The WHA expanded by adding the Indianapolis Racers and Phoenix Roadrunners, and splitting into 3 divisions (Western, Eastern, and Canadian). The top two teams in each division qualified for the playoffs along with the two next best teams overall. Prior to the season, Southern California welcomed the Jersey Knights, who moved to San Diego and became the Mariners, and said goodbye to the Los Angeles Sharks, who moved to Detroit and became the Michigan Stags. Midway through the season, the Stags moved to Baltimore and became the Blades; they folded for good after the season. Chicago also folded at season's end. Also, the New England Whalers left Boston for Hartford, but played the first half of the season in Springfield, Massachusetts until construction on the Hartford Civic Center was finished.