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75-76WinJet.jpg

The 1975–76 WHA season was the 4th season of the World Hockey Association. After the Baltimore Blades and Chicago Cougars folded, the league stayed at 14 teams by adding the Cincinnati Stingers and Denver Spurs. In addition, Vancouver moved to Calgary and became the Cowboys. Midway through the season, the Spurs moved to Ottawa and became the Civics. The fourteen teams were scheduled to play 80 games each, but four of five Canadian Division teams played 81, due to the WHA's tiebreaker rule, while two teams, Minnesota and Denver/Ottawa, folded mid-season.

The Winnipeg Jets defeated the Houston Aeros 4 games to 0 in the Finals to win their 1st Avco World Trophy.

Pre-season[]

Norm Beaudin in action against the Czech National team, September 1975.

The Winnipeg Jets held their training camp in Europe and played two games against the Czechoslovakian National team, losing both by 6-1 and 3-1 scores on September 25 and 26, 1975. Anders Hedberg scored both Jets goals.

Regular Season[]

Ted Taylor shoots on Cam Newton in the Civics last game, January 15, 1976. Note the jerseys still have the Spurs logo.

After poor attendance, the Denver Spurs moved to Ottawa and became the Ottawa Civics. The Civics lasted only seven games and played in the Spurs' uniform. Reports that the jerseys had been stripped bare of its logo are untrue. All Civics players were declared free agents by the league and a dispersal draft was held. Several players found a new address, including leading scorer Ralph Backstrom, who at 37, moved to the New England Whalers. Many of the other players, however, would sit the remainder of the season out before coming back in another league the next season. Others like Brian Lavender retired.

Final Standings[]

Canadian Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Winnipeg Jets 81 52 27 2 106 345 254 940
Quebec Nordiques 81 50 27 4 104 371 316 1654
Calgary Cowboys 80 41 35 4 86 307 282 1064
Edmonton Oilers 81 27 49 5 59 268 345 991
Toronto Toros 81 24 52 5 53 335 398 1099
Denver Spurs / Ottawa Civics+ 41 14 26 1 29 134 172 536

+team started season in the Western Division when playing in Denver, transferred by league to Canadian Division after moving to Ottawa.
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
Indianapolis Racers 80 35 39 6 76 245 247 1301
Cleveland Crusaders 80 35 40 5 75 273 279 1356
New England Whalers 80 33 40 7 73 255 290 1012
Cincinnati Stingers 80 35 44 1 71 285 340 1344

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 80 53 27 0 106 341 263 1093
Phoenix Roadrunners 80 39 35 6 84 302 287 1292
San Diego Mariners 80 36 38 6 78 303 290 716
Minnesota Fighting Saints 59 30 25 4 64 211 212 1354

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[]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Marc Tardif Quebec 81 71 77 148
Bobby Hull Winnipeg 80 53 70 123
Real Cloutier Quebec 80 60 54 114
Ulf Nilsson Winnipeg 78 38 76 114
Robbie Ftorek Phoenix 80 41 72 113
Chris Bordeleau Quebec 74 37 72 109
Anders Hedberg Winnipeg 76 50 55 105
Rejean Houle Quebec 81 51 52 103
Serge Bernier Quebec 70 34 68 102
Gordie Howe Houston 78 32 70 102
Andre Lacroix San Diego 80 29 72 101

Leading Goaltenders[]

Bolded numbers indicate season leaders

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
Michel Dion Indianapolis Racers 31 1860 14 15 1 85 0 91.0 2.74
Joe Daley Winnipeg Jets 62 3612 41 17 1 171 5 90.3 2.84
Wayne Rutledge Houston Aeros 25 1456 14 10 0 77 1 90.1 3.17
Jack Norris Phoenix Roadrunners 41 2412 21 14 4 128 1 89.1 3.18
Ernie Wakely San Diego Mariners 67 3824 35 27 4 208 3 89.5 3.25

All-Star Game[]

76WHAASgame.jpg

On January 13, 1976, the All-Stars from the Canadian-based teams beat the All-Stars from the American-based teams 6-1 at the Coliseum at Richfield in Cleveland, Ohio before 15,491 spectators. Real Cloutier, who had a Hat trick, was the Canadian All-Stars MVP while Paul Shmyr was the American All-Stars MVP.

Avco World Trophy Playoffs[]

The New England Whalers, Cleveland Crusaders, the Phoenix Roadrunners and the San Diego Mariners participated in Preliminary Round, with two teams advancing to the main bracket. The Whalers beat the Crusaders in 3 games, while the Mariners beat the Roadrunners in 5 games.

Preliminary Round[]

San Diego Mariners 3, Phoenix Roadrunners 2
# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 9 San Diego Mariners 2–3 OT Phoenix Roadrunners 0-1
2 April 10 Phoenix Roadrunners 2–4 San Diego Mariners 1-1
3 April 13 San Diego Mariners 4–6 Phoenix Roadrunners 1-2
4 April 15 Phoenix Roadrunners 1–5 San Diego Mariners 2-2
5 April 17 San Diego Mariners 2–1 Phoenix Roadrunners 3-2
New England Whalers 3, Cleveland Crusaders 0
Game Date Visitor Score Home Series
1 April 9 Cleveland Crusaders 3–5 New England Whalers 0–1
2 April 10 New England Whalers 6–1 Cleveland Crusaders 2–0
3 April 11 New England Whalers 3–2 Cleveland Crusaders 3–0

Playoff Bracket[]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
         
W1 Houston Aeros 4
W3 San Diego Mariners 2
W1 Houston Aeros 4
E3 New England Whalers 3
E3 New England Whalers 4
E1 Indianapolis Racers 3
C1 Winnipeg Jets 4
W1 Houston Aeros 0
C3 Calgary Cowboys 4
C2 Quebec Nordiques 1
C1 Winnipeg Jets 4
C3 Calgary Cowboys 1
C1 Winnipeg Jets 4
C4 Edmonton Oilers 0

Avco World Trophy Finals[]

Peter Sullivan makes it 8-1 Jets, Game 4 of the 1976 Avco World Trophy Finals, May 27, 1976.

The line of Bobby Hull, Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg dominated the Finals, scoring 12 goals. Nilsson was voted the WHA Playoff MVP.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 May 20 Winnipeg Jets 4–3 Houston Aeros 1–0
2 May 23 Winnipeg Jets 5–4 Houston Aeros 2–0
3 May 25 Houston Aeros 3–6 Winnipeg Jets 0–3
4 May 27 Houston Aeros 1–9 Winnipeg Jets 0–4

WHA Awards[]

Avco World Trophy: Winnipeg Jets
Gordie Howe Trophy (MVP): Marc Tardif, Quebec Nordiques
Bill Hunter Trophy (Scoring Leader): Marc Tardif, Quebec Nordiques
Lou Kaplan Trophy (Rookie of the Year): Mark Napier, Toronto Toros
Ben Hatskin Trophy (Best Goaltender): Michel Dion, Indianapolis Racers
Dennis A. Murphy Trophy (Best Defenseman): Paul Shmyr, Cleveland Crusaders
Paul Deneau Trophy (Most Gentlemenly): Vaclav Nedomansky, Toronto Toros
Robert Schmertz Memorial Trophy (Coach of the Year): Bobby Kromm, Winnipeg Jets
WHA Playoff MVP: Ulf Nilsson, Winnipeg Jets

All-Star Teams[]

Position First Team Second Team
Centre Ulf Nilsson, Winnipeg Robbie Ftorek, Phoenix
Right Wing Anders Hedberg, Winnipeg Real Cloutier, Quebec
Left Wing Marc Tardif, Quebec Bobby Hull, Winnipeg
Defence Paul Shmyr, Cleveland Kevin Morrison, San Diego
Defence J. C. Tremblay, Quebec Pat Stapleton, Indianapolis
Goaltender Joe Daley, Winnipeg Ron Grahame, Houston

Gallery[]

References[]

Preceded by
1974–75 WHA season
WHA seasons Succeeded by
1976–77 WHA season


This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at 1975-76 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).


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