In November 1948, the following statement was issued by the League President and sent to all 6 NHL teams:
It has come to my attention seveal times recently that there has been a considerable increase in fraternizing between the opposing teams on the ice before the start of the game and occasionally between periods, and that, in addition, there has been a considerable amount of fraternizing in public places between the competing teams before and after the games. There is no specific rule or by-law in our league which prevents this practice, but I am convinced that this is a development which is definitely bad for the welfare of the game and it only breeds suspicion in the minds of the public as to the genuiness of our competition and this is a risk which we certainly cannot afford to take. I think the interests of the league and the clubs will be best served by a strict prohibition against these types of fraternizing by the players.
Do you think he suspected Union organizing activity, even at this early stage? Can you imagine the rate at which he would be spinning in his grave now?
The year 1948 makes me think it probably has more to do with gambling - that's the year Don Gallinger and Billy Taylor were suspended for life for betting on games. After that, the league would've been hypersensitive to anything that gave the public the impression that games could be fixed (remember, this is less than 30 years removed from a fixed World Series), so they wouldn't want players on opposing teams appearing friendly to each other in public.
Edit: and on re-reading that passage, I'm sure that's what Campbell is talking about - note the 'it only breeds suspicion in the minds of the public as to the genuiness of our competition' bit.
Quite possible. It could also be because Campbell was a real hardass. I didn't think that there would be much of a problem though, because from other stuff I have read, players would pass eachother in trains as they were travelling and wouldn't even give a nod in recognition. The fact that they played 12 (and then later 14) games against eachother every season and the bad blood that developed should have kept any friendly banter to a minimum.
The reason I thought maybe he was concerned about union activity is because this would have been Lindsay's 4th season, and he would have established himself as a star with his 33 goal performance in 47-48. He was probably starting to gain influence with the Wings. I have read that this is about the period where the grumbling had started with regards to Irvin, Smythe and Adams.
Hmm, could've sworn I replied, guess the board ate it.
I don't think Lindsay was doing anything at that point - my copy of Net Worth is packed away somewhere, but I seem to recall his union-organizing activities not happening until later in his career. He was traded to the Hawks in 1957 because of them, and I can't really see that taking so long to happen if he had been on the league's and management's radar close to ten years earlier.
The timins is kind of funny though because everything I had heard and read was that players on opposing teams did not talk because there was so much animosity. The old familiarity breeds contempt cliche. This was the first I ever heard of players mingling on or off the ice.