World Hockey Association (WHA) AVCO World Champion Houston Aeros are returning to Houston to celebrate their 50th reunion


Houston, TX (September 22, 2023)—The 1973-1974 World Hockey Association (WHA) AVCO World Champion Houston Aeros are returning to Houston to celebrate their 50th reunion September 21st-24th, 2023, while honoring the 6 years of major league hockey in Houston and their two championships during that span.


Members of the WHA Houston Aeros championship teams along with other Aeros alumni from the WHA years, will be making private and public appearances throughout Houston, celebrating the times they shared on and off the ice.  For some, this marks the first time back to Houston since their playing days.


“For many of my teammates, some who had lengthy and successful professional careers, including time in the NHL, their fondest memories from the game of hockey came from their time spent here in Houston,” Jack Stanfield, the lone member of the 1973-1974 Aeros to make Houston his permanent home stated.  After retiring from playing in 1974, Stanfield went on to become an assistant coach of the WHA Aeros before becoming a pioneer in sports broadcasting.   “To reunite in Houston, especially for the 50th anniversary season of the Avco championship team, is as exciting as it was stepping onto the ice at the old Sam Houston Coliseum.  Houston was and always will be a hockey town to me, and I believe NHL hockey would thrive in our city,” Stanfield added.


Stanfield’s teammates for the 1973-1974 season included Hockey Hall of Famer “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe, alongside with his sons Marty and Mark, another Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, 1st team all-star goaltender Don McLeod and his goaltending partners Wayne Rutledge and Ron Grahame, scoring threat Larry Lund and coached by the legendary Bill Dineen.


The 1973-1974 Houston Aeros won the WHA regular season title with 101 points.  The Aeros would then defeat the Winnipeg Jets in the quarterfinals 4 games to 0, the Minnesota Fighting Saints 4 games to 2 in the semifinals, before sweeping the Chicago Cougars 4 games to 0, to win the Avco World Trophy, becoming the city of Houston’s first championship professional hockey team.  The Aeros would go on and repeat in 1974-1975 winning their second consecutive championship.


Some of the alumni attending the Houston reunion include Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Howe, Marty Howe, Ron Grahame, Shawn Dineen representing coach Bill Dineen, representatives of the Wayne Rutledge Family, Jack Stanfield, Cam Connor, John Gray, Glen Irwin, Morris Lukowich, Jan Popiel, John Tonelli, a four time Stanley Cup winner, and Terry Ruskowski, the only player in major professional history to serve as captain of four clubs, Aeros staff, and others.


Joining the Aeros alumni over the weekend will be the Avco World Trophy.   The Avco World Trophy now sits on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario, Canada after it was retired when the WHA ceased operations in 1979.  The AVCO World Trophy will be making public appearances around Houston including stops at the WHA Houston Aeros old practice facility, now named Bellerive Ice Center, The Aerodrome, Sugar Land Ice and Sports Center, Houston Hockey and Skate World, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, and The Maple Leaf Pub.


A full schedule of events and updates for the weekend will be available on the social media of Hockey Players in Business- Houston Chapter at and at Houston Hockey Community’s page at on X (formerly Twitter) at HoustonHPIB, organizations dedicated to growing the game of hockey in the Houston.





About Houston Aeros

The Houston Aeros were a charter member of the World Hockey Association playing from 1972-1978.  One of the most successful organizations of the World Hockey Association, the Aeros won four regular season titles, four division titles, and two Avco World Trophies in 1974 and 1975, and appeared in the championship series in 1976.  The Aeros called the Sam Houston Coliseum (1972-1975) and The Summit (1975-1978) home.  Notable players/coaches from the WHA Houston Aeros include Wayne Rutledge, New York Hockey Hall of Famer John Tonelli, WHA Hall of Famers Marty Howe, Larry Lund, Terry Ruskowski, Ron Grahame, Bill Dineen, and Colleen Howe, and WHA and Hockey Hall of Famers Gordie Howe and Mark Howe.


About World Hockey Association

Spanning from 1972-1979, the World Hockey Association (WHA) was the first major league to compete against the National Hockey League (NHL).  At its peak, the WHA consisted of 14 teams.  The league ceased operations at the conclusion of the 1978-1979 season, with the Edmonton Oilers, New England Whalers, Quebec Nordiques, and Winnipeg Jets merging into the NHL.

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