WHA - Challenge for the Stanley Cup?
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08-29-2013, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Originally Posted by
Jets founder Ben Hatskin did have conversations with Clarence Campbell about receiving an expansion team back in 1970. The 7.2M price tag along with the requirement of a 16,000 arena made that impossible at the time.
The WHA/NHL in terms of quality players has been debated endlessly. Shortly after the Jets became the first club team to defeat the Soviet Red Army (a team mostly comprised of the same players who tied the Canadiens back on Dec.31, 1975), the Jets issued a challenge to the then Stanley Cup champion Habs.
Montreal declined and war of words ensued. This may have led to the nay vote by the Canadiens owner when the WHA first hoped at merging with the big show. A boycott of Molson products across Manitoba ensued and next merger vote was a success.
Could the Jets have competed with the dynasty Habs of the 70's? Offensively, the teams were fairly even with the Hull - Hedberg - Nilsson line one of best to ever play the game. Defense and goaltending would have been the Jets downfall. Robinson, Savard etc. were vastly superior to anyone the Jets had at the time.
Over a 7 game series....... Habs in 5.
Sorry to say, New England Whalers on December 27, 1976 became the first club team to defeat the Soviet Nationals, whipping them 5-2. A week or so later the Nordiques bombed them 6-1 and became the only North American pro team to drive Tretiak out of a game.
The following year in January 1978 Winnipeg beat the Soviet Nationals 5-3.
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