The Roots of the Gears Part 2


The story goes that Blair let Fifer stew until early 1972. The two had apparently stayed in touch on and off after Fifer left Duluth, as one of the very early events at the Civic Center was the winter game between the 1972 U.S. Olympic hockey team and the Minnesota North Stars, and that had to be arranged between Fifer, the building manager, and Blair, the North Stars general manager. Finally Blair contacted Fifer concerning a hockey franchise in Saginaw and arranged a visit to Saginaw and a lunch meeting with Fifer. Taunting Fifer, Blair told him on the drive from Tri City (MBS International) Airport that he knew of someone who could put a professional hockey team in Saginaw. Of course Wren Blair eventually let on that the person in question was himself. Later that day Blair and Fifer met with the Civic Center Board of Directors and the proposal to create the Saginaw Gears was made. Wren Blair had even gone as far as to have some early team logos made up and presented them to the board. Later the concept was approved and the team became a reality.

Still, there were some who were not sure about the name. In a special edition of the Saginaw News that covered the dedication of the Civic Center, reporter Jim Buckley thumb-nailed some doubt as to if the name "Gears" would actually work. Odds are that a decade after that writing and with the Gears having had their moniker scribed on two Turner Cups... the doubts were gone.

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