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Mar 1, 2021

Arizona State calculus professor Scott Surgent ("The Complete World Hockey Association, 11th Edition"; "The World Hockey Association Fact Book") joins this week to discuss his personal passion project of documenting everything statistical from the fascinatingly ephemeral World Hockey Association - despite never having witness a single game during its brief seven-year run (1972-79).
Like many young sports fans of the 70s living outside of actual WHA markets (for as long as they lasted), Surgent's first introduction to and ongoing understanding of the upstart WHA was by way of laboring through the tiny catch-all "scoreboard" agate of local newspaper sports sections - where league standings, player transactions and a random box score or two would qualify as "coverage."
Surgent would squint hard to literally and figuratively read between the lines as to what the WHA was all about - supplemented by an occasional wire service article, usually about a team (or the league itself) in financial trouble. Imagination and hearsay filled in the rest - until the league's "merger" with the NHL in 1979, when everything WHA-related seemingly vanished with it, as if nothing had ever transpired.
By the early '90s, Surgent was perplexed as to the continued absence of anything historical - let alone definitive - from the league's statistical existence.  So he struck out on his own to literally set the record straight - resulting in the first edition of "Complete" in 1995.
25 years and ten editions later, Surgent's reference opus - all 526 glorious pages of it - is now the go-to resource for anyone seeking authoritative certitude about anything WHA.
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