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World Hockey Association (WHA) Awards

By Wikipedia

The World Hockey Association (WHA) was a professional ice hockey league that operated in North America from 1972 to 1979. Here is background information on each of the WHA awards and a listing of who won them.

AVCO World Trophy

The AVCO World Trophy was the championship trophy of the original World Hockey Association (1972-1979). The trophy's naming rights were sold to the former AVCO Corporation (a name originally derived from "Aviation Company"), a defense contractor who bought the rights to advertise their consumer finance division. The trophy was mocked in many circles and was never to develop anything approaching the significance and sentiment of its National Hockey League comparison, considering the age and prestige of the Stanley Cup.

The AVCO World Trophy.

The AVCO Trophy in fact may have been most famous, or perhaps infamous, in its absence. When the New England Whalers won the league's inaugural championship in 1973 the trophy had not yet been completed, and the Whalers were forced to "skate" their divisional championship trophy around the ice surface, much to the embarrassment of the WHA office.

The AVCO World Trophy was given yearly to the championship team of the World Hockey Association (WHA). The trophy was donated to the new league in 1972 along with approximately $500,000 by the AVCO Financial Services Corporation. Thus the WHA became the only major sports league to have its championship trophy bear the name of a private corporation. There actually exist three AVCO trophies. Besides the one that is on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame, the others reside in Nova Scotia (at the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in Halifax) and Winnipeg. The AVCO Trophy was retired after the WHA ceased operations in 1979. The Bobby Hull led Jets claimed the trophy on three occasions while Gordie Howe and the Aeros won it twice.

The cup was a trophy developed by Frank Bonnerkopf of Boise, Idaho. He won the contract for creating the trophy after he decorated the AVCO CEO's home.

AVCO World Trophy Winners
1972-73 New England Whalers
1973-74 Houston Aeros
1974-75 Houston Aeros
1975-76 Winnipeg Jets
1976-77 Quebec Nordiques
1977-78 Winnipeg Jets
1978-79 Winnipeg Jets

Gary Davidson Award/Gordie Howe Trophy (MVP Award)

The Gary L. Davidson Award was given to the most valuable player of the World Hockey Association regular season, from 1973 to 1975. It was named in honor of WHA co-founder Gary Davidson, but for the 1975-76 WHA season, it was renamed the Gordie Howe Trophy in honor of hockey great Gordie Howe.

Gary L. Davidson Award / Gordie Howe Trophy Winners
1979 Dave Dryden, Edmonton Oilers
1978 Marc Tardif, Quebec Nordiques
1977 Robbie Ftorek, Phoenix Roadrunners
1976 Marc Tardif, Quebec Nordiques
1975 Bobby Hull, Winnipeg Jets
1974 Gordie Howe, Houston Aeros
1973 Bobby Hull, Winnipeg Jets

Bill Hunter Trophy (Scoring Leader)

The Bill Hunter Trophy was presented to the World Hockey Association's scoring leader in the regular season. It was named in honor of Bill Hunter, who founded the Alberta Oilers hockey club (which later became the Edmonton Oilers).

Bill Hunter Trophy Winners
1979 Real Cloutier, Quebec Nordiques
1978 Marc Tardif, Quebec Nordiques
1977 Real Cloutier, Quebec Nordiques
1976 Marc Tardif, Quebec Nordiques
1975 Andre Lacroix, San Diego Mariners
1974 Mike Walton, Minnesota Fighting Saints
1973 Andre Lacroix, Philadelphia Blazers

Lou Kaplan Trophy (Rookie of the Year)

The Lou Kaplan Trophy was presented to the World Hockey Association's rookie of the year.

Lou Kaplan Trophy Winners
1979 Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers
1978 Kent Nilsson, Winnipeg Jets
1977 George Lyle, New England Whalers
1976 Mark Napier, Toronto Toros
1975 Anders Hedberg, Winnipeg Jets
1974 Mark Howe, Houston Aeros
1973 Terry Caffery, New England Whalers

Ben Hatskin Trophy (Goaltender Award)

The Ben Hatskin Trophy was presented annually to the World Hockey Association's best goaltender. It was named in honor of Ben Hatskin, who founded the Winnipeg Jets.

Ben Hatskin Trophy Winners
1979 Dave Dryden, Edmonton Oilers
1978 Al Smith, New England Whalers
1977 Ron Grahame, Houston Aeros
1976 Michel Dion, Indianapolis Racers
1975 Ron Grahame, Houston Aeros
1974 Don McLeod, Houston Aeros
1973 Gerry Cheevers, Cleveland Crusaders

Dennis A. Murphy Trophy (Defenseman Award)

The Dennis A. Murphy Trophy was presented annually to the World Hockey Association's best defenseman. It was named in honor of WHA co-founder Dennis Murphy.

Dennis Murphy Trophy Winners
1979 Rick Ley, New England Whalers
1978 Lars Sjoberg, Winnipeg Jets
1977 Ron Plumb, Cincinnati Stingers
1976 Paul Shmyr, Cleveland Crusaders
1975 J.C. Tremblay, Quebec Nordiques
1974 Pat Stapleton, Chicago Cougars
1973 J.C. Tremblay, Quebec Nordiques

Paul Deneau Trophy

The Paul Deneau Trophy was presented annually to the World Hockey Association's most gentlemanly player. It was named in honor of Paul Deneau, founder the Dayton Aeros hockey club.

Paul Deneau Trophy Winners
1979 Kent Nilsson, Winnipeg Jets
1978 Dave Keon, New England Whalers
1977 Dave Keon, New England Whalers
1976 Vaclav Nedomansky, Toronto Toros
1975 Mike Rogers, Edmonton Oilers
1974 Ralph Backstrom, Chicago Cougars
1973 Ted Hampson, Minnesota Fighting Saints

Howard Baldwin/Robert Schmertz Memorial Trophy

The Howard Baldwin Trophy was presented annually to the World Hockey Association's coach of the year. It was named in honor of New England Whalers co-founder Howard Baldwin. The trophy was renamed Robert Schmertz Memorial Trophy in the 1974-75 WHA season.

Howard Baldwin/Robert Schmertz Trophy Winners
1979 John Brophy, Birmingham Bulls
1978 Bill Dineen, Houston Aeros
1977 Bill Dineen, Houston Aeros
1976 Bobby Kromm, Winnipeg Jets
1975 Sandy Hucul, Phoenix Roadrunners
1974 Bill Harris, Toronto Toros
1973 Jack Kelley, New England Whalers

Playoff MVP Award

The Playoff MVP award for the World Hockey Association was handed out annually from 1975 to 1979 to the most valuable player of the WHA playoffs.

WHA Playoff MVP winners
1975 - Ron Grahame, Houston Aeros
1976 - Ulf Nilsson, Winnipeg Jets
1977 - Serge Bernier, Quebec Nordiques
1978 - Robert Guindon, Winnipeg Jets
1979 - Rich Preston, Winnipeg Jets

All WHA Selections

The following All-WHA selections are listed in order. The first year, a first team, second team, and third team were chosen. Gary Cheevers was the first team goalie, Bernie Parent was on the second team, and Al Smith made the third team. In subsequent years, only a first and second team were chosen.

1972-1973
Goalie Gary Cheevers, Cleveland
Bernie Parent, Philadelphia
Al Smith New England
Defenseman JC Trembley, Quebec
Jim Dorey New England
Rick Ley New England
Defenseman Paul Shmyr, Cleveland
Larry Hornung Winnipeg
Ted Green New England
Center Andre LaCroix, Philadelphia 
Ron Ward New York
Norm Beaudoin Winnipeg
Right Wing Danny Lawson, Philadelphia 
Tom Webster New England
Chris Bordeleau Winnipeg
Left Wing Bobby Hull, Winnipeg
Gary Jarrett Cleveland
Wayne Carleton Ottawa
1973-1974
Goalie Don McLeod, Houston
Gerry Cheevers Cleveland
Defenseman Pat Stapleton, Chicago
JC Tremblay Quebec
Defenseman Paul Shmyr, Cleveland
Al Hamilton Edmonton
Center Andre LaCroix, New York
Wayne Carleton Toronto
Right Wing Gordie Howe, Houston
Mike Walton Minnesota
Left Wing Bobby Hull, Winnipeg
Mark Howe Houston
1974-1975
Goalie Ron Grahame, Houston
Gerry Cheevers Cleveland
Defenseman JC Trembley, Quebec 
Barry Long Edmonton
Defenseman Kevin Morrison, San Diego
Paul Popiel Houston
Center Andre LaCroix, San Diego
Serge Bernier Quebec
Right Wing Gordie Howe, Houston
Anders Hedberg Winnipeg
Left Wing Bobby Hull, Winnipeg
Marc Tardif Michigan/Baltimore/Quebec
1975-1976
Goalie Joe Daley, Winnipeg
Ron Grahame Houston
Defenseman JC Trembley, Quebec
Kevin Morrison San Diego
Defenseman Paul Shmyr, Cleveland
Pat Stapleton Indianapolis
Center Ulf Nilsson, Winnipeg
Robbie Ftorek Phoenix
Right Wing Andres Hedberg, Winnipeg
Bobby Hull Winnipeg
Left Wing Marc Tardiff, Quebec 
Real Cloutier Quebec
1976-1977
Goalie John Garrett, Birmingham
Joe Daley Winnipeg
Defenseman Daryl Maggs, Indianapolis
Poul Popiel Houston
Defenseman Ron Plumb, Cincinnati
Mark Howe Houston
Center Robbie Ftorek, Phoenix
Ulf Nilsson Winnipeg
Right Wing Andres Hedberg, Winnipeg
Rick Dudley Cincinnati
Left Wing Marc Tardiff, Quebec 
Real Cloutier Quebec
1977-1978
Goalie Al Smith, New England
Ernie Wakely
Defenseman Lars-Erik Sjoberg, Winnipeg 
Rick Ley
Defenseman Al Hamilton, Edmonton
(Unknown)
Center Ulf Nilsson, Winnipeg
Robbie Ftorek
Right Wing Andres Hedberg, Winnipeg
Real Cloutier
Left Wing Marc Tardiff, Quebec 
Bobby Hull
1978-1979
Goalie Dave Dryden, Edmonton 
Richard Brodeur Quebec
Defenseman Rick Ley, New England
Dave Langevin Edmonton
Defenseman Rob Ramage, Birmingham
Paul Shmyr Edmonton
Center Robbie Ftorek, Cincinnati
Wayne Gretzky Edmonton
Right Wing Real Cloutier, Quebec 
Morris Lukowich Winnipeg
Left Wing Mark Howe, New England
BJ MacDonald Edmonton
 

 



WHA Bibliography
The Rebel League: The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association by Ed Willes
The Complete Historical and Statistical Reference to the World Hockey Association by Scott Adam Surgent
WHA Pro Hockey '75 - '76 by Dan Proudfoot
WHA Media Guides (each team published one each year)

These and many other WHA items can be found at eBay - check our links on the far right of this page!


Share Your Memories!

We have a WHA Forum! Our sites have always been by you and about you. If you check our TV Forums or our Technology & Science forums, you'll find literally thousands of messages from fans of 1970s TV shows, survivors of hurricanes or aircraft accidents, etc. from all over the world sharing their memories, asking questions, making comments. Our baseball section is new, but don't let that stop you from sharing your memories of WHA games you saw, now-forgotten stadiums, etc. Of course you can also ask questions, post trivia, or just read what others are saying.

--Patrick Mondout



 

MVP!

Dave Dryden won the WHA's final MVP award in 1979. Find more vintage Topps hockey cards at eBay (see links below).


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

With the exception of the Wikipedia article above, everything else is...


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