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09-01-2013, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
No, I'm 99% sure that Espo did not work in a steel mill after got traded to Boston. Phil is pulling one of his glorified tales again, I see. Haven't read his book because of how I remember him telling "things as it is".
Ya, thats my take on it as well as posted earlier. In 1966 the average NHL salary was app $17,000, Gordie Howe earning $50,000. Orrs' reputed Rookie Salary was $25,000, an unheard of sum in those days & negotiated by an agent, the now infamous Alan Eagleson. Encouraged by his "win" over Eddie Shore in Springfield & representation of Orr, he started the NHLPA, countless dozens of players asking him to represent them, all combined notching salaries up considerably from the previous $17,000 averages to respectable sums.

Famous story of Bob Baun who when arriving in Detroit in 1969 after a year in Oakland had a locker room chat with Howe, that he (Baun) was making $120,000 while Gordie was earning a mere $50,000, and that his conciliatory approach to negotiating with the Wings every year since entering the league actually kept players salaries down. But with the Orr Rookie Contract, Expansion on the horizon, the birth of the NHLPA & Agents getting involved, salaries were increasing substantially. So for a guy like Esposito, well, just no way no how would he have sat still for $25,000 or whatever per annum after he'd left Chicago. In 63/64 the NHL Minimum Salary was $7000, and Esposito was getting paid that in Chicago. In his book he says he didnt make $100,000 until his 8th season playing pro, so that would be about 1969, possibly 1970 that he'd "no longer needed to work summers".

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