The World Hockey Association was created in 1972 when Dennis Murphy and Gary Davidson founded the league that would change professional hockey forever.
For a short while the NHL and the fifth estate looked down upon the WHA. However, the NHL would eventually incorporate many of the new leagues ideas into its own. One example is the return of overtime play. The other was the transfer of 4 teams into the NHL. The NHL has also established teams in the former WHA markets of Phoenix and Ottawa. The media came around to support an exciting alternative.
When the WHA gave Bobby Hull a $1-million dollar contract, causing The Golden Jet to leave the Chicago Black Hawks, a stunned NHL suddenly took notice. Soon, the war was on. The WHA was draining the NHLs talent pool by enticing players to jump ship luring them with larger salaries. Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe, was lured out of retirement to play with his two sons for the Houston Aeros and later the New England WHAlers.
The WHA paved the way in mining European talent, something NHL clubs grudgingly started to follow. The NHL had a rule that players must be 18 to play; the WHA emphasized scouting and scoured the junior leagues for under NHL age talent. One player developed this way was Wayne Gretzky.
The WHA brought perhaps the biggest change to hockey, ushering in free agency. Unlike the NHL where players were bound to one team forever, players in the WHA could pretty much play with WHAtever team offered them a contract.
The WHA began life seeking to capitalize on an existing demand for pro hockey. The league placed many teams in markets the NHL never approached. The WHA granted franchises to NHL cities such as Edmonton, Winnipeg (now Phoenix) and Quebec (now Colorado). Years later, following the closure of the WHA league, it must be noted that the NHL had set up shop in some of the same markets originally opened by WHA. These teams and many WHA players are still valuable participants in the NHL.
In fact, when teams from the two leagues played exhibition games against each other, from 1974 to 1978, the WHA teams won 33, lost 27 and tied seven.
Congratulations to the Oliver Jets on being the WHKA Champions for the 2007 / 2008 season. We all hope you get a chance to defend your title next season. Also, we wish you the best of luck against the GMHL Champion.
About the World Hockey Association: The WHA created the WHA Junior West Hockey League to promote the sport of hockey. The Junior West Hockey League is an alternative, community based league for highly skilled junior players, and is designed to promote high standards of sportsmanship in hockey. The 2007-2008 season will feature an expansion from six to 16 teams and will see the WHA firmly established in British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwestern United States. As a listed company on the Over-The-Counter Pink Sheets our mission is to provide a financially sound economic model that is responsible to WHA investors, coaches and staff, and the junior hockey players participating on each team. Fan satisfaction is a primary consideration in our decision making process.
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WHKA vs GDVM/Nexus counter-claim link
Nexus vs WHKA complaints court document in PDF format. 3/15/2007