The Cleveland Barons were an American Hockey League franchise from 1936-37 to 1973-74. The team thrived in the Cleveland market until the Cleveland Crusaders of the World Hockey Association came along in the early 1970’s and diluted the waters. The Barons failed soon after the arrival of the Crusaders and the Crusaders didn’t last long. The curse continued with the NHL version of the Barons that came along soon after and lasted just a few seasons. Test and expand your knowledge of the AHL Barons with the following four hockey trivia questions and answers.
Q. What player holds the AHL’s Cleveland Barons records for most career goals, assists, points and penalty minutes?
A. Fred Glover played for the Barons from 1952-53 to 1967-68. In that time, he scored 410 goals, assisted on 695 and totalled 1,105 points while sitting 2,164 minutes in the sin bin. Inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in its 2006 inaugural season, Glover is also the AHL career leader in each of those categories with 520 goals, 814 assists, 1,334 points and 2,402 PIM. Before he was a Baron, Fred also played for the Indianapolis Capitals. He saw brief NHL action early in his career with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Black Hawks.
Q. What arena did the Cleveland Barons play their home games at?
A. The Cleveland Arena was built for the AHL team’s first season. The seating capacity of the Cleveland Arena was 9,900 for hockey games. The rink closed in 1974, replaced by the Richfield Coliseum, and was demolished three years later.
The Richfield Coliseum held 18,544 for hockey but didn’t have a much better fate. The venue was closed in 1994 and demolished in 1999.
Q. What Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender was the AHL MVP in 1957-58?
A. Johnny Bower and the above mentioned Fred Glover are the only two AHL players to be awarded the Les Cunningham Award as the league’s MVP on three occasions. Bower won the award with Cleveland in 1957-58 and had previously won twice with the Providence Reds. Bower moved on to the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs in 1958-59 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976. Like Glover, Bower was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2006.
Q. The Cleveland Barons won the Calder Cup as AHL playoff champion on nine occasions. In which year did they win their first?
A. The Barons entered the AHL in 1936-37 and in 1938-39, just their third year in the league, Cleveland was crowned Calder Cup champions. Although finishing the year just one game over .500 and in third place in the four team West Division, Cleveland beat the Springfield Indians, Providence Reds and the Philadelphia Ramblers in the playoffs to capture the Calder.
Cleveland’s final Calder Cup championship came in 1963-64 with Fred Glover leading the way. After a somewhat mediocre regular season where the Barons placed third in the four team West Division and fourth overall in the nine team league, Cleveland went undefeated in the post season. The Barons swept the Rochester Americans and Hershey Bears before taking out the Quebec Aces in four games in the finals to win the title. That year, Fred Glover won the Les Cunningham Award as AHL MVP and Ted Harris won the Eddie Shore Award as defenseman of the year.