WHA players had been banned from playing in the 1972 series. Bobby Hull, who had just jumped from the NHL to the Winnipeg Jets, had been named to the Canadian team by Harry Sinden, but was not allowed to participate. The 1974 series was an opportunity for Hull and 46-year old Gordie Howe to play for Canada against the Soviet team.
In 1974, the two-season-old WHA was largely composed of players scavenged from the minor leagues mixed with a few NHL stars and aging veterans. Playing on both the 1972 and 1974 teams for Canada were Paul Henderson, Frank Mahovlich and Pat Stapleton. The last active player from the series was Mark Howe, who retired in 1995.