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01-15-2014, 12:04 AM
BlindLemon Haystacks
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
If Gretzky isn't on full display at those Canada Cups of the '80s, followed by creating an environment where NHL base salaries started entering the $1 million+ range, while also being an international marketing icon world-wide for huge multinationals like Anheuser-Busch and MacDonalds, are as many Russians/Europeans defecting/jumping ship as soon as they could for the NHL? If the Iron Curtain had started to fall 10 years earlier, would the same (type of) players still have rushed over to play in the NHL of 1979?

I think Gretzky played a huge part in making the NHL not just an attractive option, but THE option, for luring top players from other domestic leagues around the world, which could be "revolutionary" on some level. Heck, he may even be more than just partially responsible for player salaries having to be disclosed, with Goodenough introducing it in 1990 after (but not explicitly because of, mind you) "The Trade"; which is interesting and salary-related, if not revolutionary, lol.
Good post. I'm kind of guessing, but I think the increasing access to technology, such as television, played a significant role in the number of Czech's that defected to play in North America. Many of them were also exposed to North America through their CC experiences too. Its a mystery to me why some of the Soviets did not defect in the 70's and 80's. I'm guessing many had families, but I'm sure the younger players without spouses and children could have defected. Maybe the USSR would follow through with other consequences if a player defected? I don't know. To those that are aware, what would have been the major differences between the Soviets and Czech's defecting?

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