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10-10-2012, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I personally think it was more linear, from the time they went down to 6 teams until 1967. The talent was there to expand earlier, but by 1967 that glut of players able to compete at the NHL level had finally reached critical mass or whatever you want to call it.

I tend to say the last few years before expansion were the highest caliber ever for the NHL, basically in terms of comparing the size of the talent pool to the number of NHL jobs available. I have no hard numbers to support this; it's just intuition.
I basically agree with this. IMO, the depth of talent had far exceeded the number of jobs from the early 60s to expansion.

Keep in mind that much of the 50s was spent catching up from the drain on the talent pool that World War 2 caused. By the late 50s/early 60s, I think it had caught up and then some.

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