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The 1977-78 WHA season was the sixth season of the now defunct World Hockey Association (WHA). Eight teams played 80 games each. The Avco World Trophy winner was the Winnipeg Jets.

Regular season & Playoff format

With a reduction of 3 teams from the end of the previous season (the San Diego Mariners, Phoenix Roadrunners, and Calgary Cowboys folded), the WHA abandoned its divisional format and grouped the remaining 8 teams together. There had been a tentative merger agreement that would have had Cincinnati, Houston, New England, Winnipeg, Quebec, and Edmonton join the NHL but it could not be finalized.

In a unique move, two international All-Star teams, the Soviet All-Stars and Czechoslovakia All-Stars, played games that counted in the regular season standings. They played each WHA team once, on the WHA team's home ice of course. The Soviet team acquitted themselves well, winning three, tying one and losing the other four, plus winning two exhibition games also; while the Czecho team only won once and tied once, losing six. This is the first time International teams competed in regular season competition in a major professional sports league in North America; those two teams as well as a Finnish team would come back to play the WHA teams the next year.

The best six teams qualified for the playoffs. However, instead of the standard schedule for a six-team playoff (i.e., giving the 1st and 2nd place teams byes into the semifinals, with the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th place teams opening in the quarterfinals), the WHA came up with a unique twist. There were three quarterfinal series instead of two, with the teams paired top to bottom (i.e., 1st vs. 6th, 2nd vs. 5th, 3rd vs. 4th). The highest-seeded quarterfinal winner then received a semifinal bye and advanced directly to the finals, while the remaining two quarterfinal series winners played off in a single semifinal. All series were best four-out-of-seven games.

Final standings

Winnipeg Jets 80 50 28 2 102 381 270 988
New England Whalers 80 44 31 5 93 335 269 1255
Houston Aeros 80 42 34 4 88 296 302 1543
Quebec Nordiques 80 40 37 3 83 349 347 1185
Edmonton Oilers 80 38 39 3 79 309 307 1296
Birmingham Bulls 80 36 41 3 75 287 314 2177
Cincinnati Stingers 80 35 42 3 73 298 332 1701
Indianapolis Racers 80 24 51 5 53 267 353 1189
Soviet All-Stars 8 3 4 1 7 27 36 120
Czechoslovakia All-Stars 8 1 6 1 3 21 40 87

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

Scoring leaders

All-Star Game

Avco World Trophy playoffs


  • Winnipeg Jets defeated Birmingham Bulls, 4 games to 1
  • New England Whalers defeated Edmonton Oilers, 4 games to 1
  • Quebec Nordiques defeated Houston Aeros, 4 games to 2


  • New England Whalers defeated Quebec Nordiques, 4 games to 1


  • Winnipeg Jets defeated New England Whalers, 4 games to 0

WHA awards

Avco World Trophy: Winnipeg Jets
Gordie Howe Trophy: Marc Tardif, Quebec Nordiques
Bill Hunter Trophy: Marc Tardif, Quebec Nordiques
Lou Kaplan Trophy: Kent Nilsson, Winnipeg Jets
Ben Hatskin Trophy: Al Smith, New England Whalers
Dennis A. Murphy Trophy: Lars Sjoberg, Winnipeg Jets
Paul Deneau Trophy: Dave Keon, New England Whalers
Robert Schmertz Memorial Trophy: Bill Dineen, Houston Aeros
WHA Playoff MVP: Robert Guindon, Winnipeg Jets


Team Photos

Preceded by
1976-77 WHA season
WHA seasons Succeeded by
1978-79 WHA season

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at 1977-78 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).