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1972-1973 Ottawa Nationals


1972-73 Ottawa NationalsWorld Hockey Association (1972-1973)

Born: 1972 – WHA founding franchise.
Died: 1973 – The Nationals relocate to Toronto, Ontario.


Team Colors:

Owners: Nick Trbovich & Doug Michel


The Ottawa Nationals were a short-lived original franchise in the defunct World Hockey Association (1972-1979).  Originally the WHA and team founder Doug Michel hoped to place the club in either Toronto or Hamilton, but the Nationals struggled to line up an arena in those cities and ultimately ended up at the Ottawa Civic Centre.

Wayne Carleton Ottawa NationalsWhile upstart franchises in Winnipeg, Philadelphia and elsewhere made headlines luring big-name players away from the NHL, the cash-poor Nationals were unable to lure big names to Ottawa.  Nevertheless, the club was competitive under Head Coach Billy Harris, finishing with a 35-39-4 record and a 1973 playoff date with the New England Whalers.  Ex-NHL journeyman Wayne Carleton was the Nats’ leading scorer with 42 goals and 49 assists.

The team was poorly supported in Ottawa and chose to move its home playoff games to Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.  The Whalers eliminated the Nationals 4 games to 1.

In May 1973,  John Bassett Jr., the son of former Toronto Maple Leafs owner John Bassett, Sr., purchased the Nationals.  Bassett was considerably wealthier than the club’s previous owners.  He moved the franchise to Varsity Arena in Toronto and re-named the team the Toronto Toros prior to the 1973-74 season.


==Ottawa Nationals Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
11/2/1972  vs. Los Angeles Sharks T 1-1 Program
11/20/1972 @ New England Whalers L 7-5 Program
12/4/1972 @ New England Whalers L 7-2 Program
1/9/1973 vs. Quebec Nordiques W 7-5 Program
2/2/1973 @ Chicago Cougars L 4-1 Program



World Hockey Association Media Guides

World Hockey Association Programs


Written by andycrossley

August 18th, 2014 at 2:51 am

November 15, 1977 – Indianapolis Racers vs. New England Whalers

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Rick Ley New England WhalersIndianapolis Racers vs. New England Whalers
November 15, 1977
Market Square Arena
Attendance: ?

World Hockey Association Programs


All eyes were on 49-year old Gordie Howe on this Tuesday evening in Indianapolis in November 1977.  Three network film crews were in the house at Market Square Arena, hoping to record the New England Whalers star as he scored his 1,000th professional goal.  Instead the legend got himself tossed out of the game.

Howe managed to get off a couple of shots in the first period, but they were turned away by Indianapolis Racers goalie Gary Inness.  While the Racers bottled up Howe, Mike Antonovich picked up the slack for New England, scoring a hat trick to pace a 6-4 Whalers victory.

With 10 minutes remaining in the game, Howe picked up a two-minute minor for tripping.  Howe flicked the puck in disgust, inadvertently (?) dinging referee Ron Ego.  In a move reminiscent of Billy Crystal ejecting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from his farewell game (Forget Paris, anyone? No?), Ego promptly slapped the legend with a game misconduct penalty.

Ultimately it would take Gordie Howe 11 more games to get his 1,000th goal.  The historic tally finally game on December 6th, 1977 against the Birmingham Bulls.  To this day, Howe remains the only player with 1,000 pro goals.

All things considered, it would have been a nice gesture for the Racers to put Gordie Howe on the cover of the evening’s game program (above right), but that’s Whalers captain Rick Ley pictured instead.



Written by andycrossley

August 18th, 2014 at 1:08 am

October 30, 1974 – New England Whalers vs. Toronto Toros

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Frank Mahovlich Toronto TorosNew England Whalers vs. Toronto Toros
October 30, 1974
Eastern States Coliseum
Attendance: 3,602

World Hockey Association Programs


That’s future Hall-of-Famer Frank Mahovlich pictured on the cover of this October 1974 New England Whalers program from the World Hockey Association.  After engraving his name on six Stanley Cups over 18 NHL seasons, the 36-year old Mahovlich jumped to the rival WHA prior to its third season of play in June 1974, inking a four-year deal with the Toronto Toros franchise.

The Toros came in to Springfield, Massachusetts on this night as the hottest team in the WHA.  The team was 6-0 on the 1974-75 season and had a 12-game regular season win streak snaking back to the end of the 1973-74 campaign.  The host Whalers, meanwhile, were killing time in West Springfield in late 1974, waiting on the January 1975 grand opening of their permanent home at the new Hartford Civic Center.

Mahovlich didn’t factor in the scoring sheet on this night.  The game was tied 2-2 early in the third, but the Whalers broke it open with late goals from Tom Webster, Thommy Abrahamsson and Mike Byers.  New England’s 5-2 victory snapped the Toros win streak at twelve.

Mahovlich played the final four years of his career in the WHA, adding 89 goals to his 533 NHL tallies.  He retired in 1978 and was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981.



Toronto Toros Home Page


Written by andycrossley

August 17th, 2014 at 1:51 am

October 28, 1972 – New England Whalers vs. Alberta Oilers

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Kevin Ahearn New England WhalersNew England Whalers vs. Alberta Oilers
October 28, 1972
Boston Arena
Attendance: ?

World Hockey Association Programs


Early game program from the first season of the World Hockey Association.  This October 28th, 1972 game was the 9th game in franchise history for both the New England Whalers (today the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL) and the visiting Alberta Oilers (today’s Edmonton Oilers).

It was also first Whalers game played at the 6,000-seat Boston Arena.  Out of necessity, the Whalers had to split their 1972-73 schedule between the 15,000-seat Boston Garden (where they had a contentious relationship with the NHL’s Bruins) and smaller, 62-year old bandbox on St. Botolph Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.  The Whalers pumped $200,000 into Boston Arena in 1972 to try to bring it up to a professional standard, but ultimately they would leave the building behind after their first season in the WHA.

That’s Milton, Mass. native and Boston College alum Kevin Ahearn pictured on the cover of the evening’s Harpoon Magazine game program.  Ahearn played on the 1972 U.S. Olympic Hockey team in Sapporo, Japan, but his pro career was a short one.  After appearing in 78 games for the Whalers and scoring 20 goals during the 1972-73 season, Ahearn spent the next two winters in the minors and was out of hockey by the age of 26 in 1975.

The Oilers won on this night 4-1 on the strength of 43 saves by Alberta goalie Jack Norris.



Written by andycrossley

July 30th, 2014 at 3:27 pm

1967-1979 Phoenix Roadrunners

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Sandy HuculWestern Hockey League (1967-1974)
World Hockey Association (1974-1977)
Central Hockey League (1977)
Pacific Hockey League (1977-1979)

Born: May 16, 1967 – The Victoria Maple Leafs relocate to Phoenix, AZ.
Died: June 22, 1979 – The Roadrunners cease operations.

Arena: Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Team Colors:





==Phoenix Roadrunners Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1967-68 1/16 1968 vs. Seattle Totems ?? Program
1969-70 11/7/1969 @ Salt Lake Golden Eagles T 3-3 Program
1969-70 2/14/1970 @ Seattle Totems ?? Program
1970-71 10/30/1970 @ Seattle Totems ?? Program
1970-71 11/20/1970 @ Seattle Totems ?? Program
1970-71 2/25/1971 @ Seattle Totems ?? Program
1972-73 3/17/1973 @ Portland Buckaroos ?? Program
1973-74 2/27/1974 @ Portland Buckaroos ?? Program
1974-75 10/16/1974 vs. San Diego Mariners ?? Program
1974-75 10/28/1974 @ Toronto Toros ?? Program
1974-75 10/30/1974 @ Winnipeg Jets ?? Program
1974-75 11/2/1974 @ Houston Aeros ?? Program
1974-75 12/4/1974 vs. San Diego Mariners ?? Program
1974-75 12/28/1974 vs. Cleveland Crusaders W 3-2 (OT) Program
1974-75 3/22/1975 vs. Vancouver Blazers ?? Program
1974-75 3/23/1975 vs. Indianapolis Racers ?? Program
1975-76 10/26/1975 @ Edmonton Oilers ?? Program
1975-76 1/2/1976 @ Toronto Toros ?? Program
1976-77 10/26/1976 @ Quebec Nordiques Program
1976-77 1/12/1977 vs. Houston Aeros ?? Program
1976-77 2/19/1977 @ Indianapolis Racers ?? Program
1977-78 12/7/1977 vs. Fort Worth Texans ?? Program
1977-78 12/9/1977 vs. Fort Worth Texans ?? Program
1978-79 12/15/1978 vs. Los Angeles Blades ?? Program
1978-79 1/10/1979 vs. San Diego Hawks ?? Program
1978-79 1/12/1979 vs. San Diego Hawks ?? Program
1978-79 1/18/1979 vs. Spokane Flyers ?? Program
1978-79 1/19/1979 vs. Spokane Flyers ?? Program
1978-79 1/25/1979 vs. Tucson Rustlers ?? Program
1978-79 1/27/1979 vs. Tucson Rustlers ?? Program
1978-79  2/1/1979 vs. Tucson Rustlers ?? Program
1978-79 1/30/1979 vs. Cincinnati Stingers (WHA) W 5-3 Program
1978-79 2/3/1979 vs. Cincinnati Stingers (WHA) ?? Program
1978-79 2/14/1979 vs. San Diego Hawks ?? Program
1978-79 2/16/1979 vs. San Diego Hawks ?? Program
1978-79 3/1/1979 vs. Tucson Rustlers ?? Program
1978-79 3/3/1979 vs. Spokane Flyers ?? Program
1978-79 3/7/1979 vs. San Diego Hawks ?? Program
1978-79 3/9/1979 vs. Tucson Rustlers ?? Program
1978-79 3/22/1979 vs. Spokane Flyers ?? Program
1978-79 3/24/1979 vs. Tucson Rustlers ?? Program
1978-79 3/29/1979 vs. San Diego Hawks ?? Program
1978-79 3/31/1979 vs. Spokane Flyers ?? Program


==Key Players==



Pacific Hockey League Programs