WHA have you gone?

As previously mentioned the new local card show was decent and some good deals where had. I have a particular weakness for WHA cards as that long lamented league gave us some unique teams, uniforms and players.

Here are 6 I picked up in the dollar box.

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take particular note of the teams.

Stingers
Cowboys
Crusaders
Aeros
Saints
Oilers

Well clearly the Oilers stand out as one of the teams that merged into the NHL and brought Wayne Gretzky along with them. In the WHA they started out as the Alberta Oilers though.

The others? If you didn’t go see them in your home town then you would not likely see them, they didn’t last long.

In the beginning of the WHA there were to be twelve teams from cities without NHL teams or big enough (in theory) to support a 2nd team.

Including:

Miami Screaming Eagles.
Los Angeles Aces
Chicago Cougars
New York Raiders

Before the league started there were moves, name changes and foldings.

Of the teams shown above..

Cincinnati Stingers – lasted 4 years 1975-1979

Calgary Cowboys – started as the Miami Screaming eagles but never made it to the ice for a single game, transferring to Philadelphia for 1 season as the Blazers, then Vancouver (still as the Blazer) for 2 seasons and then to Calgary as the Cowboys for 1977-1979

Cleveland Crusaders – started as the Calgary Broncos, but like Miami never made it to the ice transferring to Cleveland for 4 seasons 1972-1976 before merging with the Minnesota Fighting Saints

Houston Aeros – Started as the Dayton Arrows who also never played before moving to be the Houston Aeros. I like how they kept, but modified the name to reflect the Houston Aerospace industry.

Minnesota Fighting Saints – lasted from 1972 -1976 and absorbed the remains of the Cleveland franchise before folding.

Edmonton Oilers stared as the Alberta Oilers for the first year and lasted all the way through to the merge with the NHL with only a name change.

I was old enough to see the last couple of seasons of the WHA and remember the merge and how cool it was to get 4 new teams. Anyone else remember those days or collect WHA?

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6 comments
  1. 1967ers said:

    I remember the Cowboys (’75-77) existing, but couldn’t have told you anything about them at the time. A number of people in our neighbourhood had the team logo plastered to their windows and you’d see it about town. Once they left, though, it wasn’t until the Flames came that I paid any serious attention to hockey.

    I love the old WHA sets. That ’75-76 set is the worst to complete (unless you want to get into the sticker inserts from ’72-73 OPC). It seems to have been a smaller print run and the cuts are terrible.

    • It’s a tough set for sure, but fun to track down and you have to grab what you see when you see it.
      These were in good condition and cheap..buried in a dollar box of basketball cards.

  2. I remember the Toros, er Nationals, er Bulls er what were they called–I believe they were on Global TV with Mike Anscombe calling the play be play–I was quoted in the November 2012 Hockey Beckett on collecting WHA cards–nobody at the time really wanted them but the oddball that I am, oddball collector that is, I bought complete sets for peanuts–then a few months ago, my son-in-law gave me a whack of well loved 74/75’s—also have most of the 72/73 insert stickers–those were the days

    • Do you remember the Blue Pucks? My brother used to walk me to the only store around that had WHA cards..every where else was NHL. I felt like a rebel. But no one at school wanted to trade.

  3. I grew up on Long Island, and for one or two seasons there was a Chicago Cougars farm team called the Long Island Cougars. That was as close as I came to the WHA while it existed, but I like WHA cards. I’ve got the entire first set, and scattered cards from other years… but I don’t have any from 75/76. Nice pickup, I’d certainly grab those for a dollar.

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