Dziedzic
- Paul Evans, right wing
- John Giftopoulous, defense
- Scott Higgins, defense
- Paul Joswiak, goal
- Mike Lay, right wing
- Paul O'Neil, center
- Darre Switzer, left wing
- Jim Turkiewicz, defense
- Ron Turkiewicz
- Dwayne Venema, defense
1983 record (2-1)
|10/14/1983||at Nashville South Stars||W||5-4|
|10/18/1983||at Nashville South Stars||W||7-2|
|10/22/1983||at Nashville South Stars||L||5-2|
|10/25/1983||Mohawk Valley Stars||W||8-0|
|10/27/1983||Mohawk Valley Stars||W||7-3|
|Regular season results: 2-1|
Birmingham South Stars
|Pro Hockey in Birmingham
Birmingham Bulls (ECHL)
- Crowley, Gene. (May 26, 2008). "Birmingham Bulls Team & League History." BirminghamProSports.com. Accessed January 10, 2012.