New England Whalers
1972/73: Led by former Boston University Coach Jack Kelley, and playing in the historic Boston Garden, the New England Whalers hit the ice for the first time playing in the upstart World Hockey Association, on October 12th. They would rally from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Philadelphia Blazers 4-3. While other WHA teams spent their money on NHL stars the Whalers decided to go after solid steadier players, and it paid off as they would go on to finish with a league best 46-30-2 record. In the playoffs the Whalers would make quick work of the Ottawa Nationals advancing to the semifinals in five games. In the semifinals the Whalers would dominate again as they beat the Cleveland Crusaders in five games to advance to the very first AVCO Cup Finals. In the finals the Whalers would shut down the highflying Winnipeg Jets in five games to emerge as the first champions of the WHA.
1973/74: The Whalers repeat as Eastern Division Champions finishing with a solid 43-31-4 record. However, come playoff time the Whalers would need to find a new home after being pushed out of the crowded Boston Garden. The Whalers would play their playoff games in the Eastern States Coliseum in West Springfield, MA. While getting used to their new surroundings the Whalers would fall in a hard fought seven game series to the Chicago Cougars.
1974/75: After starting the season in West Springfield the Whalers move again in January picking the Hartford Civic Center as their permanent home. Despite relocating again the Whalers would win their third straight Division title with a 43-30-5 record. However, in the playoffs the Whalers would make a quick exit losing to the Minnesota Fighting Saints in six games.
1975/76: Despite struggling to a 33-40-7 record the Whalers make the playoffs by finishing in third place. In the playoffs the Whalers would stun the Cleveland Crusaders sweeping them in three straight games. In the second round the Whalers would outlast the Indianapolis Racers in a hard fought seven game series to reach the semifinals. However, in the semifinals the Whalers would fall in seven games themselves to the Houston Aeros.
1976/77: The Whalers struggle in the regular season again posting a 35-40-6 record, finishing in 4th place. In the playoffs the Whalers would be capsized quickly by the Quebec Nordiques in 5 games. Following the season the Whalers would sign the entire Howe family, Mark, Marty and their legendary father Gordie to long-term contracts.
1977/78: With the addition of the Howes the Whalers got off to a fast start, winning 15 of their first 17 games. However, the Whalers would be forced to find a new home in January when the roof of the Hartford Civic Center caved in after a heavy snowstorm. Finishing the season in the Springfield Civic Center the Whalers would finish in second place with a 44-31-5 record. In the playoffs the Whalers would knock off the Edmonton Oilers in five games, to reach the semifinals. In the semis the Whalers would quickly beat the Quebec Nordiques in five games. However, in the AVCO Cup finals the Whalers would be swept in four straight games by the Winnipeg Jets.
1978/79: With work continuing on the renovation of the Hartford Civic Center the Whalers continue to play in Springfield, as word beings to circulate that the WHA will fold following the season, as an increasing number of teams cease operations. The Whalers would go on to finish in fourth place with a record of 37-34-9. In the playoffs the Whalers would beat the Cincinnati Stingers in a three game series before falling to the Edmonton Oilers in seven games. Following the season the WHA would fold, but the Whalers, along with the Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, and Winnipeg Jets would be invited to join the NHL. Leading the way for the Whalers jump to the NHL was owner Howard Baldwin who was also the President of the WHA.
©MMXIII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the World Hockey Association. This site is not affiliated with the New England Whalers or the WHA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on August 13, 2013. Last updated on August 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm ET.