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The Kansas City Blades were a professional team in the International Hockey League from 1990–91 until the demise of the league after the 2000–01 season. The Blades were based in Kansas City, Missouri, at the Kemper Arena.
The idle franchise Toledo Blades was purchased and moved to Kansas City by Russ and Diane Parker in 1990. Ironically, the team name remained "Blades" after a name the team contest was held.
For the 1990-91 season, the Blades were an independent team. From 1991-1996, they were the primary affiliate of the San Jose Sharks. Facing pressure from the National Hockey League, the Sharks and Blades went their separate ways in the summer of 1996. This meant the Blades were once again an independent team. This coincided with the sale of the team to the DeVos family, which also owned stake in rival teams the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Orlando Solar Bears. The DeVos family made drastic changes to the team on and off ice, many of which did not bode well with longtime fans. The Blades became the primary affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks for their final season.
The Blades' best season was in 1991–92, when they won the Turner Cup, under the coaching of Kevin Constantine. The Blades advanced to the Turner Cup finals again in 1995, only to lose in four straight games to the Denver Grizzlies.
During the 2000 season, rumors became reality, as the DeVos family attempted to move The Blades franchise to Oklahoma City. Faithful fans held a "Save the Blades" rally to persuade local government to keep the team in Kansas City. In the end, the team would not move to Oklahoma City due to disputes between the league and both cities. By this point, the DeVos was no longer welcome by Blades fans and was often booed on their rare appearances in Kansas City.
Due to financial troubles, the IHL ceased operations in the summer of 2001. Surviving IHL teams were admitted into the American Hockey League for the 2001–02 season. Because of league rules, owners could only control one team. The DeVos family chose to move the Griffins to the AHL and the Blades ceased to exist.
Hockey is still popular in Kansas City. NHL exhibition games are held regularly in the city. The Blades were replaced by the Kansas City Outlaws of the United Hockey League for one season, before they closed operations.
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