72-73NEWha.jpg
1972–73 New England Whalers
Avco Cup Champions
Division 1st Eastern
1972–73 record 46–30–2
Home record 30–8–1
Road record 16–22–1
Goals for 318
Goals against 263
Team Information
General Manager Jack Kelley
Coach Jack Kelley
Captain Ted Green
Alternate captains Tom Williams
Jim Dorey
Larry Pleau
Arena Boston Arena (20 games)
Boston Garden (19 games)
Average attendance 6,981 (67.2%)
Team Leaders
Goals Tom Webster (53)
Assists Terry Caffery (61)
Points Tom Webster (103)
Penalties in minutes Brad Selwood (114)
Wins Al Smith (31)
Goals against average Al Smith (3.17)
1973–74>

The 1972–73 New England Whalers season was the 1st season of the Whalers' franchise in the World Hockey Association (WHA). The Whalers finished 1st in the Eastern Division and then won three playoff series to become the first winner of the Avco World Trophy.

Off-season[edit | edit source]

Rick Ley's 1972-73 jersey.

Whalers GM Jack Kelley targeted American born players for signing, particularly those from the New England area. Larry Pleau, a Boston native, was the first player signed by the Whalers, on April 19, 1972. Kevin Ahearn, John Cunniff, Paul Hurley and Tim Sheehy, who all played for the Boston College Eagles, and Tom Williams and Ted Green, who had played for the Boston Bruins, were also signed. Green became the team's first captain.

The Whalers jersey colours were forest green and white with a primarily white home jersey and a primarily green away jersey. Jersye numbers and names were not outlined. Single stripes, a whale on each shoulder and a roundel logo with a large "W", a narrow black horizontal harpoon and "NEW ENGLAND WHALERS" spelt around the roundel completed the design.

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Tom Williams scores the Whalers first goal on Bernie Parent, October 12, 1972.

Playing in Boston, Massachusetts, the Whalers divided their home games between the aging Boston Arena and the Boston Garden, home of the 1972 Stanley Cup champions Boston Bruins. The Whalers won their home opener 4-3 against the Derek Sanderson led Philadelphia Blazers on October 12, 1972.

The 1972-73 season was the best in the Whalers WHA history as they garnered 94 points to lead the league. Terry Caffery won the Lou Kaplan Trophy as Rookie of the Year and Jack Kelley, the Howard Baldwin Trophy as Coach of the Year. Tom Webster led the Whalers in scoring with 53 goals (2nd in the league), 103 points and was voted a Second Team All-Star. Defenseman Rick Ley was also voted a Second Team All-Star.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

Eastern Division
GP W L T GF GA PIM Pts
New England Whalers 78 46 30 2 318 263 858 94
Cleveland Crusaders 78 43 32 3 287 239 1095 89
Philadelphia Blazers 78 38 40 0 288 305 1260 76
Ottawa Nationals 78 35 39 4 279 301 1067 74
Quebec Nordiques 78 33 40 5 276 313 1354 71
New York Raiders 78 33 43 2 303 334 900 68

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties Minutes, Pts = Points
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.


Game Log[edit | edit source]

Regular Season Results
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 W October 12, 1972 4–3 Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 1–0–0
2 W October 16, 1972 4–1 Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 2–0–0
3 W October 18, 1972 4–1 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 3–0–0
4 L October 19, 1972 3–4 Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 3–1–0
5 L October 21, 1972 4–6 @ Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 3–2–0
6 W October 23, 1972 5–1 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 4–2–0
7 W October 24, 1972 3–2 OT @ Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 5–2–0
8 L October 26, 1972 6–7 @ New York Raiders (1972–73) 5–3–0
9 L October 28, 1972 1–4 Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 5–4–0
10 W November 1, 1972 4–2 Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 6–4–0
11 W November 4, 1972 8–4 Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 7–4–0
12 W November 6, 1972 6–2 Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 8–4–0
13 W November 11, 1972 6–5 New York Raiders (1972–73) 9–4–0
14 T November 13, 1972 4–4 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 9–4–1
15 L November 17, 1972 0–3 @ Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 9–5–1
16 W November 18, 1972 3–2 Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 10–5–1
17 W November 20, 1972 7–5 Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 11–5–1
18 L November 22, 1972 1–3 @ New York Raiders (1972–73) 11–6–1
19 W November 24, 1972 7–2 Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 12–6–1
20 L November 26, 1972 1–3 @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 12–7–1
21 W November 27, 1972 3–0 Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 13–7–1
22 L November 29, 1972 6–7 @ New York Raiders (1972–73) 13–8–1
23 L December 1, 1972 3–5 @ Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 13–9–1
24 W December 2, 1972 7–2 Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 14–9–1
25 W December 4, 1972 7–2 Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 15–9–1
26 W December 6, 1972 4–3 New York Raiders (1972–73) 16–9–1
27 W December 7, 1972 4–2 @ Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 17–9–1
28 W December 9, 1972 4–2 New York Raiders (1972–73) 18–9–1
29 W December 11, 1972 4–3 Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 19–9–1
30 L December 13, 1972 3–6 @ Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 19–10–1
31 W December 14, 1972 5–2 @ Los Angeles Sharks (1972–73) 20–10–1
32 W December 16, 1972 10–6 @ Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 21–10–1
33 L December 17, 1972 3–6 Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 21–11–1
34 L December 19, 1972 5–7 @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 21–12–1
35 L December 21, 1972 4–5 @ Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 21–13–1
36 L December 24, 1972 3–5 Los Angeles Sharks (1972–73) 21–14–1
37 W December 25, 1972 8–2 @ New York Raiders (1972–73) 22–14–1
38 W December 28, 1972 5–3 @ Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 23–14–1
39 L December 29, 1972 2–4 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 23–15–1
40 W December 31, 1972 3–0 @ New York Raiders (1972–73) 24–15–1
41 L January 9, 1973 5–7 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 24–16–1
42 W January 13, 1973 4–3 New York Raiders (1972–73) 25–16–1
43 W January 17, 1973 4–2 @ Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 26–16–1
44 L January 19, 1973 2–6 @ Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 26–17–1
45 W January 21, 1973 7–2 @ Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 27–17–1
46 W January 24, 1973 6–1 Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 28–17–1
47 W January 25, 1973 4–2 @ Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 29–17–1
48 L January 27, 1973 1–3 Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 29–18–1
49 L January 29, 1973 2–3 @ Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 29–19–1
50 W January 31, 1973 4–1 Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 30–19–1
51 W February 1, 1973 5–4 OT @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 31–19–1
52 L February 2, 1973 1–3 @ Los Angeles Sharks (1972–73) 31–20–1
53 L February 4, 1973 3–4 @ Los Angeles Sharks (1972–73) 31–21–1
54 W February 6, 1973 4–2 @ Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 32–21–1
55 L February 7, 1973 1–3 @ Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 32–22–1
56 L February 9, 1973 4–7 Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 32–23–1
57 T February 11, 1973 2–2 @ Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 32–23–2
58 L February 13, 1973 4–5 @ Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 32–24–2
59 W February 15, 1973 6–5 Los Angeles Sharks (1972–73) 33–24–2
60 W February 17, 1973 6–4 @ Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 34–24–2
61 L February 20, 1973 2–4 @ Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 34–25–2
62 W February 23, 1973 4–2 Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 35–25–2
63 L March 4, 1973 2–4 @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 35–26–2
64 W March 7, 1973 1–0 OT Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 36–26–2
65 W March 9, 1973 5–4 Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 37–26–2
66 W March 10, 1973 3–1 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 38–26–2
67 W March 13, 1973 4–3 OT @ Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 39–26–2
68 W March 14, 1973 7–5 @ Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 40–26–2
69 W March 16, 1973 7–4 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 41–26–2
70 W March 17, 1973 4–0 Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 42–26–2
71 W March 20, 1973 4–1 Los Angeles Sharks (1972–73) 43–26–2
72 L March 22, 1973 2–4 @ Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 43–27–2
73 W March 23, 1973 3–1 Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 44–27–2
74 L March 26, 1973 5–7 @ Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 44–28–2
75 L March 27, 1973 1–6 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 44–29–2
76 L March 29, 1973 2–5 @ Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 44–30–2
77 W March 30, 1973 5–4 OT New York Raiders (1972–73) 45–30–2
78 W April 1, 1973 8–3 Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 46–30–2

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

New England Whalers 4, Ottawa Nationals 1[edit | edit source]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 7 Ottawa Nationals 3–6 New England Whalers 1–0
2 April 8 Ottawa Nationals 3 – 4 OT New England Whalers 2–0
3 April 10 New England Whalers 2–4 Ottawa Nationals 2–1
4 April 12 New England Whalers 7 – 3 OT Ottawa Nationals 3–1
5 April 14 Ottawa Nationals 4–5 New England Whalers 4–1

New England Whalers 4, Cleveland Crusaders 1[edit | edit source]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 18 Cleveland Crusaders 2–3 New England Whalers 1–0
2 April 19 Cleveland Crusaders 2–3 New England Whalers 2–0
3 April 21 New England Whalers 5–4 Cleveland Crusaders 3–0
4 April 22 New England Whalers 2–5 Cleveland Crusaders 3–1
5 April 26 Cleveland Crusaders 1–3 New England Whalers 4–1

New England Whalers 4, Winnipeg Jets 1[edit | edit source]

Larry Pleau scores the winning goal, Game 5 of the 1973 Avco World Trophy Finals, May 6, 1973.

Larry Pleau scored a Hat trick in the deciding Game 5.

As the Avco World Trophy had not been created in time for the 1973 Finals, a trophy was bought from a Boston sporting goods store as a substitute.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 29 Winnipeg Jets 2–7 New England Whalers 0–1
2 May 2 New England Whalers 7–4 Winnipeg Jets 0–2
3 May 3 New England Whalers 3–4 Winnipeg Jets 1–2
4 May 5 Winnipeg Jets 2–4 New England Whalers 1–3
5 May 6 Winnipeg Jets 6–9 New England Whalers 1–4

Player Stats[edit | edit source]

Skaters[edit | edit source]

Note: GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalties In Minutes

# Player Regular Season Playoffs
GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
8 Tom Webster 77 53 50 103 89 15 12 14 26 6
7 Terry Caffery 74 39 61 100 14 8 3 7 10 0
4 Larry Pleau 78 39 48 87 42 15 12 7 19 15
15 Tim Sheehy 78 33 38 71 30 15 9 14 23 13
10 Jim Dorey 75 7 56 63 95 15 3 16 19 41
11 John French 74 24 35 59 43 15 3 11 14 2
6 Ted Green 78 16 30 46 47 12 1 5 6 25
14 Kevin Ahearn 78 20 22 42 18 14 1 2 3 9
18 Brit Selby 65 13 29 42 48 13 3 4 7 13
12 John Danby 77 14 23 37 10 8 0 0 0 0
3 Brad Selwood 75 13 21 34 114 15 3 5 8 22
9 Tom Williams 69 10 21 31 14 15 6 11 17 2
2 Rick Ley 76 3 27 30 108 15 3 7 10 24
27 Tommy Earl 77 10 13 23 4 15 2 3 5 10
21 Mike Hyndman 59 4 14 18 21
5 Paul Hurley 78 3 15 18 78 15 0 7 7 14
16 Dick Sarrazin 35 4 7 11 0
21 Mike Byers 19 6 4 10 4 12 6 5 11 6
17 John Cunniff 33 3 5 8 16 13 1 1 2 2
19 Guy Smith 22 3 3 6 6 11 2 0 2 4
20 Ric Jordan 34 1 5 6 12 4 0 0 0 0
30 Bruce Landon 30 0 0 1 8
1 Al Smith 51 0 1 1 39 15 0 1 1 12

Statistics for all players reflect only games played with the Whalers.

Goaltenders[edit | edit source]

Note: GP = Games played; TOI = Time on ice (minutes); W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average

# Player Regular Season Playoffs
GP TOI W L T GA SO SV% GAA GP TOI W L GA SO SV% GAA
1 Al Smith 51 3059 31 19 1 162 3 0.894 3.17 15 909 12 3 49 0 0.886 3.20
30 Bruce Landon 30 1671 15 11 1 100 1 0.887 3.59

Awards and Records[edit | edit source]

Transactions[edit | edit source]

Draft Picks[edit | edit source]

Farm Teams[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

Nearly 17 minutes of game action from the April 8, 1973 Quarter-finals Game 2 New England Whalers-Ottawa Nationals.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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