New England Whalers
Avco World Trophy / Avco Cup Champions 1973
World Hockey Association / WHA
Front Row L to R - Al Smith, Jack Ferreira (assistant coach), Ron Ryan (coach), Larry Pleau, Ted Green, Jim Dorey, Howard L. Baldwin (president), Jack Kelly (general manager), Bruce Landon.
Middle Row - Skip Cunningham (equipment), Tom Williams, Brad Selwood, Tim Sheehy, Don Blackburn, Hugh Harris, Paul Hurley, Bob Charlebois, Mike Byers, Joe Altott (trainer).
Back Row - Rick Ley, John French, Tom Webster, John Danby, John Cunniff, Al Karlander.
Missing - Tom Earl, Terry Caffery.
The Whalers placed first in the WHA Eastern Division to qualify for the playoffs with a record of 46 wins, 30 losses and 2 ties. Tom Webster was the teams leading scorer with 53 goals, 50 assists, placing 4th in WHA scoring.
The Whalers then won three playoff series vs Ottawa Nationals 4-1, Cleveland Crusaders 4-1 and Winnipeg Jets 4-1 to become the first winner of the Avco World Trophy on May 6, 1973. Larry Pleau scored a hat-trick and the championship goal in final game.
The Avco Cup trophy had not yet been completed, and the Whalers were forced to skate their divisional championship trophy around Boston Garden.
- Lou Kaplan Trophy Winner : Terry Caffery
- Howard Baldwin Trophy Winner : Jack Kelley,
The trophy was donated to the new league in 1972 along with approximately $500,000 by the Avco Financial Services Corporation, and became the first major sports league championship trophy to bear the name of a private corporation. Three Avco trophies exist; besides the one that is on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame, the others are in Winnipeg at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, and in the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in Halifax.