In their first season, the WHA kept track of lots of stats the NHL didn’t bother to, and as such give us a unique look at that initial season.
Let me give you some examples. Lacroix’s boxcar stats were 78gp, 50-74-124, 83pims. His ppg was 1.59, he scored 9 first goals of the game, 3 proximity goals (which were goals that came within one goal of tying a game), 6 goals that tied the score, 13 tie-breaking goals, 11 insurance goals (giving his team a 2-goal lead), 11 winning goals and 44 “clutch” goals for the season. He had 16 powerplay goals, 0 shorthanded goals, and 9 multiple goal games.
The goalie stuff is the really fun stat breakdown. The best goalie in the WHA’s first season was Gerry Cheevers of the Cleveland Crusaders. He went 32-20-0 in 52gp, had a 2.83GAA and a .908SP. His GAF was 11.37. GAF was “goals allowed frequency”, or number of shots required for each goal allowed by a specific G. The mirror image of SP, in a way. Cheevers had 5 shutout games and 64 shutout periods.
Some of these stats are superfluous, but others are really interesting. The main point though is that the WHA brought much more than big salaries to the game. There were some insightful people at the very top and although many of the stats were discontinued as the league progressed, the leap from G-A-PTS to “proximity” goals and “goals allowed frequency” was stunning in its place and time.