1972–73 Winnipeg Jets season

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1972–73 Winnipeg Jets (1972–96)
Western Division champions
Division 1st Western
League 2nd WHA
1972–73 record 43–31–4
Home record 26–11–2
Road record 17–20–2
Goals for 285
Goals against 249
Team information
General Manager Annis Stukus
Coach Bobby Hull
Captain Ab McDonald
Arena Winnipeg Arena
Team leaders
Goals Bobby Hull (51)
Assists Norm Beaudin (65)
Points Bobby Hull (103)
Norm Beaudin (103)
Penalties in minutes Steve Cuddie (121)
Wins Ernie Wakely (26)
Goals against average Joe Daley (2.89)

The 1972–73 Winnipeg Jets season was their first season in the World Hockey Association (WHA). The Jets' first player signed was Norm Beaudin ("the Original Jet") and their first major signing was Bobby Hull.

Offseason[edit]

Bobby Hull[edit]

Long unhappy because of his relatively poor salary in the period when he was hockey's preeminent superstar, Hull responded to overtures from the upstart World Hockey Association's Winnipeg Jets in 1972 by jesting that he'd jump to them for a million dollars, a sum then considered absurd. Gathering the other league owners together to contribute to the unprecedented amount on the grounds that inking such a major star would give instant credibility to the new rival league that was competing directly against the entrenched NHL, Jets' owner Ben Hatskin agreed to the sum and signed Hull for a contract worth $1,000,000 over ten years. Although his debut with Winnipeg was held up in litigation by the NHL, Hull instantly became the WHA's greatest star.

Regular season[edit]

When the Jets played their first game on October 12 in New York against the Raiders, the Jets were without Bobby Hull. He was in court battling his former team, the Chicago Black Hawks over his new contract. The Jets would still win that first game 6–4. Three days later, the Jets would make their home debut losing to the Alberta Oilers 5–2. Bobby Hull won his court battle and joined the Jets 15 games into the season. Bobby Hull captured the WHA's first MVP award, by scoring 51 goals. The Jets won the Western Division with a 43–31–4 record.

Season standings[edit]

Western Division
GP W L T GF GA PIM Pts
Winnipeg Jets 78 43 31 4 285 249 757 90
Houston Aeros 78 39 35 4 284 269 1363 82
Los Angeles Sharks 78 37 35 6 259 250 1477 80
Minnesota Fighting Saints 78 38 37 3 250 269 843 79
Alberta Oilers 78 38 37 3 269 256 1134 79
Chicago Cougars 78 26 50 2 245 295 811 54


Playoffs[edit]

In the playoffs, the Jets would beat the Minnesota Fighting Saints in 5 games. In the second round of the playoffs, the Jets beat the Houston Aeros in 4 straight to reach the Avco World Trophy finals. In the finals, the Jets were beaten by the New England Whalers in 5 games.

Winnipeg Jets 4, Minnesota Fighting Saints 1[edit]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 6 Minnesota Fighting Saints 1–3 Winnipeg Jets 1–0
2 April 8 Minnesota Fighting Saints 2–5 Winnipeg Jets 2–0
3 April 10 Winnipeg Jets 4–6 Minnesota Fighting Saints 2–1
4 April 11 Winnipeg Jets 3–2 OT Minnesota Fighting Saints 3–1
5 April 15 Minnesota Fighting Saints 5–8 Winnipeg Jets 4–1

Winnipeg Jets 4, Houston Aeros 0[edit]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 20 Houston Aeros 1–5 Winnipeg Jets 1–0
2 April 22 Houston Aeros 0–2 Winnipeg Jets 2–0
3 April 24 Winnipeg Jets 4–2 Houston Aeros 3–0
4 April 26 Winnipeg Jets 3–0 Houston Aeros 4–0

New England Whalers 4, Winnipeg Jets 1 – Avco Cup Finals[edit]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 29 Winnipeg Jets 2–7 New England Whalers 0–1
2 May 2 New England Whalers 7–4 Winnipeg Jets 0–2
3 May 3 New England Whalers 3–4 Winnipeg Jets 1–2
4 May 5 Winnipeg Jets 2–4 New England Whalers 1–3
5 May 6 Winnipeg Jets 6–9 New England Whalers 1–4

Awards and records[edit]

Player statistics[edit]

Forwards[edit]

Note: GP= Games played; G= Goals; A= Assists; PTS = Points; PIM = Points

Player GP G A PTS PIM
Bobby Hull 63 51 52 103 37
Norm Beaudin 78 38 65 103 15
Chris Bordeleau 78 47 54 101 12
Dan Johnson 76 19 23 42 17
Ab McDonald 77 17 24 41 16
Milt Black 75 18 16 34 14
Wally Boyer 69 6 28 34 27
Dunc Rousseau 75 16 17 33 75
Cal Swenson 77 7 21 28 19
Jean Guy Gratton 71 15 12 27 37
Bill Sutherland 48 6 16 22 34
Garth Rizzuto 61 10 10 20 32
Freeman Asmundson 76 2 14 16 54
Brian Cadle 56 4 4 8 39

Defencemen[edit]

Note: GP= Games played; G= Goals; A= Assists; PTS = Points; PIM = Points

Player GP G A PTS PIM
Larry Hornung 77 13 45 58 28
Joe Zanussi 73 4 21 25 53
Steve Cuddie 77 7 13 20 121
Bob Ash 76 3 14 17 39
Bob Woytowich 62 2 4 6 47

Goaltending[edit]

Note: GP= Games played; MIN= Minutes; W= Wins; L= Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals Against

Player GP MIN W L T SO GAA
Joe Daley 29 1718 17 10 1 2 2.89
Ernie Wakely 49 2894 26 19 3 2 3.15
Gordon Tumilson 3 138 0 2 0 0 4.34

References[edit]