1976–77 WHA season

The 1976–77 WHA season was the fifth season of the World Hockey Association (WHA). Prior to the season, the Toronto Toros moved to Birmingham, Alabama and became the Birmingham Bulls. The Cleveland Crusaders attempted to move to South Florida, but instead became the short-lived second incarnation of the Minnesota Fighting Saints and folded after playing 42 games. With the death of the Saints, the WHA officially left the last market it had been sharing with the NHL. The remaining 11 teams finished the season, playing 80 or 81 games.

1976–77 WHA season
LeagueWorld Hockey Association
SportIce hockey
Regular season
Top scorerReal Cloutier (Quebec)
Avco World Trophy
ChampionsQuebec Nordiques
  Runners-upWinnipeg Jets
WHA seasons

With the reduction of teams before the start of the season, the league returned to a two-division setup, eliminating the Canadian Division.

The Avco World Trophy winners were the Quebec Nordiques, defeating the Winnipeg Jets four games to three; it was the only WHA final series that went the full seven games.

Regular season standingsEdit

Eastern Division
GP W L T GF GA PTS
Quebec Nordiques 81 47 31 3 353 295 97
Cincinnati Stingers 81 39 37 5 354 303 83
Indianapolis Racers 81 36 37 8 276 305 80
New England Whalers 81 35 40 6 275 290 76
Birmingham Bulls 81 31 46 4 289 309 66
Minnesota Fighting Saints 42 19 18 5 136 129 43
Western Division
GP W L T GF GA PTS
Houston Aeros 80 50 24 6 320 241 106
Winnipeg Jets 80 46 32 2 366 291 94
San Diego Mariners 81 40 37 4 284 283 85
Edmonton Oilers 81 34 43 4 243 304 72
Calgary Cowboys 81 31 43 7 252 296 69
Phoenix Roadrunners 80 28 48 4 281 383 60

Player statsEdit

Scoring leadersEdit

Bolded numbers indicate season leaders

GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Real Cloutier Quebec Nordiques 76 66 75 141 39
Anders Hedberg Winnipeg Jets 68 70 61 131 48
Ulf Nilsson Winnipeg Jets 71 39 85 124 89
Robbie Ftorek Phoenix Roadrunners 80 46 71 117 86
Andre Lacroix San Diego Mariners 81 32 82 114 79
Marc Tardif Quebec Nordiques 62 49 60 109 65
Rich Leduc Cincinnati Stingers 81 52 55 107 75
Chris Bordeleau Quebec Nordiques 72 32 75 107 34
Blaine Stoughton Cincinnati Stingers 81 52 52 104 39
Mark Napier Birmingham Bulls 80 60 36 96 24
Dennis Sobchuk Cincinnati Stingers 81 44 52 96 38
Serge Bernier Quebec Nordiques 74 43 53 96 94

Leading goaltendersEdit

Bolded numbers indicate season leaders

GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties, GA = Goals against; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average

Player Team GP Min W L T GA SO SV% GAA
Ron Grahame Houston Aeros 39 2345 27 10 2 107 4 90.1 2.74
Ernie Wakely San Diego Mariners 46 2506 22 18 1 129 3 89.6 3.09
Cap Raeder New England Whalers 26 1328 12 10 1 69 2 90.2 3.12
Wayne Rutledge Houston Aeros 42 2512 23 14 4 132 3 89.8 3.15
Joe Daley Winnipeg Jets 65 3813 39 21 2 206 3 89.2 3.24

Avco World Trophy PlayoffsEdit

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
         
E1 Quebec Nordiques 4
E4 New England Whalers 1
E1 Quebec Nordiques 4
Eastern Division
E3 Indianapolis Racers 1
E2 Cincinnati Stingers 0
E3 Indianapolis Racers 4
E1 Quebec Nordiques 4
W2 Winnipeg Jets 3
W1 Houston Aeros 4
W4 Edmonton Oilers 1
W1 Houston Aeros 2
Western Division
W2 Winnipeg Jets 4
W2 Winnipeg Jets 4
W3 San Diego Mariners 3

WHA awardsEdit

TrophiesEdit

Avco World Trophy: Quebec Nordiques
Gordie Howe Trophy: Robbie Ftorek, Phoenix Roadrunners
Bill Hunter Trophy: Real Cloutier, Quebec Nordiques
Lou Kaplan Trophy: George Lyle, New England Whalers
Ben Hatskin Trophy: Ron Grahame, Houston Aeros
Dennis A. Murphy Trophy: Ron Plumb, Cincinnati Stingers
Paul Deneau Trophy: Dave Keon, New England Whalers
Howard Baldwin Trophy: Bill Dineen, Houston Aeros
WHA Playoff MVP: Serge Bernier, Quebec Nordiques

All-Star TeamEdit

Position First Team Second Team
Centre Robbie Ftorek, Phoenix Ulf Nilsson, Winnipeg
Right Wing Anders Hedberg, Winnipeg Real Cloutier, Quebec
Left Wing Marc Tardif, Quebec Rick Dudley, Cincinnati
Defence Darryl Maggs, Indianapolis Poul Popiel, Houston
Defence Ron Plumb, Cincinnati Mark Howe, Houston
Goaltender John Garrett, Birmingham Joe Daley, Winnipeg

ReferencesEdit