Founded: The World Hockey Association became officially a league when co-founders Gary L. Davidson and Dennis A. Murphy signed the articles of Incorporation in a Delaware courthouse on June 10, 1971.
The World Hockey Association was formed in April of 1971, by Dennis A. Murphy
and Gary L. Davidson. This league would be the first major pro hockey league to rival the NHL in 55
years. The NHL Thought nothing of the new league till the Winnipeg Jets signed Bobby Hull to a million
dollar contract. The new league attacked the NHL rosters by paying players more
money then the older league. The WHA had a simple game plan. It was to establish teams far from NHL cities
and in the media centers like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
I will never understand how such an educated, experienced, and intelligent man as (NHL Commissioner) Clarence Campbell underestimated us (the WHA) so badly." -Gary Davidson
In the summer of 1971 the league was looking for owners and arenas to host teams. After several meetings
on the west coast and a few in Chicago the WHA announced in New York City at the Americana hotel that 10 teams
would be added. This news happened on Nov, 1 1971 and the 10 franchises were
Edmonton, Calgary, New York , Winnipeg, Chicago, St.Paul, Miami, Dayton(Ohio),
Los Angeles and San Fransisco. Later on that month on November 21st the WHA granted two more franchises,
one in the New England area (later settled in Boston) and the other
in Ontario, Canada (later settled in Ottawa).
With the WHA expanding into New York City the NHL knew they had to put a few new teams to counter the new
league.In 1972 the NHL added teams in Atlanta and Long Island. The WHA's New York franchise was upset at the
news because the new Nassau Coliseum would house the Long Island NHL franchise. The Atlanta franchise was added
to counter the WHA's addition of Miami.
With all this happening in New York City several teams moved before the inaugural season. The Calgary Broncos
moved to Cleveland, The Miami Screaming Eagles moved to Philadelphia, the San Francisco SeaHawks moved to Quebec and
the Dayton Aeros moved to Houston. After several early problems the WHA was ready to play with not this tim with a black puck
but with RED and BLUE ones.
The first WHA puck dropped on October 11,1972 at the Ottawa Civic Centre. Also, that night the first WHA goal was scored by Alberta's Rob Anderson.Hours later the Quebec Nordiques travelled south to play the Cleveland Crusaders. The Crusaders won 2-0!
The WHA had to gain creditbility and to do this they participated in several International events. Also to attract some attention
the WHA All-Stars played exhibition games versus Czech, Soviet and Scandanivan teams.
1st picture is Ron Plumb of the Cincinnati Stingers looking to the side for the puck with a Soviet to his side. The second is a picture Rich Leduc chasing a Soviet player.