Friday, June 29, 2012


Nice to see that this little corner of the internet is getting some traffic. It's still a small number so I have the time to take a peek at the sorts of keywords you out there are using to find these pages. I haven't had much time lately to post something substantial but I thought I'd throw this out anyway: if there's something in particular that you're looking for, anything similar to what I've posted so far but haven't yet posted, leave a comment. For example I have loads and loads of this transaction data I haven't gotten around to posting, and so far I'm just posting it in completely random order. I'd rather help somebody out with something specific.



  1. Hello.

    Love your blogs as I am a NHL hockey historian of sorts and belong to HOCKHIST, a Yahoo group.

    Might you know anything of the 1968 Special Internal Amateur Draft or the 1969 Territorial Draft, which both seemed to have taken place around the annual NHL Amateur Drafts?

    Paul (rinksteak)

    1. Thanks for leaving the comment, Paul.

      I have to admit I've perused said Yahoo group a couple times, although I've never joined. Quite a few fonts of hockey history over there to be sure.

      To be honest I don't have any info on a "Special Internal Amateur Draft". The only player I know of who was involved was goalie Dunc Wilson, whom the Flyers picked from the Oshawa Generals (the Bruins' OHA affiliate). Supposedly, anyway. Given that it was 'special' and 'internal' there is no official information from the NHL sources of the time; for example the 1968-69 NHL Guide has nothing in it about a "special draft".

      I found one, single source about a "special draft" of amateur players, but it's actually from 1967. See here:

      "Before July 31 this year [1967], each Eastern Division club will be allowed to protect 15 additional players from their sponsored lists prior to a special internal draft of by [sic] the expansion clubs at a $5,000 price tag."

      Given the lack of information I can't confirm whether a "special internal draft" really happened or not. It's possible that Dunc Wilson's rights were simply traded to the Flyers (or Quebec Aces of the AHL, the Flyers' affiliate) by the Bruins for a small amount of cash, or as consideration in another deal. Such deals were not uncommon then. It's only recent that 'cash' deals were eliminated as part of the NHL-NHLPA collective bargaining agreement.

      As for a "territorial draft" as far as I know such a thing never occurred in the NHL, ever. What you may be referring to is the Canadiens "cultural selection" rule, an extra rule in the amateur draft that allowed them to use the first couple picks on "French Canadian" kids who weren't already sponsored by an NHL club. This was something that went back to the 1930s when the Canadiens were in dire straights financially. Offhand I don't know of any who actually made it to the NHL. I haven't done any research into history going back that far, but as far as I know this special 'draft' if you can call it one was abolished by the mid-1940s. When the NHL decided to institute the amateur draft in the 1960s the Canadiens pushed to have the old rule added to the amateur draft regulations. Frank Selke and Sam Pollock were two of the most shrewd and influential GMs in NHL history. They held a lot of sway over NHL President Clarence Campbell.

      (Supposedly Pollock wrote the rules to the expansion drafts from 1967 to the mid-'70s, something Leafs/Sabres GM Punch Imlach objected to vociferously!)

      1969 was the last year the Canadiens exercised this 'priority' right over Québécois juniors, picking Réjean Houle and Marc Tardif.

    2. Mark,

      Thanks for the info.

      Something happened in 1969 outside the regular amateur draft.

      I have seen references on and a book about the Oakland/California Seals concerning exclusive rights to Rangers propects Rick Newell and Dave Hrechkosy, respectively.

      Apparently in June 1969 these two (though not part of any amateur drafts- including the one with Houle and Tardif) were allowed to be territorial exemptions for some arrangement the Rangers had with Winnipeg, They both signed their professional contracts around 1971 and were traded by Emile Francis in 1972.

      I have not done all the research but the 1968 Special Internal Draft and/or the 1969 Territorial "Draft" may also apply to Detroit Red Wings players Gerry Hart and Joe Zanussi.

      Let me know if you can find out more.

      In addition I believe I have put together the 1966 NHL Inter-league draft (player by player) which I can share with you.



  2. The Rangers were pretty active in scouting players from Winnipeg. I know they had their fingers in the Winnipeg Rangers and Winnipeg Warriors of the MJHL at the very least. It's quite possible that Hrechkosy and Newell, both being from the area, had already signed C-forms by the time the 1969 draft came around. Newell certainly would have been eligible, having turned 18 in 1966. Hrechkosy would turn 18 in 1969; perhaps his parents signed on his behalf beforehand. It wasn't uncommon.

    Similarly as far as I know Hart and Zanussi signed C-forms with the Red Wings. Zanussi played for the Swift Current Broncos, a Red Wings sponsored team, and Hart for the Flin Flon Bombers, at the very least scouted by the Red Wings (e.g. goalie Chris Worthy signed a C-form with the Red Wings).

    The late '60s and early '70s really are a grey area as far as how players came to be 'property' of the NHL teams. Some signed to C-forms, some signed to B-forms, a few were drafted and some simply went undrafted and signed with whomever they wanted. It's tough to nail down many of them.

    Thanks for bringing it to my attention, I'll certainly keep my eye out.

    As for the '66 Inter-League Draft results I'm pretty sure I have them kicking around somewhere...

    Cheers, Paul.

  3. Hi Mark,

    Might you have the 1970 Expansion Draft protected lists for the 12 teams?



  4. Hi Paul,

    I DO have them, yes! I'll post up the complete results of the draft including the protected lists. Sorry for having neglected this blog for a few weeks now, just too busy with other things!

  5. Great stuff.

    Do you have any indepth information on the "convoluted" trade between the Canadiens and the Seals as it realtes to the Seals getting Carol Vadnias from the Canadiens in the 1968 waiver draft. The final payment was not made until 1973 and only after the Seals had gotten a 1972 second round pick from the Canadiens. I am thinking that there was some kind of backroom deal with Sam Pollack. Also how about the players they sent to the Seals over the years for "cash", namely Hextall and Sheehan. Were they part of some compensation package?

    Any additional information would be great.

  6. Hi Sportshistorian.

    The Seals dealt many of their draft picks away to the Canadiens over the years; you undoubtedly know about the pick that the Habs used in 1971 on Guy Lafleur, almost certainly the most famous of these transactions.

    Leading up to the 1968 Intra-League Draft it was no secret that the Seals wanted Vadnais. He was one of the younger prospects Sam Pollock was able to keep from being picked in the 1967 Expansion Draft because of the rules Sammy himself wrote to protect "first-year pros". The deal was that Pollock would leave Vadnais exposed in the draft (in lieu of another player the Seals wouldn't have wanted) and give the Seals his second round pick in 1972 and in return the Seals sent the Canadiens their first and second round picks in 1973.

    I say this with a caveat that I cannot absolutely 100% confirm this from period sources. Draft pick transactions were not very well documented by the newspapers of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which makes sense in retrospect considering they were fairly new at the time.

    Other draft picks the Seals traded to the Habs in 1968 include their first round picks in 1968, 1970 and 1972. The 1968 and 1970 picks were included in the massive deal centred around Norm Ferguson and François Lacombe (the deal also included Stan Fuller and Michel Jacques, neither of whom ended up playing a game in the NHL, for Wally Boyer, Alain "Boom-Boom" Caron, the 1968 first round pick and the 1970 first round pick; according to many sources the rights to Lyle Bradley were also sent to the Habs but I don't know how the Seals got Bradley's rights in the first place). The 1972 pick was sent to the Habs for Bryan Watson.

    The official lines on the trades for Dennis Hextall and Bobby Sheehan are, as you said, that the consideration was just "cash". I wouldn't be surprised if these were part of backroom deals with Pollock and no cash actually changed hands but we'll probably never know for sure. It's difficult to find sources about these transactions because they were still young, fringe NHLers who mostly played in the minors. They weren't "newsworthy", not to the degree they would be today. For example in the 1970-71 and 1971-72 NHL guides the list of transactions under Hextall's entry in the player guide doesn't even include a trade to Montreal in the first place, let alone a trade to the Seals: it notes that he was traded to the Kings by the Rangers in 1969 and to the North Stars by the Seals in 1971.

    Sorry I can't be of more help. I have a big list of Seals transactions in a spreadsheet and there are usually a couple transactions in every season that I can't 100% substantiate outside of Hockey/Legends of Hockey.

  7. Hi Mark,

    How is your comprehensive "everything you want to know" media guide for the Seals/Barons coming along?

    Could you please post the June NHL 1969 drafts sometime soon?

    Thank you.

    Best regards,


    1. Coming along incredibly slowly, unfortunately. I haven't had time to touch it in the last couple months. Too busy with my day job and other things.

      I'll work on the '69 drafts next. :)





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