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1973-74 WHA Season

By Patrick Mondout

The 1973-74 season was the second regular season of the now defunct World Hockey Association (WHA). The Philadelphia Blazers moved to Vancouver while Ottawa became the Toronto Toros and the New York franchise first changed its name to the Golden Blades and then moved to Cherry Hill, New Jersey to become the Jersey Knights.

See also: Statistical Leaders for 1973-74, Complete League Attendance, 1973 WHA Draft

Led by ageless wonder Gordie Howe (he was 45), the Houston Aeros won their first of two straight AVCO World Trophies. Howe, who played alongside his sons Mark and Marty, was the league's MVP.

Houston Aeros* 78 48 25 5 101 318 219 1038
Minnesota Fighting Saints* 78 44 32 2 90 332 275 1243
Edmonton Oilers* 78 38 37 3 79 268 269 1273
Winnipeg Jets* 78 34 39 5 73 264 296 673
Vancouver Blazers 78 27 50 1 55 278 345 1047
Los Angeles Sharks 78 25 53 0 50 239 339 1086
New England Whalers* 78 43 31 4 90 291 260 875
Toronto Toros* 78 41 33 4 86 304 272 871
Cleveland Crusaders* 78 37 32 9 83 266 264 1007
Chicago Cougars* 78 38 35 5 81 271 273 1041
Quebec Nordiques 78 38 36 4 80 306 280 909
New York Golden Blades/Jersey Knights 78 32 42 4 68 268 313 933

Key: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties in Minutes
* Indicates teams that qualifies for the playoffs

AVCO World Trophy Playoffs

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  E1  New England Whalers 3  
E4  Chicago Cougars 4  
  E1  Toronto Toros 3  
Eastern Division
  E2  Chicago Cougars 4  
E2  Toronto Toros 4
  E3  Cleveland Crusaders 1  
    E1  Chicago Cougars 0
  W1  Houston Aeros 4
  W1  Houston Aeros 4  
W4  Winnipeg Jets  0  
  W1  Houston Aeros 4
Western Division
  W2  Minnesota Fighting Saints 2  
W2  Minnesota Fighting Saints 4
  W3  Edmonton Oilers 1  

The Houston Aeros swept the Chicago Cougars in four games.

WHA All Star Game

The second World Hockey Association All-Star game was played January 3, 1974 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The East once again beat the West 8-4 in front of 13,196 spectators while Minnesota's Mike Walton skated home with MVP honors. These were the lineups for the game:

G Gerry Cheevers Cleveland
G Gilles Gratton Toronto
G Al Smith New England
D Rick Ley New England
D JC Tremblay Quebec
D Pat Stapleton Chicago
D Paul Shmyr Cleveland
D Brad Selwood New England
D Jim Dorey New England
D Dale Hoganson Quebec1
C Larry Pleau New England
C Ralph Backstrom Chicago
C Andre Lacroix New Jersey
C Serge Bernier Quebec
RW Gerry Pinder Cleveland
RW Tom Webster New England
RW Rosaire Paiement Chicago
RW Tom Simpson Toronto
LW Rejean Houle Quebec
LW Wayne Carleton Toronto
LW Gary Jarrett Cleveland
LW Hugh Harris New England
LW Bobby Sheehan New Jersey1
G Ernie Wakely Winnipeg
G Jack Norris Edmonton
G John Garrett Minnesota
D Rick Smith Minnesota
D Al Hamilton Edmonton
D Gerry Odrowski Los Angeles
D Poul Popiel Houston
D Bart Crashley Los Angeles
D Ralph McSweyn Vancouver
D Larry Hornung Winnipeg1
C Mike Walton Minnesota
C Larry Lund Houston
C Bryan Campbell Vancouver
C Fran Huck Winnipeg
C Jim Harrison Edmonton1
C Ross Perkins Edmonton
RW Wayne Connelly Minnesota
RW Gordie Howe Houston
RW Danny Lawson Vancouver
RW Frank Hughes Houston
LW Bobby Hull Winnipeg
LW Ron Climie Edmonton
LW Marc Tardif Los Angeles

1 Injured: Did not participate

Avco World Trophy Houston Aeros
Gary L. Davidson Award Gordie Howe, Houston Aeros
Bill Hunter Trophy Mike Walton, Minnesota Fighting Saints
Lou Kaplan Trophy Mark Howe, Houston Aeros
Ben Hatskin Trophy Don McLeod, Houston Aeros
Dennis A. Murphy Trophy Pat Stapleton, Chicago Cougars
Paul Deneau Trophy Ralph Backstrom, Chicago Cougars
Howard Baldwin Trophy Bill Harris, Toronto Toros
ATTENDANCE G Total Average
Vancouver Blazers 39 364,903 9,356
Quebec Nordiques 39 311,352 7,983
Houston Aeros 39 265,622 6,811
Minnesota Fighting Saints 39 256,772 6,584
Winnipeg Jets 39 249,654 6,401
Cleveland Crusaders 39 242,277 6,212
New England Whalers 39 232,814 5,970
Los Angeles Sharks 39 208,175 5,338
Chicago Cougars 39 192,048 4,924
Edmonton Oilers 39 172,737 4,429
Toronto Toros 39 167,432 4,293
New York Golden Blades/Jersey Knights 39 100,810 2,585
LEAGUE 468 2,764,596 5,907
Player Team Points
Mike Walton Minnesota 117
Andre Lacroix New York 111
Gordie Howe Houston 100
Bobby Hull Winnipeg 95
Wayne Connelly Minnesota 95
Wayne Carleton Toronto 92
Bryan Campbell Vancouver 89
Danny Lawson Vancouver 88
Serge Bernier Quebec 86
Larry Lund Houston 86
Goalie Don McLeod, Houston
Gerry Cheevers Cleveland
Defenseman Pat Stapleton, Chicago
JC Tremblay Quebec
Defenseman Paul Shmyr, Cleveland
Al Hamilton Edmonton
Center Andre LaCroix, New York
Wayne Carleton Toronto
Right Wing Gordie Howe, Houston
Mike Walton Minnesota
Left Wing Bobby Hull, Winnipeg
Mark Howe Houston

WHA Bibliography
The Rebel League: The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association by Ed Willes
The Complete Historical and Statistical Reference to the World Hockey Association by Scott Adam Surgent
WHA Pro Hockey '75 - '76 by Dan Proudfoot
WHA Media Guides (each team published one each year)

These and many other WHA items can be found at eBay - check our links on the far right of this page!

Share Your Memories!

We have a WHA Forum! Our sites have always been by you and about you. If you check our TV Forums or our Technology & Science forums, you'll find literally thousands of messages from fans of 1970s TV shows, survivors of hurricanes or aircraft accidents, etc. from all over the world sharing their memories, asking questions, making comments. Our baseball section is new, but don't let that stop you from sharing your memories of WHA games you saw, now-forgotten stadiums, etc. Of course you can also ask questions, post trivia, or just read what others are saying.

--Patrick Mondout


WHA Media Guides can be found at eBay (see our links below)

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