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03-19-2013, 01:46 PM
Canadiens1958's Avatar
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Talent Pool.

Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Uh oh, looks like you & I are going to have a disagreement here Saint 'P', the "talent pool" in 1967 was pretty much already running at full capacity, the players populating the 6 incoming basically a rabble of over the hill & never were's, a few stars coaxed out of retirement, serious money thrown at them, career minor leaguers & untested, unproven rookies.

Furthermore, the NHL tilted the ice, allowing the 06 teams to protect pretty much all of their core players, slim pickin's for the Blues, Seals & all of the rest of em' in the Expansion Draft. Even leading up to the 67 Expansion, you had bottom feeders like Boston & New York, the SC pretty much being traded between Toronto & Montreal with but one blurb when Chicago won for the decade preceding it. Detroit's glory days a distant memory. Though "game", the quality of play suffered enormously as a result, exacerbated in 1970 when Vancouver & Buffalo entered the league, Atlanta & the Islanders 2 years later, the WHA raiders & so on & so forth.

Orr's arrival in Boston and the ascendancy of the Bruins; Montreal having astutely retained the farm, protecting itself, building its dynasty into the 70's. In Philly, you had Head Scout Bob Davidson formerly of the Leafs & oddball Head Coach Freddie the Fog Shero putting together a squad that basically punched their way to the top, augmented & supported by stellar goaltending, some talent up-front and on the blue-line. The actual "talent pool" was shallow, remaining so to this very day. With the introduction of the Universal Draft in 63, the business model changed, and not really for the betterment of the game itself. The NHL no longer obligated to support Junior & in some cases amateur teams & or entire leagues. Farms were sold off. Actual development of players suffering as a result.
The NHL talked about expansion in the late forties/early fifties. As you stated upthread, in 1953 Cleveland was mentioned and at the same time Chicago played a handful of home games in St. Louis. Suitability of arenas was an issue. To an extent the arena issue was resolved by the late 1950s / early 1960s construction of arenas in the USA.

An orderly expansion of 2 teams in each 1953-54, 1960-61, 1967-68 would have produced the same 12 team NHL with support from the hockey boom in Canada. As it was the NHL went against the trend, sacrificing pro leagues and franchises in Canada - QHL and EPHL, some WHL for the USA(AHL/CPHL/WHL/ etc). This alternative would have produced a younger,balanced AHL by 1970..

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