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1976-77 Dan Labraaten WHA Winnipeg Jets Game Worn Jersey
Lot #37

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1976-77 Dan Labraaten WHA Winnipeg Jets Game Worn Jersey
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1976-77 Dan Labraaten WHA Winnipeg Jets Game Worn Jersey
Lot #37

The Winnipeg Jets were one of the WHA’s original 12, being awarded to local businessman Ben Hatskin in November of 1971. Hatskin was a pioneer, thinking big and following up with action. His boldest move was to select Bobby Hull and actively pursue the NHL’s 2nd leading all-time goal scorer. After much dialogue, and with the financial backing of all other 11 WHA franchises, Hatskin signed Hull away from Chicago, luring him with a 1 million dollar signing bonus. It would take some time for the courts to decide if Hull would be allowed to play for the Jets, but that ruling eventually came in Winnipeg’s favor.

Hull was a demon on the ice, setting forth to build on his already legendary career and gaining the Jets instant respectability. The Jets won the West and made the inaugural Avco World Finals before losing to the New England Whalers. Year two wasn’t as good for the club in the standings or playoffs, as they lost in the 1st round. Again thinking boldly, the Jets began scouting European talent and in 1974 they signed half a dozen of those players to contracts. Included in those initial signing were soon to be stars Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson. In 1974 Hatskin left the Jets and joined the WHA’s board of governors. The franchise, rather than seek private ownership became publicly owned, allowing fans to purchase shares for as little as $25. They would remain privately owned until 1978 when Barry Shenkarow and others, including Bobby Hull purchased the team.

After missing the playoffs in 1974-75, the 1975-76 team turned heads, storming through the regular season and eventually capturing the Avco World Trophy in four straight over the defending champs, Gordie Howe’s Houston Aeros. The Jets made a repeat run through the 1977 playoffs and stretched the Nordiques to a 7th game before losing their title. The 1977-78 season saw the Jets again return to dominance and capture their 2nd Avco World Trophy, again with Hull defeating Howe, this time it was New England who suffered the loss. The WHA’s final season would again see the Winnipeg franchise capture the Avco World Trophy, this time defeating the Wayne Gretzky led Edmonton Oilers. The Jets were easily the most successful WHA franchise and it was a no-brainer that they would be one of the WHA’s teams to merge into the NHL in 1979-80.

This home white mesh gamer by Harval was worn by Dan Labraaten as a rookie during the 1976-77 WHA season. Labraaten played for Winnipeg in the WHA for 2 seasons, both of which saw him go to the Avco Cup Finals, capturing a title in his 2nd season. After the 1977-78 campaign, Dan signed with the Red Wings where he would net 30 goals in 1979-80. His NHL career was short lived, ending in Calgary in 1981-82.

This jersey shows strong game wear consisting of many stick marks and board burns, loads of board paint transfer, washed out blood stains, un-repaired burn holes, inner pilling and some nice team-sewn repair work. The original nameplate only compliments this fine looking vintage representation which likely last saw the ice in the Avco Cup Finals.