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11-09-2012, 09:15 PM
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The Depression Era

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
the best study I know of is by hfboards poster arrbez (who seems to have retired from the website after winning the last All Time Draft):

The thing is that young players who left to join the military lost 2-3 years of key development. So I think it's likely that teams that were more affected by the war would remain affected for several years afterwards. I don't think it's a coincidence that Toronto and Montreal remained the dominant NHL teams for a few years after the war, basically until a new generation in Detroit emerged.

The hows and whys of which players left for the war and which didn't could be a very interesting thread itself. But I'm pretty sure that it was a bit easier to get draft deferments in Canada than in the United States. I know for sure that Montreal in particular put for a lot of effort to get draft deferments for its best players.
Still you are looking at WWII in a vacuum. There was a depression that effectively stalled the development of hockey for app 10 years. Throw in six years of WWII and basically you are looking at close to a lost generation of hockey talent.

Look at the history of two goalies - Bill Durnan and Normie Smith. Both opted for job security at various points in their career pre WWII.

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