World Hockey Association Programs
By contemporary media accounts, the Calgary Cowboys and the Winnipeg Jets mostly coasted through this late season World Hockey Association meeting in April 1976. Both clubs were already confirmed as participants in the 1976 WHA playoffs, due to begin less than a week later. Nevertheless, the game drew a standing room only crowd to Calgary’s Stampede Corral.
The main drama was whether Bobby Hull of the Jets, the WHA’s main attraction and reigning MVP, would notch 50 goals in a season for the 9th time in his Hall of Fame career. But Calgary held the Golden Jet to only three shots on goal. Cowboys rookie netminder Ed Humphreys, getting a rare start, handled all three. (Hull would get four goals in the season’s final two games to finish with 53 for the 1975-76 season). The Cowboys beat the Jets 4-1 on this night, but the Jets went on to win the WHA’s 1976 AVCO Cup championship the following month.
So not much of a game, but I absolutely love this program cover. Titled “The 2 Best Left Wings in the World“, it pictures Hull in his Team Canada uniform, alongside Alexander Yakushev from the Soviet Union. The picture comes from the 1974 Summit Series between Canada and the USSR, when the two wingers were the tournament’s leading scorers. This was the second Summit Series between the hockey superpowers. The first Summit in 1972 saw Canada represented entirely represented by NHL players, while WHA players like Hull were banned from taking part. In 1974, the Canadian team was entirely composed of WHA players highlighted by Hull and Gordie Howe. The Soviets won the eight-game 1974 series 4-1-3.