Saturday, November 24, 2012

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...

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