1976-77 O-Pee-Chee WHA - #132 - World Trophy Finals
The '76-77 O-Pee-Chee WHA set is not amongst my favorites. I find the design to be a little bland, and for whatever reason the cards just don't excite me. This will likely be the last WHA set that I attempt to complete. Nevertheless, I wanted to cover as broad a range of sets as possible in these posts, so when I found this card on the cheap I went for it.
This is the very last card in the '76-77 set, and it commemorates the Winnipeg Jets winning the World Trophy as WHA Champions in '75-76. This was the first league championship for Winnipeg, though they would go on to win two more (the final two WHA Championships in '77-78 and '78-79) before the league folded. Depicted at center is the WHA's Avco World Cup. Yes, the WHA's trophy had a corporate sponsor. Between the corporate sponsorship and the gaudiness of the trophy itself, this award just never even came close to holding the same significance as the Stanley Cup. It's hard to tell from this photo but there's a floating crystal ball embedded in the trophy just below the bowl at the top. You can get a better look at the trophy on its Wikipedia page. At least Winnipeg had a trophy to hoist, which was more than you could say for the New England Whalers when they won the league's inaugural championship a few years earlier (how sad is that?).
Check back soon for a post on a hockey "white whale" that I recently tracked down...