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WHA Teams: Indianapolis Racers

By Wikipedia

The Indianapolis Racers were a professional ice hockey team in the short-lived World Hockey Association (WHA).

At a glance...
Franchise Facts
Established 1974
Disbanded December 15, 1978
Located Indianapolis, Indiana
Purchase Price $2M (1975)
Eastern Division Champions 1976  
Alberta Oilers (1974-79)
Market Square Arena (17,000) 1974-78

They competed for five seasons, folding after 25 games in the 1978-79 season. They played at Market Square Arena. They are best-known for being the first professional team to secure the services of the player often considered hockey's all-time greatest player, Wayne Gretzky. The presence of the young Gretzky helped to force the merger with the NHL for the 1979-80 season, including four WHA teams.

At the beginning of the final season of the WHA, 7 teams remained with the Racers being one of them. After selling Gretzky after only 8 games to the Edmonton Oilers (also of the WHA), the Racers bowed out 17 games later. The other six teams finished the season, but after the Winnipeg Jets won the Avco World Trophy, the league agreed on a merger with the NHL. The four best teams, the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, New England Whalers, and Quebec Nordiques, merged with the National Hockey League while the other teams, the Cincinnati Stingers and Birmingham Bulls were paid large sums of cash to fold.

A rare picture of Gretzky in a Racers uniform.

While the NHL accepted four WHA teams into its fold, the WHA's records were not accepted by the NHL. Resultantly, Gretzky's official records, as amazing as they are, in fact somewhat understate his accomplishments. (The NBA is guilty of the same crime with regard to the ABA's records and accomplishments.)

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!

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--Patrick Mondout



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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

With the exception of the Wikipedia article above, everything else is...

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