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DID YOU KNOW ?
(also known as useless trivia to scatter a party)

  • The first goal was scored by Ron Anderson of the Alberta Oilers on Les Binkley of the Ottawa Nationals at 13:03 of the first period, on Oct. 11, 1972 - - or that Bill Hicke scored on Binkley for the first WHA penalty shot the same game?
  • Mark Messier was the last ex-WHA'er still on the ice in the NHL?
  • The first player to a sign a WHA contract was Steve Sutherland of the Los Angles Sharks - - or that Terry Slater's signing with LA made him the first WHA coach?
  • Bobby Hull's contract signing with the Winnipeg Jets was done in Chicago?
  • League co-founders Dennis L Murphy & Gary Davidson were also behind the American Basketball Association and World Football League - - or they were originally behind the failed team in San Fransisco, which ended up being Les Nordiques - - or that Murphy ended up owning the Los Angeles Sharks instead the league's first year?
  • The New England Whalers moved to the NHL as The Hartford Whalers, but are now the NHL's Carolina Curricanes - - or the Winnipeg Jets are now the Phoenix Coyotes - - or Les Quebec Nordiques are now the Colorado Avalanche - - or that Les Nords would still be on the ice today if it wasn't for that snivelling little weasel Eric Lindros?
  • The league championship was called The Avco World Trophy - - sponsored by Avco Financial Corporation?
  • The WHA attempted to place a club in Florida on three seperate occasions, but never succeeded?
  • The very first head coach for The Quebec Nordiques was Maurice "Rocket" Richard - - but only for one game?
  • Hockey analyst John Garrett played for three WHA teams?
  • The league experimented with four different formats for the all-star game?
  • The Ottawa Nationals played their only playoffs games in their one year of existance in Toronto?
  • The Houston Aeros was the only team to win the Avco Cup but not admitted into the NHL?
  • The league's MVP Award was re-named after Gordie Howe in 1974 after he'd won it the previous season - -even though he played through the duration of the league (a full five seasons) - - but never won it again afterwards?
  • The Winnipeg Jets won the championship three times - - the most - - & one of only four teams to win it - - and were in the finals all but two years?
  • When the league folded in '79 the Avco Cup was given to the Winnipeg Jets - - the last team to win it - - then donated to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto upon the team's demise in 1998?
  • The late Wild Bill Hunter, original owner of the Edmonton Oilers - - was also the man behind the failed attempt to buy the St Louis Blues in the late 80's so he could move them to Saskatchewan?
  • The Winnipeg Jets were the first pro hockey team to practice in Japan?
  • Gilles Gratton, goaltender for the Toronto Toros while playing for Team Canada, blamed their loss to the Soviet Union on abdominal pains he suffered at the hands of a Spanish Conquistador in a former life?
  • Wayne Gretzky's first pro team was the Indianapolis Racers - - or that he wore #20 there and in his first game as an Edmonton Oiler?
  • The Indianapolis Racers' Andy Brown was the last professional goaltender to NEVER wear a mask?
  • In the league's inaugural season, the Oilers were called The Alberta Oilers - - and played half of the regular season & their only playoff game that year in Calgary?
  • The Alberta Oilers wore blue and orange because they were originally supposed to be sponsored by Gulf Oil, but that the deal fell through after it was too late to change colours?
  • Gordie Howe came out of retirement to join the Houston Aeros - - or that playing with Mark & Marty was the first time a pro hockey player ever played on the same team as his kids - - or that if his 508 WHA points were recognized in his 'official' stats he'd have more career points than Gretzky?
  • Before coming out of retirement to play for the Edmonton Oilers in 1974, Jacques Plante was the coach for the Quebec Nordiques - - or that the Oilers were playing in Denver when he was injured while practicing with the farm team back in Edmonton which eventually ended his career?
  • In the inaugural draft in the summer of 1972, teams were allowed to pick under-age amateurs in what they simply called a 'general player draft'?
  • The league experimented with red and blue pucks? Or that the paint came off the red ones and the blue ones dented?
  • The league didn't have hockey cards its second or seventh seasons - - but DID have a set of 20 fold-out posters for the '73-'74 season?
  • When the Winnipeg Jets signed Bobby Hull for the inaugural season, his $1 million signing bonus was chipped in by the other team owners - - and was the most ever paid to a hockey player at the time - - or that he missed the first 2 weeks because the NHL's Black Hawks took it to court?
  • Hockey analyst Harry Neale coached two WHA teams?
  • Many WHA clubs used the philosophy of stealing players from their cross-town NHL cousins?
  • The WHA had teams in six cities that still haven't been granted NHL franchises?
  • In head to head action over four pre-seasons, the WHA actually won the series against the NHL - - and there were actually four WHA teams that had individual winning records?
  • There were seven teams that never played a full season - - and four cities that were granted clubs but whose teams never took to the ice?
  • 18 of the 26 franchises were involved in a total of 13 moves from city to city?
  • The Oilers' Dave Dryden was the only goalie to ever win the league's most valuable player award?
  • Stickboy's a putz who has fallen way behind in our song trading & still hasn't delivered my Lee Aaron fantasy concert?
  • In their last season the Chicago Cougars were owned by the players?
  • There were actually two teams called the Minnesota Fighting Saints - - the second which was the re-incarnation of the Cleveland Crusaders - - but both incarnations had the same jerseys, just different colour schemes?
  • The Minnesota Fighting Saints abandoned their original home jerseys halfway through the '72-'73 season, going to the ones they kept for the rest of their existance - - or that the first jerseys were sold to a high school?
  • The lame-ass Calgary Cowboys logo was 'designed' by their trainer, BearCat Murray - - or that he personally painted Don "Smokie" McLeod's mask ... or that he later became the Calgary Flames' trainer?
  • The New England Whalers were beached in Boston, Springfield, and then Hartford?
  • The Ottawa Civics only lasted 15 days? Or that they never even officially adopted a logo - - and just kept the Denver Spurs jerseys?
  • When the WHA merged with the NHL for the '79-'80 season, all three Howes were kept by the Whalerst?
  • Ken Dryden, Bobby Orr, Stan Mikita, Eddie Johnston, Gilbert Perrault, Jacques Lemaire, Guy Lapointe, Brad Park, Peter Mahovlich, Steve Shutt and Bobby Clarke were all picked by WHA clubs in the league's inaugural draft, but couldn't be lured from the NHL?
  • The NHL became quite renowned for placing a team at the last minute in the same city or nearby to 'new' additions in the WHA on several occasions?
  • The Los Angeles Sharks were originally going to be called the Aces - - but took the name Sharks when San Fransisco's intended franchise (also Sharks) moved to Quebec?
  • Three Cincinnati players joined coach Jacques Demers as bench bosses in the NHL, Robbie Ftorek, Rick Dudley, and Barry Melrose?
  • The Philadelphia Blazers signed Derek Sanderson in 1972, but he only played eight games - - or that his contract stipulated he didn't have to play road games he couldn't get to by train because of a fear of flying - - or that he was the highest paid athlete at the time at $2.65 million?
  • Jacques Demers, Bill Dineen, Harry Neale and Billy Harris were all WHA coaches - - or that Glen Sather, Gordie Howe, Pat Stapleton, John McKenzie and Bobby Hull were also players at the same time as coaches - - or that Robbie Ftorek and Rick Ley became coaches in the NHL once their playing days were over?
  • Ottawa Nationals' owner Doug Michel's book "Left Wing & A Prayer" was the first paperback on the league from an owner's perspective?
  • The Houston Aeros were the only team to have won the Avco World Trophy, but not be admitted into the NHL?
  • The Stingers' (and before & later Buffalo Sabres') Rick Dudley was the only WHA player to release a record ... the '45 "I Don't Want To Cry" b/w "Natural Man" in 1975?
  • The majority of the Alberta Oilers' rookies came from the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League?
  • The Birmingham Bulls franchise entered the Central Hockey League after the WHA folded, and became the NHL's Atlanta Flames' farm club?
  • Doug Michel, primary owner of the Ottawa Nationals actually tried to put the team in Hamilton originally, but couldn't because Copps Coliseum hadn't been built yet?
  • Wayne Gretzky's very first professional goal was as an Indianapolis Racer, when he scored it against Dave Dryden of the Edmonton Oilers?
  • Mark Messier only lasted five games with the Indianapolis Racers, and never played a home game?
  • The WHA was playing international games before the NHL tried it?
  • For the final season in '78-'79, the teams actually wore white jerseys on the road?
  • Phoenix's Peter McNamee was the first Jamaican-born professional hockey player?

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