The Ottawa Nationals was a professional men's ice hockey team based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada that played in the World Hockey Association (WHA) during the 1972–73 WHA season.
The WHA had originally announced a franchise to Doug Michel for "Ontario." Original plans called for the team to play at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, but Michel couldn't get a suitable lease for the Gardens.
Afterward, there was some expectation that Hamilton would be the team's home, but the franchise was eventually placed in Ottawa. Nick Trbovich became majority owner before the season began with Michel running hockey operations.
The Ottawa Nationals hosted the first game in the WHA, held on October 11, 1972, when they played as the home team at the Civic Centre versus the Edmonton Oilers, then known as the Alberta Oilers. The Oilers defeated the Nationals 7-4.
Their home ice was the Ottawa Civic Centre, but the team was a flop at the box office, averaging about 3,000 fans per game.
Before the season ended, the City of Ottawa demanded a payment of $100,000 to secure dates for the following season. Rather than agree to this demand, the Nationals opted to move elsewhere for the next season and play its playoff dates in Toronto.
During this playoff series, the team was referred to as the Ontario Nationals. After the end of the season, the team was sold to John F. Bassett and permanently moved to Toronto as the Toronto Toros.
|1972–73||78||35||39||4||74||279||301||1067||4th, Eastern||Lost Quarter-final (Whalers)|