1977-78 WHA Season
The 1977-78 season was the sixth regular season of the now defunct World
Hockey Association (WHA). Merger talks with the NHL heated up, with a
preliminary agreement that would have seen Winnipeg, Cincinnati, Edmonton,
Houston, New England, and Quebec admitted to the older league eventually
abandoned. With San Diego, Phoenix and Calgary gone, the league carries on
with eight teams. The Winnipeg
Jets won the second AVCO World Trophy in three years.
See also: Statistical
Leaders for 1977-78, Complete League
With a reduction of 4 teams from the start of the previous
season, the WHA abandoned its divisional format and grouped the remaining
8 teams together. 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 the semifinals. All series were best
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
In one of the more bizarre playoff formats, the #1 and #6 seeds squared
off in the first round for the right to appear in the finals while seeds
number 2 through 5 battled it out in the other bracket.
Robert Guindon was named AVCO Playoffs MVP for leading the Winnipeg
Jets to another title.
WHA All Star Game
The sixth World Hockey Association All-Star game was played January 17,
1978 in Quebec City, Quebec. This game featured the defending champion
Nordiques at home against the WHA All-Stars. The Nordiques beat the WHA
5-4 in front of 6,413 spectators on the strength of a power play goal by
Matti Hagman set up by Marc Tardiff's fifth point. It was Hagman's second
goal of the night. Marc Tardif and Mark Howe were named co-MVPs.
Rebel League: The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association by
Complete Historical and Statistical Reference to the World Hockey Association
by Scott Adam Surgent
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!