The Montreal Canadiens indirectly stood in the way of the 67 expansion.
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10-23-2013, 03:40 PM
Originally Posted by
Habs spent big money on farm system. That option was open to all clubs not just the Habs. Tommy Gorman bought in Frank Selke after the war and he started the extensive farm system we call it today. That is where it all started, the idea came from. Before that the Leafs, Wings and Habs were neck and neck for most cups. So, it shows the 50 territorial rights never gave them an advantage.
When I was a kid Habs sent Kenny Reardon out west to start Regina Pats, Scotty Bowman to Peteroborough to run the Petes, Clause Ruel ran the Junior Canadiens. We use to call them feeder teams back then. Habs were deep into player development.
The other clubs wouldn't spend on player development. Took a lot of money and hockey wasn't a major sport in most USA cities back in the '50s and '60s. Where as in Quebec we ate, slept and breathe hockey. It was the only thing we had. Long cold winters, Quebec then was a poverty province.
The Adams were notoriously cheap in Boston. Until his son Weston took over the club, around the mid-60s and they started to spend in sponsorhip. Netted them the likes of Bobby Orr, Wayne Cashman, Ed Westfall and bunch of other players.
The Black Hawks were in bad shape during the '50s, Chicago wasn't a hockey town and the league had to bail them out. Like most USA clubs they never had no money. At the time hockey wasn't a major sport in the USA. Was no money in it to spend extra on sponsorship like the Habs had.
The Rangers were a mickey mouse organization when Watson ran the team. They changed when Cat Francis got control and model his farm system after Montreal's. Netted them the Ratelles, Gilberts, etc...
Except for the Maple Leafs who did spend big in sponsorship until the Harold Ballard era. When they cut junior spending, started to trade away young players. Punch Imlach wanted all veterans. That was fine in the '60s but when age got to them there was no young guys coming along. The Gary Ungers, Pete Stemkowskis, Jim Pappins, Eddie Shacks, or Carl Brewers.
Quebec was down upon by rest of Canada. Not as bad as the blacks in South USA, but world wasn't as liberal as it is today. Quebec was a different culture trapped in foreign country. Especially after the war and they refused to go to war and Ottawa started conscription. Now after a couple of generation have past and the world has changed that is not the case anymore. Mostly anyway.
As you know nothing the Habs did was illegal or cheating. Unfair maybe. Also you know how important hockey was/is to the French in Que, even more so after the War do to the issues you mentioned. Now here is where it gets shady IMO (mentioned sources in OP) due to the political situation it was seen as imperative for the Habs to remain dominant and the provincial government of Que kicked in tons of money to help the Habs implement and maintain their farm system. While the Leafs did see some municipal help in some areas nothing to the extent that the Habs saw from their Province. For instance Que paid for many of the arenas and staffing.
So that is 1 advantage the Habs had.
2nd is obvious-most of the best players were French and most French players wanted to play on the Habs.
3rd. Sure the other teams could have set up a similarly massive farm system but at the time the Habs had all ready begun to farm the top areas and the pie just wasn't big enough for the other teams to compete.
I guess that is my main grievance. If the Habs would have taken a smaller piece of the pie I would have no issues.
Originally Posted by
1st draft in '69? Are you really serious?
It was in '63
And EVERY TEAM in that era bought entire teams. But it was a Canadiens' GM (who BTW was let go by the Leafs....BTW, Thanks) who instituted this practice of developmental leagues. Because of Selke, Montreal began to dominate with Francophone AND Anglophone players....because they played the best ones. Shocking I know
And if they stood indirectly in the way of '67 expansion, then explain how it happened.
It happened to get in front of another group who were trying to organize a new league to compete against the NHL. That group took a hit but some of that same group were still able to start a league, maybe you heard of it...the WHA?
This crap is getting old. Montreal won due to forward thinking and excellent management along with develloping their own coaching staffs and players better than any other team.
Deal with it.
Yes there was a draft in 63 but it wasn't a true open draft till 69. Go look at the players drafted from 63-68 pretty much all no name non French players cuz the Habs allready had the rights to any of significance. Then in 69 teams could no longer essentially pre own players so the draft became truly open, go look at the magical change in 69,,wadda ya know top French players in the draft.
Now as to the Habs holding up expansion, With the way the Farm systems were it offered little to no chance for the expansion team to develop top players. So many of the new owners demanded change and the Habs vehemently opposed this because they knew they would loose their pipeline. So we can thank expansion for opening up all players to all teams.
If only the Leafs had provincial $$ to help them when Selkie mentioned it to them. I guess the political climate and the perceived need for the Habs to dominate the perceived English NHL is what put the Quebec $$$ behind the Habs farm system.