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Old 10-20-2017, 11:58 AM   #41
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General tidbits from the WHA?
Always like looking at the WHA. Thanks. Pretty busy weekend with my son’s hockey but will try and get something written on Sunday.
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:46 PM   #42
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This may be interesting to look at. Im from a small town and would like to see if any of these players made a career.

Samuel Russell (Rusty) Crawford (played between 1917-1920s) and my uncle lol
Leo Boivin
Ben Hutton
Todd Gill
Eric Selleck
Ryan Van Stralen (did he make the nhl? Only played for 67s in real life)
Alyn McCauley

These guys are from Brockville, Prescott, Spenserville, Edwardsburg/Carfinal area

Thanks
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Old Yesterday, 10:36 AM   #43
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The WHA

WORLD HOCKEY ASSOCIATION

I always enjoy looking back at the WHA whenever I do a historical sim as that league was one I followed very closely, or at least as close as one could in the pre-internet, pre-cable tv era. I was 7 years old in 1972 when the league formed and remember watching the WHA game of the week on tv for a couple of years. I had a new group of hockey heroes like Ron Ward, Andre Lacroix, Marc Tardif and Robbie Ftorek to follow along with the NHL stars.

In the sim none of those players played in the WHA but the league had a new group of stars, along with a few familiar names. Let's start with the all-time scoring leaders in WHA history.

Mike Rogers leads the league in career points with 662. He would score over 100 points in each of his five WHA seasons and lead the league in scoring twice while playing his entire WHA career with Edmonton. Rogers is the WHA single season point leader with 157 in 1975-76, one more than Anders Hedberg of Winnipeg recorded the following year. He would stay with the Oilers when they moved to the NHL before ending his career with a couple of seasons in St Louis. Rogers had decent NHL numbers, scoring 126 goals and 353 points in 521 games.

Here are the top 10 in WHA career points
Code:
Mike Rogers	Edmonton	662
Pat Hickey	Tor/Birm	630
Anders Hedberg  Winnipeg	629
Blair MacDonald	Edmonton	570
Mike Antonovich Minn/Wpg	555
Wayne Dillon	Tor/Birm	553
Ulf Nilsson	Winnipeg	513
Mark Howe	Houston		490
V. Nedomansky   Tor/Birm	489
Terry Ruskowski	Hou/NEng	486

The dominant team in the WHA was the Winnipeg Jets, winners of 3 straight Avco Cups and led by the Swedish duo of Hedberg and Nilson, along with goaltender Michel Dumas-who led them to the 3 titles.

1972-73

The first season of the WHA saw the Philadelphia Blazers run the table in the playoffs, winning 12 straight games including a sweep of the Ottawa Nationals to win the first Avco Cup. The Blazers would also dominate the regular season, going 67-7-1 to finish 29 points ahead of second place Ottawa in the East. The Minnesota Fighting Saints topped the West Division followed by Winnipeg and Chicago.

The Blazers, like most of the WHA in that first season, were a collection of unknowns. Their scoring leaders were Don Herriman (40-69-109) and Dennis Meloche (36-72-108) while Yves Archambault (43-4-2, 1.87) was between the pipers. Herriman would top 100 points the following season when the team moved to Vancouver before being sent to Quebec and seeing his point total drastically decline. He was out of hockey by 1977. Meloche would drop to 69 points the following season and have a steady decline until he too was finished by 1977. Archambault's career would be even shorter. The goalie would win 17 games in 27 starts for Vancouver the following season but was demoted to the minors in 1975 and was out of hockey at the end of that season. However, for one season the three of them and the rest of the collection of unknowns were WHA champions.

The scoring leader in the inaugural season was Keith Christiansen of the Minnesota Fighting Saints. The 28 year old, who had not played anywhere in the game prior to the 72-73 campaign, led the league in goals with 58 and points with 135. His WHA career would last 3 more seasons but as more talent came into the league his point totals would drop significantly. In real life, Christiansen was a captain of the University of Minnesota-Duluth hockey team and a 1972 Olympian before playing 138 career WHA games with Minnesota.

The assist leader in 72-73 was Christiansen's linemate Bob MacMillan - with 80 assists and 117 points. MacMillan would enjoy a very productive sim career, earning 363 points in 4 seasons with the Fighting Saints before going on to play over a decade in Los Angeles where he had 621 career NHL points.

1973-74

The Ottawa Nationals, after losing in the finals the previous season, claimed their first and only Avco Cup but it was under a new name as the team moved to Toronto and became the Toros. The Blazers moved to Vancouver and switched divisions but they easily finished first in the West ahead of the Fighting Saints.

After disposing of Houston in 4 straight games the Toros beat Vancouver in 5 games before topping the Cleveland Crusaders in 6 to win the title. Cleveland had swept Minnesota in the other semi-final.

The Toros leading players matched the real life club in many ways as Pat Hickey (52-61-113), Wayne Dillon (26-79-105) and Lou Nistico (32-55-87) all starred with Gilles Gratton (49-9-2, 2.22) in net.

Ray Adduono (45-100-145) of Cleveland won the league scoring title. Just like in real-life he would never play in the NHL but Adduono did earn 383 career WHA points in 299 games. In real-life he earned 197 points in 227 games with a career best 90 for the 1975-76 San Diego Mariners.

Mark Howe would join Houston as an 18 year old and be named the WHA MVP for the first of 3 times in his career. He was also given the Dennis A. Murphy Trophy as the league's best defenseman. Howe would win that award three times. Other winners were Dave Hutchinson, Tom Edur, Lars-Erik Sjoberg and Rod Langway.

1974-75

The 74-75 season marked the beginning of the only dynasty in the short-lived WHA as the Winnipeg Jets won their first of three straight titles. The WHA went to three divisions and the Jets had 122 points in the regular season, good for second overall but also only good enough for second place in the Canadian Division behind the Edmonton Oilers 136 points. The Canadian Division also saw the defending champion Toronto Toros rack up 100 points to finish fourth overall. Sandwiched in the middle was the Houston Aeros who led the West Division with 117 points. The Cleveland Crusaders were tops in the East but finished with only a .500 record.

The top 4 seeds all easily advanced through the opening round of the playoffs setting up a pair of terrific semi-final series. Edmonton and Houston would go a full seven games before the Oilers ultimately advanced to the finals. Winnipeg, on the other hand, had a surprisingly easy time sweeping Toronto in four straight. The more rested Jets dropped the Oilers in 6 games to win the Avco Cup.

While Houston's Howe was again league MVP and top defenseman the Jets did get their share of hardware as well. Sjoberg, with 17 points in 15 playoff games was named the post-season MVP while Anders Hedberg was named rookie of the year and won the scoring title with 58 goals and 136 points. Rick Dudley also played a key role with a 45 goal season. The season also marked the debut of Ulf Nilsson, who had 16 points in 13 games but would play a much bigger role the next couple of seasons.

1975-76

The Jets finished third this time in the Canadian Division behind Edmonton and Toronto but they were still fourth overall in league standings as Houston was the only US based team to finish with more than Winnipeg's 118 points. The Jets drew the Toros in the opening round of the playoffs and for the second straight year swept Toronto four straight. A second round sweep of the Phoenix Roadrunners allowed Winnipeg some rest before defending it's title. Edmonton would once again be the opponents as the Oilers also swept their way to the finals, beating Calgary and then Houston. The Oilers would fall for the second straight year to the Jets as Winnipeg won in 5 games.

Even though there was no Bobby Hull on the Jets in this universe to join them, Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg dominated the WHA this season. Nilsson was named MVP after scoring 155 points - second behind only the record 157 from Edmonton's Mike Rogers, while Hedberg finished third in scoring with 138 points and then added 24 more in 13 playoff games to win the postseason MVP award. Rick Dudley, who joined Hedberg and Nilsson on the Jets big line, scored a career high 56 goals. Dudley would play 5 seasons in Winnipeg- scoring 188 times in 383 WHA games. He would have much less success in the NHL as he scored a grand total of 1 goal in 37 career games.

1976-77

The WHA was down to 12 teams and two divisions but the top teams did not change. The Oilers led the West Division and the league with 135 points - five more than the second place Jets. In the East the Birmingham Bulls - the new home of the Toronto Toros - finished first with 118 points. The finals would feature Winnipeg and Edmonton for the third straight season. The Jets swept Minnesota and Phoenix to advance while the Oilers swept New England and San Diego. The Mariners pulled off the biggest upset as they ousted the Bulls in the opening round. The finals followed the script of the past two seasons as once again Winnipeg, despite trailing the Oilers in the regular season, proved to be the superior team in the playoffs. The Jets captured their third straight Avco Cup in 6 games.

Anders Hedberg scored 156 points and won his second MVP award. Linemate Nilsson was second in scoring followed by Edmonton's Blair MacDonald, who established a WHA record with 65 goals. Birmingham's Vaclav Nedomansky reached the 60 goal mark for the second straight season. The league's top goaltender was Edmonton's Glenn Resch (57-8-2, 2.27). It was Resch's second season in Edmonton - a franchise he would go on to play a combined 649 NHL-WHA games for and earn 350 wins between the two leagues.

1977-78

The league dropped to 8 teams and just one division. Houston proved the class of the regular season with 130 points followed by the 3-time defending champion Jets (111) and the thrice bridesmaids from Edmonton (101). At the other end of the spectrum were a pair of awful clubs in the Cincinnati Stingers and Indianapolis Racers - who were a combined 28-115-7 on the season.

The playoffs were just two rounds and while Houston beat fourth place Quebec in 5 games the Jets and Oilers were set to do battle yet again. Winnipeg would prevail once more but this time Edmonton pushed the Jets to the full seven games before succumbing. The finals would also be a 7 game series and when the dust settled the Jets run had come to an end as the Aeros claimed their first and only Avco Cup title.

Houston had a good young team led by Mark Howe (27-90-117), who won the MVP award, John Tonelli (51-66-117), Terry Ruskowski (39-62-101), Morris Luckowich (39-59-98) and Rich Preston (39-54-93). The goaltender was Ron Grahame (40-6-3, 2.20), who would go on to play a couple of NHL seasons for the Colorado Rockies.

Hedberg won his third and final WHA scoring title while Mark Howe won his first playoff MVP award to go with his third and final regular season MVP and top defenseman trophies.

1978-79

The league dropped to seven teams as the Aeros folded and would not be back to defend their title. Birmingham finished with the best regular season record followed closely by the Edmonton Oilers. Winnipeg and Quebec rounded out the playoff participants. Cincinnati and Indianapolis remained at the bottom of the standings but there was a budding superstar for the Racers in Wayne Gretzky. The Great One, just 17 years old, led the Racers in scoring by a wide margin as he notched 43 goals and 96 points and was named rookie of the year. One of Gretzky's teammates was goaltender Mike Palmateer, who started 51 games and in his two years in Indianapolis compiled a record of 20-69-10. Palmateer - perhaps shell shocked from his WHA experience, would go on to play just 4 NHL games in his career. The other teammate of note was a fellow 17 year old in Mark Messier. Messier had 14 goals and 29 points in 69 games this season for the Racers but would go on to play over 1500 NHL games, primarily with Winnipeg, and scored 2126 career NHL points.

A number of young stars emerged in Birmingham as Rod Langway was named the top defenseman in just his second year in the league. Langway would go on to have a strong NHL career, playing over 1000 games for Hartford. The Baby Bulls had some other future stars in Ken Linseman - who scored 100 points as a 20 year old - and would notch 713 NHL points in 1044 career games. 19 year old Rick Vaive had 36 goals before moving on to Boston of the NHL. Vaive would not live up to his real-life stats as he would score just 115 NHL goals in 553 games. Craig Hartsburg and Rob Ramage were also 19 year old rookies with the Bulls. Each would enjoy solid NHL careers with Hartsburg in St Louis and Ramage with Montreal. Rounding out the baby bulls was Michel Goulet, who as an 18 year old had 13 goals in 30 games in Birmingham. He would later scored 432 times in 997 NHL games with the Flames.

The final youngster of note I should mention is Mike Gartner, who scored 42 goals and 81 points as a 19 year old with the Cincinnati Stingers. Gartner would join Goulet with the Flames when the WHA folded and would score 612 goals in an NHL career of nearly 1400 games.

As for the final WHA playoffs the Edmonton Oilers would at last get their revenge on Winnipeg. After being eliminated by the Jets four years in a row the Oilers advanced to the finals with a win over their hated rivals for the first time- taking the series in the full seven games. That momentum spurred Edmonton on to a six game win over Birmingham, which had beat Quebec in 5, to give the Oilers their final Avco Cup.


EPILOGUE

While all of the great talent to come out of the WHA certainly helped shape the NHL in the next decade, it was the bitter Edmonton-Winnipeg rivalry that the league is perhaps best remembered for. That rivalry carried over to the NHL as the Oilers, led by Wayne Gretzky, and the Jets, with Mark Messier in charge, would meet many times in the future. Neither would enjoy the ultimate success of a Stanley Cup in the Gretzky-Messier days but their would be plenty of bitter playoff series between the two clubs. Winnipeg never did win an NHL Cup - at least not for the franchise which moved to Phoenix, although the new Jets did get back to back titles in 2027 and 2028. The Oilers needed until 2014 to win their first Cup and would add a second a decade later when Connor McDavid led the team.
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Old Yesterday, 11:24 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAANA/BLNA View Post
This may be interesting to look at. Im from a small town and would like to see if any of these players made a career.

Samuel Russell (Rusty) Crawford (played between 1917-1920s) and my uncle lol
Leo Boivin
Ben Hutton
Todd Gill
Eric Selleck
Ryan Van Stralen (did he make the nhl? Only played for 67s in real life)
Alyn McCauley

These guys are from Brockville, Prescott, Spenserville, Edwardsburg/Carfinal area

Thanks
I love that idea. It is a great way to look at a cross-section of players from different eras. I may just pick a few other small towns or areas and see how careers panned out. Let's see how your guys did.


RUSTY CRAWFORD

I pride myself on my knowledge of NHL history but Crawford was a player I had not heard of before. In real life he played 38 NHL games with Ottawa and Toronto before going out west to the WCHL/WHL for a few years.

He had a good rookie season with Ottawa in my sim, scoring 10 goals and 21 points in 24 games as a 32 year old in 1917-18 but was dealt to Toronto over the summer of 1918. The Arenas, as they were called then, used Crawford in just 10 NHL games (3-3-6) in 1918-19. He would spend much of his time in the minors with the Amherst Ramblers the next few seasons with his only NHL call up being a 2 game stint in 1920-21. He did score twice in those two games and finished his NHL career with 15 goals and 29 points in 36 games. At the tail end of his career he went out west and played one season for Vancouver and two in Victoria, scoring 7 goals and 20 points in 51 games. Crawford's only 2 playoff games came with Vancouver in 23-24, when he was scoreless as the Maroons lost a 2-game total goal series 10-3 to the Metropolitans, who would go on to win the Stanley Cup that year.

LEO BOIVIN

His career came very close to real life in the sim. Boivin's real-life career saw him play 1150 NHL games and record 322 points. He spent the bulk of his career with Boston but also played defense for Toronto, Detroit and with expansion got a few extra seasons in with Pittsburgh and Minnesota.

In the sim Boivin played 1136 career games and had 406 points. Instead of Toronto, Boivin made his sim NHL debut with Boston in 1952-53 and made the all-rookie team after scoring 20 points in 70 games that year. He would remain with the Bruins as an NHL regular until being exposed in the 1967 expansion draft. The Penguins selected him 41st overall and Boivin would play his final NHL season in 67-68, scoring 6 goals and 27 points for the Pens. He would retire after that season having left Boston just before their Cup success of the early 70s. Boivin was on some bad Boston teams and played just 14 playoff games (1-3-4) in his 17 year career.

TODD GILL

Gill got a Cup in the sim as he won one as rookie with the Leafs in 1984-85. He didn't score but did have 5 assists in 20 playoff games that season and would finish with 138 career playoff games (6-26-32) as the Leafs had a couple of decent runs during his 16 year career.

Gill debut with 14 regular season games for the 84-85 Leafs and would go on to play 1146 career NHL games, scoring 92 goals and 391 points. He played all but 84 of those games in a Toronto uniform as he finished his career with just over a year in Dallas. Never a star, he was generally good for 20-30 points a season with the Leafs.

In real life Gill had 354 points in 1007 NHL games with seven teams.


ERIC SELLECK

In real life Selleck is still active as a 30 year old with the Hartford Wolf Pack. He played 3 NHL games: 2 with Florida in 2012-13 and one more for the 15-16 Arizona Coyotes.

In the sim he only spent one season in the NHL but did get to play 82 games for the 2012-13 San Jose Sharks, scoring 6 goals and 13 points while collecting 235 pims. Originally Montreal property, he was traded to the Sharks prior to the 12-13 season in exchange for Jim Slater. After his one season in San Jose the Sharks let him become a free agent and signed with the Bruins organization. He would bounce around the minors for the next 7 seasons, playing 405 games while scoring 70 goals and 184 points with Providence, Charlotte and Grand Rapids before retiring in 2020. He never made it back to the NHL after his year with the Sharks.

RYAN VAN STRALEN

Because Van Starlen has not yet played any professional hockey he does not appear in the database for a historical game. He is with Carleton University right now so perhaps he is in the game when you play a modern game.



ALYN McCAULEY

The real life McCauley played 488 games for Toronto, San Jose and Los Angles and scored 69 goals and 166 points in his career, which was shortened by concussions.

Our sim version of McCauley had a little longer career, getting 604 games in with New Jersey, Calgary and Nashville. He scored 78 goals and 198 points in his career. McCauley never won a Cup but did reach the conference finals twice - once with Calgary in 2000 and five years later with Nashville. In all, McCauley had 1 goal and 6 points in 35 career playoff games.

In this universe he was never traded from the Devils to Toronto in the deal that brought Doug Gilmour and Dave Ellett to the Devils so his NHL career began in the Meadowlands after two seasons in Albany. He played 34 games, scoring 7 goals and 14 points for the 98-99 Devils as a 21 year old but he would be selected by Atlanta in the 1999 expansion draft. He never played for the Thrashers as he was flipped to Calgary and would play 67 games for the Flames in 99-00, scoring 13 goals and 30 points as he helped Calgary reach the conference finals that year.

It was a short stay in Alberta as he was selected in the expansion draft again, this time by Minnesota. Again he never played a game for the team that selected him in an expansion draft as he was dealt to Nashville a month after the draft for defenseman Mike Wilson. He found a home in Music City, playing 7 seasons for the Predators and enjoyed one more good playoff run when the Preds reached the conference finals in 2005. His career ended in 2009 after finishing with 2 seasons for the Milwaukee Admirals.
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Old Yesterday, 04:43 PM   #45
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Are you able to look at players from different countries.

Like the highest scoring player from Japan?

If so I would like to know the highest scoring players from.

Belarus
Austria
Latvia
Slovenia
Australia
Japan
China

Or any other non traditional hockey country lol
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Old Yesterday, 11:54 PM   #46
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Thanks for the WHA stuff. I'm still a little disappointed with how the game the cpu handles the league and talent.
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