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11-16-2012, 10:29 PM
  #436
pdd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
The problem here is that the changing quality of talent is balanced by the fact that since the Original Six the NHL has expanded as fast as the talent pool has grown.
There are two fewer North American major professional hockey teams right now than there were in 1975.

The WHA needs to be considered when talking about talent level and expansion.

When the WHA merged with the NHL, there were 21 NHL teams. There were 16 NHL teams in the WHA's first year. So the NHL would have needed to capture 76% of the "NHL-level" talent to maintain a talent level comparable to the 1980s. Given that players like Gordie Howe, Mark Howe, Bobby Hull, and Kent Nilsson jumped for the WHA, one wonders if that happened.

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