Hockey history was made in 1975-76 and probably went unnoticed by pretty much everyone. In the lowly North American Hockey League, the WHA farm league that the movie ‘Slap Shot’ was inspired by, the first professional hockey player scored more than 200 points in a single season.
Joe Hardy – Beauce Jaros
Jocelyn ‘Joe’ Hardy was the head coach of the Beauce Jaros but also the league’s offensive fireplug. Hardy totalled 208 points on 60 goals and 148 assists in just 72 games to beat Wayne Gretzky to the punch by six years. Joe’s next highest total over his professional career was just 93 points in 1976-77. Hardy played 63 games in the NHL with the California Golden Seals and 210 games in the World Hockey Association.
Richard Grenier – Beauce Jaros
Richard Grenier, also of the Beauce Jaros, finished second with 160 points on 77 goals and 83 assists. It was a career year for Grenier who was a fifth round pick of the New York Islanders at the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft. Richard appeared in ten NHL games, all with the Islanders in 1972-73. He also dressed for 34 WHA games with the Quebec Nordiques in 1976-77. He finished his pro hockey career following the 1989-90 season after several years in Europe.
Luc Simard – Cape Codders, Beauce Jaros
Luc Simard was twice a 60+ goal scorer (67 and 73) in the NAHL, a 68 goal scorer in the EHL and a 90 goal scorer in the QMJHL. He led the QMJHL in the junior league’s inaugural season with 174 points on 90 goals and 84 assists in just 56 games. Guy Lafleur did not have more points than Simard that year but did score an amazing 130 goals. Luc finished third in 1975-76 with 149 points in a season split between the Cape Codders and the Beauce Jaros. It was Luc’s final year of professional hockey.
Alain Caron – Beauce Jaros
Alain Caron, in the last of his seventeen years in pro hockey, finished fourth with 137 points. Caron was yet another member of the Beauce Jaros. Caron scored 78 goals and assisted on 59. It was his third time scoring more than 70 goals in a season. In 1961-62 with the Amherst Ramblers of the NSSHL, he scored 76 in just 47 games. In 1963-64 with the St. Louis Braves of the CPHL, Caron scored 77 goals in 71 games. Alain appeared in 60 NHL games with the Oakland Seals and Montreal Canadiens, along with 195 games in the WHA with the Quebec Nordiques and Michigan Stags.
Bob Collyard – Philadelphia Firebirds
Bob Collyard of the Philadelphia Firebirds finished fifth with 129 points, 79 behind Joe Hardy, on 45 goals and 84 assists. Collyard was in his second of three years with the NAHL Firebirds and played two more with the franchise after they joined the AHL. Bob was a seventh round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 1969 and played ten games with the NHL club in 1973-74, his only NHL action.