Sunday, May 20, 2012

The 1967 NHL Expansion Draft

The NHL's expansion in 1967 was the first expansion of the league since 1926 when the Chicago Black Hawks (that's "Black Hawks", not Blackhawks; the spelling wasn't changed until 1986!) and Detroit Cougars (later renamed the Red Wings) joined the NHL and pushed the number of teams up to 10. Slowly over the course of the 1930s the NHL dwindled to six teams. In 1930 the Pittsburgh Pirates moved to Philly and played a season as the Quakers before folding. The Ottawa Senators suspended operations in 1931, resumed operations in 1932, moved to St. Louis in 1934 and folded in 1935. The Montreal Maroons (original tenants of the famed Forum) withdrew from the league in 1938. Finally in 1942 the Brooklyn Americans (née New York Americans; they played in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan) folded. From 1942 to the end of the 1967 season the NHL consisted of only six teams: the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Bruins, Rangers, Black Hawks and Red Wings.

In the mid–1960s the NHL, following the lead of the pro football and baseball leagues, decided to expand. The NHL was tempted by the potential for revenue from a U.S. national television deal to plunk new teams down west and south of the Original Six sites. The six new franchises were conditionally awarded on February 9, 1966 with new teams in St. Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, the Twin Cities of Minnesota, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The price for each new franchise to enter the league was $2,000,000. Nominally this fee would go to the owners of the existing franchises as consideration for purchasing the contracts of 20 players; $100,000 per player. How else was an expansion team to stock its roster?

On June 5, 1967 the new teams (the Blues, Flyers, Penguins, North Stars, Kings and Seals) presented cheques for $2,000,000 to the existing NHL owners to officially receive their franchises and the following day, at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, the first NHL Expansion Draft was held.

The problem I had found in researching this event was not that I couldn't find the list of players taken; it's easy enough to work that out by looking at the 1967-68 rosters and working backward to June 5, 1967. The problem was finding the rules of the draft and the draft order. The draft order of, say, an NHL Entry Draft is well known and documented but the order of this expansion draft was not in any source I'd ever seen. The 1967-68 NHL Guide doesn't even have this information, just a summary of the players taken by the new teams and the lists of players protected by the old teams.

The rules of the draft were as follows:
  • The new teams would chose 20 players: 2 goaltenders and 18 skaters. The goaltenders would be chosen in the first two rounds.
  • The existing teams would file lists of protected players, their best players who would be exempt from being chosen. These lists consisted of 11 skaters (forwards & defencemen) and one goaltender. They were presented to Don Ellis, the Director of the NHL's Central Registry by 5 p.m. on the 5th, and posted at the draft proceedings on the 6th at 9 a.m. Other players exempted from the draft proceedings included junior-eligible players who played on a pro team, any pro team, in the 1966-67 season. This meant players such as Bobby Orr were exempt. Players sold to a minor league team in the 1966-67 season would not be eligible either. Rookies in 1966-67 would not be eligible until their team had protected 18 skaters and 2 goaltenders total (including the goalie and 11 players on the initial protected list; this clause was used to great effect by the Montreal Canadiens, who were able to keep players like Serge Savard, Carol Vadnais and Jacques Lemaire without having to put them on their original protected list).
  • NHL President Clarence Campbell would chose the draft order by picking ballots out of the Stanley Cup. The teams would draft in the order of ballots picked out of the Cup in the first round of goaltenders taken. In the second round the draft order was reversed. The draft order for the third round, the first round of skaters, would be chosen at random again and the order of every round that followed would be the same except that the team that picked first in the previous round was bumped to last in the following round and all the others moved up one position (i.e. if the first round of players was A-B-C-D-E-F the second would be B-C-D-E-F-A, third would be C-D-E-F-A-B, and so on).
  • New teams had three minutes to pick a player or would forfeit their pick (as far as I can tell this did not happen to any team).
  • After the first goalie was taken from a team that existing team would add another goalie to its 'protected' list. Existing teams would "fill in" their protected lists after the first, second, fifth and all subsequent skaters chosen. An existing team could lose only 18 players.

Special thanks to Paul Shallenberger for helping suss it all out.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromFill-In
Round 1
1Terry SawchukLos Angeles KingsToronto Maple LeafsAl Smith
2Bernie ParentPhiladelphia FlyersBoston BruinsEddie Johnston
3Glenn HallSt. Louis BluesChicago Black HawksDave Dryden
4Cesare ManiagoMinnesota North StarsNew York RangersGilles Villemure
5Joe DaleyPittsburgh PenguinsDetroit Red WingsGeorge Gardner
6Charlie HodgeCalifornia SealsMontreal CanadiensRogie Vachon
Round 2
7Gary SmithCalifornia SealsToronto Maple Leafs
8Roy EdwardsPittsburgh PenguinsChicago Black Hawks
9Gary BaumanMinnesota North StarsMontreal Canadiens
10Don CaleySt. Louis BluesDetroit Red Wings
11Doug FavellPhiladelphia FlyersBoston Bruins
12Wayne RutledgeLos Angeles KingsNew York Rangers
Round 3
13Dave BalonMinnesota North StarsMontreal CanadiensClaude Larose
14Bobby BaunCalifornia SealsToronto Maple LeafsMurray Oliver
15Earl IngarfieldPittsburgh PenguinsNew York RangersReg Fleming
16Gord LabossiereLos Angeles KingsMontreal CanadiensClaude Provost
17Ed Van ImpePhiladelphia FlyersChicago Black HawksEric Nesterenko
18Jim RobertsSt. Louis BluesMontreal Canadiens
Round 4
19Kent DouglasCalifornia SealsToronto Maple LeafsAllan Stanley
20Al MacNeilPittsburgh PenguinsNew York RangersRed Berenson
21Bob WallLos Angeles KingsDetroit Red WingsHowie Young
22Joe WatsonPhiladelphia FlyersBoston BruinsDallas Smith
23Noel PicardSt. Louis BluesMontreal Canadiens
24Ray CullenMinnesota North StarsDetroit Red WingsFloyd Smith
Round 5
25Larry JeffreyPittsburgh PenguinsToronto Maple Leafs
26Eddie JoyalLos Angeles KingsToronto Maple Leafs
27Brit SelbyPhiladelphia FlyersToronto Maple LeafsGeorge Armstrong
28Al ArbourSt. Louis BluesToronto Maple LeafsDuane Rupp
29Bob WoytowichMinnesota North StarsBoston BruinsSkip Krake
30Bill HickeCalifornia SealsNew York Rangers
Round 6
31Real LemieuxLos Angeles KingsDetroit Red Wings
32Lou AngottiPhiladelphia FlyersChicago Black HawksWayne Maki
33Rod SeilingSt. Louis BluesNew York Rangers
34Jean-Guy TalbotMinnesota North StarsMontreal CanadiensDick Duff
35Billy HarrisCalifornia SealsDetroit Red Wings
36Ab McDonaldPittsburgh PenguinsDetroit Red WingsGary Jarrett
Round 7
37Leon RochefortPhiladelphia FlyersMontreal CanadiensCarol Vadnais
38Ron SchockSt. Louis BluesBoston Bruins
39Wayne ConnellyMinnesota North StarsBoston Bruins
40Larry CahanCalifornia SealsNew York RangersLarry Mickey
41Leo BoivinPittsburgh PenguinsDetroit Red WingsBob Falkenberg
42Poul PopeilLos Angeles KingsBoston BruinsRon Buchanan
Round 8
43Terry CrispSt. Louis BluesBoston BruinsWayne Cashman
44Ted TaylorMinnesota North StarsDetroit Red WingsNick Libett
45Wally BoyerCalifornia SealsChicago Black Hawks
46Noel PricePittsburgh PenguinsMontreal CanadiensSerge Savard
47Terry GrayLos Angeles KingsDetroit Red WingsRon Anderson
48Don BlackburnPhiladelphia FlyersToronto Maple LeafsDarryl Sly
Round 9
49Pete GoeganMinnesota North StarsDetroit Red WingsCraig Cameron
50Joe SzuraCalifornia SealsMontreal CanadiensDanny Grant
51Keith McCrearyPittsburgh PenguinsMontreal CanadiensJacques Lemaire
52Bryan CampbellLos Angeles KingsNew York RangersBob Plager
53John MiszukPhiladelphia FlyersChicago Black Hawks
54Don McKenneySt. Louis BluesDetroit Red WingsJim Watson
Round 10
55Bob LemieuxCalifornia SealsMontreal CanadiensAndre Boudrias
56Ken SchinkelPittsburgh PenguinsNew York RangersPaul Andrea
57Ted IrvineLos Angeles KingsBoston BruinsJean Pronovost
58Garry PetersPhiladelphia FlyersMontreal CanadiensMike McMahon
59Wayne RiversSt. Louis BluesBoston BruinsBob Heaney
60Len LundeMinnesota North StarsChicago Black HawksMatt Ravlich
Round 11
61Bob DillaboughPittsburgh PenguinsBoston BruinsTed Hodgson
62Howie HughesLos Angeles KingsMontreal CanadiensBob Charlebois
63Dick CherryPhiladelphia FlyersBoston BruinsRon Murphy
64Bill HaySt. Louis BluesChicago Black HawksPaul Terbenche
65Bill GoldsworthyMinnesota North StarsBoston BruinsJohn Arbour
66Jean-Paul PariseCalifornia SealsBoston BruinsGlen Sather
Round 12
67Bill InglisLos Angeles KingsMontreal CanadiensDon Johns
68Jean GauthierPhiladelphia FlyersMontreal CanadiensBill McCreary
69Darryl EdestrandSt. Louis BluesToronto Maple LeafsRed Kelly
70Andre PronovostMinnesota North StarsDetroit Red WingsGeorge Harris
71Ron HarrisCalifornia SealsBoston BruinsDave Woodley
72Art StrattonPittsburgh PenguinsChicago Black HawksGeoff Powis
Round 13
73Jim JohnsonPhiladelphia FlyersNew York RangersGeorge Konik
74Norm BeaudinSt. Louis BluesDetroit Red WingsIrv Spencer
75Elmer VaskoMinnesota North StarsChicago Black HawksDoug Shelton
76Terry ClancyCalifornia SealsToronto Maple LeafsGerry Ehman
77Val FonteynePittsburgh PenguinsDetroit Red WingsJim Peters
78Doug RobinsonLos Angeles KingsNew York RangersGary Sabourin
Round 14
79Larry KeenanSt. Louis BluesToronto Maple LeafsDick Gamble
80Murray HallMinnesota North StarsChicago Black HawksWayne Smith
81Tracy PrattCalifornia SealsChicago Black HawksMike Chernoff
82Jeannot GilbertPittsburgh PenguinsBoston BruinsBrian Bradley
83Mike CorriganLos Angeles KingsToronto Maple LeafsDon Cherry
84Gary DornhoeferPhiladelphia FlyersBoston BruinsTed Snell
Round 15
85Bryan WatsonMinnesota North StarsDetroit Red WingsFred Hilts
86Autry EricksonCalifornia SealsToronto Maple LeafsNorm Armstrong
87Tom McCarthyPittsburgh PenguinsMontreal CanadiensBill Plager
88Jacques LemieuxLos Angeles KingsMontreal CanadiensLeo Thiffault
89Forbes KennedyPhiladelphia FlyersBoston BruinsWayne Maxner
90Ron StewartSt. Louis BluesBoston BruinsBob Leiter
Round 16
91Ron BoehmCalifornia SealsNew York RangersDunc McCallum
92Billy DeaPittsburgh PenguinsChicago Black HawksRoger Bellerive
93Lowell MacDonaldLos Angeles KingsToronto Maple LeafsBronco Horvath
94Pat HanniganPhiladelphia FlyersChicago Black HawksAl Lebrun
95Fred HuculSt. Louis BluesToronto Maple LeafsLes Duff
96Bill CollinsMinnesota North StarsNew York RangersBob Jones
Round 17
97Bobby RivardPittsburgh PenguinsMontreal CanadiensJim Paterson
98Ken BlockLos Angeles KingsNew York RangersBob Blackburn
99Dwight CarruthersPhiladelphia FlyersDetroit Red WingsGary Marsh
100John BrennemanSt. Louis BluesToronto Maple LeafsBarry Watson
101Sandy FitzpatrickMinnesota North StarsNew York RangersBob Ash
102Alain CaronCalifornia SealsChicago Black HawksOscar Gaudet
Round 18
103Bill FlettLos Angeles KingsToronto Maple LeafsStan Smrke
104Bob CourcyPhiladelphia FlyersMontreal Canadiens
105Gerry MelnykSt. Louis BluesChicago Black HawksJack Stanfield
106Parker MacDonaldMinnesota North StarsDetroit Red WingsRick McCann
107Mike LaughtonCalifornia SealsToronto Maple LeafsMilan Marcetta
108Mel PearsonPittsburgh PenguinsChicago Black HawksBrian McDonald
Round 19
109Keith WrightPhiladelphia FlyersBoston Bruins
110Gary VeneruzzoSt. Louis BluesToronto Maple Leafs
111Billy TaylorMinnesota North StarsChicago Black HawksDick Meissner
112Bryan Hextall, Jr.California SealsNew York RangersBill Knibbs
113Andy BathgatePittsburgh PenguinsDetroit Red WingsLarry Billows
114Brent HughesLos Angeles KingsDetroit Red Wings
Round 20
115Max MestinsekSt. Louis BluesNew York RangersRon Ingram
116Dave RichardsonMinnesota North StarsChicago Black HawksRoss Eichler
117Gary KilpatrickCalifornia SealsChicago Black Hawks
118Les HuntPittsburgh PenguinsNew York RangersGord Vejprava
119Marc DufourLos Angeles KingsNew York RangersWayne Hall
120Terry BallPhiladelphia FlyersNew York Rangers

The protected lists:

Boston BruinsChicago Black HawksDetroit Red WingsMontreal CanadiensNew York RangersToronto Maple Leafs
Gerry CheeversDenis DeJordyRoger CrozierGump WorsleyEd GiacominJohnny Bower
Ted GreenDoug JarrettGary BergmanJ.C. TremblayArnie BrownTim Horton
Gary DoakGilles MarotteBert MarshallJacques LaperriereWayne HillmanLarry Hillman
John BucykPierre PiloteBob McCordTerry HarperHarry HowellMarcel Pronovost
Ed WestfallPat StapletonAlex DelvecchioTed HarrisJim NeilsonMike Walton
Tom WilliamsDennis HullGordie HoweJean BeliveauRod GilbertJim Pappin
John McKenzieBobby HullNorm UllmanRalph BackstromPhil GoyettePete Stemkowski
Ken HodgeChico MakiPaul HendersonHenri RichardVic HadfieldBob Pulford
Phil EspositoPit MartinBruce MacGregorGilles TremblayOrland KurtenbachFrank Mahovlich
Eddie ShackStan MikitaTed HampsonJohn FergusonDon MarshallDave Keon
Fred StanfieldDoug MohnsDoug RobertsYvan CournoyerBob NevinRon Ellis
Don AwreyKen WharramDean PrenticeBobby RousseauJean RatelleBrian Conacher

Junior-age players who were exempt from the draft proceedings included Ross Lonsberry, Bobby Orr, Doug Barrie, Bart Crashley, Pete Mahovlich, David Rochefort, Lucien Grenier, Al Hamilton, Wayne Carleton and Jim McKenny. (This list is not exhaustive; I'll look into who else may have been exempt under this rule later.)

The fill-ins:

Boston BruinsChicago Black HawksDetroit Red WingsMontreal CanadiensNew York RangersToronto Maple Leafs
Eddie JohnstonDave DrydenGeorge GardnerRogie VachonGilles VillemureAl Smith
Dallas SmithEric NesterenkoHowie YoungClaude LaroseReg FlemingMurray Oliver
Skip KrakeWayne MakiFloyd SmithClaude ProvostRed BerensonAllan Stanley
Ron BuchananMatt RavlichGary JarrettDick DuffLarry MickeyGeorge Armstrong
Wayne CashmanPaul TerbencheBob FalkenbergCarol VadnaisBob PlagerDuane Rupp
Jean PronovostGeoff PowisNick LibettSerge SavardPaul AndreaDarryl Sly
Bob HeaneyDoug SheltonRon AndersonDanny GrantGeorge KonikRed Kelly
Ted HodgsonWayne SmithCraig CameronJacques LemaireGary SabourinGerry Ehman
Ron MurphyMike ChernoffJim WatsonAndre BoudriasDunc McCallumDick Gamble
John ArbourRoger BelleriveGeorge HarrisMike McMahonBob JonesDon Cherry
Glen SatherAl LebrunIrv SpencerBob CharleboisBob BlackburnNorm Armstrong
Dave WoodleyOscar GaudetJim PetersDon JohnsBob AshBronco Horvath
Brian BradleyJack StanfieldFred HiltsBill McCrearyBill KnibbsLes Duff
Ted SnellBrian McDonaldGary MarshBill PlagerRon IngramBarry Watson
Wayne MaxnerDick MeissnerRick McCannLeo ThiffaultGord VejpravaStan Smrke
Bob LeiterRoss EichlerLarry BillowsJim PatersonWayne HallMilan Marcetta

The draft got started at 10 a.m. on the 6th of June and was wrapped up around 3:30 that afternoon.

Andrews, Ron. (ed.) 1967-68 NHL Guide. The National Hockey League. 1967. pp. 108-109.
Curran, Pat. "What if the cheque bounces?". Montreal Gazette. p. 37, June 5, 1967.,1033677
Curran, Pat. "Habs Regain Larose In Draft Deal". Montreal Gazette. p. 37, June 7, 1967.
Curran, Pat. "California, Philadelphia Rate Top Expansion Clubs". Montreal Gazette. p. 38, June 7, 1967.
"Today's NHL Draft". The Vancouver Sun. p. 19, June 6, 1967.


  1. Mark,

    I have found pictures online of NHL Draft documents that show the following team assignments for draft order:

    Team Goalie Skater
    LA A D
    MIN D A
    PHI B E
    PIT E C
    OAK F B
    STL C F

    So the remainder of round one (goalies) was MIN, PIT, and OAK and round two was flip flop of round one (OAK first and LA last).

    And the newspaper article you mention matches the skater draft format above:

    "order of the first skater round North Stars-Seals-Penguins-Kings-Flyers-Blues"

    Round three order (skaters) was MIN. OAK, PIT, LA, PHI, and STL. Round four was the shifted format(first goes to last, second to first, etc). And continues through round 20.

    All this supports the few draft "knowns" such as:

    Charlie Hodge being the "sixth best goalie" and taken after Joe Daley.
    Dave Balon being pick #1
    Daryl Edestrand being pick #69
    Andy Bathgate being the 101st skater (pick #113)
    and Terry Ball being the final skater (pick #120).

    And this format matches the first nine rounds (only ones visible) of the draft "pick for pick" in the Vancouver Sun link you provide as a source.

    What do you think?

  2. Well Paul, like I said the order as presented was "to the best of my knowledge". I know the Vancouver Sun printed the exact order you describe, which I consider to be potentially correct, but there were also other sources (e.g. the Montreal Gazette) that spoke directly of the rules and how the order was determined, which said specifically the order of the first round of players was F-E-D-C-B-A. There were other articles I'd read from January of '67, when the rules were announced in the first place (on the 18th I believe, so the articles were on published on the 19th), that also said the order of the first round of players was the same as the second round of goalies, which is the only reason I didn't present the order as published in the Vancouver Sun as 'correct'.

    Unfortunately most of the papers of the time had the results broken down by team, or no particular order at all, so I wasn't able to really cross-reference the Sun's listings with something else.

    But if there is a primary source from the NHL itself who am I to argue? Care to share where you found it?

  3. Mark,


    On the auction website that comes up look for 1967 Expansion Draft.

    There will be two pictures of draft docs that you will have to view at 400%.



    1. Ah, interesting. (

      Looks like the typed documents clearly show the order of goalie selections was Kings-Flyers-Blues-North Stars-Penguins-Seals.

      I see where the order of player selection was noted in the margin at the top of the "West Division player selections". The 'GM' names hand-written above the team name also jive with what happened, i.e. most records show the Seals' first GM being Bert Olmstead but it was Rudy Pilous who was hired first and who made the Seals' selections at the draft. You can also see "Jack Cooke" shown at the top of the Kings selections; he hadn't officially hired Larry Regan at that point.

      I would have been inclined to be more suspicious of those documents, given the selections were all hand-written, but then take a look at the "East Division Players Claimed From" document (the blue one): it shows the first selection from the Habs was Balon, the second was Gord Labossiere, and the third looks to be Jim Roberts. That would mean L.A. chose before St. Louis. Makes sense if the order was North Stars-Seals-Penguins-Kings-Flyers-Blues, not North Stars-Seals-Penguins-Blues-Flyers-Kings, as I had shown.

      I guess I have some work to do to fix this table!

      Thanks for the help, Paul. I appreciate it.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Great site, and there was a secrecy to the order of the picks as the draft did not follow the published rules given to the press. I would have to check to see if the list you provided is accurate. There was also an unusual clause added (presumably by Sam Pollock to aid his team) that made first year pros eligible only half way through the draft. Montreal saved Vachon, Savard, Vadnais, Danny Grant, Jacques Lemaire, I think, in case anyone is wondering why Montreal didn't originally protect these future stars and why no expansion team drafted them. Paul Patskou

    1. Hi Paul.

      If there's one thing I can say about Sam Pollock it's that he was very, very shrewd, and arguably he was the best GM of all-time because of that. I did make note of this little quirk of the rules regarding "first-year pros":

      "Rookies in 1966-67 would not be eligible until their team had protected 18 skaters and 2 goaltenders total (including the goalie and 11 players on the initial protected list; this clause was used to great effect by the Montreal Canadiens, who were able to keep players like Serge Savard, Carol Vadnais and Jacques Lemaire without having to put them on their original protected list)."

      If one pays close attention to the draft results one will notice that the Canadiens' 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th skaters protected were Vadnais, Savard, Grant and Lemaire respectively. In effect they were never up for grabs.

      For a far more in-depth analysis of the '67 Expansion Draft I would recommend that you read's excellent breakdown. Start here:

  5. which two teams were discontinued - one obviously was Oakland's California Golden Seals - which other stopped? then obviously started up again - like the pre 1942 teams all did

    1. The Seals moved to Cleveland and became the Barons. They lasted a couple of years and merged with the Minnesota North Stars. The former owners of the Seals/Barons franchise and of the then Minnesota North Stars (the Gunds) "stole" the San Jose territory from Howard Baldwin (One of the original owners of WHA's New England Whalers that became the Hartford Whalers after absorption of WHA) who had actually wanted to own a team near his residence and paved the way for potential expansion. The Gunds could not make in Oakland/San Francisco, Cleveland or Minneapolis/St Paul (which is the capital of hockey in the area!!!)

      The second team, from that expansion group, was the North Stars moving to Texas as the Dallas Stars.



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