Houston Aeros (WHA)

The Houston Aeros were a professional ice hockey team in the World Hockey Association from 1972 to 1978.

Franchise history

The Aeros became one of the original franchises in the World Hockey Association when the Dayton Aeros franchise was moved to Houston in 1972. The Dayton entry was doomed from the beginning because a lack of a proper arena and little interest from the local residents. Due to these problems, owner Paul Deneau moved the team to Houston, Texas. In Houston, the team would become one of the most successful franchises in the World Hockey Association.

The Aeros were the Western Division Champions from 1973-74 to 1976-77 seasons, as well as finishing second in the Western Division in 1972-73 and third in the league in 1977-78. They won the AVCO World Trophy in 1974 over the Chicago Cougars and in 1975 over the Quebec Nordiques, winning both series in a four-game sweep; and lost in the 1976 AVCO finals to the Winnipeg Jets, also in a sweep.

In 1977, merger discussions with the National Hockey League were first initiated. Houston, along with Cincinnati, Winnipeg, New England, Quebec, and Edmonton applied for entry into the NHL. After a lengthy debate, the NHL voted the proposal down.

Merger discussions resumed in 1978, but Houston was not part of the proposal this time, and as a result the Aeros elected to fold on July 6, 1978. During the final series of talks, Aeros owner Kenneth Schnitzer campaigned to the NHL that either his team be admitted as an expansion team independent of a merger, or he would attempt to purchase an existing club and relocate it to Houston. Neither came to fruition.

Bill Dineen was the Aeros head coach during their entire stay in the World Hockey Association.

Among the players for the Aeros were Gordie Howe and his two sons Mark and Marty, who became the first father/son combination to play together in professional hockey.

Season-by-season record

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Season GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
1972-73 78 39 35 4 82 284 269 1363 2nd, Western Won Quarterfinals (Los Angeles)
Lost Semifinals (Winnipeg)
1973-74 78 48 25 5 101 318 219 1038 1st, Western Won Quarterfinals (Winnipeg)
Won Semifinals (Minnesota)
Won Finals (Chicago)
1974-75 78 53 25 0 106 369 247 1257 1st, Western Won Quarterfinals (Cleveland)
Won Semifinals (San Diego)
Won Finals (Quebec)
1975-76 80 53 27 0 106 341 263 1093 1st, Western Won Quarterfinals (San Diego)
Won Semifinals (New England)
Lost Finals (Winnipeg)
1976-77 80 53 27 0 106 320 241 1432 1st, Western Won Quarterfinals (Edmonton)
Lost Semifinals (Winnipeg)
1977-78 80 42 34 4 88 296 302 1543 3rd, League Lost Quarterfinals (Quebec)
Totals 472 288 173 13 589 1928 1541 7726

See also

External links

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