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The 1974-75 WHA season was the 3rd season of the World Hockey Association. Fourteen teams each played 78 games. The Houston Aeros defeated the Quebec Nordiques 4 games to 0 in the Finals to win their 2nd Avco World Trophy.

Off-season[edit | edit source]

The Cleveland Crusaders moved into the new Coliseum at Richfield which at the time, was the most luxurious in hockey. The facilities far surpassed the Cleveland Arena which had become decrepit and the area was notorious for the high level of crime. Several Crusaders players experienced theft of their cars and mugging outside the old Cleveland Arena.[1]

Pre-season[edit | edit source]

The first set of exhibition games between the NHL and WHA were held. The NHL was victorious in the series, winning 5 and losing 2 games.

September 26, 1974: Houston Aeros 5, St. Louis Blues 3
September 28, 1974: Philadelphia Flyers 4, New England Whalers 2
September 29, 1974: Atlanta Flames 3, Winnipeg Jets 1
October 5, 1974: San Diego Mariners 4, California Golden Seals 3
October 6, 1974: Minnesota North Stars 5, Toronto Toros 3
October 6, 1974: Vancouver Canucks 4, Edmonton Oilers 3
October 6, 1974: Pittsburgh Penguins 5, Cleveland Crusaders 3

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Paul Hoganson makes a save on Skip Krake, December 19, 1974.

The WHA expanded by adding the Indianapolis Racers and Phoenix Roadrunners, and splitting into 3 divisions (Western, Eastern, and Canadian). The top two teams in each division qualified for the playoffs along with the two next best teams overall. Prior to the season, Southern California welcomed the New Jersey Knights, who moved to San Diego and became the Mariners, and said goodbye to the Los Angeles Sharks, who moved to Detroit and became the Michigan Stags. Midway through the season, the Stags moved to Baltimore and became the Blades. They folded for good after the season. The Chicago Cougars also folded at season's end.

Ceremonial puck drop between Ted Green and Norm Ferguson, January 11, 1975.

The only shutout in Michigan Stags history occurred on December 19, 1974 in a 1-0 victory over the Cleveland Crusaders. In a game marred by multiple brawls, Stags goalie Paul Hoganson out-dueled All-Star goalie Gerry Cheevers and made 32 saves.

On January 11, 1975 the Whalers played their first game at the new Hartford Civic Center after playing the previous 2-1/2 seasons at the Boston Garden. The Whalers defeated the San Diego Mariners 4-3 in overtime with Garry Swain scoring the winner.

Evel Knievel scores on Les Binkley, March 25, 1975.

During the intermission of the March 25, 1975 game between the Toronto Toros and Vancouver Blazers, a breakaway exhibition was held between daredevil Evel Knievel and Toros goaltender Les Binkley. Wearing a Toros #13 jersey, Knievel (who had played semi-pro hockey in Montana) deked Binkley out and scored.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

Canadian Division
GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Quebec Nordiques 78 46 32 0 92 331 299 1132
Toronto Toros 78 43 33 2 88 349 304 883
Winnipeg Jets 78 38 35 5 81 322 293 869
Vancouver Blazers 78 37 39 2 76 256 270 1075
Edmonton Oilers 78 36 38 4 76 279 279 896

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

Eastern Division
GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
New England Whalers 78 43 30 5 91 274 279 867
Cleveland Crusaders 78 35 40 3 73 236 258 1273
Chicago Cougars 78 30 47 1 61 261 312 1086
Indianapolis Racers 78 18 57 3 39 216 338 970

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

Western Division
GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Houston Aeros 78 53 25 0 106 369 247 1257
San Diego Mariners 78 43 31 4 90 326 268 1058
Minnesota Fighting Saints 78 42 33 3 87 308 279 1233
Phoenix Roadrunners 78 39 31 8 86 300 265 1388
Michigan Stags / Baltimore Blades 78 21 53 4 46 205 341 1104

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


Scoring Leaders[edit | edit source]

GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
André Lacroix San Diego Mariners 78 41 106 147 63
Bobby Hull Winnipeg Jets 78 77 65 142 41
Serge Bernier Quebec Nordiques 76 54 68 122 75
Ulf Nilsson Winnipeg Jets 78 26 94 120 79
Larry Lund Houston Aeros 78 33 75 108 68
Wayne Rivers San Diego Mariners 78 54 53 107 52
Anders Hedberg Winnipeg Jets 65 53 47 100 45
Gordie Howe Houston Aeros 75 34 65 99 84
Wayne Dillon Toronto Toros 77 29 66 95 22
Mike Walton Minnesota Fighting Saints 75 48 45 93 33

Goaltending Leaders[edit | edit source]

GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties, GA = Goals against; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average

Player Team GP Min W L T GA SO SV% GAA
Ron Grahame Houston Aeros 43 2590 33 10 0 131 4 90.0 3.03
Bob Whidden Cleveland Crusaders 29 1654 9 16 1 89 0 91.2 3.23
Wayne Rutledge Houston Aeros 35 2092 20 15 0 113 2 89.2 3.24
Ernie Wakely Winnipeg - San Diego 41 2418 23 15 2 131 3 90.0 3.25
Gerry Cheevers Cleveland Crusaders 52 3076 26 24 2 167 4 90.5 3.26
Jack Norris Phoenix Roadrunners 33 1962 14 15 4 107 1 89.1 3.27
John Garrett Minnesota Fighting Saints 58 3294 30 23 2 180 2 90.5 3.28
Gary Kurt Phoenix Roadrunners 47 2841 25 16 4 156 2 88.5 3.27
Jacques Plante Edmonton Oilers 40 1592 15 14 1 88 1 89.0 3.32
Don McLeod Vancouver Blazers 71 4124 32 35 2 230 1 89.1 3.35

75WHAASgame.jpg

All-Star Game[edit | edit source]

On January 21, 1975 at the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, a team comprised of the Western Division All-Stars defeated the Eastern Division All-Stars 6-4 before a crowd of 15,326 spectators. Rejean Houle of the Quebec Nordiques, who scored twice and had an assist in a losing effort, was the game MVP.

Avco World Trophy Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Eight teams qualified for the playoffs, the top two teams in each division and the next two teams with the highest point totals. The teams were then pooled together, according to point totals, to determine Quarter-finals match-ups. The three division winners were guaranteed the top three seeds, according to their point totals. Teams were not "re-seeded" after the Quarter-finals round.

  Quarter-finals Semi-finals Finals
                           
  W1  Houston Aeros 4  
E2  Cleveland Crusaders 1  
  W1  Houston Aeros 4  
  W2  San Diego Mariners 0  
W2  San Diego Mariners 4
  C2  Toronto Toros 2  
    W1  Houston Aeros 4
  C1  Quebec Nordiques 0
  E1  New England Whalers 2  
W3  Minnesota Fighting Saints 4  
W3  Minnesota Fighting Saints 2
  C1  Quebec Nordiques 4  
C1  Quebec Nordiques 4
  W4  Phoenix Roadrunners 1  

Avco World Trophy Finals[edit | edit source]

Gordie Howe scores, Game 4 of the 1975 Avco World Trophy Finals, May 12, 1975.

The Aeros swept the Quebec Nordiques in the Avco World Trophy Finals. Gordie Howe led the series in scoring with 5 goals and 8 points. Aeros goalie Ron Grahame was named the WHA Playoff MVP.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 May 3 Quebec Nordiques 2–6 Houston Aeros 1–0
2 May 6 Quebec Nordiques 3–5 Houston Aeros 2–0
3 May 10 Houston Aeros 2–0 Quebec Nordiques 3–0
4 May 12 Houston Aeros 7–2 Quebec Nordiques 4–0

WHA Awards[edit | edit source]

Avco World Trophy: Houston Aeros
Gary L. Davidson Award (MVP): Bobby Hull, Winnipeg Jets
Bill Hunter Trophy (Scoring Leader): Andre Lacroix, San Diego Mariners
Lou Kaplan Trophy (Rookie of the Year): Anders Hedberg, Winnipeg Jets
Ben Hatskin Trophy (Best Goaltender): Ron Grahame, Houston Aeros
Dennis A. Murphy Trophy (Best Defenseman): J. C. Tremblay, Quebec Nordiques
Paul Deneau Trophy (Most Gentlemenly): Mike Rogers, Edmonton Oilers
Robert Schmertz Memorial Trophy (Coach of the Year): Sandy Hucul, Phoenix Roadrunners
WHA Playoff MVP: Ron Grahame, Houston Aeros

All-Star Teams[edit | edit source]

Position First Team Second Team
Centre Andre Lacroix, San Diego Serge Bernier, Quebec
Right Wing Gordie Howe, Houston Aeros Anders Hedberg, Winnipeg
Left Wing Bobby Hull, Winnipeg Marc Tardif, Quebec
Defence J. C. Tremblay, Quebec Poul Popiel, Houston
Defence Kevin Morrison, San Diego Barry Long, Edmonton
Goaltender Ron Grahame, Houston Gerry Cheevers, Cleveland

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

Over an hour of game action from the February 2, 1975 Cleveland Crusaders-Quebec Nordiques match.

References[edit | edit source]


Preceded by
1973-74 WHA season
WHA seasons Succeeded by
1975-76 WHA season


This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at 1974–75 WHA season. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).


  1. The Rebel League, Ed Willis, McClelland & Stewart Ltd, 1994, p.110
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