before the beginning '72 - '73 '73 - '74 '74 - '75 '75 - '76 '76 - '77 '77 - '78 '78 - '79 wha news ... such as it is ...
The Teams Yearly Standings Interviews & Profiles Awards & Stats WHA vs NHL All Star Games International Games
WHA Hall of Fame Free Downloads Photo Gallery Take The Trivia Test Links & Such Share Your Memories Sportsbooks Canada

Ralph BackstromSerge BernierChris BordeleauRichard BrodeurWayne CarletonGerry CheeversJoe DaleyDave DrydenRick DudleyRobbie FtorekJohn GarrettRon GrahameGilles GrattonAl HamiltonAnders HedbergGordie HoweMark HoweMarty HoweBobby HullDave KeonAndre LacroixDanny LawsonLarry LundFrank MahovlichJohn McKenzieDon McLeodUlf NilssonBernie ParentDerek SandersonPat StapletonBlanie StoughtonMarc TardifJC TremblayMike Walton

Ralph Backstrom
After playing in the Canadiens, Kings and Black Hawks organizations, he joined the Cougars for the '73 - '74 season. He became one of the steadiest mainstays of the club for two seasons until the club folded. He was on Team Canada's '74 Summit Series roster and was selected by Denver in the dispersal draft at the beginning of the '75 - '76 season, and picked up another 14 after the Whalers picked up his rights when the Spurs/Civics franchise folded. He finished his career in New England after the '76 - '77 season, where he totalled 100 goals and 153 assists in 304 games.

Serge Bernier
After being drafted in the first round in '67, he toiled away in the Flyers and then the Kings' systems before jumping ship for the '73 - '74 season, where he was consistently among the Nordiques' top snipers and was on Team Canada in the '74 Summit Series. He was a 30+ goals man four of his six seasons in the league, and his 14 goals and 22 assists helped the Nords' capture the Avco World Trophy in the '76 � ' 77 season while winning the Playoff MVP honours. He finished in the WHA with 230 goals and 336 assists, fourth best in the league.
chris bordeleau
Chris Bordeleau
Drafted by Montreal in '68, he toiled away for the Habs, Blues and Black Hawks before joining the WHA in '72. where he put up fairly respectable offensive numbers for two years in Winnipeg. He was traded to Quebec in mid-season during the '74 - '75 campaign, where he continued his offensive prowess and established himself as a premier set-up man. He helped the Nords win the Avco Cup in the spring of '76, where he put up his best post-season numbers, two goals and 13 assists. He remained with Quebec until the end of the leauge, where his numbers totalled 179 goals and 325 assists, good for ninth overall.

Richard Brodeur
A Juniors champion with Cornwall, he turned pro with Quebec and spent his entire WHA career, all seven seasons, in La Belle Province, where he added the other dimension to one of the league's offensive powerhouses and helped them be a threat year-in and year-out. He helped backstop the Nords' to the Avco Cup in the spring of '77, and finished in the WHA with a 3.70 GAA.

Wayne Carleton
He was a highly touted draft pick by the Maple Leafs but didn't get his big break until the '65 - '66 season, then drifted back and forth out of the minors until the Bruins picked him up four seasons later. But neither they or the Golden Seals worked out for him, so he quickly became one of the steadiest players in Ottawa in '72, where he was instrumental in the club's push for the playoffs, where he scored his career high 42 goals. He was the All-Star Game MVP in '73 and also wore a Whalers', Oilers' and Bulls' jersey before leaving the league after the '76 - '77 season, and retired the next year. In 290 WHA games, he totalled 132 goals and 180 assists.

Gerry Cheevers
He was one of the most prolific signings when the WHA started up, lured from the Bruins. He was a workhorse in Cleveland and maintained his reputation as one of the best goalies in the game, earning a 2.83 GAA in '72 - '73 with five shutouts and was awarded Best Goaltender honours that year. He played for Canada in the '74 Summit Series and spent four seasons as a Crusader and was one of the keys to them making the post-season every season, but returned to Boston and the NHL when the club folded. His WHA record was a 3.18 GAA with 14 shutouts.

Real Cloutier
One of the most feared snipers in the league, he was drafted by the Nordiques and started in '74 - '75. He was a 60+ goals man four if his five seasons in the league and helped the Nords capture the Avco World Cup in '76 - '77. He won the scoring race twice and was voted All-Star MVP once. His 283 goals and 283 assists put him in fifth place for the all-time scoring lead.

Joe Daley
After years in the minors, he finally got his pro break in Pittsburgh in '67, then in Buffalo and Detroit. Underutilized and underappreciated, he made the jump to the WHA for the beginning of the league backstopping the Jets, and ended his career there seven seasons later. He was instrumental in taking the team to the post season six times and the big dance five times, winning the big prize four of them. He played for Team Canada in the '74 Summit Series and finished among the top goalies, with a 3.45 GAA and 12 shutouts.

Dave Dryden
Drafted in '61, he spent the majority of his early career bouncing around in the minors, the Rangers and Black Hawks. He finally began seeing regular duty as a Sabre, but jumped to the Chicago Cougars for the '74 � '75 season. He was picked up by the Oilers when the Cougars folded and backstopped the team to the Avco Cup finals the league's final season, when he also captured both the League MVP and Top Goaltender awards. He finished his WHA days with a 3.49 GAA.

Rick Dudley
One of the best two-way players the league ever saw, he joined the Stingers for their debut in '76 after toiling away in the Buffalo Sabres system since turning pro in '71. In four seasons, he reached the 30+ goal plateau three times, and gained notoriety in '76 when, partially as a marketing ploy, he became the only hockey player in history to record a record, which flopped. In 270 games, he netted 131 goals and 146 assists.Upon returning to the NHL, he eventually became the coach of the Sabres.
robbie ftorek
Robbie Ftorek
A former US Olympian, he went nowhere with the Red Wings after being drafted in '72, playing sporadically in the big league. He jumped ship to the newly formed Phoenix Roadrunners, where he immediately made an impact as a strong forward, heralded for his two-way play. He earned the league's MVP Award in '76 - '77, despite it being the only season the team didn't make the post season. He was picked up by the Stingers following the Roadrunners folding. His 'worst' season still saw him score 31 goals. In only five WHA seasons he still ranked sixth in all time scoring, with 216 goals and 307 assists. Upon the league's demise, he continued his playing career and later became a much-respected coach.
john garrett
John Garrett
Property of the St. Louis Blues, he played in their farm system in '72 - '73, but jumped to the WHA and the Minnesota Fighting Saints the next season, quickly earning the # 1 goalie spot. He played for the Saints until their folding in mid-season two years later, where he joined the Toronto Toros. He re-earned the # 1 spot the next season when the club moved to Birmingham. He was dealt to the Whalers for the '78 - '79 season. Following the merger he remained with the Whalers, then played for Quebec before hanging up his skates and becoming a hockey colour analyst. In six seasons in the WHA, his GAA was 3.01 with 12 shutouts in 273 games.
ron grahame
Ron Grahame
He turned pro in '73 with the Houston Aeros, but didn't establish himself as a big-time player until the '74 - '75 season, leading them into the post-season and earning the team's second straight Avco Cup, where he logged all but one of the 14 games and winning the Playoff MVP Award. The following season he again manned the net the majority of the games, and again took the team to the big dance. The '76 - '77 season saw the Aeros still with one of the steadiest backlines in the league, but were ejected early from the post-season, though he did pick up the Top Goaltender Award. He left for the NHL in the off-season, where his WHA totals were a 2.56 GAA with 11 shutouts.
gilles gratton
Gilles Gratton
Although Buffalo owned his NHL rights, he turned pro in '72 with the Ottawa Nationals, where he quickly became one of the hottest netminders in the league. He led the club into the playoffs and remained with the franchise when they moved up the street to Toronto for the second season. Again he led the club into the playoffs the next two seasons, and played for Team Canada during the '74 Summit Series. He was known more for his off-ice antics than he was his in-rink play. He actually blamed a loss during the Summit Series on an old abdominal wound he'd suffered in a previous life. He moved to the NHL after the end of the '74 - '75 season, with a 3.7 WHA GAA and four shutouts.

Al Hamilton
His jersey was the first to be raised to the rafters and number retired after the merger with the NHL, and for good reason. He was the epitome of the Edmonton Oilers. He turned pro in '64, and toiled in the Rangers' and Sabres' systems until seizing the opportunity for regular ice team when the WHA started up. He immediately became one of the most reliable blue liners on the team, and finished his career with Edmonton the year after the merger, with 53 goals and 258 assists in 455 WHA games.

Anders Hedberg
He turned pro in the fall of '74 when he came from Sweden and joined the Winnipeg Jets, part of that team's, and the league's philosophy of 'more offensive is better.' He won the Rookie of the Year Award that year, notching 53 goals. He was part of arguably the most potent line in hockey history, along with Bobby Hull and fellow Swede Ulf Nillson, helping the Jets capture two Avco Cup titles. His most productive season was in '76 - '77, where he lit the lamp 70 times and assisted on 61 other goals. He left for the NHL for the beginning of the '78 - '79 season, and finished 11th overall in the WHA scoring race with 236 goals and 222 assists in only 288 games.

Gordie Howe
After enjoying retirement for over two full years, Mr. Hockey came back to pack arenas once again for the '73 � '74 season in Houston. Although playing with his sons Mark and Marty was an obvious marketing ploy, he proved he wasn't done yet, scoring 174 goals and assisting on 334 more during four years in Houston, and two with New England. He lent his experience as part of Team Canada during the '74 Summit Series and finished seventh in all-time scoring and won the league's MVP award in '73 � '74, then had the trophy renamed after him.

Mark Howe
After playing in the minors, the former US Olympian joined Houston along with his brother Marty and father Gordie as part of an obvious marketing ploy for the '73 - '74 season, but soon established himself as a gritty, stay at home blue line workhorse, earning the league's Top Defenceman Award that season. He helped the Aeros that season to the first of two straight Avco Cups while developing his offensive play, scoring 38 playoff points during that time. After four seasons in Houston, he was in New England, where he again continued his domination on the blueline, earning the All-Star MVP Award in '77 - '78. In six WHA seasons, he racked up 208 goals and 296 assists in 426 games, finishing eighth overall.

Marty Howe
After two seasons with the Marlboros as a Junior, he broke into the WHA in '74 - '75 with brother Mark and father Gordie. The obvious cheesy marketing ploy worked, as crowds filled the arenas. For four seasons he quietly developed a reputation as an under-rated, but always reliable defenceman. His stay at home style was part of the backbone that captured two Avco Cups in his first two seasons. The Howes were dealt to New England for the beginning of the '77 - '78 season. He finished his WHA days with 67 goals and 117 assists in 449 games.

Bobby Hull
14 seasons with the Black Hawks solidified him as one of the greatest players to ever lace up a pair of skates, and it's fair to say WHA really stood for �When Hull Arrived.� After legalities kept him out of a Jets' uniform for the first couple of weeks, he went on to write the second chapter of his storied career, helping Winnipeg win three Avco Cups and make it to the dance another two. He was pivotal in Team Canada during the Summit Series and scored 303 goals and 335 assists during his seven seasons in the WHA, putting him third in all-time scoring and winning the league's MVP honours twice.

dave keon
Dave Keon
The 15 year Maple Leaf veteran almost made the jump to the WHA to the Ottawa Nationals when the league began, but didn't switch sides until the '75 - '76 season when he was lured over by Minnesota. Bad move - after the club folded in mid-season he finished out the rest of the campaign in Indianapolis. By the start of the next season he was back in Minnesota when the Cleveland Crusaders franchise became the second incarnation of the Saints. When that version of the team also folded in mid-stream, he was picked up by New England, where he eventually retired, three years after the WHA ended. His WHA totals were 102 goals and 189 assists in 301 games.

andre lacroix
Andre Lacroix
One of the pillars of the WHA, he was the league's all time iron man, lacing up for 511 games, one of the few players from its beginning to end. After leaving the Blazers after their inaugural year in Philadelphia, he played with the Golden Blades and Knights the second season, then three seasons with Mariners. Following their demise, he finished his WHA career with the Whalers. He led the league with 251 goals and 547 assists. He was Canada's leading scorer during the '74 Summit Series, and although he won the scoring title twice, he never hoisted the Avco World Trophy.
danny lawson
Danny Lawson
He bounced around in the NHL in the Detroit, Minnesota and Buffalo organizations until jumping seeing a future in the WHA, where he joined the Blazers in the fall of '72. He stayed with the club when they moved to Vancouver the next season, where he continued his offensive punch. He again moved with the franchise for the '75 - '76 season to Calgary, but was traded to the Jets late the next season. He finished his career during the off-season, racking up 218 goals and 204 assists in 392 WHA games, 15th overall.
larry lund
Larry Lund
He was an 11 seasons Minors veteran before joining the Houston Aeros when the league started up. He soon became a reliable winger that could handle two-way play. He was one of the few players that didn't live out of a suitcase, and helped the team become one of the more consistent clubs, seeing the playoffs every year, winning two straight Avco Cups starting in '73 - '74. He retired after the club folded after the '77 - '78 season with 149 goals and 277 assists in 459 games, good for 12th spot overall.
frank mahovlich
Frank Mahovlich
He was an 18-year veteran when he joined the Toronto Toros in '74 - '75, adding stability to a young core of promising players. He helped get the team into the playoffs his first season there, scoring six goals in the six games. He stayed with the franchise after the move to Birmingham, but was injured most of the '76 - '77 season. He came the next year, then finished his career after the '77 - '78 season with 89 goals and 143 assists in 237 WHA games.
john mckenzie
John McKenzie
A seasoned veteran with fourteen seasons pro experience in the Red Wings, Black Hawks, Rangers and Bruins organizations, he jumped ship at the start of the new league and promises of new adventures. On the Blazers' roster he added obvious experience and depth, and moved with the franchise to Vancouver the next season. After two seasons on the west coast he was traded to Minnesota, where he brought short-term stability to the Saints until the team folded mid-season. He finished out the season after being picked up by Cincinnati, and started the '76 - '77 campaign back with the second incarnation of the Saints. That run in Minnesota also lasted only half a season. He was picked up by New England, where he remained until retiring after the end of the WHA, in the spring of '79. He played for Team Canada during the '74 Summit Series and his WHA totals were in the Top 20, with 163 goals and 250 assists in 477 games.
don mcleod
Don McLeod
Under utilized in both the Detroit and Philadelphia systems, he jumped to the WHA for its inaugural season after signing with the Houston Aeros. His second season in Texas saw him take home the Top Goaltender Award with an almost unheard of 2.56 GAA, while leading the club to the Avco Cup. He was traded in the biggest off-season deal that year to Vancouver, where he played with the Blazers for two seasons, and then moved with the club to Calgary. The Nordiques picked him up for the '77 - '78 season after the Cowboys folded, but traded him to Edmonton midway. He retired following the '77 - '78 season with a 3.29 GAA with eleven career shutouts.
ulf nilsson
Ulf Nilsson
As part of the league's movement to a faster paced, more offensive game. He was on one of the most feared and potent lines in hockey history, centering Bobby Hull and fellow Swede Anders Hedberg, he made his mark when he first joined Winnipeg in the fall of '74. He won the Playoff MVP the next season as the Jets captured their first Avco Cup. He went to the NHL after winning their second cup in '77 - '78. In four seasons, he totalled 140 goals and 344 assists, good for 10th overall in the league.

Bernie Parent
His defection to the WHA was one of the most prolific. Although he signed with the Miami Screaming Eagles, he agreed to play with the Blazers when the franchise moved to Philadelphia for the start of the first season, where he became the workhorse and tickets draw for the club everywhere they played. Playing in 63 games, he recorded a 3.63 GAA with two shutouts in his only season in the WHA. When the club made an early exit from the playoffs, and the news broke they were moving to Vancouver, he jumped back to his old Flyers in the NHL during the off-season, where he ended up winning a pair of Stanley Cups.
derek sanderson
Derek Sanderson
His story isn't so much for what he did for the WHA, but the black eye he gave the league. Lured from the Bruins after six seasons, he joined the Philadephia Blazers under a contract that was more like a deck stacked in his favour. He didn't have to fly to get to road games, he was allowed to drink to excess (ok, that part wasn't in his contract), and was at the time the most paid player in the league. His eight games with the Blazers the league's first season were studded with 69 penalty minutes, three goals and three assists. Evident things were not going to work out, he left to go back to the NHL.

Pat Stapleton
He began his pro career in Boston in '61, but didn't get regular ice time until the Black Hawks picked him up four seasons later. He made the jump across the street to the Chicago Cougars for the '73 - '74 season, where his experience on the blue line instantly made him a premier WHA'er and helped propel the club to the finals that season. He picked up the nod for Top Defenceman that year as well. He played for Team Canada during the '74 Summit Series and was one of the players who tried to keep the franchise alive the next season by acting as partial owner. Following their demise after the '74 - '75 season, he was picked up by the Racers, where he played for two seasons before moving to Cincinnati, where he finished his career after the '77 - '78 season with all-time totals of 27 goals and 212 assists in 372 games.

Blaine Stoughton
He spent five seasons in the WHA, where his best outing was as a Cincinnati Stinger, netting 52 goals in the '76 � '77 season. He was dealt in mid-season a year later to the Racers, and finished his WHA days in New England with a combined total of 89 goals and 90 assists in 4 seasons.
marc tardif
Marc Tardif
He hoisted the Avco World Trophy with the Nordiques in the '76-'77 season, won the scoring title twice, the league MVP twice, the All-Star game MVP once, was runner up for Rookie of the Year and was on Team Canada during the '74 Summit Series against the USSR. He entered the league as a rookie in '73-'74 with the LA Sharks, but was traded in mid-season a year later after the team's move to Michigan. He finished second in the league in all time scoring, with 316 goals and 350 assists.

jc tremblay
JC Tremblay
The former long-time Canadien saw opportunity in the league and was oen of the first signings the Nordiques made, and one of the rare players that stayed with the same team the entire seven years of the league. His offensive rush from the blue line made him a threat game in and game out, and was also one of the few defensemen that knew how to stay home when the need arose. He played for Team Canada during the '74 Summit Series, won the Top Defenceman Award in '74 - '75 and helped the Nords capture the Avco Cup in the spring of '77. He hung up his skates at the end of the WHA, and finished 14th in the all-time WHA scoring list, with 66 goals and 358 assists in 454 games.

mike walton
Mike Walton
He was already a hard-nosed veteran, having served time in both Toronto and Boston when he jumped to the rebel league for the '73 - '74 season with the Fighting Saints, where his chippiness and natural talent around the net worked perfectly with Minnesota's 'fight 'em then score on 'em' attitude, leading them into the playoffs twice, scoring 20 goals and 25 assists in four series those two post-seasons. He stayed with the original Saints until the end of the franchise, then went back to the NHL after they folded in the middle of the '75 - '76 season. His WHA totals were 136 goals and 145 assists in 211 games.

top of page