RICHFIELD, Ohio - The Cleveland Crusaders World Hockey Association (WHA) team was testing out the ice at the brand new Coliseum in Richfield in the fall of 1974.
The Coliseum had just opened, having hosted an opening night Frank Sinatra concert and then a Cavs game. Now, it was hockey's turn.
But this story of a hockey team on the ice is not as interesting as the people doing it.
The two central people in this WEWS story from 1974 are quite notable. One of them, Gerry Cheevers, was the Crusaders’ goalie. Cheevers played for the NHL Boston Bruins twice and in between played for the Crusaders. He won two Stanley Cups with the Bruins and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985.
The other person of note is the reporter. Ted Henry told me the young man was just an intern from Harvard here at WEWS, but he was permitted to do a story, his name is Tom Yellin. News junkies may recognize Yellin’s name. He was an executive at ABC News for years on “World News Tonight” and “20/20,” and produced documentaries with Peter Jennings.
Yellin does a nice job telling the story and even better and talking while skating.
Enjoy this look back at the Coliseum, the Crusaders and two people from Cleveland’s past.
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