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10-23-2013, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
Over half a million Canadians of military age were also sitting in trenches over in Europe.

Is there any evidence this had any impact on the hockey leagues of the day? I've always seen reference to WWII, but never WWI.

Edit: That's less than 10% of the population...not sure what percentage of the age demographic is involved. WWII was also less than 10%, but my lazy mental math indicates it was probably closer.
It absolutely made a difference, especially since one of those players was Frank Nighbor, and Joe Malone absolutely torched Ottawa in Nighbor's absence:

Originally Posted by nik jr
In the 1917-1918 season, Frank Nighbor played only 10 of 22 games, in large part because Nighbor served in the Royal Air Force during part of World War 1. Ottawa and Toronto were working on a deal to transfer Nighbor to Toronto. I have not found any information that injury was a factor.
Nighbor played only 2 of the 1st 13 games.

Nighbor's extended absence in '18 gives us an idea of his importance to his team.

Discounting the Montreal Wanderers, who folded early in the season (only played 6 games), The '18 Ottawa Senators had the worst GA and the worst GF in the NHL, and missed the playoffs.

Ottawa without Nighbor in '18
3-9 record
59 GF, 73 GA

Ottawa with Nighbor in '18
5-5 record
43 GF, 40 GA

Lalonde's goals vs Ottawa with Nighbor: 1 game, 1g
Lalonde's goals vs Ottawa without Nighbor: 5 games, 8g

Malone's goals vs Ottawa with Nighbor: 3 games, 1g
Malone's goals vs Ottawa without Nighbor: 7 games, 23g

Malone's '18 season has become legendary. He scored 44g in 22 games, the highest goals per game pace in NHL history. But even more amazing is that he scored over half of those goals in 7 games against Ottawa when Nighbor was out of the lineup.

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