remember WHA

anyone here ever go to a WHA game?

I went to at least two Toros games in November of 74.

I cheered for the Jets because of Bobby Hull

I did have a debate with someone about who would win a series between the '79 Jets vs. '79 Habs ;)...ah those were the

LoL no way. 76’ Habs greatest team of all time. Would have crushed a WHA Allstar team let alone the Jets.

Had season tickets for 3 yrs of WHA Oilers, loved that hockey, a hundred times better than the ringette garbage of today!

The WHA was doomed to fail, due to the crooks & scam artists who were “owners” at the time.

1976 was still a bit too early for a rambunctious New York city property looter and criminal-in-the-making named Donald Trump.

But I'm sure if the WHA had lasted past 1985 Trump would have financed a team in New York on OTP (aka Other people's money)

In 1976 Trump was barely 30 years old and just a street flunkee for his father Fast Freddy. He hadn't received the money and portions of Fred's estate to launch his supposedly self-made millionaire career.

Have to defend the WHA the Oilers , Whalers , Nordiques and Jets were all able bodied teams when they entered the NHL in 1979 . They all were contenders very early on after entering . The Stingers should have been included .

Howe and Hull together with the Whalers was a treat for me to watch and have that as a memory .

Also Dave Keon . 10 goals and 52 assists in 79 .

Only the Oilers emerged as any kind of a contender after a couple of seasons. The other teams were absolutely decimated by the NHL' s oppressive expansion terms. (The Jets in particular). I think teams were only allowed to keep 2 or 3 of their roster players and predictably found themselves at the bottom of the league standings for a few seasons.

In the third season the Nordiques went to the conference finals and lost to the mighty Islanders . The big Montreal rivalry started that year when they knocked off Montreal .

76 Jets were an offensive juggernaut w/ an above average ex-NHL goalie in Preacher Joe Daley.

If they played the fire-wagon hockey of the 1900-1920s era (ie. 10 roster players plus a goalie) the Jets would have held their own.

Their Top 6 players were superior to anything the NHL could have fielded in 1976, including the mighty Habs.In 11 vs. 11 hockey the Jets might not only have won the series, they probably sweep it.

Problems occur after first 10 players - the Habs had far more depth at forward and D. Far more. 20 vs. 20 - Habs probably win in 5 or 6 games - the Jets top 2 lines gradually get worn down and the balance of their roster, mostly AHL grinders & fringers couldn't withstand the Habs persistent play.

January 1978 Jets 3 - Red Army 2

Greatest game in Jet history? Definitely world class hockey.

Fergie tied our hands protecting Scott Campbell, Tommy Mc Vie took it from there.

If you're a WHA fan get a copy of the book "The Rebel League " by Ed Willes. It's a great read!

They were already in the league for almost half a decade before those events took place (as a Habs fan I still remember that heartbreak vividly)!

I have the book and it is an excellent read. Some of the stories make me laugh to the point of crying.

Fergie was one of the great NHL enforcers when he toiled in Montreal. Average to middlin' skater, very good to great fighter (when fighters were in vogue) and average hockey skills (potted the odd goal, set-ups)

As an NHL GM he was a totally different story. Close to being a fraud immo. Short of temper and full of bluster - his hockey scouting knowledge was flawed, his ability to hire quality coaches and scouts was weak to put it nicely - and he relied on his fierce temper and physical presence to quell doubters (ownership, media, fans)

Once the Jets came out of the ether and realized what a scammer Fergie was - his post-Jets track record says it all. Basically, this big giant, fierce-tempered scammer never rose above junior level NHL executive. That speaks volumes. Other guys with temperament like Glen Sather, Lou from Minnesota, Brian, etc. were lesser players than Fergie but had far better managing and scouting skills. Far better.

Actually if you look at all the Jets head coaches, scouts, GMs & Asst. GMs - very few ever rose above their level in Winnipeg - which essentially means Jet ownership were deficient in attracting top level guys - which accounts for how long the franchise was retarded from progress.

Here's some Jets famed GMs - where did they end up after leaving Winnipeg - other than the scrap heap? Rudy Pilous, John Ferguson, Mike Smith, Craig "Zinger" Heisinger, Serge Savard.
Coaches - Tom McVie, Billy Sutherland, Bobby Hull, John Paddock, Tom Watt, Serge Savard, Alpo Suhonen, Claude Noel, etc.

When most of these guys left the Jets - they either ended upon theunemployment line- or took jobs in lesser leagues, juniors, etc.

At least now there's a level of stability - Kevin Cheveldayoff took the patient route and built a decent roster, also had some good FA pickups, decent trades, tied up good players to longer-term contracts.

Maurice is a good coach. He might be the best PR coach in the world. Very glib and solid with explanations. Tight with injury info (as he should be) but his on-ice decisions and strategy often indicate why he's lost more games than any other NHL coach - in history.

Good minor league team in the Manitoba Moose, sharing same arena. Decent coach in Pasquale Vincent and Craig Heisinger, an old hand who started as an equipment mgr. is the GM

I think I may have missed a couple Jet coaches and 1 GM - should all be in the wiki-pages!

The Willes book is probably the best book on the WHA, by far. Another good one is 'The Hot Line' by Winnipeg writer Geoff Kirbyson - focuses on Hull, Hedberg, Nilson, the best line hockey ever saw!

The best book on why the Jets V.1 left Winnipeg is now a rarity. Its called "Thin Ice" by Jim Silver - a left-wing political science prof who focuses on the abysmal politics of Winnipeg subsidizing an NHL team while the owner, Shifty Shenkarow held a gun to city council's collective head. Best to read a copy at your local library. I may have 1 or 2 left over in my old bookshop storage!

Loved the WHA.
Went to watch my Toronto Toros first at MLG and then when they moved to Varsity Arena.
Remembered watching on Global TV with Mike Anscombe.
The original Jets, with Bobby Hull, Ulf Nillson, what a team.
Then there was Gordie Howe and the sons for the Whalers in Hartford and also Houston Aeros.
QC had the Nordiques.

Mike Anscombe and Bob Macodorey when I liked getting my sports and entertainment back then on the news .

Best non-Jet players I ever did see play in old WHA:

Marc Tardiff and Michel Goulet - both w/ Quebec Nordiques

Messier was incredible, even as an 18 year old - Birmingham Bulls

Wonder if he knew Ralph "Dieter" Brock?