>So I guess the question then becomes, which source
>do we believe
>(since none of them are infallible)?
I included Andreachuk on hockeydb.com because I believed the source more rather than less. Since then I have tried to research him, and while I haven't found anything definitive, I think it is at least plausible that he saw some action.
From the Winnipeg Free press, I learned the following:
In the 74-75 season Andreachuk was in training camp with the Jets. He suffered a broken wrist on October 1, sidelining him for the start of the season.
He is listed on a Jet's team roster (not a game roster) on Oct 11, 1974, so he was still with the team.
He is shown in a photo layout of the Jets on Oct 18, 1974.
It was mentioned that he was still out with a broken wrist on October 25, 1974; he did not make a road trip to Toronto.
I couldn't find any other mention of him in 1974.
On January 17, 1975, the paper reported that "The Jets announced
today that Randy Andreachuk, another product of the Western Canada junior circuit, has been recalled from the Roanoke club and is expected to be in
the lineup Sunday night at the Arena when the Winnipeg team meets Cleveland Crusaders in a World Hockey Association game."
I checked the article from that game, but he was not mentioned as having either played or sitting out. However, the news at that time centered around the fact that Rudy Pilous had stopped coaching the team from the bench (he remained with the team as GM), and the Jets were playing coachless, with perhaps Bobby Hull serving the function informally, and that everyone seemed fine with that arrangement.
Finally, on April 1, 1975, the paper reported that "Ron (Bam Bam) Ashton
and Randy Andreachuk are back from Roanoke, working out with the team and keeping their fingers crossed that Rudy Pilous will give them some ice
So nothing definitive that he played, although he was certainly called up twice during the season, and was with the team at the start of the season too.
The 1975-76 WHL guide, in their alumni section, did in fact report that he had played 2 games for Winnipeg that year. Given that I believe this was independently compiled (i.e. not submitted by the player), my judgment call was that I will list him, particularly because I believe that the WHA stats are not generally that credible, especially since the numbers don't always add up (a simple test of how well the compiler did).
I've always been curious about how many WHA teams don't have too many low-game, low-point players on their scoring lists. For example, the 1974-75 Quebec Nordiques' lowest scoring player is Alan Globensky, with 5 games, 0 points, 5 PIMs, but the next player is Denis Patry, with 1G, 2A, 3Pts, 2PIM, and the only other Nordique to not score a goal is Jean-Claude Garneau, with 17-0-5-5-27.
You'll see the same phenomenon with other WHA teams; Toronto has no skaters who didn't score a point, and just 2 that played less than 17 games. Edmonton, New England, Cleveland, Chicago, Indianapolis, Phoenix are all the same way.
Houston is the best example. All skaters with the exception of Bill Prentice (17) played more than 70 games. No players scored less than 3 points.
When you look at any other league, there are always players who play a handful of games, scoring little or nothing. Only a few teams show this pattern, the rest stand out.
I have heard it theorized that since the WHA was just in its third season, and was financially shaky, it had few minor league players to call up. This is plausible, but were the teams really skating just 3 lines per game, not giving anyone else a shot? Did they really just dress fewer players consistently? And was nearly every skater in the league just lucky that nearly all managed to get at least one point that season?
I don't buy it. I think that players -- like Andreachuk -- were missed. Guys who played in 1-2 games, skated 2-3 shifts per game, weren't mentioned in the newspaper articles.
I guess that only Frank Polnaczek can provide the answer to this; he has all the WHA game sheets, and when I exchanged email with him a few years ago, he was adamant that he will be the only one accessing them until he dies, at which point the HHoF will get them.