The uniforms change but the names are the same. A number of familiar faces representing unfamiliar places will turn up in the Salt Palace this season.
The now Kansas City Blades will feature a pair of ex-golden Eagles in Rick Barkovich, a center who played for Salt Lake last year and played a big part in the 1987-88 championship victory. The Blades also have signed defenseman Claude Julien, who was with the Golden Eagles in 81-82 and 82-83 when St. Louis was the parent club.In San Diego, 1976-77 CHL All-Star Charlie Simmer has signed on as a player/coach after a fine National Hockey League career.
The Phoenix Roadrunners will feature Rick Hayward, who spent the last 21/2 seasons in a Golden Eagles uniform and was the most penalized player in the IHL last year with 419 minutes, a new Golden Eagles franchise record that gave him the career franchise lead as well.
Muskegon has been assigned center Jock Callander, a 1982-83 Golden Eagle, and Mike Mersch, a member of the 1986-87 team.
In Milwaukee, Peter Bakovic, the Golden Eagles team captain in 87-88 before he was traded to the Vancouver organization, is expected to be back with the Admirals.
Peter Lappin, the 1988 playoff Most Valuable Player, who went on to score 48 goals for Salt Lake in 1988-89, is expected to be back in Kalamazoo as he awaits a shot with the parent Minnesota North Stars. The Kalamazoo General Manager is Billy Inglis, one of the original Golden Eagles players back in 1969-70.
The defending Turner Cup champion Indianapolis Ice are expected to return center Mike Rucinski, a Salt Lake center on the 86-87 team, along with center Jim Johannson, who played in all 82 Golden Eagles games on the 88-89 team while scoring 35 goals.
And behind the bench in Peoria is new coach and former Golden Eagle Bob Plager. Plager, a defenseman with the St. Louis Blues in his playing days, had a short playing and coaching stint with Salt Lake back in 1977-78.