At 17 years of age, the Great One began his career skating for the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association. He would be sold to Edmonton early in the season. The following season the Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques, and the Winnipeg Jets would be the only WHA teams to become NHL franchises.
The Whalers would eventually move to Carolina and become the Hurricanes. The Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche. The Jets moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes. (The Jets returned to Winnipeg last year with the purchase of the now defunct Atlanta Thrashers.) Only the Oilers franchise has remained uninterrupted since the NHL expanded to include the WHA teams. Rumors of the NHL returning to Connecticut have been denied by both the NHL and the Connecticut Governor. Quebec City is currently building a $400 Million arena in hopes of the NHL returning in 2015. The NHL, however, has made no such plans publicly.