Monday, August 6, 2012

1971 NHL Intra-League Draft

The 1971 Intra-League Draft was known more for the antics of Punch Imlach than the transactions themselves.

The draft was held June 8. Each team protected 18 skaters and two goalies. When a goalie was lost another could be added to the protected list as a fill-in. The draft price was $40,000.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromPlayer Removed
From Protected List
Claim player
or cash
Round 1
1Wayne CarletonCalifornia Golden SealsBoston BruinsGerry Ehmancash
2Al SmithDetroit Red WingsPittsburgh PenguinsJim Rutherfordclaim
3Dennis KearnsVancouver CanucksChicago Black HawksMurray Hallcash
4Dave BurrowsPittsburgh PenguinsChicago Black HawksDean Prenticecash
5Ray McKayBuffalo SabresChicago Black HawksJean-Guy Talbotcash
6Gary EdwardsLos Angeles KingsBuffalo SabresBruce Landoncash
passMinnesota North Stars
7Larry BrownPhiladelphia FlyersNew York RangersLarry Hillmancash
8Don MarshallToronto Maple LeafsBuffalo SabresBrian Marchinkocash
9Mike ParizeauSt. Louis BluesNew York RangersClaude Laforgecash
passMontreal Canadiens
passChicago Black Hawks
passNew York Rangers
passBoston Bruins
Round 2
10Frank HughesCalifornia Golden SealsToronto Maple LeafsDoug Robertscash
11Fred SpeckVancouver CanucksDetroit Red WingsRon Wardcash
12Tim HortonPittsburgh PenguinsNew York RangersBob Blackburncash
13Rene RobertBuffalo SabresToronto Maple LeafsFloyd Smithcash
14Frank SpringPhiladelphia FlyersBoston BruinsGarry Petersclaim
Round 3
15Stan GilbertsonCalifornia Golden SealsBoston BruinsBill Hickecash
16Rey ComeauVancouver CanucksMontreal CanadiensJim Wistecash
17Hugh HarrisBuffalo SabresMontreal CanadiensPaul Andreacash
18Brian LavenderMinnesota North StarsMontreal CanadiensBob Murdochclaim
Round 4
Dick DuffBuffalo SabresBuffalo SabresRene Robert
19Rene RobertPittsburgh PenguinsBuffalo SabresWally Boyercash
Round 5
Reg FlemingBuffalo SabresBuffalo SabresHugh Harris
Round 6
20Danny LawsonBuffalo SabresMinnesota North StarsReg Flemingcash
Round 7
Reg FlemingBuffalo SabresBuffalo SabresDick Duff
Round 8
21Rod ZaineBuffalo SabresPittsburgh PenguinsReg Flemingcash
Round 9
Reg FlemingBuffalo SabresBuffalo SabresRod Zaine
Round 10
22Tom MillerBuffalo SabresDetroit Red WingsReg Flemingcash
Round 11
Reg FlemingBuffalo SabresBuffalo SabresTom Miller
Round 12
23Ken MurrayBuffalo SabresToronto Maple LeafsReg Flemingcash
Round 13
Reg FlemingBuffalo SabresBuffalo SabresKen Murrary

(Note: After goalies Al Smith and Gary Edwards were drafted the Penguins and Sabres filled in their protected lists with Paul Hoganson and Rocky Farr, respectively.)

As you can see from the results the Sabres had no problem bending the rules a bit to get what they wanted. You see, there was nothing that said a team couldn't draft one of its own unprotected players. Punch Imlach used 35-year-old Reg Fleming, who because of his age and his salary was not likely to be picked by another team anyway, as a pawn. Fleming was 'drafted' and 'dropped' nine times, and in the process the Sabres acquired four players well after the rest of the teams were done drafting. As Imlach drafted a player from another team he'd drop Fleming, who wasn't claimed, and then reclaim him in the next round by dropping the player he'd just drafted. If the drafted player was claimed by another team the Sabres didn't really stand to lose anything: they'd get the $40,000 back from having drafted the player in the first place and they were right back were they started. If they lost Fleming to another team, so what? He was 35; he never played another game in the NHL after this anyway.

Trivia for you: Rene Robert was drafted from the Maple Leafs by the Sabres in the second round but was lost to the Penguins in the fourth round as Punch Imlach was reshuffling his list of players. Imlach wanted to have Robert on his team but ended up having to trade Eddie Shack to the Penguins in 1972 to finally get him.

1 comment:

  1. Mark,
    More info on Reggie "The Ruffian" Fleming who although short in stature would take on all comers in a fight during his career.

    He was a member of the 1961 Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Champions team and was traded in 1964 with Ab McDonald for Boston's Doug "Diesel" Mohns (who would later play LW with Stan Mikita and Doug Wharram).

    Midway through the 1965-66 season Emile Francis of the Rangers traded Johnny "Pie" McKenzie even up for Reggie.

    Reggie together with June 1966 intra-league draftee Orland Kurtenbach would combine to give the Rangers toughness and some decent penalty killing.

    Sadly Reggie passed away in July of 2009 and it was discovered later that year he suffered from the brain disease CTE, first time this disorder could be traced to an NHL player.

    (PS please check spelling of Bill Fairbairn on your 1970 Expansion Protected List)





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