Thursday, February 16, 2006

Remains Of The WHA

In 1979, four teams entered the NHL from the soon to be defunct World Hockey Association (WHA): the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques and Hartford Whalers. Twenty-seven years later, only the Oilers still exist. The Jets, Nordiques and Whalers have all re-located and changed names. The Jets are the Phoenix Coyotes, the Nordiques are the Colorado Avalanche, and the Whalers are the Carolina Hurricanes.

I decided to do a little research on the three defunct WHA teams, in order to determine how many players who played on those teams are still playing in the NHL. I didn't look at the Oilers, obviously. Also included here are some other interesting facts about the teams and the players.

*DP Indicates that the WHA team drafted that player.

Quebec Nordiques

NHL Team: 1979-1995

Rink: Colisée de Québec

Mascot: Badaboum

Theme Song: None. There is a song by The Zamboni’s called “Bob Marley and the Hartford Whalers” that mentions the Nordiques, but that is as close as I could get.

Name Origin: Committee named them Nordiques (then in the WHA) because they were the northernmost team in pro hockey at 52 degrees North, 72 degrees West.

Quebec Nordiques Players Still Playing In The NHL
Joe Sakic (DP), Adam Foote (DP), Mats Sundin (DP), Peter Forsberg, Tommy Albelin (DP), Martin Gelinas, John Klemm (undrafted, but first team was Quebec), Aaron Miller, Mike Ricci, Martin Rucinsky , Garth Snow (DP), Jocelyn Thibault (DP), Scott Young, Owen Nolan (DP)

*Eric Lindros was the number one pick of the Nordiques in 1991, and is still playing in the NHL, but never played a game for the Quebec. He even refused to put on the Nords jersey at the draft. He was of course traded to Philadelphia for Peter Forsberg, Steve Duschene, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Philly’s first-round pick in 1993 and 1994, and $15 million in cash. The line is a bit complicated (see here), but the Nordiques/Avalanche ended up getting Forsberg, Patrick Roy, Alex Tanguay, and Rob Blake for Lindros.

Winnipeg Jets

NHL Team: 1979-1996

Rink: Winnipeg Arena

Mascot: Benny

Theme Song: None. There is a Quebec band named “Les Dales Hawerchuk” however, and they have a video for their song “Dale Hawerchuk.” The song is actually pretty fantastic.

Name Origin: Owner Ben Hatskin was friends with Sonny Werblin, then owner of the National Football League's New York Jets. Also rumoured to be tied to the acquisition of Bobby Hull, “The Golden Jet.”

Winnipeg Jets Players Still Playing In The NHL
Teemu Selanne (DP), Nikolai Khabibulin (DP), Keith Tkachuk (DP), Oleg Tverdovsky, Shane Doan (DP), Tie Domi, Dallas Drake, Kris Draper (DP), Chad Kilger, Teppo Numminen (DP), Alexie Zhamnov (DP)

Hartford Whalers

NHL Team: 1979-1997

Rink: Hartford Civic Center

Mascot: Pucky

Theme Song: Brass Bonanza. There is actually a whole site dedicated to the song, and it has even achieved its own Wikipedia entry.

Name Origin: (1) Massachusetts seaport towns connected to whaling; (2) the name had WHA in it( WHAlers)

Hartford Whalers Still Playing In The NHL
Chris Pronger (DP), Brendan Shannahan, Andrew Cassells, Glen Wesley, Geoff Sanderson (DP), Keith Primeau, Jeff O’Neill (DP), Sami Kapanen (DP), Marek Malik (DP), Nolan Pratt (DP), Sean Burke, J.S. Giguere (DP), Bobby Holik (DP), Michael Nylander (DP), Bryan Marchment, Eric Weinrich, Scott Young (DP)

How Many Active Players Have Played On More Than 1 WHA/NHL team?
Bryan Marchment (Winnipeg/Hartford)
Martin Gelinas (Edmonton/Quebec)
Martin Rucinsky (Edmonton/Quebec)
Chad Kilger (Winnipeg/Edmonton)

*Teemu Selanne (Winnipeg/Colorado) and Oleg Tverdovsky (Winnipeg/Carolina) have played on a WHA team and a team that was formerly a WHA team.

How Many Active Players Have Only Played For That WHA/NHL Franchise?
Joe Sakic (Quebec/Colorado), Shane Doan (Winnipeg/Phoenix)

Who Is The Only Active WHA Team Player To Play In A Roller Hockey League?
Garth Snow (Las Vegas Flash, 1993-94)

Who Many Times Have WHA Teams Met In The Stanley Cup Finals?

Which WHA Team Has The Most #1 Overall Draft Picks Still Playing In The NHL?
Quebec Nordiques (3): Sundin (89), Nolan (90), Lindros (91)

*** Only the Ottawa Senators (3) Have As Many #1 Overall Draft Picks Still Playing In The NHL: Alexandre Daigle (93), Brian Berard (95), Chris Phillips (96)

Who Was The Last Player To Play In Both The WHA And The NHL?
Mark Messier (Cincinnati Stingers, Edmonton Oilers)


At 7:47 PM, Blogger Nathan Muhly said...

Brass Bonanza is glorious, I think it ranks up there with some of the NFL Films stuff.


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