WHA’S STRAT-O-MATIC DEBUT
3 Old-Timer Hockey Seasons Coming Soon on Cards, Disks
— 1975-76 WHA
— 1974-75 NHL
— 1955-56 NHL
By Glenn Guzzo
Strat-O-Matic’s inaugural re-creation of the star-studded World Hockey Association is one of three old-timer seasons offered for the first time this summer.
The league that raided the National Hockey League of some of its brightest stars, then forced a merger than expanded the NHL, will come to life in Strat-O-Matic with the 1975-76 season, about the mid-point in the seven-year league.
SOM also is offering the 1974-75 NHL and the 1955-56 NHL for the first time.
All three seasons will be in last year’s format: Six teams in card form (that’s the whole league for 1955-56), and a supplemental disk that allows gamers to print out additional teams and/or extra players. Disks with all the teams will be available for the CD-ROM version of Strat-O-Matic hockey.
Highlights from the card sets:
The Montreal Canadiens won their first of five straight Stanley Cups, the most dominant stretch of the Original Six era. And this was the most dominant team of the group, going 45-15-10 for 100 points, 24 better than second-place
These Canadiens had Hall of Famers everywhere: Goalie Jacques Plante, centers Jean Beliveau and Henri Richard, wingers Rocket Richard, Boom-Boom Geoffrion and Dickie Moore, defensemen Doug Harvey and Tom Johnson. Beliveau (47-41-88) led the league in goals and points, linemate Bert Olmstead led with 56 assists. Rocket Richard (38) and Geoffrion (29) gave
Other stars of the season were New York’s Hall of Famers, Andy Bathgate (19-47-66) and Bill Gadsby (the league’s highest-scoring defenseman with 51 points), Toronto’s Todd Sloan (37 goals) and Sawchuk, whose third-best goals-against average could not keep Boston from a fifth-place finish.
Some regard this second straight Stanley Cup for
The Flyers’ 113 regular-season points were equaled by Montreal and Buffalo.
Driven by Guy Lafleur (53-66-119) and Pete Mahovlich (35-82-117), the potent Canadiens led the NHL in scoring and had ten players with 20-plus goals each, including defensemen Guy Lapointe and Serge Savard.
Three years before Wayne Gretzky’s WHA debut and four years before the four best WHA teams merged with the NHL, two of the greatest players in hockey history led the WHA Houston Aeros and Winnipeg Jets to a league-best 106 points, just two points ahead of the league’s top-scoring team, the Quebec Nordiques.
Quebec had a fleet of flying Frenchmen on the wings: league-leading scorer Marc Tardiff (71-77-148), Real Cloutier (60-54-114), Rejean Houle (51-52-103) and Serge Bernier (34-68-102), another in the middle, Christian Bordeleau (37-72-109), one on the point, former Montreal Canadien star J.C. Tremblay (12-77-89) and goalie “King” Richard Brodeur, whose 44 wins led the league.
Elsewhere, the WHA boasted many other prominent former or future NHLers, including goalies Gerry Cheevers and Dave Dryden, centers Norm Ullman, Ralph Backstrom, Andres Lacroix, Mike Walton and Mike Rogers, and wingers Frank Mahovlich, Paul Henderson, Mark Napier, Tom Webster and Paul Holmgren.