|League||World Hockey Association|
|Home arena||Riverfront Coliseum|
The Cincinnati Stingers was an ice hockey team based in Cincinnati, Ohio, that played in the World Hockey Association from 1975 to 1979. Its home arena was Riverfront Coliseum (now known as U.S. Bank Arena) and it was the only major-league hockey team ever to play in Cincinnati.
The Stingers franchise was awarded in 1974 as part of the WHA's ill-conceived attempt at expansion. They entered the league for the 1975-76 season along with the Denver Spurs. Most of the league's existing teams were not financially stable, and franchise relocations were commonplace. Nonetheless, the Stingers achieved enough stability that they the only one of the WHA's five expansion teams that lasted through the end of the league. However, they were left out of the WHA-NHL merger that took place in the summer of 1979. The WHA insisted on including all three of its surviving Canadian teams,1 though below-average attendance made it unlikely that the Stingers would have made the cut in any event. The Stingers, along with the Birmingham Bulls, were paid to disband when the WHA ceased operations.
The Stingers were the first professional team of long-time NHL star Mike Gartner. Mark Messier and Mike Liut also played for the Stingers. After playing five games with the Indianapolis Racers, Messier moved to Cincinnati. Messier was placed on a line with Robbie Ftorek.2 Ftorek was one of the top scorers in the league but Messier managed to get only one goal.2
After the WHA shut down, a minor professional version of the Cincinnati Stingers began the 1979–80 season in the Central Hockey League. The CHL team included only three players from the 1978–79 WHA Stingers; Dave Debol, Byron Shutt and Paul Stewart. The CHL team disbanded 33 games into the season.
The largest crowd in Cincinnati Stingers history was on March 11, 1978 when a crowd of 13,901 attended a game at Riverfront Coliseum between the Stingers and the Edmonton Oilers.
In an 1978 episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, a Stingers sticker can be seen on the wall of Les Nessman's "office" (actually an open area with black masking tape on the floor, signifying where the office's walls would be).
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes
- World Hockey Association
|1975–76||80||35||44||1||71||285||340||1344||4th, Eastern||Did not qualify|
|1976–77||81||39||37||5||83||354||303||970||2nd, Eastern||Lost Quarterfinals (Racers)|
|1977–78||80||35||42||3||73||298||332||1701||7th, WHA||Did not qualify|
|1978–79||80||33||41||6||72||274||284||1651||5th, WHA||Lost Quarterfinals (Whalers)|
- Central Hockey League
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