The team started play in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques of the World Hockey Association. During seven WHA seasons, the Nordiques won the Avco Cup Championship once, in 1977. Two years later, they entered the NHL. They found themselves experiencing on-ice success but off-ice financial failure brought upon by the lockout shortened 1994-95 NHL season. Team owner Marcel Aubut asked for a bailout from Quebec's provincial government. The bailout fell through and Aubut subsequently sold the team to a group of investors in Denver. The franchise moved to Colorado and was renamed the Colorado Avalanche prior to the 1995-96 NHL season.