79-80HarWha.jpg
1979–80 Hartford Whalers · NHL
Division 4th Norris
Conference 8th Prince of Wales
1979–80 record 27–34–19
Goals for 303
Goals against 312
General Manager Jack Kelley
Coach Don Blackburn
Captain Rick Ley
Arena Hartford Civic Center
Team Leaders
Goals Blaine Stoughton (56)
Assists Mike Rogers (61)
Points Mike Rogers (105)
Penalties in minutes Nick Fotiu (107)
Wins John Garrett (16)
Goals against average Al Smith (3.66)
← Seasons →
1978–79 1980–81

The 1979–80 Hartford Whalers season was the Whalers' first season in the National Hockey League. The Whalers finished 4th in the Norris Division and lost in the Preliminary round to the Montreal Canadiens 3 games to 0.

Off-season[edit | edit source]

Hartford Whalers logo introduced in 1979, designed by Peter Good, a Connecticut-based graphic designer. This logo replaces the harpoon by combining a green W for Whalers with a blue whale's tail. Some people never notice that the negative space--the white area between the W and the whale's tail acts as an H for Hartford.

Along with the Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, and Winnipeg Jets, the Whalers were one of four World Hockey Association franchises that joined the NHL.

Draft Picks[edit | edit source]

Pick Player Nationality NHL Team College/junior/club team
18. Ray Allison (RW) Flag of Canada Canada Hartford Whalers Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

NHL Expansion Draft[edit | edit source]

Reclaimed Players[edit | edit source]

Reclaiming of players: The 17 existing NHL teams were allowed to reclaim any rights to former WHA players they held. The four incoming franchises, however, were allowed to protect up to two goaltenders and two skaters, voiding their NHL rights. These players were considered "priority selections" in the expansion draft. Gordie Howe was one of two special cases (the other being Wayne Gretzky), as a gentlemen's agreement between the Hartford Whalers and the Detroit Red Wings, which held his rights, led to the Wings declining to reclaim Howe.

These are Hartford players whose NHL rights were reclaimed when the WHA merged with the NHL. This list is incomplete.

# Player Reclaimed From Reclaimed By
2. Alan Hangsleben (D) Hartford Whalers Montreal Canadiens
7. Rick Ley (D) Hartford Whalers Toronto Maple Leafs
9. George Lyle (LW) Hartford Whalers Detroit Red Wings
10. Warren Miller (RW) Hartford Whalers New York Rangers

Whalers Selections[edit | edit source]

# Player Drafted From Drafted By
1. Rick Ley (D) Toronto Maple Leafs Hartford Whalers
2. Nick Fotiu (LW) New York Rangers Hartford Whalers
3. Al Sims (D) Boston Bruins Hartford Whalers
4. Bernie Johnston (C/LW) Philadelphia Flyers Hartford Whalers
5. Brian Hill (RW) Atlanta Flames Hartford Whalers
6. M. F. Schurman (LW) Philadelphia Flyers Hartford Whalers
7. Rick Hodgson (D) Atlanta Flames Hartford Whalers
8. Kevin Kemp (D) Toronto Maple Leafs Hartford Whalers
9. Jean Savard (C) Chicago Black Hawks Hartford Whalers
10. Alan Hangsleben (D) Montreal Canadiens Hartford Whalers
11. Ralph Klassen (F) Colorado Rockies Hartford Whalers
12. Bill Bennett (LW) Boston Bruins Hartford Whalers
13. Dave Given (F) Buffalo Sabres Hartford Whalers
14. Nick Beverley (D) Colorado Rockies Hartford Whalers
15. Norm Lapointe G Vancouver Canucks Hartford Whalers
16. Don Kozak (?) Vancouver Canucks Hartford Whalers

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Gordie Howe[edit | edit source]

When the WHA folded in 1979, the Hartford Whalers joined the NHL and the 51-year-old Howe signed on for one final season playing in all 80 games of the schedule, helping his team to make the playoffs with fifteen goals. One particular honor was when Howe, Phil Esposito, and Jean Ratelle were selected to the mid-season all-star game by coach Scotty Bowman, as a nod to their storied careers before they retired. Howe had played in five decades of all-star games and he would skate alongside the second-youngest to ever play in the game, 19-year-old Wayne Gretzky. The Joe Louis Arena crowd gave him a standing ovation twice, lasting so long, he had to skate to the bench to stop people from cheering. He had one assist in his side's 6–3 win.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

Norris Division
  GP W L T GF GA PTS
Montreal Canadiens 80 47 20 13 328 240 107
Los Angeles Kings 80 30 36 14 290 313 74
Pittsburgh Penguins 80 30 37 13 251 303 73
Hartford Whalers 80 27 34 19 303 312 73
Detroit Red Wings 80 26 43 11 268 306 63

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


Game Log[edit | edit source]

No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 L October 11, 1979 1–4 @ Minnesota North Stars (1979–80) 0–1–0
2 T October 13, 1979 3–3 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1979–80) 0–1–1
3 T October 14, 1979 3–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1979–80) 0–1–2
4 L October 17, 1979 1–3 @ Buffalo Sabres (1979–80) 0–2–2
5 W October 19, 1979 6–3 Los Angeles Kings (1979–80) 1–2–2
6 L October 20, 1979 1–6 @ New York Islanders (1979–80) 1–3–2
7 T October 24, 1979 2–2 @ Quebec Nordiques (1979–80) 1–3–3
8 L October 26, 1979 1–2 New York Islanders (1979–80) 1–4–3
9 T October 28, 1979 2–2 @ New York Rangers (1979–80) 1–4–4
10 W October 31, 1979 4–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1979–80) 2–4–4
11 W November 2, 1979 5–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1979–80) 3–4–4
12 W November 6, 1979 7–2 @ Colorado Rockies (1979–80) 4–4–4
13 L November 9, 1979 2–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1979–80) 4–5–4
14 T November 11, 1979 5–5 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1979–80) 4–5–5
15 L November 14, 1979 2–3 @ Winnipeg Jets (1979–80) 4–6–5
16 W November 17, 1979 4–0 Edmonton Oilers (1979–80) 5–6–5
17 L November 18, 1979 4–5 @ Boston Bruins (1979–80) 5–7–5
18 W November 21, 1979 5–3 Buffalo Sabres (1979–80) 6–7–5
19 T November 24, 1979 4–4 Quebec Nordiques (1979–80) 6–7–6
20 W November 25, 1979 4–2 Atlanta Flames (1979–80) 7–7–6
21 L November 27, 1979 2–6 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1979–80) 7–8–6
22 W November 30, 1979 7–5 Pittsburgh Penguins (1979–80) 8–8–6
23 T December 1, 1979 4–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1979–80) 8–8–7
24 T December 4, 1979 3–3 @ Washington Capitals (1979–80) 8–8–8
25 L December 7, 1979 4–7 New York Rangers (1979–80) 8–9–8
26 L December 9, 1979 0–3 @ Edmonton Oilers (1979–80) 8–10–8
27 L December 11, 1979 3–5 @ Vancouver Canucks (1979–80) 8–11–8
28 L December 12, 1979 4–7 @ Los Angeles Kings (1979–80) 8–12–8
29 L December 15, 1979 5–6 @ Colorado Rockies (1979–80) 8–13–8
30 W December 19, 1979 5–4 Washington Capitals (1979–80) 9–13–8
31 L December 22, 1979 2–4 Buffalo Sabres (1979–80) 9–14–8
32 L December 23, 1979 2–4 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1979–80) 9–15–8
33 T December 26, 1979 4–4 Philadelphia Flyers (1979–80) 9–15–9
34 L December 29, 1979 0–3 @ St. Louis Blues (1979–80) 9–16–9
35 T January 2, 1980 3–3 @ Edmonton Oilers (1979–80) 9–16–10
36 L January 4, 1980 3–6 Washington Capitals (1979–80) 9–17–10
37 L January 6, 1980 1–2 Detroit Red Wings (1979–80) 9–18–10
38 L January 7, 1980 2–5 @ New York Rangers (1979–80) 9–19–10
39 L January 9, 1980 2–6 @ Minnesota North Stars (1979–80) 9–20–10
40 W January 12, 1980 6–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1979–80) 10–20–10
41 W January 17, 1980 7–1 Pittsburgh Penguins (1979–80) 11–20–10
42 W January 19, 1980 5–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1979–80) 12–20–10
43 W January 21, 1980 7–2 Winnipeg Jets (1979–80) 13–20–10
44 L January 24, 1980 2–7 Montreal Canadiens (1979–80) 13–21–10
45 L January 26, 1980 2–3 @ New York Islanders (1979–80) 13–22–10
46 W January 28, 1980 6–1 Atlanta Flames (1979–80) 14–22–10
47 W January 30, 1980 8–2 Boston Bruins (1979–80) 15–22–10
48 L February 2, 1980 3–5 @ Atlanta Flames (1979–80) 15–23–10
49 W February 3, 1980 5–3 New York Islanders (1979–80) 16–23–10
50 W February 6, 1980 7–3 Los Angeles Kings (1979–80) 17–23–10
51 T February 8, 1980 4–4 Colorado Rockies (1979–80) 17–23–11
52 L February 10, 1980 2–6 Minnesota North Stars (1979–80) 17–24–11
53 T February 12, 1980 5–5 Vancouver Canucks (1979–80) 17–24–12
54 W February 15, 1980 5–4 Winnipeg Jets (1979–80) 18–24–12
55 L February 16, 1980 3–5 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1979–80) 18–25–12
56 W February 18, 1980 6–4 New York Rangers (1979–80) 19–25–12
57 W February 19, 1980 6–2 Edmonton Oilers (1979–80) 20–25–12
58 W February 23, 1980 6–5 @ Atlanta Flames (1979–80) 21–25–12
59 L February 26, 1980 5–9 @ Quebec Nordiques (1979–80) 21–26–12
60 L February 27, 1980 3–6 Boston Bruins (1979–80) 21–27–12
61 W February 29, 1980 3–0 St. Louis Blues (1979–80) 22–27–12
62 W March 1, 1980 6–3 @ St. Louis Blues (1979–80) 23–27–12
63 L March 6, 1980 3–4 @ Buffalo Sabres (1979–80) 23–28–12
64 L March 8, 1980 5–9 @ Washington Capitals (1979–80) 23–29–12
65 T March 9, 1980 1–1 @ Boston Bruins (1979–80) 23–29–13
66 T March 12, 1980 4–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1979–80) 23–29–14
67 W March 13, 1980 3–1 Vancouver Canucks (1979–80) 24–29–14
68 W March 15, 1980 4–1 Colorado Rockies (1979–80) 25–29–14
69 L March 16, 1980 1–6 Minnesota North Stars (1979–80) 25–30–14
70 T March 19, 1980 5–5 Montreal Canadiens (1979–80) 25–30–15
71 T March 21, 1980 5–5 Philadelphia Flyers (1979–80) 25–30–16
72 T March 22, 1980 5–5 @ Montreal Canadiens (1979–80) 25–30–17
73 L March 24, 1980 5–7 St. Louis Blues (1979–80) 25–31–17
74 L March 26, 1980 0–7 @ Winnipeg Jets (1979–80) 25–32–17
75 T March 28, 1980 4–4 @ Vancouver Canucks (1979–80) 25–32–18
76 T March 29, 1980 2–2 @ Los Angeles Kings (1979–80) 25–32–19
77 L April 1, 1980 4–5 Toronto Maple Leafs (1979–80) 25–33–19
78 L April 2, 1980 4–6 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1979–80) 25–34–19
79 W April 4, 1980 9–2 Quebec Nordiques (1979–80) 26–34–19
80 W April 6, 1980 5–3 Detroit Red Wings (1979–80) 27–34–19

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Montreal Canadiens 3, Hartford Whalers 0[edit | edit source]

  • In the first round of the playoffs, 14th seeded Hartford played the 3rd seeded Montreal Canadiens.

Player Stats[edit | edit source]

Skaters[edit | edit source]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = Plus/minus; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player GP G A Pts +/- PIM
Mike Rogers 80 44 61 105 10
Blaine Stoughton 80 56 44 100 16
Mark Howe 74 24 56 80 20
Dave Keon 76 10 52 62 10
Jordy Douglas 77 33 24 57 39
Pat Boutette 47 13 31 44 75
Gordie Howe 80 15 26 41 42
Al Sims 76 10 31 41 30
Gordie Roberts 80 8 28 36 89

[1]

Goaltending[edit | edit source]

Note: GP= Games played; W= Wins; L= Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average

Player GP W L T SO GAA
Al Smith 30 11 10 8 2 3.66
John Garrett 52 16 24 11 0 3.98

[1]

Awards and Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


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