There were some changes in order for 1975-76, as expansion Cincinnati retook several of its players, including forward Dennis Sobchuk. Ftorek led the club, which slipped down to 82 from 86 points the year before. However, that was good enough for second place in the Western Division and a playoff spot. The playoffs had to be restructured mid season, as the Western Division had shrunk to three teams with the folding of Minnesota and Denver. A matchup with San Diego loomed, and the Roadrunners lost in 5 games of a best of 5 series.
Now in their third season, and with new coach Al Rollins, the Roadrunners slumped to 28-48-4, which left them in 6th place and out of the playoffs. However, Robbie Ftorek recieved the league award as MVP for 1976-77. This was the first time a US born player was given the MVP award in a major hockey league, and only the second time a player from a last place team was awarded it. The first was Roadrunner coach Al Rollins, who played for the 1954 Chicago Blackhawks.
Financial problems were catching up to Phoenix, as the club was losing $2 million annually. Early in the season, many prospects were traded for cash, but this could not stem the tide of losses, which hurt attendance. Although the Roadrunners had a solid core of fans, not enough of the general public was going to games. Owner Karl Eller wanted to keep the team in Phoenix, and sought new buyers, but there were no takers. Finally, an announcement was made that the team would fold at season's end. The club played its last game on April 6, 1977, defeating Indianapolis in Phoenix. Many players soon found work with Cincinnati.
The Roadrunners were reborn several times, first in the Central Hockey League and then the Pacific Hockey League, before the current International Hockey League entry.
Year W L T pts. Finish Playoffs 1974-75 39 31 8 86 4th Western Lost to Quebec 1-4 1975-76 39 35 4 82 2nd Western Lost to San Diego 2-3 1976-77 28 48 4 60 6th Western None