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RE: [hockhist] Re: Changes at the HHOF (& the WHA)?

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  • bflynn3@cogeco.ca
    Bill, I don t think we are disagreeing here. As I said before, the top WHA clubs would have been tough, competitive opponents for anyone to face. Proof of that
    Message 1 of 32 , Apr 16, 2009
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      Bill,

      I don't think we are disagreeing here. As I said before, the top WHA clubs
      would have been tough, competitive opponents for anyone to face. Proof of
      that is their record against world class teams like the Soviet Nationals.
      But they would not have won the Stanley Cup (baring a miracle upset) or a
      series of games against the Soviets.

      Again what you are saying isn't really any different from what I said.

      Craig



      Original Message:
      -----------------
      From: William Underwood wausport@...
      Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2009 11:08:20 -0500
      To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [hockhist] Re: Changes at the HHOF (& the WHA)?


      Sorry Craig but the WHA did have some pretty awful teams. Indy 74-5 with 39
      points, Michigan/Baltimore had 46 that year for two. And more to the point,
      the bottom WHA teams were simply not of real NHL caliber. Perhaps their
      records were better than some NHL teams, and in all fairness, of the teams
      that you named 2 of them were expansion clubs who lacked luxuries that WHA
      expansion clubs had. But we also must consider that those records were not
      against teams that were the same caliber as the NHL.. Let me back that up.in
      79-80 when the leagues merged and the WHA was maybe at its height of talent,
      only about half the league made it as NHL regulars the next year. Bottom
      teams generally have the least talent. Now if we took a 14 team WHA are we
      to believe that many more players would have survived a 4 team merger? Given
      that the 78-9 league was FAR less watered down and had just done its biggest
      raid on underage talent and that the NHL only had one more team, one could
      argue that no more would have made it. And I'll back that up.as the WHA
      contracted a lot of solid players were cut, the WHA thus in effect
      acknowledged that they were really more like one dimensional AHL talents.
      Look at the old PHL rosters, there were ex 40 goal men in that league! More
      to the point, how so many 20 goal NHL types become 40 goal men or even
      better in the WHA if the level of play was so hot night to night? Finally we
      look at how players fared when they made the jump back.you usually saw at
      least a 10 to 20 goal drop in output. There were exceptions but overall.it
      was the norm. Now you might say that some didn't get the same ice time.but
      why would that be? After all to get a WHA guy signed was not cheap, the idea
      was not to be getting a 4th liner.



      I liked the WHA., I worked for an old WHA club post merger and I know a lot
      of people who played/worked in the league, some have been close friends. The
      reality was that it was no minor league, the better teams could have held
      their own in the NHL but the low end probably were not of NHL caliber. But
      it was not a parallel to the NHL. When one lucidly looks at the league there
      are just too many stories of "journeyman becomes star" when they went NHL to
      WHA and "star becomes journeyman" when they came back. Many of the young
      guys like a Napier needed time to become more rounded players. Most WHA vets
      will tell you that the goalies were not the same, hell one of the merged
      teams quipped "they are letting me keep two goalies and I don't have ONE
      that I want to keep". They will tell you that there were less quality d-men
      and less attention paid to D in general. The banana blade and no red line
      made more than one 20 goal man into a sniper! :-) Some guys will tell you
      that the backhand was almost extinct in the league!



      I don't think that many hockey men today would deny that the WHA had some
      good teams. The old era of bitterness and prejudice is more or less gone,
      the old hard line guys from that era are mostly retired or dead. The reality
      is that there was an overlap, the WHA was good just not as good as a whole
      as the NHL. The top teams would not have been among THE BEST NHL teams but
      would be solid. It would be a rung below for WHA teams. Keep in kind even
      the Jets had flaws as did the Aeros.start right out in goal, Joe Daley was
      never better than an NHL journeyman, Grahame was a flop when he jumped to
      the NHL. We can respect the WHA but we can't go overboard! Most guys who
      were any good played in both leagues and as for inclusion as full members of
      the HOF, there is plenty of data to suggest where they stand. But a WHA
      section? Sure! Again if the women get a section like that why not the WHA
      which again has had FAR bigger impact on hockey than women's hockey has.



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    • William Underwood
      It is too bad Leif got hurt! He was a great European goalie. In fact he was in the Bruin camp in the mid 60 s earlier on. I remember when he signed in the WHA,
      Message 32 of 32 , Apr 20, 2009
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        It is too bad Leif got hurt! He was a great European goalie. In fact he was
        in the Bruin camp in the mid 60's earlier on. I remember when he signed in
        the WHA, I was pretty excited to see one of the European greats come over.



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