1972/73: Originally slated to play as the Sharks in San Francisco the WHA decides to sell the franchise to a group of Quebec City investors led by Paul Racine for $215,000, after the necessary financing never came through in San Francisco. Choosing the name Nordiques, since they were one of the Northern most franchise in hockey, the team lured J.C. Tremblay away from the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. Coached by Habs legend Maurice “The Rocket” Richard the Nordiques played their first game on October 11th losing to the Cleveland Crusaders 3-2. After that first game Richard decided coaching was not for him, and he stepped down. However, the other Canadiens import J.C. Tremblay was rousing success as he led the upstart league in assists with 75. However, with a 33-40-5 record the Nords would fall three points shy of the playoffs in fifth place in the Eastern Division.
1973/74: The Nordiques picked up WHA stars Serge Bernier and Rejean Houle and improved to post a 38-36-4 record. However, in the competitive Eastern Division it would only land them in fifth place, as they missed the playoffs again by one point.
1974/75: Les Nordiques continued to get stronger as they acquired Real Cloutier and Marc Tardif. The new additions had an immediate impact as the Nordiques made their first playoff appearance while winning the Canadian Division with a 46-32-0 record, as Serge Bernier scored a team high 54 goals. In the playoffs the Nordiques would make quick work of the Phoenix Roadrunners tossing them off the cliff in five games. In the semifinals the Nords would beat the Minnesota Fighting Saints in six games to reach the WHA Finals. However, the Nordiques would be swept by the Houston Aeros led by Gordie Howe and his two sons in four straight games.
1975/76: Coming off their AVCO Cup finals appearance the Nordiques remained one of the top teams in the WHA as they finished second in the Canadian Division with a solid 50-27-4 record, as Marc Tardif captured the league’s scoring title and MVP. However, after a first round bye the Nordiques would be stunned by the Calgary Cowboys in five games after Tardif was lost for the series after a violent hit by the Cowboys Rick Jodzio.
1976/77: The Nordiques continued to be one of the WHA’s premier teams as they won the Eastern Division with a solid 47-31-3 record as Real Cloutier captured the league’s scoring title with 66 goals. In the playoffs the Nordiques would nee just five games to sink the New England Whalers and five more to knock the Indianapolis Racers off track on the way to their 2nd Finals appearance in three years. Facing the Winnipeg Jets for the AVCO Cup the series would go back and forth before the Nords emerged victorious in seven games, as Serge Bernier earned Playoff MVP honors.
1977/78: The WHA began to show signs of crumbling as the Nordiques posted a 40-37-3 record off their first Championship, finishing in fourth place as Marc Tardif won his second MVP and scoring title in three years. In the playoffs the Nords would skate past the Houston Aeros in six games before having their Championship reign ended in five games by the New England Whalers in the semifinals.
1978/79: With the future of the WHA in doubt Nordiques owner Marcel Aubut began lobbying the NHL to admit his franchise and absorb all the WHA franchise as part of a merger. The NHL would reject an all out merger but did agree to admit four of the stronger WHA teams (New England Whalers, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers and the Quebec Nordiques) into the NHL despite initially objections by the Montreal Canadiens who did not want the Nordiques infringing on their territory. In the final WHA season the Nords would finish in second place with a 41-34-5 record as Real Cloutier won the league’s final scoring title. However, in the playoffs the Nords would be swept in four straight games by the Winnipeg Jets who went on to win the final AVCO cup. In one last good bye J.C. Tremblay the star attraction for the original Nordiques retired with a big ceremony in the summer, compete with having his number 3 raised to the rafters of Le Colisee de Quebec.
©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 Quebec Nordiques 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 18, 2013. Last updated on August 18, 2013 at 2:50 am ET.