Sunday, June 3, 2012

1972 NHL Intra-League Draft

The Intra-League Draft, as mentioned in an earlier post, was the forerunner of the Waiver Draft. NHL clubs protected their best players and allowed the rest of the league to have the pick of the rest, the idea being that the worst teams could improve themselves by acquiring the talent of the better teams for a nominal fee (in 1972, $40,000) and (eventually) the league's competition would be a little closer to parity.

The players being exchanged were often either older vets on their way out or younger players who hadn't yet established themselves. The biggest name in the '72 draft, Tim Horton, was definitely one of the former. The four-time Stanley Cup champion was 42 years old, heading into his 21st full year in the NHL. By this time he was supposedly very myopic (literally, not figuratively) and very highly compensated, which is why the Penguins were not upset in parting with his services. He played about a season-and-a-half in Buffalo, famously having died when he lost control of his De Tomaso Pantera in the wee hours of the morning of the 21st of February, 1974.

The way the Intra-League Draft worked was that the teams would submit protected lists, lists of player who would not be eligible to be picked, to the NHL Central Registry. If a team picked a player from another team the team that was picking had to remove a player from its protected list in order to accommodate the new player. As consideration the team that was losing the player had a choice between taking a cash fee (again, $40,000 in 1972) or claiming the player that the other team had removed from its protected list (and paying the claiming team $30,000). For example the Canucks picked Don Tannahill from the Bruins, they removed Don Ward from their own protected list, and Boston had the choice of $40,000 or taking Ward; they chose the cash. When the Kings picked Barry Long from the Black Hawks they removed Bill Orban from their list and instead of taking the cash the Black Hawks took Orban (and paid the Kings back $30,000, so the net return was Orban and $10,000).

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromPlayer Removed
From Protected List
Claim player
or cash
Round 1
1Don TannahillVancouver CanucksBoston BruinsDon Wardcash
2Barry LongLos Angeles KingsChicago Black HawksBill Orbanclaim
3Tim HortonBuffalo SabresPittsburgh PenguinsDanny Lawsoncash
4Larry PleauToronto Maple LeafsMontreal CanadiensBrad Selwoodclaim
Round 2
5Gerry O'FlahertyVancouver CanucksToronto Maple LeafsJim Niekampcash
6Doug VolmarLos Angeles KingsDetroit Red WingsLucien Greniercash

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