All-Time Draft #12 Line-up Assassination Thread
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11-11-2009, 05:48 PM
God Bless Canada
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Bentley reunion
Originally Posted by
If you are going to critize the PCHA for not having the best in the world at the time, then you are going to have to critize the NHL in that time period for the same thing, because the best were really split between the two. The difference to these leagues and WHA is, to my knowledge, never had any serious opportunity to show itself against the NHL stars in real competition, and succeed, as the WCHL, PCHA, and European leagues (the later ones at least) did.
And you're right: the talent was split. And that's where you get into the tough part for evaluating talent - how will guys adjust to playing against the best ever, when they never played against the best in the world on a nightly basis. And it was a completely different game back then. We talked about how now it's a different game than 20, 30, 40 or 50 years ago. The rules in the game really haven't changed much. The last major rule change, IMO, that had a visible impact on how the game was changed on a shift-by-shift basis was when they allowed players to pass the puck across their own blue-line back in 44. Since then, the approach has changed many times, and the rule changes have been minor or mild.
We saw the best team from the western leagues play the best team from the NHL/NHA. To my knowledge, there wasn't an all-star game between the two leagues, or a series between the best players from the PCHA/WCHL vs. the best from the NHA/NHL. At least we had that with Summit in 72. We saw the best in the USSR vs. the best in the NHL. And it changed everyone's perceptions.
For the record, if the WHA ever played the NHL in an all-star game, or a Summit-esque series, I think the WHA would have beat the NHL. Not because the WHA was better. But for the guys in the WHA, it would have meant the world to them. To the NHL guys, it would have been an exhibition.
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