The Minnesota Fighting Saints were one of the World Hockey Association's (WHA) original 12 teams, beginning play in 1973. The Saints never missed the playoffs nor had a losing record and the team always drew more fans than the WHA average. On a few occasions, they even drew more attendance than their NHL rivals, the North Stars.
The Saints were one of the first pro hockey teams to boast a mostly American roster, favoring Minnesota-born players specifically. The team also had several ties to the movie Slap Shot, as controversial forward Bill 'Goldie' Goldthorpe, who was the inspiration for Ogie Ogilthorpe in the movie and Jack Carlson, who along with his brothers were the inspiration for the Hanson Brothers, both played for the Saints. Also, current veteran NHL coach Bruce Boudreau, who made an appearance as a player in Slap Shot, made his professional debut with the Saints, playing 30 games in the 1975-76 season.
Despite their on-ice success, the Saints were unable to secure a lucrative TV deal and eventually succumbed to financial woes and folded mid-season in 1976.
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