World Hockey Association

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World Hockey Association logo

The World Hockey Association was an ice hockey league in North America that existed from 1972 to 1979. Much like the American Basketball Association in basketball, with which it had the executive staff in common, it owed its success to its aggressive penetration into the markets of the National Hockey League , its innovative methods and its liberal player policy. While the NHL focused primarily on North American players, the WHA also opened the door to Europeans. Player changes have also been made much easier. Many of the greats of ice hockey played at the WHA, including Bobby Hull , Gordie Howe , Wayne Gretzky , Mark Messier , JC Tremblay , Gerry Cheevers and Bernie Parent . The innovations of the WHA included (by the standards of the time) "gaudy" playing clothes, a healthy level of physical hardness and the puck with the chip, which was picked up by the NHL in the 1990s and which should be better seen on television. In 1979 the league was financially at an end. Four of the six teams joined the NHL: the Edmonton Oilers , the New England Whalers (as Hartford Whalers ), the Québec Nordiques and the Winnipeg Jets . Compensation was paid to the Birmingham Bulls and the Cincinnati Stingers.

Teams of the WHA

The remaining teams

With the Edmonton Oilers , the Québec Nordiques , the Winnipeg Jets and the New England Whalers , four WHA teams joined the NHL . The New England Whalers started their first season as Hartford Whalers . The teams were able to gain a foothold relatively quickly. The Edmonton Oilers won their first Stanley Cup back in 1984 and had four more to follow by 1990. In 1995 the Québec Nordiques moved to Denver and from then on played as the Colorado Avalanche . In 1996 the Winnipeg Jets followed suit and became the Phoenix Coyotes . The Hartford Whalers moved to North Carolina in 1997 and was renamed Carolina Hurricanes . Only the Edmonton Oilers of the former WHA teams are still in their old hometown. With the Colorado Avalanche, the second WHA team managed to win the Stanley Cup. And in 2006 there was a premiere when two WHA teams, the Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes, met in the Stanley Cup final. The Hurricanes won the final.

In 1994 the Houston Eros were re-established , which first played in the IHL and since 2001/02 in the AHL since its dissolution . However, the current team has nothing to do with the WHA team. The choice of name is intended as an homage to the two-time winner of the WHA championship.

Avco World Trophy

The WHA masters received the Avco World Trophy named after the Avco group . The winners were:

Awards and trophies

The WHA awarded a total of nine trophies for teams, players and coaches during the season. However, they never achieved the status of the trophies awarded in the National Hockey League , the great competitor of the WHA.

Team trophies
Surname Reason for award photo Namesake Award Record winner
Avco World Trophy
  • Winner of the WHA playoffs
Avco Corporation
(as sponsor)
1972 - 1979
Player and coach trophies
Surname Reason for award photo Namesake Award Record winner
Gary L. Davidson Award
Gordie Howe Trophy
Gordie Howe 1972 - 1979
Bill Hunter Trophy Bill Hunter 1972 - 1979
Lou Kaplan Trophy Lou Kaplan 1972 - 1979
Ben Hatskin Trophy
  • Best goalkeeper of the regular season
Ben Hatskin 1972 - 1979
Dennis A. Murphy Trophy
  • Best Regular Season Defender
Dennis A. Murphy 1972 - 1979
Paul Deneau Trophy
  • Fairest regular season player
Paul Deneau 1972 - 1979
Howard Baldwin Trophy
Robert Schmertz Memorial Trophy
  • Best coach of the season
Howard Baldwin 1972 - 1979
  • Bill Dineen (2)
  • Renamed the Robert Schmertz Memorial Trophy in 1975
WHA Playoff MVP 1974 - 1979


space player Gates
1. Marc Tardif 316
2. Bobby Hull 303
3. Real Cloutier 283
4th André Lacroix 251
5. Hedberg is different 236
6th Serge Bernier 230
7th Tom Webster 220
8th. Danny Lawson 218
9. Robbie Ftorek 216
10. Mark Howe 208
space player templates
1. André Lacroix 547
2. JC Tremblay 358
3. Marc Tardif 350
4th Ulf Nilsson 344
5. Serge Bernier 336
6th Bobby Hull 335
7th Gordie Howe 334
8th. Christian Bordeleau 325
9. Robbie Ftorek 307
10. Mark Howe 296
space player Points
1. André Lacroix 798
2. Marc Tardif 666
3. Bobby Hull 638
4th Serge Bernier 566
Real Cloutier 566
6th Robbie Ftorek 523
7th Gordie Howe 508
8th. Christian Bordeleau 504
Mark Howe 504
10. Ulf Nilsson 484
space player Games
1. André Lacroix 551
2. Ron Plumb 549
3. Michel Parizeau 519
4th Paul Shmyr 511
5. Mike Antonovich 486
Penalty minutes
space player Minutes
1. Paul Baxter 962
2. Kim Clackson 932
3. Cam Connor 904
4th Pierre Roy 864
5. Paul Shmyr 860
space player Shutouts
1. Ernie Wakely 16
2. Gerry Cheevers 14th
3. John Garrett 14th
4th Joe Daley 12
5. Ron Grahame 12

See also


  • Scott Adam Surgent: The Complete Historical and Statistical Reference of the World Hockey Association 1972-1979 Xaler Press, 1995. ISBN 0-9644774-0-8 .