Monday, December 31, 2012

1910 NHA Constitution

In the course of researching the history of the NHL's sponsorship system I came upon an interesting little bit of legal lore that may interest a few people out there.

You may or may not know that the National Hockey League was borne out of a legal dispute between the owners of a preceding hockey league named the National Hockey Association (NHA). The NHA was founded in 1909 by J. Ambrose O'Brien as an amalgam of teams he owned in Northern Ontario and the Montreal Wanderers, winners of the Stanley Cup in 1906, 1907 and 1908. The league quickly added teams in Montreal (Shamrocks, two-time winners of the Stanley Cup, and Canadiens, created to capture the attention of the city's francophone population), Ottawa (Senators, then five-time and defending Stanley Cup champions), Quebec City (Quebec HC, a.k.a. "Bulldogs") and Toronto (including Toronto HC, known as the "Blueshirts", from which the modern-day Maple Leafs are descended).

It was due to disputes between eventual Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone and the rest of the NHA owners that the rest formed another league, the NHL, in order to carry on their hockey business while excluding Livingstone. I won't get into the details—a cursory internet search will provide you with a breadth of information on the subject.

When the NHL was formed it carried over the rules (notably six-man hockey; most other leagues still played seven-man rules which included the now-deprecated rover), officials (including president and secretary-treasurer Frank Calder, who would remain in those positions with the NHL until he had a heart attack at a board meeting in 1943, dying 10 days later) and constitution of the NHA.

The NHA originally used the constitution of the Eastern Canada Hockey Association (ECHA, formerly known as the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association [ECAHA]). After the NHA's first season of operation the Shamrocks left, rejoining 'amateur' ranks with the likes of the Montreal Victorias (Stanley Cup champions in the late 1890s) and Montreal HC (the hockey wing of the Amateur Athletic Association, inaugural Stanley Cup champions in 1893). Ambrose O'Brien chose to return his clubs in Northern Ontario (Cobalt & Haileybury) back to the Timiskaming Professional Hockey League from whence they came and sold the Montreal Canadiens to George Kennedy; he couldn't afford the salaries commanded by the top players in the country. Seeking to stabilize the league and to clarify the league's business rules a three-man committee comprised of league president Emmett Quinn, former secretary-treasurer Eddie McCafferty and Wanderers manager Dickie Boon wrote a new constitution, adopted at the annual board meeting held in November of 1910.

A draft version of the constitution was published November 9, 1910 in the Montreal Gazette. At the bottom of this post you will find a link to the Google News archive version of the page in The Gazette. I also took it upon myself to transcribe the articles of the constitution as presented in The Gazette and create a PDF for your viewing ease (and also to save me the trouble of html coding in order to reproduce it in an acceptable format to suit the blog's theme).

Click here to view the PDF at

Note that Section 21 set a salary cap of $5,000 per team. This was very contentious with the players of course. The Ottawa Senators players even contemplated starting their own league as many had their salaries halved. They ended up not being able to secure ice time in any of the big rinks and backed down from the threat. Interesting, considering the state of player relations as they relate to the salary cap today...

Also note that the number of teams in Section 12 was left blank. It appears blank on the newspaper page; it may have been a misprint or omission on their part. Given the context of the article and the talks between the clubs about admitting the Quebec Hockey Club and a club from Toronto I believe the number was meant to be six (Renfrew, Canadiens, Wanderers, Ottawa, Quebec, Toronto). Six sounds right given the context of the rest of the constitution too—see Section 16 regarding the expulsion of a member club. It calls for a vote by all of the clubs except the club facing expulsion and four votes are required to pass the motion. That means that there would be at least five clubs, and since it calls for four votes and not 'unanimous' I believe they left a margin of one dissenting vote (four assenting, one dissenting, one club facing expulsion; six total). In any case for the sake of accuracy I have left the space blank, as I do not wish to misrepresent what was printed at the time.


"To Place Hockey on Better Basis; Draft of New Constitution for National Association Was Completed Yesterday; Salary Limit of $5,000; Severe Penalties Will Be Exacted for Violations of Rules by Players or Clubs." Montreal Gazette 9 Nov 1910, 10. Web. 24 Dec. 2012.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Sponsorship System - The Pre-Expansion NHL's Monopsony on Players

The NHL's primary source of young, talented hockey players has always been the Canadian junior leagues. Prior to the 1960s scouting from U.S. colleges and European leagues was extremely rare and only a handful of players in the NHL were not Canadian. Before the implementation of the amateur draft the NHL clubs had created elaborate farm systems whereby they exercised complete control over the movement of almost all professional and high-level amateur players in North America. There is a lot of confusing information out there regarding how this recruitment system worked and I freely admit that I've certainly misspoken about it in the past because frankly I did not completely understand how the NHL's system worked. Inasmuch as I decided to write this to get the information out there I also wrote it because I wanted to research it for the sake of clearing things up for my own benefit and understanding.

The 1930s and early '40s dealt severe financial blows to the NHL. The combination of the effects of The Great Depression and the loss of talent to the war effort at the turn of the decade killed off four of the league's ten franchises. The Philadelphia Quakers né Pittsburgh Pirates were first to go, in 1931. In the span of only four years the (original) Ottawa Senators suspended operations, resumed operations, moved to St. Louis and folded in '35. Neither Montreal nor Manhattan could support two NHL franchises and the Maroons and ('Brooklyn') Americans were gone after '38 and '42, respectively.

The NHL was not alone in its plight. The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA), the governing body of the amateur game in Canada, found that many of its constituent leagues' teams were experiencing similar difficulties. Of great concern to the CAHA was the way in which the NHL was poaching players off its Junior teams' rosters. The CAHA's position was that it had spent the money to 'develop' players from novices to juveniles and juniors and that the NHL, in signing these players, should compensate the CAHA for having provided the players with a hockey education in the first place.

The genesis of what became the sponsorship system was an agreement reached in 1936 between the NHL and CAHA, in which the two organizations decided:

  • to respect each other's players suspensions,
  • the CAHA would adopt NHL playing rules,
  • the NHL would not sign junior players from the CAHA without the junior club's consent,
  • the NHL would not sign any player from the CAHA while the player's amateur club was in competition

The agreement between the CAHA and NHL was amended every year that followed and little by little the NHL gained more of a foothold in the CAHA's operations. By the mid-1940s the NHL had begun direct, outright subsidy of Junior A clubs under the CAHA's control. In exchange for financially supporting the junior clubs the CAHA allowed the NHL control over their operations and exclusive professional playing rights to the boys who played for the sponsored teams.

Through sponsorship agreements the NHL clubs would be allowed to place up to 18 players on a given team on their "sponsorship list", giving the club exclusive negotiating rights with that player until after he turned 20 years old and his junior eligibility expired. Once within the club's sponsorship system the player no longer had any control over where he played. If he ran afoul of his Junior A coach he could be shipped off to a Junior B club in another town within the NHL club's system.

The Sponsorship System

The system I speak of was a hierarchy of minor pro and amateur affiliations. The CAHA-NHL agreement only allowed for the NHL clubs to each sponsor a pair of Junior A teams but it also allowed minor pro (WHL, AHL, CPHL/EPHL/QHL) teams to sponsor junior teams in their own right, and Junior A teams to sponsor a pair of Junior B, Juvenile or Midget teams in their own right. Through the Joint Affiliation Agreement between the NHL, AHL and WHL the NHL clubs would gain de facto control over their minor league affiliates' sponsors as well. This pyramid of affiliations and sponsorships would allow NHL clubs to retain exclusive playing rights of hundreds of boys and men.

Take the Montreal Canadiens as an example. In the 1965-66 season they sponsored the Montreal Junior Canadiens and Peterborough TPT Petes of the OHA Jr. A league. The Canadiens also had affiliation agreements with the AHL's Cleveland Barons, Providence Reds and Quebec Aces, and the WHL's Seattle Totems and CPHL's Houston Apollos. The Barons sponsored Jr. A teams in Kirkland and Verdun, the Reds sponsored its own pair of Jr. A teams, the Aces sponsored the Regina Pats, the Totems sponsored another pair of Junior teams, and the Apollos sponsored a couple Junior B teams. Several of these Junior A and B teams in turn sponsored other Junior B, Juvenile and Midget clubs. All in all the Montreal Canadiens had 21 Junior A, Junior B, Juvenile and Midget clubs under its control. The Canadiens could place up to 18 players from each of its sponsored clubs on a list of sponsored players, a list of players which no other professional team in North America (since the NHL exercised control over the other leagues) could touch. In effect the Canadiens could direct the careers of over 300 young players.

By virtue of the amateur and minor pro affiliation agreements the NHL had a monopsony (a monopoly is a single seller in a market of several buyers; a monopsony is a single buyer in a market of many sellers) on the supply of players. They lorded over the CAHA, USAHA, the AHL and WHL through these agreements and owned the CPHL outright. They had ultimate control over almost all hockey in North America. (Note that I have not made any mention of the International Hockey League. They had no agreement with the NHL and as such were considered an 'amateur' league.)

In addition to sponsorship lists the NHL used a few other instruments to obtain and retain control over the supply of players. One such instrument was the negotiation list, a list upon which four players over the age of 18 could be placed for the right of exclusive negotiations. The action of placing a player on a negotiation list was unilateral. The player did not have to provide his consent; in fact they didn't even have to be notified of being placed on a negotiation list. The exclusive negotiation rights could be renewed for an additional year without the player's consent if the NHL club could demonstrate to the NHL President (Clarence Campbell) that the club had made a concerted effort to sign the player.

Now when I say 'sign' I don't necessarily mean an actual player's contract. The NHL also had three 'option' contract documents to which they could sign players in order to retain their exclusive playing rights without having to actually pay them an ongoing salary: the now-notorious 'A', 'B' and 'C' forms. This area of NHL contract 'law' may be the most muddled and confusing nowadays. I began the research into the area of the sponsorship system by first asking myself “What the hell are 'A', 'B' and 'C' forms anyway?”

Try-Out Agreement “A”

If a player signed an 'A' form he would be bound by the agreement to show up to the club's training camp if they requested him to be there (and as consideration the club would pay for a hotel room, meals and travel expenses from his hometown to the training camp). If the club offered him a contract he was bound to sign a contract with them on terms to be mutually agreed upon at a later date.

If the player refused to appear to try-out he could be suspended from “all professional and amateur organizations” (WHL, AHL, CPHL, CAHA, USAHA, etc.) until he carried out the try-out. If it was signed before September 1 of any given calendar year it would expire at the end of October of the same calendar year. If it was signed after September 1 it would expire at the end of October of the following calendar year, thus guaranteeing the player would be bound to appear at the following season's training camp.

A player signed to an 'A' form could also play in up to five NHL regular season games, plus another three in the case of an emergency, without signing a Standard Player's Contract. The club could also trade or otherwise transfer the rights created by the agreement to another club.

The rescission of the agreement would occur if and only if the player attended a try-out and the club did not offer him a contract.

Option Agreement “B”

The 'B' form was very, very rarely used. It was similar to the 'A' form in that it bound the player to appear at training camp and he would sign a contract if the club offered him one (although he could negotiate the terms). The agreement also gave the player a measure of control which he did not have with an 'A' or 'C' form: he could demand a contract from the team at any time. It would have to be “at a rate of salary equal to the fair average salary of the League in which the Club is a member.” If the club did not offer him such a contract within 15 days of his notice to them then the option agreement was rescinded and he was free to sign with any other team.

Note that he did not have to agree to the terms of the contract offered by the club, but they had to offer him one at the average salary of the league at a minimum. If they low-balled him he could notify them in writing that they had failed to meet the requirements of the option agreement and the agreement would end unless they offered him an average salary.

Like the 'A' form this agreement could be transferred to another team. It would be in effect so long as the club extended the player the average salary offer whenever he demanded it. The only players I know of who signed a 'B' form were Jean Beliveau and Jacques Plante.

Option Agreement “C”

The 'C' form was the most restrictive to the player. Like the 'A' and 'B' forms it forced him to appear at the club's training camp. What was different about it was that it stipulated the terms to which he would sign a Standard Player's Contract at some point in future, including a signing bonus and the different salaries he would earn depending on whether he played in the NHL, AHL, WHL or QHL/CPHL. He couldn't negotiate the terms later: they were already agreed upon when he signed the 'C' form. There was also a clause which forced the player to “agree that he will play hockey only for such hockey team as may be designated by the Club”. In other words whether or not he actually signed a contract the team could dictate where he played, including as an amateur. As with the other forms the agreement could be traded or assigned to another club.

The final clause in the agreement was perhaps the most restrictive: the agreement would last only one year but the club could automatically renew it for another year, over and over in perpetuity, if they made the player a (negotiated) cash payment for every year's extension. In effect the restrictions on player movement and the rest of the agreement (the predetermined terms of a players contract, showing up to training camp) could be imposed on the player forever as long as the club kept paying the annual renewal fee.

Donald R. Ellis, the Director of the NHL Central Registry Bureau of Player Information from 1953 to 1983, wrote an article within the book Years of Glory edited by Dan Diamond entitled "Waivers, Drafts, and the Sponsorship List". A great deal of the information contained in this blog post was first gleaned from Ellis's work. Within it he wrote that the 'A', 'B' and 'C' forms could not be signed by players younger than 18 but I have found conflicting sources.

One such source is an article entitled "The Economics of the National Hockey League" published in The Canadian Journal of Economics in 1969 by Dr. J. C. H. (Colin) Jones of the University of Victoria Department of Economics. In it he cites two sources which say that the forms "attempt to bind amateurs to a particular professional club when they have reached sixteen years of age". The sources named were the CAHA Hockey Rules of 1954-1955 and the appendices of a U.S. congressional hearing on antitrust legislation as it should apply to professional team sports in 1957.

The amateur draft was instituted in 1963 but the sponsorship system did not begin breaking down until 1966, when the sponsorship lists were frozen. No new players could be added to any team's sponsorship list from that point on and by 1970 direct NHL control of junior clubs would end. As a point of trivia this is how Brad Park ended up with the Rangers: the Maple Leafs had sponsored him (he was a member of the Marlboros Jr. A team) but when the sponsorship lists were frozen in '66 Punch Imlach left Park off their ultimate sponsorship list and elected to keep another player instead. As he was no longer sponsored Park was eligible for the '66 amateur draft and the Rangers chose him second overall. What a steal!

No new 'A', 'B' and 'C' forms could be signed after May 1, 1968. By the beginning of the 1970-71 season the final vestiges of the sponsorship system disappeared as the last sponsored players turned 20 and lost their junior eligibility. Thereafter the NHL would rely on the amateur draft as its source of young talent.


"Ruling Ice Groups Reach Agreement: C.A.H.A. and N.H.L. Repair Rift at Meeting Held in Toronto." Montreal Gazette 15 Aug 1938, 14. Web. 24 Dec. 2012.,1658569.

Barnes, James. The Law of Hockey. Markham, Ont.: LexisNexis Canada, 2010. 73-97. Print.

Ellis, Donald R. "Waivers, Drafts, and the Sponsorship List." Years of Glory, 1942-1967: The National Hockey League's Official Book of the Six-Team Era. Ed. Dan Diamond. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1994. 88-97. Print.

Jones, J. C. H. "The Economics of the National Hockey League." The Canadian Journal of Economics. 2.1 (Feb. 1969): 1-20. Web. 24 Dec. 2012.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

1975 NHL Intra-League Draft

1975: the number of NHL and WHA teams combined was at an all-time high (32). Teams in both leagues were struggling to make ends meet. The WHA's Chicago Cougars and Baltimore Blades (née Michigan Stags) folded after the '74-'75 season. The Kansas City Scouts, only a year old, were already facing financial ruin. The Golden Seals had been owned and operated by the NHL for over a year. The Pittsburgh Penguins were bankrupt. The NHL obviously had much more pressing matters at the annual meetings in June to consider than the intra-league draft. As such it was very brief; reportedly it took less than 10 minutes.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromPlayer Removed
From Protected List
Claim player
or cash
1Dale LewisNew York RangersLos Angeles KingsHartland Monahancash
2Hartland MonahanWashington CapitalsNew York RangersTom Williamscash

The rules were the same as before: protected lists of 18 skaters and a pair of goaltenders, $40,000 draft price. The Penguins weren't permitted to take part due to their bankruptcy; there was a very real possibility that the Penguins would fold.

The Penguins were rescued from bankruptcy by businessmen Al Savill and Otto Frenzel, and former Minnesota North Stars GM Wren Blair. The Penguins would live to see another day. The same could not be said of the intra-league draft. Mid-way through the '75-'76 season the end for the intra-league draft had come: there would be no draft in 1976. June 17, 1975 would go down as the day the last intra-league draft was held by the NHL. Hartland Monahan was the last player ever taken in an NHL intra-league draft.

1974 NHL Reverse Draft

The 1974 Reverse Draft was held June 13. The draft price was $15,000.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFrom
1Glen SeperichSyracuse Eagles (AHL)Detroit Red Wings
(Tidewater Wings [AHL])
2Bill ButtersDenver Spurs (WHL)Toronto Maple Leafs
(Oklahoma City Blazers [CHL])
3Rene DroletTidewater Wings (AHL)Philadelphia Flyers
4Graham ParsonsRichmond Robins (AHL)Minnesota North Stars
(New Haven Nighthawks [AHL])
5Alan HangslebenNova Scotia Voyageurs (AHL)Montreal Canadiens
(Nova Scotia Voyageurs [AHL])
6Harry ShawRochester Americans (AHL)Minnesota North Stars
(New Haven Nighthawks [AHL])

The previous day the NHL had announced that conditional franchises had been awarded to Vincent Abbey and Ivan Mullenix, the owners of the WHL's Seattle Totems and Denver Spurs respectively, to begin play in those cities in 1976. The WHL announced it was suspending operations for the '74-'75 season later that day. The Totems, Spurs and Salt Lake Golden Eagles moved to the Central Hockey League for the '74-'75 season. The WHL's indefinite suspension of operations became permanent.

I suspect the Spurs' selection of Bill Butters was either voided (having ostensibly been chosen by a team without a league at the time) or a cash deal was made to sell his rights back to the Maple Leafs; he was back in Oklahoma City by the beginning of the season in the fall.

In 1975 the Spurs and Totems' conditional NHL franchises were revoked. The financial situation of many of the league's teams were precarious (particularly the Penguins, Scouts and Golden Seals): more expansion was thought to be too risky at the time. The Totems folded while the Spurs decided to move to the WHA instead. The WHA Spurs didn't last long though; attendance at the then-new McNichols Sports Arena was atrocious and Mullenix was bleeding money. He conditionally sold the team to interests in Ottawa around New Year's Day, 1976, and the team played a few more games as the "Ottawa Civics" before folding for good in mid-January. Over-expansion was taking its toll...

1974 NHL Inter-League Draft

The 1974 Inter-League Draft was held June 12, immediately following the expansion draft. Only the expansion Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals took part.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFrom
1Jim HrycuikWashington CapitalsHershey Bears (AHL)
2Hugh HarveyKansas City ScoutsHershey Bears (AHL)

Hrycuik later scored the very first goal in Capitals franchise history, beating Eddie Giacomin at 5:06 of the first period in the Capitals' first regular season game against the Rangers on October 9, 1974. The Capitals lost the game 6-3, the first of 67 losses in the '74-'75 season. They went on to set a record in futility by winning only eight games that season, a low-mark that is still unsurpassed by an NHL team having played 70 or more games in a season.

1974 NHL Intra-League Draft

The 1974 NHL Intra-League Draft took place June 10 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. This year, because it was an expansion year, the rules were modified slightly such that the teams could lose only one player. As in the past first-year pros were exempt and the draft price was $40,000. Also exempt this year were goalies. Any player claimed in the proceedings had to be kept on the claiming team's 16-man protected list in the expansion draft, which took place later that week.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromPlayer Removed
From Protected List
Claim player
or cash
1Jim NeilsonCalifornia Golden SealsNew York RangersWalt McKechnieclaim
2Dave FortierNew York IslandersPhiladelphia FlyersBrian Lefleycash
3Jim WileyVancouver CanucksPittsburgh PenguinsJim Maircash
4Brian OgilvieSt. Louis BluesChicago Black HawksButch Williamscash
5Ron BusniukDetroit Red WingsBuffalo SabresAl McLeodcash

The biggest news story surrounding this year's draft was fall-out from the first selection. Before the draft the Golden Seals, Rangers and Bruins had come to an agreement such that the Seals would take Jim Neilson with their first pick, drop Walt McKechnie from their protected list to make room for Neilson, the Rangers would claim McKechnie as compensation, and they would trade McKechnie to the Bruins at a later date for Derek Sanderson. All was going according to plan until the Sabres had their turn. Because McKechnie was claimed as compensation for losing Neilson McKechnie wasn't placed on the Rangers' protected list. Sabres GM Punch Imlach, being Punch Imlach, thought he could claim McKechnie from the Rangers (his rationale being "McKechnie was the best player available"), thus negating the pre-arranged deal the Rangers and Bruins had agreed to. NHL President Clarence Campbell immediately ruled that the selection was invalid, explained that this year a team could only lose one player and the Rangers had already lost Neilson to the Golden Seals, and the Sabres would have to make another selection or forfeit their pick. Imlach threatened to appeal to the Board of Governors but Campbell rebuffed him, telling him appeals on this matter would not be allowed.

Imlach waived his selection and the rest of the teams passed as well, ending the draft. Two days later McKechnie was traded to the Bruins for Sanderson.

1973 NHL Intra-League Draft

The 1973 NHL Intra-League Draft took place June 12 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. The draft price was $40,000, and each team protected 18 skaters and a pair of goalies. It was a short affair this year, lasting only about half an hour with only a half-dozen players taken in a single round of drafting. Montreal Gazette sports editor Ted Blackman's article about the draft was titled "NHL draft strictly dullsville". He went on to describe the atmosphere at these meetings as very quiet:

"With the amateur draft moved ahead three weeks to beat the WHA to the punch, the NHL meetings have lost all excitement. Most of the governors' meetings are hush-hush secret sessions on war strategy, the halls are quiet and not one decent rumor has been started."

The WHA had arrived, baby.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromPlayer Removed
From Protected List
Claim player
or cash
1Bert MarshallNew York IslandersNew York RangersDave Pulkkinencash
2Ray McKayCalifornia Golden SealsBuffalo SabresDanny Helmcash
3Doug MohnsAtlanta FlamesMinnesota North StarsBill Plagerclaim
4Ron JonesPittsburgh PenguinsBoston BruinsJim Shirescash
5Lou AngottiSt. Louis BluesChicago Black HawksKevin O'Sheacash
6Joe NorisBuffalo SabresSt. Louis BluesMurray Kuntzcash

Sunday, November 18, 2012

1978 NHL Dispersal Draft

If you were forced to sum up the business of hockey in the 1970s with only one word I think a very strong argument could be made for the word 'expansion'. In 1966 there were six 'major' professional hockey teams in North America. By 1974 there were 32; 18 in the NHL and 14 in the WHA. In retrospect this number of teams was far more than the market could support and the WHA, on relatively shaky financial ground, dwindled down from 14 teams in '74-'75 to only six in their last season of play, '78-'79. While the NHL was substantially stronger it was not immune to the effects of "over-expansion" and in 1978 the Cleveland Barons, the franchise formerly known as the California Golden Seals and one of the first NHL franchises to have moved its operations since the Ottawa Senators moved to St. Louis in 1934, were on the verge of insolvency.

The Barons had seemingly been on the cusp of folding ever since they had moved to Cleveland in 1976. They narrowly escaped death in February of 1977 when the owners couldn't make payroll. Majority owner Mel Swig, a San Francisco real estate developer and former owner of the Seals when they played in the WHL in the '60s, sold his share at the end of the '76-'77 season to minority owners George and Gordon Gund, venture capitalists from Cleveland who orchestrated the move from Oakland to the Coliseum at Richfield. The Gund brothers operated the Barons for another year, lost a reported $3,500,000 doing so, and were looking to fold the team outright.

The NHL faced other problems too, namely the New York Islanders and the Minnesota North Stars. The Islanders were in heavy debt, no doubt in part a result of the arduous expansion fees paid in 1972. They still owed millions to the league. Operating partner Roy Boe sold his stake in the Islanders that summer to minority partner John Pickett, who came to agreements to pay off the team's debts.

The North Stars weren't in immediate danger of folding, not like the Barons were, but the owners were fed up with losing money and looking to sell. The nine-man group composed of Walter Bush Jr., John Driscoll, Harry McNeely, Robert McNulty, John Ordway, F. T. Weyerhauser, Bob Ridder, Gordon Ritz and Wheelock Whitney Jr. found buyers in George and Gordon Gund. Rather than fold the Barons outright the Gunds negotiated with the North Stars ownership group and the league (in particular board chairman John Ziegler, who helped save the team in '77) to come to a compromise: the Barons and North Stars would merge.

This agreement was reached on June 14, the day before the Amateur Draft took place. The Gund brothers would assume ownership of the combined team, to remain in Minnesota and retain the North Stars name and colours, and take the Barons' place in the Adams Division. The 'new' North Stars would forfeit all of the Barons' amateur draft picks and allow the five other worst teams in the league to have their pick of North Stars and Barons players in a brief dispersal draft. The draft would only last one round, the only participants would be the Capitals, Blues, Canucks, Penguins and Rockies (in that order), and the teams would pay the North Stars $30,000 for each selection.

The Dispersal Draft was held immediately preceding the Amateur Draft at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. The North Stars would be allowed to protect 10 skaters and a pair of goalies from the combined pool of North Stars and Barons players. After the Capitals and Blues had made their selections the North Stars would be able to add another player to their protected list, and again after the Canucks and Penguins had made their choices.

All of the Barons' amateur draft picks were cancelled (including the fourth round pick held by the Islanders) except for the second round pick held by the Capitals and, depending on the Capitals' course of action, the first round pick. The Capitals were given a choice between exercising the first pick in the dispersal draft or using the Barons' first round amateur draft pick (which would also be moved to last in the round, 18th overall, instead of the original 5th overall). The Islanders' fourth round pick, held by the Barons, was forfeited; the Islanders would not be able to use the Barons' pick or their own in the fourth round.

Barons GM Harry Howell and North Stars GM Lou Nanne worked together to pick the protected players. They protected an equal number of players from each team. From the North Stars they chose to retain Per-Olov Brasar, Brad Maxwell, Bryan Maxwell, Glen Sharpley, Tim Young and goalie Pete LoPresti. From the Barons they protected Mike Fidler, Rick Hampton, Al MacAdam, Dennis Maruk, Greg Smith and goalie Gilles Meloche.

Player ChosenBy
forfeitedWashington Capitals
Mike CrombeenSt. Louis Blues
Ron ZanussiMinnesota North Stars (fill-in)
Randy HoltVancouver Canucks
passedPittsburgh Penguins
Bob StewartMinnesota North Stars (fill-in)
passedColorado Rockies

The Capitals chose to forfeit the first pick in the dispersal draft in exchange for the last pick in the first round of the amateur draft (they chose Tim Coulis). The Penguins and Rockies didn't bother picking players and waived their picks altogether (I suspect they didn't want to pay the $30,000 asking price).

This brief affair, carried out the morning of June 15, was the final footnote in the tumultuous existence of the Barons/Seals franchise.

Trivia for you: the Gunds didn't make much money in Minnesota either. By 1989 they wanted to move the team to the San Francisco Bay Area, where there were rumours of a new arena to be built in the early '90s. The NHL, wanting to keep a team in The State of Hockey, wouldn't approve the move. The Gunds threatened to move the team anyway and take the NHL to court if they tried to stop them, as Al Davis did when he moved the NFL's Raiders to Los Angeles. As a compromise the league allowed the Gunds to sell the team to Howard Baldwin and Morris Belzberg, who would ostensibly keep the North Stars in Minnesota, while the Gunds would get an expansion franchise to play in the Bay Area beginning in 1991, a year before the NHL had intended on expanding. The Gunds' new team would get to take some of the North Stars' players with them and the North Stars would participate in the 1991 Expansion Draft alongside the new team. That team became the San Jose Sharks, of course. Isn't it a strange coincidence that the men who moved pro hockey out of the Bay Area in 1976 and merged that failed enterprise into the North Stars in 1978 would split the North Stars apart in 1991 to put pro hockey back in the Bay Area?

1966 NHL Intra-League Draft

The 1966 NHL Intra-League Draft was held June 15 in the ballroom of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. The draft price was $30,000 (US). The four teams that qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs at the end of the 1965-66 season—Black Hawks, Red Wings, Canadiens and Maple Leafs—were permitted to protect 18 skaters and three goaltenders. The fifth place team, the Bruins, were permitted to protect 19 skaters and three goalies, while the last place Rangers were allowed to protect 20 skaters and three goalies. The number of goaltenders allowed to be protected was increased to three from two because of the foreboding expansion in 1967; the NHL had already decided that the number of protected goalies per team in the '67 Expansion Draft would be only one. If they were only allowed to protect two goalies in this intra-league draft then hypothetically a team could lose two of its top three goalies in the span of about a year, which was felt to be too much of a burden.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromPlayer Removed
From Protected List
Claim player?
Round 1
1Orland KurtenbachNew York RangersToronto Maple LeafsJohn Brennemanclaim
passBoston Bruins
2Al LebrunDetroit Red WingsNew York RangersMax Mestinsekclaim
3Don BlackburnToronto Maple LeafsMontreal CanadiensWally Boyerclaim
4Wally BoyerChicago Black HawksMontreal CanadiensAl MacNeilclaim
passMontreal Canadiens
Round 2
5Al MacNeilNew York RangersMontreal CanadiensMike McMahonclaim
6Ted TaylorDetroit Red WingsMontreal CanadiensPat Quinnclaim
Round 3
7Ray CullenDetroit Red WingsNew York RangersBryan Campbellclaim

1966 was the first year that a player dropped from a team's protected list to make room for another could be immediately claimed by the team who had lost a player, without forfeiting their own turn. The teams who exercised this option had to pay the other team the full draft price. As it turned out every team exercised this option and in effect this resulted in no actual cash changing hands in this entire draft; it all evened out in the end. This was changed after expansion to allow the teams who had lost a player to claim the player dropped by the other team for a reduced price (see my post about the 1972 Intra-League Draft).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

1964 NHL Intra-League Draft

The 1964 NHL Intra-League Draft took place on June 10, the day after the Inter-League Draft. Note that Boston and New York, being at the bottom of the league standings at the end of the '63-'64 season and having failed to qualify for the playoffs, each had 'bonus' picks at the beginning of the first round. The price for each pick was $20,000 (US) and each team protected two goaltenders and 18 skaters.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromPlayer Removed
From Protected List
Round 1
passBoston Bruins
1Jim MikolNew York RangersBoston BruinsBob Woytowich
2Bob WoytowichBoston BruinsNew York RangersWayne Maxner
passNew York Rangers
3Gary BergmanDetroit Red WingsMontreal CanadiensAl Langlois
4Dickie MooreToronto Maple LeafsMontreal CanadiensGerry Ehman
passChicago Black Hawks
passMontreal Canadiens
Round 2
5Murray HallDetroit Red WingsChicago Black HawksBob Dillabough
Round 3
6George GardnerDetroit Red WingsBoston BruinsTerry Sawchuk
7Terry SawchukToronto Maple LeafsDetroit Red WingsGerry Cheevers

Friday, October 26, 2012

1968 NHL Intra-League Draft

By request here are the results of the 1968 NHL Intra-League Draft, held June 12. Each team protected 14 skaters and two goalies, and the draft price was $30,000.

The protected lists were as follows:

Boston BruinsChicago Black HawksDetroit Red WingsLos Angeles KingsMinnesota North StarsMontreal Canadiens
Gerry CheeversDenis DeJordyRoger CrozierGerry DesjardinsChuck GoddardRogie Vachon
Eddie JohnstonDave DrydenRoy EdwardsWayne RutledgeCesare ManiagoGump Worsley
Don AwreyDennis HullRon AndersonBryan CampbellDave BalonRalph Backstrom
Johnny BucykBobby HullBobby BaunBill FlettAndre BoudriasJean Beliveau
Wayne CashmanDoug JarrettGary BergmanBrent HughesWayne ConnellyYvan Cournoyer
Gary DoakChico MakiAlex DelvecchioTed IrvineRay CullenDick Duff
Phil EspositoWayne MakiKent DouglasEddie JoyalBill GoldsworthyJohn Ferguson
Ted GreenGilles MarotteRon HarrisSkip KrakeDanny GrantTerry Harper
Ken HodgePit MartinGordie HoweGod LabossiereClaude LaroseTed Harris
John McKenzieStan MikitaNick LibettReal LemieuxMilan MarcettaJacques Laperriere
Glen SatherDoug MohnsBruce MacGregorLowell MacDonaldBob McCordJacques Lemaire
Eddie ShackEric NesterenkoFrank MahovlichPoul PopielJ.P. PariseHenri Richard
Dallas SmithJim PappinDean PrenticeDoug RobinsonJim PateronBobby Rousseau
Fred StanfieldBobby SchmautzPete StemkowskiDale RolfeBill PlagerSerge Savard
Ed WestfallPat StapletonJim WatsonBill WhiteBob WoytowichGilles Tremblay
Tom WilliamsKen Wharram Bob WallMike McMahonJ.C. Tremblay
New York RangersOakland SealsPhiladelphia FlyersPittsburgh PenguinsSt. Louis BluesToronto Maple Leafs
Eddie GiacominCharlie HodgeDoug FavellLes BinkleyGlenn HallJohnny Bower
Gilles VillemureGary SmithBernie ParentJoe DaleySeth MartinBruce Gamble
Arnie BrownJohn BrennemanDick CherryLou AngottiAl ArbourRon Ellis
Reg FlemingLarry CahanGary DornhoeferJohn ArbourRed BerensonPaul Henderson
Rod GilbertNorm FergusonJean GauthierAndy BathgateCraig CameronBryan Hextall
Phil GoyetteStan FullerEarl HeiskalaLeo BoivinTerry CrispLarry Hillman
Vic HadfieldTed HampsonJim JohnsonWally BoyerDarryl EdestrandTim Horton
Wayne HillmanBilly HarrisForbes KennedyVal FonteyneLarry KeenanDave Keon
Harry HowellBill HickeAndre LacroixEarl IngarfieldAb McDonaldMurray Oliver
Orland KurtenbachGary JarrettJohn MiszukGeorge KonikNoel PicardPierre Pilote
Don MarshallBert MarshallSimon NoletDunc McCallumBarclay PlagerMarcel Pronovost
Jim NeilsonTracy PrattLeon RochefortKeith McCrearyBob PlagerBob Pulford
Bob NevinDoug RobertsBrit SelbyNoel PriceRejean RicherDuane Rupp
Jean RatelleGeorge SwarbrickBill SutherlandJean PronovostJim RobertsFloyd Smith
Rod SeilingBryan WatsonEd Van ImpeKen SchinkelGary SabourinNorm Ullman
Ron StewartHowie YoungJoe WatsonGene UbriacoRon SchockMike Walton

The draft results:

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromPlayer Removed
From Protected List
Claim player
or cash
Round 1
1Carol VadnaisOakland SealsMontreal CanadiensLarry CahanclaimClaude Provost
2Brian ConacherDetroit Red WingsToronto Maple LeafsGary MarshclaimGeorge Armstrong
3Charlie BurnsPittsburgh PenguinsOakland SealsGeorge KonikclaimBrian Perry
4Larry MickeyToronto Maple LeafsNew York RangersLarry HillmanclaimLarry Jeffrey
5Larry HillmanMinnesota North StarsNew York RangersBill PlagerclaimCamille Henry
6Jacques PlanteSt. Louis BluesNew York RangersSeth MartincashBob Jones
passLos Angeles
7Ron BuchananPhiladelphia FlyersBoston BruinsJean GauthierclaimTed Hodgson
passChicago Black Hawks
passBoston Bruins
passNew York Rangers
passMontreal Canadiens
Round 2
8Fern RivardMinnesota North StarsPhiladelphia FlyersChuck GoddardcashDon Blackburn
9Myron StankewiczSt. Louis BluesLos Angeles KingsRejean RichercashDave Amadio
Round 3
10Larry HalePhiladelphia FlyersMinnesota North StarsBill SutherlandclaimBill Collins
Round 4
11Bill SutherlandToronto Maple LeafsMinnesota North StarsDuane RuppclaimParker MacDonald

The big news this year was Oakland's picking Carol Vadnais first overall. Supposedly Montreal 'gifted' Vadnais to Oakland by leaving him off the protected list in lieu of another player the Seals wouldn't have wanted. The price of this courtesy—again, supposedly—was that the Seals sent their first and second round picks in 1973's amateur draft to the Canadiens for the Canadiens' second round pick in '72 and the right to draft Vadnais. I can't find any period sources to substantiate this.

As you can see Larry Hillman and Bill Sutherland had busy days. Within the span of minutes Hillman was claimed by the Rangers from the Leafs when the Leafs dropped him from their protected list to make room for Larry Mickey, and then was picked by the North Stars from the Rangers. Sutherland was similarly dropped by the Flyers, claimed by the North Stars and picked by the Maple Leafs.

George Konik, the player claimed from the Penguins after the Penguins picked Burns, never played in the NHL again. He chose 'retirement' over playing for the Seals. He had a college degree (he played hockey at the University of Denver) and an off-season job in Minnesota, so he chose to pursue that career instead. He played in the 'amateur' USHL and for the U.S. national team, having become a naturalized citizen. His last pro hockey was played in the '72-'73 season for the WHA's Minnesota Fighting Saints.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

1965 NHL Intra-League Draft

The 1965 NHL Intra-League Draft took place on June 9, the day after the Inter-League Draft. Several players involved in the Inter-League Draft and other transactions on the 8th of June were moved as part of the Intra-League Draft proceedings the very next day.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromPlayer Removed
From Protected List
Round 1
1Gerry CheeversBoston BruinsToronto Maple LeafsJack Norris
2Earl IngarfieldNew York RangersMontreal Canadiens
passToronto Maple Leafs
3Pat StapletonChicago Black HawksToronto Maple LeafsBryan Watson
 passMontreal Canadiens 
4Bryan WatsonDetroit Red WingsChicago Black HawksButch Paul
Round 2
5Poul PopeilBoston BruinsChicago Black Hawks
Round 3
6Norm SchmitzBoston BruinsMontreal Canadiens
Round 3
7Keith WrightBoston BruinsNew York Rangers

Earl Ingarfield, Pat Stapleton, Bryan Watson and Keith Wright were each moved twice in the span of a day. Ingarfield went from being Rangers' property to the Canadiens and back to Rangers, Stapleton went from the Bruins to Maple Leafs to Black Hawks, Watson went from the Canadiens to the Black Hawks to the Red Wings, and Wright went from the Canadiens to Rangers to Bruins.

Some trivia for you: Arthur Stewart "Butch" Paul, the player the Red Wings dropped from their protected list when they claimed Bryan Watson, was killed less than a year later in a car crash. He died Friday, March 25, 1966 while driving home from a CPHL game in Memphis against the Tulsa Oilers.

1965 NHL Inter-League Draft

The 1965 Inter-League Draft was held on Tuesday, June 8. The draft price was $20,000. Three of the draft choices were so-called "bookkeeping" choices, in which the NHL club claimed a player from one of their own farm teams. In effect the NHL team would be paying their own farm club.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFrom
Round 1
1Claude DufourBoston BruinsHershey Bears (AHL)
(Montreal Canadiens)
2Don SimmonsNew York RangersRochester Americans (AHL)
(Toronto Maple Leafs)
3Larry JohnstonToronto Maple LeafsTulsa Oilers (CPHL)
(Toronto Maple Leafs)
4Ernie WakelyChicago Black HawksQuebec Aces (AHL)
(Montreal Canadiens)
5Norm SchmitzMontreal CanadiensOmaha Knights (CPHL)
(Montreal Canadiens)
6Pat HanniganDetroit Red WingsBuffalo Bisons (AHL)
(Chicago Black Hawks)
Round 2
7Glen SatherBoston BruinsPittsburgh Hornets (AHL)
(Detroit Red Wings)
8Larry MickeyNew York RangersSt. Louis Braves (CPHL)
(Chicago Black Hawks)
9Keith WalshMontreal CanadiensPittsburgh Hornets (AHL)
(Detroit Red Wings)
10Irv SpencerDetroit Red WingsPittsburgh Hornets (AHL)
(Detroit Red Wings)
Round 3
11Keith WrightNew York RangersCleveland Barons (AHL)
(Montreal Canadiens)
12Dunc McCallumDetroit Red WingsVancouver Canucks (WHL)
(New York Rangers)

The day also featured several trades and a couple waiver claims, which overshadowed the draft proceedings a bit.

Before the draft the Red Wings claimed Don McKenney off waivers from the Maple Leafs and the Rangers claimed Bill Knibbs off waivers from the Bruins. Each of these transactions carried a $30,000 price.

The Canadiens traded Cesare Maniago and Gary Peters earlier in the day to the Rangers for Earl Ingarfield, Gord Labossiere, Dave McComb, Noel Price and $10,000. (Ingarfield was left exposed in the Intra-League Draft the following day and was reclaimed by the Rangers.)

Meanwhile the Maple Leafs traded Ron Stewart to the Bruins for Orland Kurtenbach, Andy Hebenton and Pat Stapleton. (Stapleton was left exposed in the Intra-League Draft and taken by the Black Hawks.)

After the Inter-League Draft and before the protected lists for the Intra-League Draft had to be submitted the Canadiens completed another trade, sending Bryan Watson to the Black Hawks for Don Johns and $30,000. (Watson was dropped off the Black Hawks' protected list during the Intra-League Draft and was claimed by the Red Wings.)

1971 NHL Inter-League Draft

The 1971 Inter-League Draft was held June 7. It was a short affair, with only four teams exercising picks. All other teams passed.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFrom
1Gary KurtCalifornia Golden SealsCleveland Barons (AHL)
2Andy BrownDetroit Red WingsBaltimore Clippers (AHL)
3Andy SpencerVancouver CanucksTidewater Wings (AHL)
4Jim McLeodSt. Louis BluesPortland Buckaroos (WHL)

1969 NHL Reverse Draft

The 1969 Reverse Draft, where WHL and AHL teams were allowed to pick players from the NHL teams, was held June 12. The results were as follows. Where applicable I have noted the minor-league affiliate (or national team) the player had played for the previous season.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFrom
Round 1
1Germain GagnonSalt Lake Golden EaglesMontreal Canadiens
(Houston Apollos [CHL])
2Bill YoungPhoenix RoadrunnersChicago Black Hawks
(Greensboro Generals [EHL])
3Wilf MartinDenver SpursMontreal Canadiens
(Cleveland Barons [AHL])
4Noel PriceSpringfield KingsPittsburgh Penguins
5Rene DroletQuebec AcesPhiladelphia Flyers
(Quebec Aces [AHL])
6Dunc McCallumProvidence RedsPittsburgh Penguins
7Doug VolmarSan Diego GullsDetroit Red Wings
(U.S. National Team)
8Gary KurtCleveland BaronsNew York Rangers
(Omaha Knights [CHL])
9Gary BaumanVancouver CanucksMinnesota North Stars
(Memphis South Stars [CHL])
10Jean LapointeHershey BearsPhiladelphia Flyers
(Quebec Aces [AHL])
11Pierre PiloteBuffalo BisonsToronto Maple Leafs
12Billy OrrRochester AmericansNew York Rangers
(New Haven Blades [EHL]
13Jerry LafondSeattle TotemsOakland Seals
(Providence Reds [AHL])
Round 2
14Rick PagnuttiSalt Lake Golden EaglesLos Angeles Kings
(Springfield Kings [AHL])
15Peter McDuffePhoenix RoadrunnersChicago Black Hawks
(Greensboro Generals [EHL])
16Jacques CaronDenver SpursLos Angeles Kings
(Denver Spurs [WHL])
17Bob SneddonSpringfield KingsMontreal Canadiens
(Quebec Aces [AHL])
18Roger PelletierQuebec AcesPhiladelphia Flyers
(Quebec Aces [AHL])
19Kevin O'SheaSan Diego GullsNew York Rangers
(Canadian National Team)
20Jean GauthierCleveland BaronsBoston Bruins
21Jack StanfieldVancouver CanucksChicago Black Hawks
(San Diego Gulls [WHL])
22Jean-Guy GrattonHershey BearsMontreal Canadiens
(Trois-Rivières Maple Leafs [Quebec Jr. A])
23Camille HenryBuffalo BisonsSt. Louis Blues
Round 3
24Galen HeadSalt Lake Golden EaglesDetroit Red Wings
(Johnstown Jets [EHL])
25John WrightPhoenix RoadrunnersToronto Maple Leafs
(University of Toronto [CIAU])
26Georges GuilbaultDenver SpursSt. Louis Blues
(Kansas City Blues [CHL])
Round 4
27Doug SheltonDenver SpursMinnesota North Stars1

1. Doug Shelton was traded to the North Stars by the Black Hawks May 6, 1969 to complete the trade for Andre Boudrias and Mike McMahon (Feb. 14, 1969)

1969 NHL Intra-League Draft

The 1969 NHL Intra-League Draft was held June 11. Each team protected 14 skaters and two goalies, and the draft price was $30,000.

The protected lists:

Boston BruinsChicago Black HawksDetroit Red WingsLos Angeles KingsMinnesota North StarsMontreal Canadiens
Gerry CheeversDenis DeJordyRoger CrozierGerry DesjardinsCesare ManiagoRogie Vachon
Eddie JohnstonJack NorrisRoy EdwardsWayne RutledgeFern RivardGump Worsley
Don AwreyDennis HullBobby BaunBryan CampbellBob BarlowRalph Backstrom
Johnny BucykBobby HullGary BergmanBill FlettRay CullenJean Beliveau
Wayne CashmanDoug JarrettCarl BrewerDennis HextallSandy FitzpatrickYvan Cournoyer
Gary DoakChico MakiWayne ConnellyBrent HughesPete GoeganJohn Ferguson
Phil EspositoGilles MarotteAlex DelvecchioBill InglisBill GoldsworthyTerry Harper
Ted GreenPit MartinKent DouglasTed IrvineDanny GrantTed Harris
Ken HodgeRay McKayRon HarrisEddie JoyalClaude LaroseJacques Laperriere
Jim LorentzMike McMahonGordie HoweSkip KrakeJohn MiszukJacques Lemaire
Don MarcotteStan MikitaNick LibettRoss LonsberryJ. P. PariséClaude Provost
John McKenzieDoug MohnsBruce MacGregorLeon RochefortTom PolanicHenri Richard
Derek SandersonJim PappinFrank MahovlichDale RolfeTom ReidBobby Rousseau
Dallas SmithPaul ShmyrGarry MonahanEddie ShackDarryl SlySerge Savard
Fred StanfieldPat StapletonHank MonteithBob WallBrian D. SmithGilles Tremblay
Ed WestfallKen WharramPete StemkowskiBill WhiteTom WilliamsJ. C. Tremblay
New York RangersOakland SealsPhiladelphia FlyersPittsburgh PenguinsSt. Louis BluesToronto Maple Leafs
Ed GiacominCharlie HodgeDoug FavellLes BinkleyGlenn HallBruce Gamble
Gilles VillemureGary SmithBernie ParentJoe DaleyJacques PlanteAl Smith
Dave BalonBob DillaboughSerge BernierJohn ArbourAl ArbourWayne Carleton
Arnie BrownGerry EhmanMike ByersDoug BarrieRed BerensonRon Ellis
Bill FairbairnNorm FergusonReggie FlemingCharlie BurnsRon BuchananPaul Henderson
Rod GilbertTed HampsonJean-Guy GendronCraig CameronClaude CardinTim Horton
Vic HadfieldBill HickeWayne HillmanBryan HextallPhil GoyetteDan Johnson
Al HamiltonHarry HowellJim JohnsonKeith McCrearyAb McDonaldDave Keon
Orland KurtenbachEarl IngarfieldAndre LacroixTracy PrattNoel PicardJim McKenny
Real LemieuxGary JarrettRalph MacSweynJean PronovostRoger PicardMurray Oliver
Don MarshallMike LaughtonGerry MeehanDuane RuppBarclay PlagerBob Pulford
Jim NeilsonBert MarshallRosie PaiementKen SchinkelBob PlagerPat Quinn
Bob NevinBrian PerryDick SarrazinRon SchockBill PlagerBrit Selby
Jean RatelleDoug RobertsBill SutherlandBill SpeerJim RobertsNorm Ullman
Rod SeilingGene UbriacoEd Van ImpeBryan WatsonGary SabourinMike Walton
Ron StewartCarol VadnaisJoe WatsonBob WoytowichFrank St. MarseilleRon Ward

The draft results:

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromPlayer Removed
From Protected List
Claim player
or cash
Round 1
1Dick SentesMinnesota North StarsMontreal CanadiensBrian SmithcashDick Duff
2Tony EspositoChicago Black HawksMontreal CanadiensJack NorrisclaimPete Mahovlich
3Glen SatherPittsburgh PenguinsBoston BruinsBill SpeerclaimBarry Wilkins
4Matt RavlichDetroit Red WingsChicago Black HawksKent DouglascashEric Nesterenko
 passLos Angeles Kings 
5Larry HillmanPhiladelphia FlyersMontreal CanadiensJean-Guy GendronclaimJohn Vanderburg
passOakland Seals
6Andre BoudriasSt. Louis BluesChicago Black HawksRoger PicardcashBobby Schmautz
7Marv EdwardsToronto Maple LeafsPittsburgh PenguinsAl SmithclaimNick Harbaruk
passNew York Rangers
passBoston Bruins
8Larry MickeyMontreal CanadiensToronto Maple LeafsJohn VanderburgcashFloyd Smith
Round 2
9Grant EricksonMinnesota North StarsBoston BruinsSandy FitzpatrickcashStan Gilbertson
10Lou AngottiChicago Black HawksSt. Louis BluesBobby SchmautzclaimIan Campbell
11Dean PrenticePittsburgh PenguinsDetroit Red WingsCharlie BurnscashPoul Popeil
12Ron AndersonSt. Louis BluesLos Angeles KingsIan CampbellcashGord Labossiere
Round 3
13Charlie BurnsMinnesota North StarsPittsburgh PenguinsPete GoegancashForbes Kennedy
14Bob BlackburnPittsburgh PenguinsNew York RangersForbes KennedyclaimGuy Trottier
15Wayne MakiSt. Louis BluesChicago Black HawksClaude CardincashJean-Paul Leblanc
Round 4
16Howie MenardChicago Black HawksLos Angeles KingsJean-Paul LeblanccashHowie Hughes

Saturday, October 20, 2012

1969 NHL Inter-League Draft

The 1969 Inter-League Draft was held June 10. The draft price was the same $15,000 as it had been before.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFrom
Round 1
1Darryl SlyMinnesota North StarsVancouver Canucks (WHL)
2Bill SaundersChicago Black HawksPortland Buckaroos (WHL)
3Nick HarbarukPittsburgh PenguinsVancouver Canucks (WHL)
4Chuck HamiltonDetroit Red WingsHershey Bears (AHL)
5Bob BarlowPhiladelphia FlyersVancouver Canucks (WHL)
6Jerry LafondOakland SealsProvidence Reds (AHL)
7Bob PateMontreal CanadiensDenver Spurs (WHL)
Round 2
8Sandy McGregorPittsburgh PenguinsBaltimore Clippers (AHL)

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.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

1970 NHL Intra-League Draft

The 1970 NHL Intra-League Draft was held the morning of June 9, 1970, a day before the expansion draft.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromPlayer Removed
From Protected List
Claim player
or cash
Round 1
1Paul CurtisLos Angeles KingsMontreal CanadiensBill Inglisclaim
2Guy TrottierToronto Maple LeafsNew York Rangers cash
3Bill LesukPhiladelphia FlyersBoston BruinsDick Cherryclaim
4Bob McCordMontreal CanadiensMinnesota North StarsTed Harrisclaim
5Gary CroteauOakland SealsDetroit Red Wings cash
6John GoftonMinnesota North StarsRochester Americans (AHL) cash
7Lowell MacDonaldPittsburgh PenguinsLos Angeles KingsCraig Cameronclaim
8Steve AtkinsonSt. Louis BluesHershey Bears (AHL) cash
9Gerry LemireNew York RangersSt. Louis Blues cash
10Tom MartinDetroit Red WingsPhoenix Roadrunners (WHL) cash
Round 2
11Paul AndreaOakland SealsVancouver Canucks (WHL) cash
12Jean-Guy LagaceMinnesota North StarsPittsburgh Penguins cash
13Chris EvansSt. Louis BluesPhoenix Roadrunners (WHL) cash

You'll notice several of the players were nominally taken from minor league teams. These players were still eligible to be chosen, even though they'd been traded to minor league teams, because of arcane rules about how many games they'd played in the NHL.

1970 NHL Inter-League Draft

The 1970 Inter-League Draft was held June 9, just after the intra-league draft. The Buffalo Sabres were the only team to participate. The Canucks were excluded because they had been a WHL team themselves, thus they already had a few minor league players under contract. The rest of the league was excluded in order to give the expansion Sabres the best pick of the minor league players. This was a relatively small concession as of the four picks only Bill Inglis had any NHL experience up to that point.

OverallPlayer ChosenByFrom
1Kevin O'SheaBuffalo SabresSan Diego Gulls (WHL)
2Cliff SchmautzBuffalo SabresPortland Buckaroos (WHL)
3Brian McDonaldBuffalo SabresDenver Spurs (WHL)
4Bill InglisBuffalo SabresMontreal Voyageurs (AHL)1
(Montreal Canadiens)
1. Bill Inglis was claimed by the Montreal Canadiens from the Los Angeles Kings in the Intra-League Draft earlier in the day. He never played for the Montreal Canadiens or their affiliate in the AHL.

A tidbit of trivia for you: Kevin O'Shea and Cliff Schmautz each had more famous brothers playing in the NHL. Kevin's older brother Danny played 370 games, mostly with the North Stars. Cliff's younger brother Bobby played 764 games, mostly with the Bruins.

Friday, August 3, 2012

1970 NHL Expansion Draft

As promised here follows the results of the 1970 Expansion Draft that occurred June 10, 1970.

The protected lists:

Boston BruinsChicago Black HawksDetroit Red WingsLos Angeles KingsMinnesota North StarsMontreal Canadiens
Gerry CheeversGerry DesjardinsRoger CrozierDenis DejordyCesare ManiagoPhil Myre
Eddie JohnstonTony EspositoRoy EdwardsJack NorrisGump WorsleyRogie Vachon
Don AwreyBryan CampbellGary BergmanPaul CurtisCharlie BurnsRalph Backstrom
Johnny BucykDennis HullCarl BrewerDick DuffBill CollinsJean Beliveau
Wayne CarletonBobby HullWayne ConnellyBill FlettJude DrouinPierre Bouchard
Wayne CashmanDoug JarrettAlex DelvecchioRay FortinBarry GibbsYvan Cournoyer
Phil EspositoCliff KorollRon HarrisLucien GrenierJohn GoftonJohn Ferguson
Ted GreenChico MakiGerry HartEddie JoyalBill GoldsworthyTerry Harper
Ken HodgePit MartinGordie HoweReal LemieuxDanny GrantJacques Laperriere
Don MarcotteRay McKayNick LibettRoss LonsberryTed HarrisGuy Lapointe
Bobby OrrStan MikitaBruce MacGregorGilles MarotteClaude LaroseJacques Lemaire
John McKenzieDoug MohnsFrank MahovlichLarry MickeyDanny LawsonPeter Mahovlich
Derek SandersonEric NesterenkoHank MonteithGarry MonahanMurray OliverMickey Redmond
Dallas SmithJim PappinDale RolfeJim PetersDanny O'SheaHenri Richard
Rick SmithPaul ShmyrFred SpeckMatt RavlichJ. P. PariséBobby Rousseau
Fred StanfieldPat StapletonPete StemkowskiEddie ShackTom ReidSerge Savard
Ed WestfallBill WhiteGarry UngerJuha WidingTom WilliamsJ. C. Tremblay
New York RangersOakland SealsPhiladelphia FlyersPittsburgh PenguinsSt. Louis BluesToronto Maple Leafs
Ed GiacominGary SmithDoug FavellLes BinkleyGlenn HallBruce Gamble
Gilles VillemureChris WorthyBernie ParentAl SmithErnie WakelyJacques Plante
Dave BalonPaul AndreaBarry AshbeeJohn ArbourRon AndersonJim Dorey
Arnie BrownGary CroteauSerge BernierWally BoyerSteve AtkinsonRon Ellis
Larry BrownNorm FergusonGary DornhoeferNick HarbarukRed BerensonBrian Glennie
Bill FairbairnTed HampsonJean-Guy GendronBryan HextallChristian BordeleauJim Harrison
Rod GilbertDennis HextallLarry HaleDunc McCallumTim EcclestonePaul Henderson
Vic HadfieldErnie HickeEarl HeiskalaKeith McCrearyJim LorentzDave Keon
Ted IrvineBill HickeLarry HillmanJim MorrisonAb McDonaldRick Ley
Jim KrulickiHarry HowellWayne HillmanDean PrenticeNoel PicardJim McKenny
Don LuceEarl IngarfieldJim JohnsonJean PronovostBarclay PlagerMike Pelyk
Jim NeilsonGary JarrettAndre LacroixDwayne RuppBob PlagerBob Pulford
Bob NevinMike LaughtonBill LesukGlen SatherBill PlagerBrit Selby
Brad ParkBert MarshallLew MorrisonKen SchinkelJim RobertsBrad Selwood
Jean RatelleWayne MuloinSimon NoletRon SchockGary SabourinGuy Trottier
Rod SeilingDoug RobertsEd Van ImpeBryan WatsonFrank St. MarseilleNorm Ullman
Walt TkaczukCarol VadnaisJoe WatsonBob WoytowichBob WallMike Walton

The draft results:

OverallPlayer ChosenByFromFill-In
1Tom WebsterBuffalo SabresBoston BruinsGarnet Bailey
2Gary DoakVancouver CanucksBoston BruinsDan Schock
3Al HamiltonBuffalo SabresNew York RangersMike Robitaille
4Orland KurtenbachVancouver CanucksNew York RangersRon Stewart
5Don MarshallBuffalo SabresNew York Rangers 
6Ray CullenVancouver CanucksMinnesota North StarsDan Seguin
7Tracy PrattBuffalo SabresPittsburgh PenguinsLowell MacDonald
8Pat QuinnVancouver CanucksToronto Maple LeafsRene Robert
9Jim WatsonBuffalo SabresDetroit Red WingsBobby Baun
10Rosie PaiementVancouver CanucksPhiladelphia FlyersGarry Peters
11François LacombeBuffalo SabresMontreal CanadiensLeon Rochefort
12Darryl SlyVancouver CanucksMinnesota North StarsWalt McKechnie
13Phil GoyetteBuffalo SabresSt. Louis BluesLarry Keenan
14Jim WisteVancouver CanucksChicago Black HawksJean-Paul LeBlanc
15Reg FlemingBuffalo SabresPhiladelphia FlyersBrent Hughes
16Danny JohnsonVancouver CanucksToronto Maple LeafsGord Nelson
17Mike McMahonBuffalo SabresPittsburgh PenguinsBob Blackburn
18Barry WilkinsVancouver CanucksBoston Bruins 
19Skip KrakeBuffalo SabresLos Angeles KingsJim Stanfield
20Ralph StewartVancouver CanucksMontreal CanadiensClaude Provost
21Jean-Guy LagaceBuffalo SabresMinnesota North Stars 
22Mike CorriganVancouver CanucksLos Angeles KingsNoel Price
23Craig CameronBuffalo SabresLos Angeles Kings 
24Wayne MakiVancouver CanucksSt. Louis BluesTerry Crisp
25Chris EvansBuffalo SabresSt. Louis Blues 
26Ed HatoumVancouver CanucksDetroit Red WingsTom Martin
27Doug BarrieBuffalo SabresPittsburgh Penguins 
28Poul PopeilVancouver CanucksDetroit Red Wings 
29Gerry MeehanBuffalo SabresPhiladelphia Flyers 
30Ron WardVancouver CanucksToronto Maple Leafs 
31Paul TerbencheBuffalo SabresChicago Black HawksLou Angotti
32John SchellaVancouver CanucksMontreal Canadiens 
33Brian PerryBuffalo SabresOakland SealsGerry Ehman
34Bob DillaboughVancouver CanucksOakland SealsDick Mattiussi
35Howie MenardBuffalo SabresOakland Seals 
36Garth RizzutoVancouver CanucksChicago Black Hawks 
37Dunc WilsonVancouver CanucksPhiladelphia Flyers 
38Rocky FarrBuffalo SabresMontreal Canadiens 
39Charlie HodgeVancouver CanucksOakland Seals 
40Gary EdwardsBuffalo SabresSt. Louis Blues 

As mentioned in my previous post about the 1972 Expansion Draft the draft order was determined by a game of chance, a wheel akin to that of roulette. 36 numbers were on the wheel: one 2, two 3s, three 4s, four 5s, five 6s, six 7s, five 8s, four 9s, three 10s, two 11s and one 12, corresponding to the 36 possible combinations of the roll of two six-sided playing dice. The GMs had a choice of numbers over 7 or under 7; if the pointer landed on one of the 7s it was considered a 'draw' and the wheel was to be spun again. Sabres' GM Punch Imlach won a coin toss to have his choice of numbers "over 7" or "under 7". Anecdotal stories say he picked "over 7" because 11 was his favourite number. I'm not entirely sure that's true. Punch was known to be a little melodramatic and I suspect this is all just an urban legend as it relates to Gilbert Perreault's uniform number.

Note that many modern sources state Imlach had numbers 11-20 while the Canucks' Bud Poile was left with numbers 1-10. This totally false, a complete fabrication: I have a copy of a picture of Ron Andrews standing with the wheel clearly showing the wheel's construction, with the six 7s prominently bolded and 36 spots on the wheel. I would share this picture with you but I do not hold the copyright. (edit: found a copy on Google news, see

On the first spin of the wheel it landed on 8, giving Imlach his choice of first goalie or first skater (or first overall, as skaters were chosen before goalies) in the expansion draft. He chose the latter. A second spin of the wheel determined who had first choice in the amateur draft. The story goes that when the wheel stopped Clarence Campbell believed it had landed on '1', giving the Canucks first overall. Dramatic retellings of the story state that the Canucks management team erupted in joy at having won the right to first overall in the draft of amateurs, universally believed beforehand to be Gilbert Perreault no matter who won the right to the pick. There's only one problem with this story: there were no '1's on the wheel! Well, except in '10', '11' and '12', all of which gave Imlach and the Sabres the pick. As it turned out it had landed on 11 and the Sabres had first pick in the amateur and expansion drafts.

With the first overall pick Imlach took Tom Webster of the Bruins, which reportedly greatly angered Bruins' GM Milt Schmidt. It was rumoured that Schmidt and Imlach had a back-room deal in which Imlach would take Garnet Bailey, allowing the Bruins to protect Webster, and in return Schmidt would give Imlach some 'considerations'. Instead Imlach took Webster (Schmidt protected Bailey) and traded him after the draft to the Red Wings for Roger Crozier, arguably a better goalie than any of the four taken in the draft.

Needless to say Punch Imlach was not the most popular man at the draft proceedings in 1970. He wasn't any more popular in 1971, but that's another story...


© 2012-2017 Mark Parsons