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WHA Teams: Houston Aeros

By Wikipedia

The Houston Aeros were a professional ice hockey team in the short-lived World Hockey Association (WHA) from 1972 to 1978.

At a glance...
Franchise Facts
Established 1971
Disbanded July 6, 1978
Located Houston, Texas
Purchase Price $25,000 (1971)
Owner(s) Paul Deneau
Irvin Kaplan
Ken Schnitzer
WHA Postseason/Titles
Western Division Champions 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
AVCO Cup Champions 1974 and 1975
Dayton Aeros (1972)
Houston Aeros (1972-1978)
Sam Houston Coliseum (9,300) 1972-75
The Summit (14,906) 1975-78

Dayton was one of the original ten franchises for the World Hockey Association, but was doomed from the beginning because a lack of a proper arena and little interest from the local residents. Due to these problems, owner Paul Deneau moved the team to Houston, Texas on March 30, 1972. In Houston, the team would become one of the most successful franchises in the World Hockey Association.

The Aeros were the Western Division Champions from 1973-74 to 1976-77 seasons, as well as finishing second in the Western Division in 1972-73 and third in the league in 1977-78. They won the AVCO World Trophy in 1974 over the Chicago Cougars and in 1975 over the Quebec Nordiques, winning both series in a four-game sweep; and lost in the 1976 AVCO finals to the Winnipeg Jets, also in a sweep.

In 1977, there were discussions of a possible merger with six clubs from the World Hockey Association joining the National Hockey League and Houston, along with Cincinnati, Winnipeg, New England, Quebec, and Edmonton applied for entry. After a lengthy debate, the NHL voted it down. The team was not accepted when the World Hockey Association tried to merge again with the National Hockey League in 1978 and as a result, folded on July 6, 1978. During the final series of talks, Aeros owner Kenneth Schnitzer campaigned to the NHL that either his team would be admitted as an expansion team independent of a merger, or an existing club would relocate to Houston. The NHL never acted on the offers.

Bill Dineen was the Aeros head coach during their entire stay in the World Hockey Association.

Among the players for the Aeros were Gordie Howe and his two sons Mark and Marty, who became the first father/son combination to play together in professional hockey.

Season-by-Season Record

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Season GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
1972-73 78 39 35 4 82 284 269 1363 2nd in Western Lost in second round
1973-74 78 48 25 5 101 318 219 1038 1st in Western Won Avco World Trophy
1974-75 78 53 25 0 106 369 247 1257 1st in Western Won Avco World Trophy
1975-76 78 53 27 0 106 341 263 1093 1st in Western Lost in finals
1976-77 80 53 27 0 106 320 241 1432 1st in Western Lost in second round
1977-78 80 42 34 4 88 296 302 1543 3rd in League Lost in first round

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)

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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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