The all encompassing "players of today vs players from the past" thread
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03-19-2013, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by
The problem is in using O6 rosters as the standard to measure other eras by. The O6 was a pretty unique situation not just in hockey but in all of team sports in that the you had six all-star teams making up the league: Even the "poor" teams of that era were absolutely stacked by any normal standard. No era in any sport can come close to matching that kind of talent concentration that you saw in the O6. For that reason I don't use O6 talent concentration as the measuring rod: It simply was NOT a normal situation.
No, all 6 teams were not "All Star" calibre, not even close to it. Just take a look at the standings & rosters for Boston or New York between 1960 & 1966. For example in 60/61, Montreal at the top goes 41/19/10, the Bruins 15/42/13. Chicago, who won the SC that year was in the middle of the pack in 3rd place, 29/24/17. You basically had 3 All Star Teams with the Habs, Leafs & Hawks, Detroit running on fumes & flirting with success, the Rangers & Bruins dysfunctional, AHL/IHL calibre, and not likely to win the Silverware in those leagues either as depth in the minor leagues was actually decent enough however, most of the serious talent was "owned" by the top 3 NHL clubs. A lot of players in the minors as well making as much or more than they would in the NHL.
Post WW2 you had the Baby Boom combined with a substantial increase of immigration from Eastern Europe, Italy, Greece & elsewhere to Canada, those kids coming of age from the mid 50's through late 60's & mid-70's. Canada in the late teens through 30's simply didnt have the kinds of numbers in terms of overall population & birthrates, boys playing competitive hockey & brilliant at it to stock 6 "All Star Teams" in the NHL. WW2 as well decimating, shortening the careers of many who previously had been regulars in the NHL. Age, illness etc catching up, along with financial considerations, as the money paid by the Wings, Leafs etc was parsimonious, requiring 2nd jobs during the off-season, many working other jobs during the season as well.
Montreal had a job of it prying Beliveau out of Quebec City, as he was making extremely good money playing for the Aces in the old 'Q', enjoyed the lifestyle, city, the brand of hockey actually quite good. On the Westcoast, similar situation from San Diego to Vancouver. Playing pro Mercenary, you go wherever the money & lifestyles the best or accept subjugation & penury, having in a lot of cases signed A, B or C forms tying your future to one of the 6 NHL teams for life. Independent teams like Cleveland of the AHL had there own farm systems as well, and in fact challenged the NHL to a winner take all for the Stanley Cup at one point in the 50's, they were that good, the NHL refusing the invite. So you had a different business model, not as much talent available, the supply never really meeting demand to this very day, all relative & equal in making the comparisons between the 06 era & todays 30 team league, including the climbing production rates in the US, Europe & the former Soviet States.
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