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1973–74 Toronto Toros season

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73-74TorTor
1973–74 Toronto Toros
Division 2nd Eastern Division
League 4th WHA
1973–74 record 41–33–4
Home record 25–11–3
Road record 16–22–1
Goals for 304
Goals against 272
Coach Billy Harris
Arena Varsity Arena
Average attendance 4,291
Team leaders
Goals Wayne Carleton (37)
Assists Wayne Carleton (55)
Points Wayne Carleton (92)
Penalties in minutes Rick Cunningham (88)
Wins Gilles Gratton (26)
Goals against average Les Binkley (3.27)

The 1973–74 Toronto Toros season was the team's first season in Toronto, as they spent their inaugural season as the Ottawa Nationals in 1972-73.

OffseasonEdit

The Nationals were moved to Toronto and sold to John F. Bassett, son of former Toronto Maple Leafs part owner John Bassett. The new owner renamed team the Toros, as its short for Toronto, and its also a Spanish bull. To attract attention, Bassett signed 18 year old Toronto Marlboros star Wayne Dillon, and former Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Brewer to anchor the blueline. The Toros also thought they had a deal to sign Maple Leafs star player Darryl Sittler to a five year, $1 million contract, however, Sittler decided to return to the Leafs.

The Toros originally planned to move the team into a renovated CNE Coliseum, while Bill Ballard, the son of Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard and was running Maple Leaf Gardens due to his father being in prison, was opposed of the renovation and wanted the team to play in the Gardens. The Toros decided to spend the season at Varsity Arena, which seated 4,860 fans.

As the Ottawa Nationals the previous season, the team finished in fourth place in the Eastern Division with a 35-39-4 record, losing to the New England Whalers in the first round of the playoffs.

Regular seasonEdit

The first game for the Toros was played on October 7, 1973 at Varsity Arena, with Toronto tying the Chicago Cougars 4-4. The Toros would get off to a sluggish start, going 0-2-2 in their first four games before defeating the Los Angeles Sharks 3-0 on the road. The team continued to slump, and through their first twelve games, sat with a record of 2-7-3. Toronto would break out of their slump though, and post a record of 17-11-0 in their next 28 games to go over the .500 for the first time. The Toros would keep up their great play, and end the season in second place in the Eastern Division, with a 41-33-4 record, earning 86 points, which was a twelve point improvement over the previous season. Head coach Billy Harris won the Howard Baldwin Trophy, presented to the Coach of the Year.

Offensively, Toronto was led by Wayne Carleton, who finished with a team high 37 goals and 92 points and finished sixth in league scoring. Gavin Kirk had another solid season, earning 68 points in 78 games, while rookie Wayne Dillon earned 65 points in 71 games. The defense was led by Brian Gibbons, who had 35 points, while Carl Brewer chipped in with 25 points. Rick Cunningham led the Toros with 88 penalty minutes.

In goal, Gilles Gratton had the majority of playing time, winning 26 games while posting a GAA of 3.53, along with two shutouts. Les Binkley backed him up, winning 14 games with a team best 3.27 GAA, and a shutout.

Season standingsEdit

Eastern Division
GP W L T GF GA PIM Pts
New England Whalers 78 43 31 4 291 260 875 90
Toronto Toros 78 41 33 4 304 272 871 86
Cleveland Crusaders 78 37 32 9 266 264 1007 83
Chicago Cougars 78 38 35 5 271 273 1041 81
Quebec Nordiques 78 38 36 4 306 280 909 80
NY Golden Blades / NJ Knights 78 32 424 268 313 933 68

Game logEdit

Regular season schedule
# Date Visitor Score Home Record Pts
1 October 7 Chicago Cougars 4–4 Toronto Toros 0–0–1 1
2 October 9 New York Golden Blades 3–3 Toronto Toros 0–0–2 2
3 October 11 Quebec Nordiques 4–1 Toronto Toros 0–1–2 2
4 October 14 Minnesota Fighting Saints 5–2 Toronto Toros 0–2–2 2
5 October 16 Toronto Toros 3–0 Los Angeles Sharks 1–2–2 4
6 October 18 Toronto Toros 1–4 Quebec Nordiques 1–3–2 4
7 October 20 Toronto Toros 4–6 Cleveland Crusaders 1–4–2 4
8 October 21 New England Whalers 4–3 Toronto Toros 1–5–2 4
9 October 23 Toronto Toros 2–4 Edmonton Oilers 1–6–2 4
10 October 24 Toronto Toros 7–4 Vancouver Blazers 2–6–2 6
11 October 26 Toronto Toros 3–3 Winnipeg Jets 2–6–3 7
12 October 28 Chicago Cougars 3–2 Toronto Toros 2–7–3 7
13 November 3 Toronto Toros 5–4 New England Whalers 3–7–3 9
14 November 4 Los Angeles Sharks 3–6 Toronto Toros 4–7–3 11
15 November 7 Toronto Toros 5–4 Houston Aeros 5–7–3 13
16 November 9 Toronto Toros 2–4 Los Angeles Sharks 5–8–3 13
17 November 10 Toronto Toros 2–3 Chicago Cougars 5–9–3 13
18 November 11 Edmonton Oilers 4–2 Toronto Toros 5–10–3 13
19 November 17 Toronto Toros 2–5 Chicago Cougars 5–11–3 13
20 November 18 Winnipeg Jets 2–6 Toronto Toros 6–11–3 15
21 November 22 Toronto Toros 4–2 Quebec Nordiques 7–11–3 17
22 November 24 Toronto Toros 1–2 Cleveland Crusaders 7–12–3 17
23 November 25 Vancouver Blazers 2–3 Toronto Toros 8–12–3 19
24 November 27 Quebec Nordiques 1–3 Toronto Toros 9–12–3 21
25 November 30 Toronto Toros 2–1 Minnesota Fighting Saints 10–12–3 23
26 December 2 Houston Aeros 2–5 Toronto Toros 11–12–3 25
27 December 5 Toronto Toros 3–1 Vancouver Blazers 12–12–3 27
28 December 6 Toronto Toros 3–4 Edmonton Oilers 12–13–3 27
29 December 7 Toronto Toros 4–7 Winnipeg Jets 12–14–3 27
30 December 9 Minnesota Fighting Saints 1–10 Toronto Toros 13–14–3 29
31 December 12 Toronto Toros 6–8 New England Whalers 13–15–3 29
32 December 13 Cleveland Crusaders 1–3 Toronto Toros 14–15–3 31
33 December 15 Toronto Toros 3–4 Cleveland Crusaders 14–16–3 31
34 December 16 Quebec Nordiques 4–3 OT Toronto Toros 14–17–3 31
35 December 18 New Jersey Knights 1–4 Toronto Toros 15–17–3 33
36 December 21 Houston Aeros 1–3 Toronto Toros 16–17–3 35
37 December 22 Toronto Toros 6–4 Quebec Nordiques 17–17–3 37
38 December 23 Chicago Cougars 6–5 Toronto Toros 17–18–3 37
39 December 29 Toronto Toros 9–3 Minnesota Fighting Saints 18–18–3 39
40 December 30 Winnipeg Jets 2–5 Toronto Toros 19–18–3 41
41 January 1 Cleveland Crusaders 0–3 Toronto Toros 20–18–3 43
42 January 6 New Jersey Knights 4–2 Toronto Toros 20–19–3 43
43 January 8 Toronto Toros 3–2 New England Whalers 21–19–3 45
44 January 10 New England Whalers 6–6 Toronto Toros 21–19–4 46
45 January 12 Toronto Toros 6–8 Minnesota Fighting Saints 21–20–4 46
46 January 13 New Jersey Knights 2–7 Toronto Toros 22–20–4 48
47 January 16 Toronto Toros 1–4 Houston Aeros 22–21–4 48
48 January 18 Toronto Toros 1–4 Los Angeles Sharks 22–22–4 48
49 January 20 New England Whalers 4–8 Toronto Toros 23–22–4 50
50 January 24 Cleveland Crusaders 5–3 Toronto Toros 23–23–4 50
51 January 27 Vancouver Blazers 7–9 Toronto Toros 24–23–4 52
52 January 29 Toronto Toros 1–6 New Jersey Knights 24–24–4 52
53 January 31 Los Angeles Sharks 4–5 OT Toronto Toros 25–24–4 54
54 February 1 Toronto Toros 1–2 Quebec Nordiques 25–25–4 54
55 February 3 Minnesota Fighting Saints 4–5 Toronto Toros 26–25–4 56
56 February 9 Toronto Toros 3–4 Cleveland Crusaders 26–26–4 56
57 February 10 Toronto Toros 5–4 New Jersey Knights 27–26–4 58
58 February 12 Quebec Nordiques 4–6 Toronto Toros 28–26–4 60
59 February 14 Toronto Toros 5–2 New Jersey Knights 29–26–4 62
60 February 16 Toronto Toros 5–4 Chicago Cougars 30–26–4 64
61 February 17 Toronto Toros 2–3 OT Edmonton Oilers 30–27–4 64
62 February 19 Toronto Toros 5–4 OT Vancouver Blazers 31–27–4 66
63 February 22 Toronto Toros 3–4 Winnipeg Jets 31–28-4 66
64 February 24 New England Whalers 0–2 Toronto Toros 32–28–4 68
65 February 27 Toronto Toros 3–5 New England Whalers 32–29–4 68
66 February 28 Winnipeg Jets 0–3 Toronto Toros 33–29–4 70
67 March 3 Toronto Toros 5–4 Chicago Cougars 34–29–4 72
68 March 9 Toronto Toros 2–4 Houston Aeros 34–30–4 72
69 March 10 Cleveland Crusaders 3–8 Toronto Toros 35–30–4 74
70 March 14 Quebec Nordiques 3–2 Toronto Toros 35–31–4 74
71 March 17 Chicago Cougars 4–2 Toronto Toros 35–32–4 74
72 March 18 Toronto Toros 5–11 New Jersey Knights 35–33–4 74
73 March 21 Houston Aeros 3–6 Toronto Toros 36–33–4 76
74 March 24 Vancouver Blazers 1–3 Toronto Toros 37–33–4 78
75 March 28 Edmonton Oilers 5–6 OT Toronto Toros 38–33–4 80
76 March 30 Toronto Toros 3–1 Quebec Nordiques 39–33–4 82
77 March 31 Los Angeles Sharks 4–5 Toronto Toros 40–33–4 84
78 April 2 Edmonton Oilers 2–3 Toronto Toros 41–33–4 86

PlayoffsEdit

The Toros opened the playoffs in a best of seven series against the Cleveland Crusaders, who finished in third place in the Eastern Division, three points behind Toronto. The series opened at Varsity Arena, with the Toros shutting out the Crusaders 4-0 in the series opener, followed by a close 4-3 victory in the second game to take a 2-0 series lead. The series shifted to Cleveland for the next two games, however, the Toros took the third game 4-2 to put the Crusaders on the brink of elimination. Cleveland managed to avoid being eliminated in the fourth game, winning 3-2 in overtime, however, the series returned to Toronto for the fifth game, with the Toros winning 4-1 to take the series in five games.

Next up for Toronto was the Chicago Cougars, who finished in fourth place in the Eastern Division, five points behind the Toros. The Cougars defeated the first place New England Whalers in seven games to advance to the Divisional Finals. The series opened in Toronto, and the Toros took an early series lead with a 6-4 victory in the first game. The Cougars would win the second game 4-3 to even the series up. The series moved to Chicago for the next two games, and the Cougars took a 2-1 series lead with a 3-2 victory in the third game, however, the Toros won a wild fourth game by a 7-6 score to even the series up again. In the fifth game in Toronto, the Toros took care of the Cougars 5-3 to go up 3-2 in the series. Back in Chicago for the sixth game, the Cougars fought off elimination, easily defeating Toronto by a 9-2 score, setting up a seventh and final game at Varsity Arena. Chicago would upset the favoured Toros, winning the game 5-2 to advance to the Avco Cup finals, ending Toronto's season.

Toronto Toros 4, Cleveland Crusaders 1Edit

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 7 Cleveland Crusaders 0–4 Toronto Toros 1-0
2 April 9 Cleveland Crusaders 3–4 Toronto Toros 2-0
3 April 12 Toronto Toros 4–2 Cleveland Crusaders 3-0
4 April 13 Toronto Toros 2–3 OT Cleveland Crusaders 3-1
5 April 15 Cleveland Crusaders 1–4 Toronto Toros 4-1

Chicago Cougars 4, Toronto Toros 3Edit

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 19 Chicago Cougars 4–6 Toronto Toros 1-0
2 April 22 Chicago Cougars 4–3 Toronto Toros 1-1
3 April 28 Toronto Toros 2–3 Chicago Cougars 1-2
4 April 30 Toronto Toros 7–6 Chicago Cougars 2-2
5 May 1 Chicago Cougars 3–5 Toronto Toros 3-2
6 May 4 Toronto Toros 2–9 Chicago Cougars 3-3
7 May 6 Chicago Cougars 5–2 Toronto Toros 3-4

Player statsEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Scoring leaders
Player GP G A Pts PIM
Wayne Carleton 78 37 55 92 31
Gavin Kirk 78 20 48 68 44
Wayne Dillon 78 30 35 65 13
Guy Trottier 71 27 35 62 58
Rick Sentes 64 26 34 60 46
Goaltending
Player GP TOI W L T GA SO GAA Save %
Bill Holden 1 10 1 0 0 0 0 0.00 1.000
Frank Blum 5 131 1 0 0 5 0 2.29 .924
Les Binkley 27 1412 14 9 1 77 1 3.27 .901
Gilles Gratton 57 3200 26 24 3 188 2 3.53 .895

Playoff statsEdit

Scoring leaders
Player GP G A Pts PIM
Wayne Carleton 12 2 12 14 4
Rick Sentes 12 7 4 11 19
Wayne Dillon 12 5 6 11 9
Tom Martin 12 7 3 10 2
Guy Trottier 12 5 5 10 4
Goaltending
Player GP TOI W L GA SO GAA Save %
Gilles Gratton 10 539 5 3 25 1 2.78
Les Binkley 5 182 2 2 17 0 5.60

Team Roster

Awards and recordsEdit

Draft picksEdit

Toronto's draft picks at the 1973 WHA Amateur Draft.

Round # Player Nationality College/Junior/Club Team (League)
14 Paulin Bordeleau Flag of Canada.svg Canada Toronto Marlboros (OHA)
218 Pat Hickey Flag of Canada.svg Canada Hamilton Red Wings (OHA)
443 Peter Marrin Flag of Canada.svg Canada Toronto Marlboros (OHA)
552 Bob Dailey Flag of Canada.svg Canada Toronto Marlboros (OHA)
556 Lou Nistico Flag of Canada.svg Canada London Knights (OHA)
669 Doug Ferguson Flag of Canada.svg Canada Hamilton Red Wings (OHA)
778 Gerrard Gibbons Flag of Canada.svg Canada St. Mary's University (CIAU)
782 Gord Titcomb Flag of Canada.svg Canada St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
895 John Campbell Flag of Canada.svg Canada Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHA)
9106 Guido Tenesi Flag of the United States United States Oshawa Generals (OHA)

Game AdsEdit


See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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