The New England Whalers were one of the most successful WHA franchises and it showed in their first season, winning the league's regular season and playoff titles in 1972-73. After playing their first two seasons in Boston, the team moved to Hartford, Connecticut, after finding it increasingly difficult to book home dates in Boston. They moved into the brand new Hartford Civic Center for the 1974-75 season and opened to a sellout crowd in January 1975. The team would make the playoffs each season in the WHA and also pulled off a big signing by bringing in Gordie Howe and his two sons in 1977. At 50 years old, Gordie led the team in scoring during the 1977-78 campaign, as the team made it to the finals before losing to the Jets. The team would merge into the NHL for the 1979-80 season.