Shooting interviews in Canada, late 2008 (top)

on camera in Canada (middle)

MIKE ROM mans the camera in Arizona (top)

TIMOTHY GASSEN in-studio (middle)

TIMOTHY GASSEN in studio in Indy with

This production is not associated with Wayne Gretzky
or the World Hockey Association.

PO Box 121
Tucson, Arizona
85702  USA




My name is Timothy Gassen I'm a filmmaker and journalist who grew up in Indianapolis
as a rabid teenage fan of the 1970s Indianapolis Racers hockey team. My friends and I called ourselves the "SuperFans," and we could be found in the rafters of Market Square Arena for home games with a collection of banners and noisemakers. We lived and breathed with the Racers during our high school years and like many in Indy we were stunned when the team died shortly before the dawn of 1979.

Time passed, I found other hockey heroes, but I always remembered that first inspiration I found in the Indianapolis Racers and World Hockey Association. With decades as a professional filmmaker and journalist behind me, in 2004 I finally gulped hard and decided to tackle what seemed like an impossible job: to recreate and document five years of a city, team and league that I could not forget, but which many in the hockey world never even knew.

Production for the 2009 DVD box set GRETZKY, INDY & THE WHA took five years almost as long as the Indianapolis Racers hockey team existed in the first place. I conducted extensive research to both confirm my own recollections of the Racers, Indianapolis and the World Hockey Association and also to find former players to interview and to finally create an accurate team history.

I had been frustrated that almost no firsthand history of the WHA or Racers had been created since the 1979 merger with the NHL. I was determined to create a definitive history, both as a tribute to my first hockey heroes and also as a service to the city of Indianapolis and to hockey fans everywhere.

The plan was to produce a video documentary, but suitable footage just plain could not be found. I was told over and over that no video survived the march of time. I stared to think that a professional video documentary would not be physically possible.

So I took my mountains of research and authored the paper book Red, White & Blues:
a personal history of Indianapolis Racers hockey 1974-1979
. Published in 2007,
the book brought more former Racers, 1970s WHA personnel and broadcasters out of
the woodwork and finally opened the paths to unearth enough quality video to commence on production for a documentary
. Much of this footage has only now been discovered, or has been restored for the first time. What you see on these two DVDs is
the absolute best that we have found after years of constant effort!

Shooting of new interview segments commenced both in Canada and throughout the US
in 2008, with editing and post-production continuing until early 2009. Frame-by-frame restoration of the vintage film and video was painstaking, and combining the multitude of media formats from the 1970s to today was a major challenge. Finding and restoring the vintage audio was another challenge that we undertook with great pride and care.

This production would not have been possible without the support, kindness and cooperation of former Racers players and coaches, TV and radio stations, journalists, broadcasters and hockey fans themselves. So many people stepped forward and wanted this story to be told, and I am humbled by their help.

I hope that you the hockey history fan, the Wayne Gretzky fan, the WHA fan, and the Indianapolis sports fan will buy this DVD set and support our five-year mission. I have poured my heart into this DVD set so that these fine athletes, the WHA, and the dedicated fans of Indianapolis are not forgotten.

And I also want to to share a few of those distinctive Indianapolis-flavored "Positive Waves," one more time, with anyone within my "SuperFan" shouting distance.

Thank you for watching!

Timothy Gassen
director Gretzky, Indy & The WHA
Tucson, Arizona 2009