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1976-77 WHA Season

By Patrick Mondout

The 1976-77 season was the fifth regular season of the now defunct World Hockey Association (WHA). While the league was once again at 12 teams, there were changes. The Toronto Toros moved to Alabama to become the Birmingham Bulls, attempts to move the Cleveland franchise to South Florida are scuttled and the team becomes the second version of the Minnesota Fighting Saints instead. The "New" Fighting Saints become the only in-season casualty folding after just 42 games and with a winning record. The Quebec Nordiques won their only AVCO World Trophy in 1976-77.

See also: Statistical Leaders for 1976-77, Complete League Attendance, 1976 WHA Draft

Houston Aeros* 80 50 24 6 320 241 106
Winnipeg Jets* 80 46 32 2 366 291 94
San Diego Mariners* 81 40 37 4 284 283 85
Edmonton Oilers* 81 34 43 4 243 304 72
Calgary Cowboys 81 31 43 7 252 296 69
Phoenix Roadrunners 80 28 48 4 281 383 60
Quebec Nordiques* 81 47 31 3 353 295 97
Cincinnati Stingers* 81 39 37 5 354 303 83
Indianapolis Racers* 81 36 37 8 276 305 80
New England Whalers* 81 35 40 6 275 290 76
Birmingham Bulls 81 31 46 4 289 309 66
Minnesota Fighting Saints 42 19 18 5 136 129 43

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
  1  Houston Aeros 4  
8  Edmonton Oilers 1  
  1  Houston Aeros 2  
  4  Winnipeg Jets 4  
4  Winnipeg Jets 4
  5  San Diego Mariners 3  
    4  Winnipeg Jets 3
  2  Quebec Nordiques 4
  2  Quebec Nordiques 4  
7  New England Whalers 1  
  2  Quebec Nordiques 4
  6  Indianapolis Racers 1  
3  Cincinnati Stingers 0
  6  Indianapolis Racers 4  

Serge Bernier led the Quebec Nordiques to their only AVCO championship and was named Playoffs MVP.

WHA All Star Game

The fifth World Hockey Association All-Star game was played January 18, 1973 in Hartford, Connecticut. After last year's game featured Canadians verses the U.S., the game returned to its previous East verses West format. The East beat the West 4-2 in front of 10,337 fans while Louis Levasseur and Willy Lindstrom were named Co-MVPs. Bobby Kromm coached the East while Jacques Demers coached the West. These were the lineups for the game:

G Lou Levasseur Minnesota/Edmonton
G John Garrett Birmingham
D Pat Stapleton Indianapolis
D JC Tremblay Quebec
D Ron Plumb Cincinnati
D Gordie Roberts New England
D John Hughes Cincinnati
D Tommy Abrahamsson New England
F Serge Bernier Quebec
F Real Cloutier Quebec
F Marc Tardif Quebec
F Michel Parizeau Indianapolis
F Hugh Harris Indianapolis
F Mark Napier Birmingham
F Mike Rogers New England
F Blair MacDonald Indianapolis
F George Lyle New England
F Dennis Sobchuk Cincinnati
F Rich Leduc Cincinnati
F Ralph Backstrom New England
G Wayne Rutledge Houston
G Joe Daley Winnipeg
D Tommie Bergman Winnipeg
D Paul Shmyr Cleveland
D Kevin Morrison San Diego
D Barry Wilkins Edmonton
D Poul Popiel Houston
D Paul Terbenche Calgary
F Bobby Hull Winnipeg
F Anders Hedberg Winnipeg
F Ulf Nilsson Winnipeg
F Andre Lacroix San Diego
F Robbie Ftorek Phoenix
F Gordie Howe Houston
F Norm Ferguson San Diego
F Danny Lawson Calgary
F Cam Connor Houston
F Del Hall Phoenix
F Willy Lindstrom Winnipeg
F Joe Noris San Diego
Avco World Trophy Quebec Nordiques
Gordie Howe Trophy Robbie Ftorek C, Phoenix Roadrunners
Bill Hunter Trophy Real Cloutier, Quebec Nordiques
Lou Kaplan Trophy George Lyle, New England Whalers
Ben Hatskin Trophy Ron Grahame, Houston Aeros
Dennis A. Murphy Trophy Ron Plumb, Cincinnati Stingers
Paul Deneau Trophy Dave Keon, New England Whalers
Howard Baldwin Trophy Bill Dineen, Houston Aeros
1976-77 G Total Average
Indianapolis Racers 40 371,787 9,295
New England Whalers 40 356,726 8,918
Houston Aeros 40 353,209 8,830
Quebec Nordiques 40 343,922 8,598
Birmingham Bulls 40 338,711 8,468
Winnipeg Jets 40 337,874 8,447
Edmonton Oilers 40 334,805 8,370
Cincinnati Stingers 40 305,860 7,647
Phoenix Roadrunners 40 279,384 6,985
Minnesota Fighting Saints 25 155,280 6,211
San Diego Mariners 40 240,508 6,013
Calgary Cowboys 40 172,535 4,313
LEAGUE 465 3,590,601 7,722
Real Cloutier Quebec 141
Anders Hedberg Winnipeg 131
Ulf Nilsson Winnipeg 124
Robbie Ftorek Phoenix 117
Andre Lacroix San Diego 114
Marc Tardif Quebec 109
Rich Leduc Cincinnati 107
Chris Bordeleau Quebec 107
Blaine Stoughton Cincinnati 104
Mark Napier
Serge Bernier
Dennis Sobchuk
Goalie John Garrett, Birmingham
Joe Daley Winnipeg
Defenseman Daryl Maggs, Indianapolis
Poul Popiel Houston
Defenseman Ron Plumb, Cincinnati
Mark Howe Houston
Center Robbie Ftorek, Phoenix
Ulf Nilsson Winnipeg
Right Wing Andres Hedberg, Winnipeg
Rick Dudley Cincinnati
Left Wing Marc Tardiff, Quebec 
Real Cloutier Quebec

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


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