View Single Post
03-25-2013, 09:04 PM
Global Moderator
Killion's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 27,477
vCash: 500
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Common in the 1950s until the 1967 expansion. Some preferred the QSHL/QHL/EPHL to the USA - Herb Carnegie... How common was this in the WHL? Was there a difference in this regard between the American and Canadian teams?
Dont know for sure, but anecdotally I've heard that some of the talent in the old WHL were in fact making more or as much as Jean Beliveau when he was with the Quebec City Aces (close to $20,000 a year including perks, car, gifts, endorsements). The standard NHL Rookie Salary in the 50's/early60's being $7000 per annum, you might top out at $10,000 or thereabouts in the NHL if a 2nd or 3rd liner, few grand more, maybe $16K or so if a star in the NHL. Selke offered Beliveau the standard but of course he refused, and why not? Thats a $13,000 plus paycut. As we know, the Habs bought the entire QSHL in order to force him to sign & play for Montreal, Beliveaus 'B' (could play "amateur" for whoever he wanted) rather than 'C' form signature negated in the process so if he wanted to get paid at all, Montreal, where he did sign for $100,000 over 5yrs, more than Richard & Howe were making by quite a bit.

Herb Carnegie on the other hand who also played with Beliveau in Quebec was another story. He grew up worshipping the Leafs and wanted to sign however Conn Smythe, recognizing his talent was told he was making $10,000 playing in the minors. Too much & more than what Smythe was paying even his top players in most cases in the NHL. When asked why he hadnt signed Carnegie, infamous, disgusting comment that absolutely cut Carnegie to the core, that he'd only pay $10,000 for Carnegie "if someone could turn him white" or words to that affect. Pulls the race card in explaining away Herb, who Beliveau claimed was one of the best players he'd ever seen play, a multitude of Scouts, Players, observers & fans having little doubt about that as well. The past's a different country, they do things differently back there, that comment by Smythe all too common the sort of attitude towards the "livestock" most of these guys had, and pretty much since 1917. So ya, a lot of talent in the WHL & elsewhere making as much or more than they'd have ever made in the NHL, free from the shackles of indentured servitude & the kind of penury so many of the greats from the 06 era were forced to endure.

Killion is online now   Reply With Quote