WHA Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets were founded in 1972 and imported into the World Hockey Association. The first ever Winnipeg Jet was Norm Beaudin who had previously played for the Regina Pats in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, the Pittsburgh Hornets in the minors and, one year in St. Louis before going to the Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg won 3 AVCO Cups before the 1979 WHA/NHL merger which saw the Edmonton Oilers, New England Whalers, Quebec Nordiques and of course the Winnipeg Jets join into the NHL. Norm Beaudin was a huge addition to the squad but they retained Bobby Hull as well. The Jets were the first team ink European talent onto their roster by signing Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson. Winnipeg’s first championship came only 90 games after the WHA’s third season in. They defeated the Houston Aeros. Winnipeg, along with Bobby Hull, Joe Daly, Norm Beaudin and Larry Hornung lost to Quebec the next year but were presented with another AVCO Cup ring by defeating the New England Whalers. The next season they were again victorious by holding the AVCO cup in Winnipeg. Winnipeg saw it’s team leave to Phoenix after the NHL had relocated the team. The Jets never won a Stanley Cup nor made the playoffs. Despite the city’s best efforts the Jets became the Coyotes in 1996. The Coyotes are yet to achieve success. Although the words “Winnipeg Jets” have never graced the Stanley Cup, they are still a huge part of history.

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