Welcome to the World Hockey Association
Gordie Gallant of the Minnesota Fighting Saints battles Houston's Gordie Howe in 1974.
Gordie Gallant vs. Ted Taylor
Gallant vs. McNamee
Here's what the story says: Two first period punchouts were totally eclipsed by that raucous finale. As John Hughes tried in vain to avoid Carlson's advances, other skimishes began to ignite. Pete McNamee left the bench to tangle with his old buddy Gordie Gallant(whipped twice in pervious scrape) and suddenly both benches spilled all over the ice in a melee.
Mac and Gallant clashed a half a dozen times to the Saints disadvantage. And in terrible snit Gallant left the ice, nosing bleeding, strapes flapping, soundly smacked by cheeful Mac
Terry Caffery was the Whalers first-ever 100-point scorer and a key figure in New England's 1972-73 Championship.
The following season Caffery signed with the Whalers and met with his greatest success as a pro, scoring 100 points to finish in the WHA's top ten in the loop's inaugural season and proving a key component in the
Whalers' league championship that year. He was awarded the Lou Kaplan Trophy as the league's rookie of the year. However, he suffered a knee injury late that year that, despite him starring in the playoffs, forced him to miss the entire 1974 season. He returned to play for the Whalers the year after that, but
remained seriously impaired, and retired during the 1976 season.
His brother was Jack Caffery, a two-sport player who also played baseball with the Milwaukee Braves and was credited with inventing the backward grip for faceoffs.
Also on April 1:
In 1973 Terry Caffery registers his 100th point of the season (becoming the first ever rookie WHA or NHL to do so) vs Quebec.
In 1974 Whalers lose the last game played in the Boston Garden vs Houston.
In 1974 Al Smith makes the save on the 4th penalty shot vs the Whalers taken by Frank Hughes of Houston.
In 1979 Don Blackburn coaches his first Whalers game a loss to Edmonton.
In 1979 Don Blackburn is named interim head coach replacing Bill Dineen.
In 1981 Larry Pleau is named GM and Director of Hockey Operations replacing Jack Kelley.
In 1984 Whalers play their 400th NHL game, a 2-0 loss vs the New York Rangers.
In 1989 Dave Tippett records his 100th career NHL assist vs Chicago.
In 1990 Ron Francis scores his career high 32nd goal of the season vs Montreal.
In 1991 Pat Verbeek becomes the only NHL player to lead team in goals scored and penalty minutes for the second straight year.
In 1992 NHLPA autorizes the 1st strike in NHL history.
In 1994 Whalers GM Paul Holmgren enters the Betty Ford Clinic after being arrested on drunken-driving charges on March 31st.
In 1996 Robert Kron plays in his 200th career Whalers game vs Florida.
The Kimberley Dynamiters must have thought they had died and gone to heaven. It was late in November of 1976 and Billy Martin of the Cranbrook Royals was phoning to ask if the Dynamiters would be interested in John Migneault of the Phoenix Road Runners, a player who had six years of pro hockey under his belt.
The Kimberley answer on the phone that day was " Oh Yeah, when can he be here? Does he need travelling money?"
Johnny Migneault was in the process of being bought out of his contract by the Phoenix Road Runners of the World Hockey Association, but not before they tried to sell him to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. The Phoenix hockey team was in severe financial trouble that season of 1976, so John and his wife Val and their three children, Tara Lyn, Justin and Trevor decided it was time to return home to Canada.
John called his cousin in Cranbrook B.C. who married a hockey player (Billy Martin of the Rossland Warriors and Cranbrook Royals, who was a constant thorn in the Kimberley Dynamiters side, while racking up 370 goals in his career in the Western International hockey League). Anyway, Martin rang up the Dynamiters about Migneault, which set the wheels in motion for the Migneault family to come to Kimberley BC for the 1976 season.
Back in the 1970s each team in the W.I.H.L could have one pro player per season on their roster. The Royals had signed home-towner Danny Spring, so Johnny Migneault literally fell into the Dynamiters lap.
Murray Flagel was the Nitro Coach when John first pulled on his Dynamiter sweater 2 in the fall of 1976. The following year Miggs played for the Cranbrook Royals and wouldn't you know it the Dynamiters won the Allan Cup in 1978 without him.
At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Frank Sanders was a giant of a hockey player, a bruising defenseman who protected his teammates with his muscle and his might.
But off the ice, the puck star turned preacher was well known as a softie.
"His teammates always teased him," said his daughter, Jennifer Mains. "He was this big tough guy on the exterior, but he was always mush on the inside."
Sanders, a former local high school, college and professional hockey player and longtime minister in Woodbury, died Feb. 17 after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 62.
Sanders enjoyed success at nearly every level of hockey, playing in the state high school tournament, the national college championship game and the 1972 Winter Olympics before turning professional with the Minnesota Fighting Saints.
Mike Liut, recent CT Hockey HOF Inductee, and got his pro start with the WHA's Cincinnati Stingers
From this week's Fischler Report: "An original Whaler from the WHA days, Larry Pleau tells us
he believes Hartford could
support another NHL team. The Blues’ exec is tickled that Howard
Baldwin has launched a crusade to return big league hockey to Connecticut.
'If anyone can do it ' says Pleau, 'Howard is the Man.'"