Icy Crisis: The Philadelphia Blazers were set to make their debut this week in 1972 as the WHA kicked off its inaugural season, and they were oh so close to hosting the New England Whalers at the local Civic Center. But the Zamboni arrived late, and when it ventured out to do its work, the ice buckled. After officials conferred with referee Bill Friday (that’s him, above, on the cover a 1977 Houston Aeros program), the game was postposed, to the chagrin of 6,000 expectant fans, who tossed back the red WHA pucks they’d been given as they arrived. Blazers’ captain Derek Sanderson took to the PA to explain. “It would be very dangerous for the players,” he said. “Please come back, we need your support after they get this bloody ice fixed.” Not an auspicious start for the Blazers, who continued to falter. Sanderson departed after eight games, returning to the NHL Bruins. The Blazers themselves lasted just a single season in Philadelphia before upping stakes and relocating to Vancouver.