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.


  1. Hi Mark,

    Happy Holidays.

    I was wondering if you had any information on two players who "flew under the radar" for the June 1967 Expansion Draft and had successful professional careers:
    Bobby Schmautz (age 22)- 1966-67 with Los Angeles Blades of WHL. Any input as to why he was not protected or used as fill by Blackhawks or chosen by any of the six new teams?
    Paul Shmyr (age 21)- 1966-67 with Fort Wayne Komets of IHL. I assume he was on Rangers ineligible list as a first year pro but do you have any information on where he played any of the previous three years (ages 18-20)?

    Thank you.


    1. Happy Holidays to you, Paul.

      The blog has been a little quiet over the last few weeks but believe it or not I am working on a few things to post (maybe over the next couple weeks) about the junior sponsorship system and 'A', 'B' and 'C' forms.

      I can only speculate as to why Schmautz was passed over. Just going off the stats he wasn't particularly impressive in his time in Los Angeles. A knock against him throughout his career was his size; he was always considered quite scrawny (his official measurements were 5'-9" and 155 lbs). My guess is he just didn't impress any of the expansion teams. Even after expansion and a shot in Chicago the Blackhawks left him exposed in the intra-league draft in '69 and in the span of a couple weeks he went from Chicago to St. Louis to Montreal, and later in the summer to the WHL.

      Shmyr played his junior hockey in New Westminster, BC for the New Westminster Royals of the BCJHL according to a few online sources (e.g. Legends of Hockey). The BCJHL became the BCHL, which today is a "Junior A" league that competes for the Centennial Cup. Stats and rosters for BCJHL teams are much harder to find than OHA teams, most likely because the BCJHL wasn't heavily sponsored by the NHL like the OHA was. In fact I'm not sure if BC had ANY sponsored junior teams in the entire province.

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