Interesting format, Coleman on the attack. Not so sure he's got the right end of the stick on this one though. For starters, it was Toronto & Montreal (though to a lesser degree than the Leafs) that didnt want a 3rd Canadian team in 1967, not the "4 American clubs" as stated in this article. There was only 6 spots available and despite there being no ownership group in place & bidding, St.Louis awarded a franchise regardless as Norris wanted to unload the ancient & decrepit St.Louis Arena & packaging it with a franchise about the only way he was going to get that done. Of the other 5 teams, just based on footprint alone, San Francisco & LA, Minnesota, Pittsburgh & Philadelphia all made perfect sense really, so I guess you could point the finger at Norris & St.Louis as a block to Vancouver but there was far more to it than just that.
Then theres the Carl Brewer issue; what "American team stood in the way of a Canadian playing for his countries national team"? The Toronto Maple Leafs & specifically Punch Imlach was the one standing in Carl Brewers way. And the reasons for that are well documented. An acrimonious split, Brewer an oddball & outlier from the get-go, couldnt stand Imlach, a number of his team mates, hated the Trap System, didnt like playing by "The Code", got beaten up and was never really the same player thereafter. Quits after getting into an argument with Johnny Bower. Like picking a fight with a department store Santa Claus. Who does that?... and dont get me wrong, love Brewer, his monumental fight with the league, brilliant guy but still... prickly pear as was Imlach. Oil & water.
This style of writing, its premise, early 20th century provincialism & American xenophobia, out waving the then new Canadian Flag & Expo 67, that Smythe & Molson "owed it" to Canadians & the game of hockey to open their buildings & wallets to the National Team program (which I do agree with in part but over-all, not so much), well, thank God that kind of thinking is dying, an anachronism of the past. So we have some serious factual errors upon which a lecture is delivered in sonorous Edwardian tones all designed to raise the blood pressure of every God fearing hockey loving mothers son from Halifax to Victoria.... most excellent. Well done Jimmy. Certainly an interesting read, snapshot of the past, and yes, some "interesting ideas".
If the CMJHL vs the CAHA issue, on going at the same time, is considered then pointing south as the source of problems is rather unique to say the least.
Today, with the luxury of time, it is rather obvious that neither at the NHL level nor the CAHA level from Team Canada down to the intro level, a cohesive national hockey plan focused on development did not exist.
^^^ Indeed not, no. It wasnt until 1962 when Father David Bauer was transferred from St.Mikes in Toronto (after winning multiple Memorial Cups & producing wave upon wave of excellent players) to St.Marks College, part of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver that a National Team "Concept" even existed. He presented to the CAHA and it was accepted, players like Brian Conacher & Roger Bourbonnais etc moving west, attending UBC.
I didn't realize that Toronto was threatened by the proximity of Vancouver back then. No wonder Hamilton, Markham, etc... have no chance in hell of getting an NHL team.
... Yep. Everything west of Kenora & east of Quebec City Toronto's territory LBD. Didnt you know that?
Stafford Smythe & Harold Ballard, well aware that Expansion was on the horizon as early as 1962-63 and figuring Vancouver was a shoe-in decided to get ahead of the curve & traveled to Vancouver in 64 with ambitions to build & control an NHL sized arena. This before Expansion was even announced, before anyone ever had a chance to submit an application & bid. They go to City Hall demanding free-land, prime downtown location, told to hit the road. Never forgave for the city for that one. In 66 Vancouver did submit an application & bid with the venerable Foster Hewitt part of the ownership group. Application denied, the NHL "claiming" their financing was weak which it most certainly was not. So that combined with not wanting to share broadcasting revenues & Molsons fears that Labatts would get a toe hold into hockey through a western franchise shut it down.... a couple of years later, prior to the 1970 Expansion when Vancouver did get in, the Seals were in trouble & an offer from Labatts was tendered provided they could move the team to Vancouver. That offer as well shooed away, the Seals winding up in Cleveland, then amalgamated with Minnesota as you know.