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August 18, 1966 End of NHL Sponsorship

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09-24-2013, 11:00 AM
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August 18, 1966 End of NHL Sponsorship

Announcement of the agreement between the NHL and the CAHA ending NHL sponsorship of amateur teams. From The Gazette:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...7205%2C3341879

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09-24-2013, 11:41 AM
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August 26, 1966 Pat Curran Column Expansion

Rather interesting Pat Curran column touching upon expansion draft issues and the impact of the new CAHA/NHL agree ment ending sponsorship of amateur teams.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...6819%2C4681151

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09-24-2013, 11:45 AM
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August 27, 1966 Expansion and Taxes

More on the upcoming 1967 expansion. Tax issues surrounding the expansion and the expansion draft are explored:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...3718%2C4875913

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09-24-2013, 02:04 PM
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Interesting that they wouldnt have considered the tax ramifications when considering expansion... y'know, like forward critical thinking. Conceptually & executionally as it pertained specifically to things like Capital Gains Taxes. Just incredible really. Really illustrates & underscores just how unsophisticated they were at that time.

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09-24-2013, 02:36 PM
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Taxes

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Interesting that they wouldnt have considered the tax ramifications when considering expansion... y'know, like forward critical thinking. Conceptually & executionally as it pertained specifically to things like Capital Gains Taxes. Just incredible really. Really illustrates & underscores just how unsophisticated they were at that time.
True yet the tax differences between the USA and Canada at the time may explain why there were no Canadian expansion teams and why minor pro hockey, big in Canada in the fifties had virtually disappeared, with teams or leagues moving to the USA. Example the QHL and EPHL being replaced by the expanded AHL and the new CHL. WHL losing Canadian cities.

Also tax laws in Canada were changing rapidly during the mid sixties while social programs were being introduced - universal health care, etc.

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09-24-2013, 11:17 PM
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Also tax laws in Canada were changing rapidly during the mid sixties while social programs were being introduced - universal health care, etc.
Yes thats very true, and someone had to pay for it.

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09-25-2013, 08:01 AM
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US Sponsorship

Lost in the details for a long time was the fact that the NHL sponsorship of US amateur or minor(youth) teams was not possible. In the mid sixties the Canadiens brought American prospects - Larry Pleau, Craig Patrick, Bobby Sheehan to Canada so they could play for Canadian junior teams.

With the 1967 expansion featuring only American cities, the sponsorship structure in Canada had to be re-worked if not eliminated completely.

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09-25-2013, 08:07 AM
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I always did wonder why the NHL didn't adopt a minor league system like major league baseball had. Guess this is one of the reasons why?

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09-25-2013, 08:33 AM
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Minor League System

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I always did wonder why the NHL didn't adopt a minor league system like major league baseball had. Guess this is one of the reasons why?
The NHL minor league sponsorship system was very similar to the MLB system except that NHL teams could sponsor amateur teams as long as the amateur team was in Canada. MLB teams had to sign amateur players to pro contracts to get them into the MLB minor league system.

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09-25-2013, 09:04 AM
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I always did wonder why the NHL didn't adopt a minor league system like major league baseball had. Guess this is one of the reasons why?
Minor league baseball was a pretty organic growth. In the early days of professional baseball, there were huge numbers of leagues and huge numbers of teams. Teams would sign their local players, and inevitably someone would come knocking and want to buy that player's contract. There was a lot of instability for various reasons.

Over time, things started to stratify. The major leagues were the ones in the biggest cities that could draw the most and thus pay the most, but the system that we know today didn't come about for over another generation. There were excellent minor league teams, but many historians have argued that the caliber of play in the old Eastern League (with the Baltimore Orioles) and the Pacific Coast League (breeding ground for several all-time greats) was on par with the AL and NL.

What happened was that the Orioles started to completely dominate the Eastern League. The AL and NL had been pressuring the smaller leagues into creating a specific system for the purchase of contracts, and most recognized that big-time money would be good for them. The EL refused for years, then relented in order to force the breakup of the Orioles. This was in 1925, and was the death knell of independent minor leagues.

But even then, the establishment of the current system wouldn't exactly be met with open arms. Branch Rickey of the St. Louis Cardinals set up an extremely large farm system encompassing several teams and several minor leagues, which clashed with Commissioner Landis' vision of what baseball should look like. The two had a tremendous battle during the famous "big as a house" meeting (1938), which eventually resulted in dozens of Cardinal prospects becoming free agents (either 74 or 91; the record is unclear).

The short version: Rickey felt that by bringing in huge numbers of prospects and needing to groom them into top-level players, he was both providing for the welfare of the players and stabilizing the minor leagues that had been devastated by the Depression. Landis felt that this system was impeding a player's progression to the highest levels, because it meant that a team in the Three-I League would be nothing but a developmental ground for prospects that was forsaking its actual mission of winning games. This issue would come up 30 years later, when Earl Weaver (then a minor league manager) was ordered to turn his third baseman into a left fielder, even though his team was in a ferocious pennant battle and the action would have been detrimental.

For me personally, I fall in the middle. Certainly Rickey's idea of a large farm system stabilized the minor leagues, several of which might not exist today if not for the money flowing in from above. We used to have a bunch of teams here in Ohio in an independent league called the Frontier League, but it's been marked by instability to the point where we only have one team left in the state. But the all-encompassing farm system is in fact detrimental to the very nature of competition. If a minor league All-Star is needed to fill out a major league bench and it means costing his minor league team several games, then that's what's going to happen. Personally, I like the hockey setup more; teams are limited in their affiliations, which limits how far down the influence goes.

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09-25-2013, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
What happened was that the Orioles started to completely dominate the Eastern League. The AL and NL had been pressuring the smaller leagues into creating a specific system for the purchase of contracts, and most recognized that big-time money would be good for them. The EL refused for years, then relented in order to force the breakup of the Orioles. This was in 1925, and was the death knell of independent minor leagues.
For comparison's sake, the last "major" independent minor league in hockey (the old IHL) lasted until 2001. True stratification of AA hockey didn't take place until around the 2003 merger of the ECHL and WCHL, and simultaneous decline of the CHL.

Basically, we are just now arriving at a point where hockey can conveniently do things that happened in baseball 90 years ago.

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09-25-2013, 10:46 AM
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IHL History

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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
For comparison's sake, the last "major" independent minor league in hockey (the old IHL) lasted until 2001. True stratification of AA hockey didn't take place until around the 2003 merger of the ECHL and WCHL, and simultaneous decline of the CHL.

Basically, we are just now arriving at a point where hockey can conveniently do things that happened in baseball 90 years ago.
Bit of IHL history.

Started in 1945-46 in the Detroit/Windsor axis as a Red Wings farm system:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/109.html

Check the 1947-48 Windsor roster coached by Jimmy Skinner - fair number of Red Wing dynasty players

By the early fifties a number of other NHL teams - Montreal in Cincinnati were involved in full or partial affiliate agreements:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/l...003891953.html

Alliliate agreements 1953-54 included Cincinnati(Montreal NHL), Marion(Cleveland AHL).

From the late fifties onward the IHL teams would get 5-6 players from the O6 NHL teams - suspects or rehab types. Post 1967 expansion - 2001, this continued with a greater variety of NHL teams but fewer players per NHL team. Key point being the NHL team held the contract or rights. The IHL team could not unilaterally deal the player to another organization.

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09-25-2013, 12:49 PM
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October 1966 CMJHL Fall-out with the CAHA

Sponsorship ending meant that indy operators would enter the picture. This happened in Saskatchewan and Alberta where the new CMJHL challenge the CAHA, specifically on the basis of provincial border restrictions and the "benefit" of junior players.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...7247%2C2627058

Then there were other secondary issues and posturing. Also a number of the names are recognizable as future WHA types.

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09-25-2013, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
For comparison's sake, the last "major" independent minor league in hockey (the old IHL) lasted until 2001. True stratification of AA hockey didn't take place until around the 2003 merger of the ECHL and WCHL, and simultaneous decline of the CHL.

Basically, we are just now arriving at a point where hockey can conveniently do things that happened in baseball 90 years ago.
The battles between the IHL and AHL, to me, is a modern parallel to exactly what happened to minor league baseball. The IHL did have some affiliations, but they were stuck in a sort of limbo between being a developmental league and a sort of catch-all for players on the way up or way down. What it meant was that the independent teams had to cover all their own costs and were extremely sensitive to local factors, while the affiliated teams simply didn't have to worry about that at all. Of course, the tradeoff is that affiliated teams might have a tougher time with cultivating their own fan base since their parent team might pull the affiliation entirely.

With the rise of the KHL, I do think that there's room for an independent top minor league in North America that could succeed. They'd have to avoid the original IHL's problem (ballooning costs due to rapid coast-to-coast expansion) and focus more on a local region. In all honesty, both the ECHL and lower leagues have teams in cities that could handle an IHL team: Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Toledo, etc. There's a ton of native North American players who I don't think want to actually go to the KHL, but still want to stay in hockey. Playing a season in Indianapolis would be a far cry from packing up and living in Moscow for a year.

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09-25-2013, 02:42 PM
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The IHL did have some affiliations, but they were stuck in a sort of limbo between being a developmental league and a sort of catch-all for players on the way up or way down.
Didnt the IHL have a "soft salary cap" as well of something like $1.8M that further complicated matters for NHL clubs in sending guys down on one-way contracts? Additionally, they launched an aggressive expansion program in the 80's hitting former WHA & abandoned or neglected NHL markets, charging as much as $8M in entry fee's, further raising the ire of the National Hockey League. That as you suggested there was/is room for a second top flight or AA minor pro league however, they just might get a bit too ambitous, be a bit too successful for their own good & if given a foothold, an inch, might wind up taking a mile & eventually challenging the NHL for supremacy. Perhaps another forced amalgamation.

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09-25-2013, 03:19 PM
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Down the Road

^^^ Last two posts.

If you look at the recent Hockey Canada changes, re-introduction of the juvenile category, triple letters down to Pee Wee and the growth of the USHL in the USA then the re-organization of the AHL and ECHL will come. In Europe you do have the KHL and top level national leagues jockeying for position. Post Sochi, a clearer picture will emerge in Europe.

The basic issue in NA is the development of the 18-23 year age group in an optimal environment.The second issue is the two bookend age groups, 15-18 and 23+.The third issue is delivering content that these three groups create, to the growing regional TV market.

As things stand, travel is the biggest obstacle facing the CHL, AHL, ECHL, USHL and all other NA developmental leagues. Key to solving the travel issue is rationalizing the structure of the various leagues. Flipping franchises between leagues and subdividing are the main alternatives.

Effectively coming back to the old provincial/state and regional formats that existed for leagues generations ago.

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09-25-2013, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Didnt the IHL have a "soft salary cap" as well of something like $1.8M that further complicated matters for NHL clubs in sending guys down on one-way contracts? Additionally, they launched an aggressive expansion program in the 80's hitting former WHA & abandoned or neglected NHL markets, charging as much as $8M in entry fee's, further raising the ire of the National Hockey League. That as you suggested there was/is room for a second top flight or AA minor pro league however, they just might get a bit too ambitous, be a bit too successful for their own good & if given a foothold, an inch, might wind up taking a mile & eventually challenging the NHL for supremacy. Perhaps another forced amalgamation.
They didn't go nuts until around 1991. Before that, it was entirely within the Midwest, with mainstays like Kalamazoo, Fort Wayne, Toledo, Muskegon, etc. The only real outlier they had was Salt Lake City, then Phoenix. But 1990 added San Diego, 1992 added Atlanta, 1993 Las Vegas, 1994 Houston, 1995 Orlando and San Francisco, and so on.

From where I sit, a new IHL could build around:
- Cincinnati
- Cleveland
- Indianapolis
- Toledo
- Detroit
- Louisville
- Fort Wayne
- St. Louis
- Peoria
- Kalamazoo
- Chicago
- Hamilton/Southern Ontario

That's 12 teams. All of them connect to each other by interstates with the exception of Fort Wayne, and the cities that are the farthest out are the biggest ones of all (so there's no small city outliers). The longest driving distance (St. Louis to Hamilton) would be 11 hours, with multiple cities in between anyway.

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09-25-2013, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
From where I sit, a new IHL could build around:
- Cincinnati
- Cleveland
- Indianapolis
- Toledo
- Detroit
- Louisville
- Fort Wayne
- St. Louis
- Peoria
- Kalamazoo
- Chicago
- Hamilton/Southern Ontario
This is starting to get into the BOH territory MB. Might have to export the thread for further discussion. But I will say this, your in dangerous territory there with 3 NHL markets. I'd like to see the Hampton/Virginia area included, along with Atlanta & perhaps Baltimore. The other aspect as C58 alludes to are regional considerations, and ideally Id like to see the OHL & QMJHL have a bigger footprint in the US and in some markets, I dont think both a AAA minor-pro team & CHL team could really co-exist as for example the case in Victoria BC whereby the incoming WHL team pretty much displaced the ECHL franchise a couple of years ago. I dont know that it would be of concern in larger markets like Cleveland though. Could work out well. Complimentary. Double headers on weekends & whatnot.

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09-25-2013, 04:14 PM
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1926 - 1936 CanAm League

The old Can - Am league 1926-1936 which eventually split leading to the QSHL/QHL and the AHL:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/47.html

Existing NHL cities - Boston were part of the league. Likewise at various times the QSHL/QHL, EPHL, AHL featured franchises in cities with NHL franchises - Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia,Toronto, New York.

Also the Hamilton - AHL franchise, is supposed to be moving to suburban Montreal - Laval, should the arena project proceed post the Charbonneau corruption probe.

Key would be matching the NHL franchises with affiliates. Content could then be delivered to regional TV and various costs could be rationalized.

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09-25-2013, 05:59 PM
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My question is what took the NHL so long to move toward a draft. The first NBA draft was in 1947 and the first NFL draft in 1936. MLB had traditionally pursued individual players as opposed to sponsoring/buying entire teams, and they had taken steps previously via the Bonus Baby rule to limit the ability of large-market teams to corner the market on prospects.

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This is starting to get into the BOH territory MB. Might have to export the thread for further discussion. But I will say this, your in dangerous territory there with 3 NHL markets. I'd like to see the Hampton/Virginia area included, along with Atlanta & perhaps Baltimore. The other aspect as C58 alludes to are regional considerations, and ideally Id like to see the OHL & QMJHL have a bigger footprint in the US and in some markets, I dont think both a AAA minor-pro team & CHL team could really co-exist as for example the case in Victoria BC whereby the incoming WHL team pretty much displaced the ECHL franchise a couple of years ago. I dont know that it would be of concern in larger markets like Cleveland though. Could work out well. Complimentary. Double headers on weekends & whatnot.
It won't hit BOH territory until I win the lottery. And even then, a league run by a central office like this would be sprung on everyone all at once with no discussion.

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09-25-2013, 06:34 PM
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Ncaa

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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
My question is what took the NHL so long to move toward a draft. The first NBA draft was in 1947 and the first NFL draft in 1936. MLB had traditionally pursued individual players as opposed to sponsoring/buying entire teams, and they had taken steps previously via the Bonus Baby rule to limit the ability of large-market teams to corner the market on prospects.

NFL and NBA sourced mainly, perhaps exclusively NCAA developed players. So you had the graduating class criteria plus the two sports never had to support a minor league or development stream.

Hockey and baseball rarely sourced NCAA players or graduates and both had to support minor league development systems.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 09-25-2013 at 06:35 PM. Reason: caps
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09-25-2013, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
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My question is what took the NHL so long to move toward a draft.
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
NFL and NBA sourced mainly, perhaps exclusively NCAA developed players.... Hockey and baseball rarely sourced NCAA players or graduates and both had to support minor league development systems.
Aha, now this is where it gets interesting. Back in the early 50's Cleveland wanted in to the NHL. Mid-40's Norris had invited then owner Al Suphtin in as Cleveland was a strong market with a new building (1938 I believe it opened) and a very strong team along with its own farm system but Suphtin turned him down feeling the then newly established AHL might not survive if he left (one of the founders of the league). Uncle Al there sold the team & the new owners decided (Jim Hendy was GM & headed up the bid) theyd like to join the NHL however mindful of the earlier slight, I believe Norris blocked their application, constantly moving the goalposts on Cleveland, accusing the ownership group of having unsavory ties, beyond hypocritical when you understand Norris through his IBC was in bed with Frankie Carbo, Meyer Lansky & every other Gumba from the Great Lakes to Cuba.

Cleveland threatened the NHL with anti-trust, most likely filed a complaint, next thing y'know & Badda Bing Norris & the IBC are being investigated by the US Justice Department & the FBI. The IBC deemed a Monopoly & broken up yet curiously falling short of also going after the NHL as well. Los Angeles another market at about this time clamoring for entry & refused, also threatening anti-trust. Next thing we know, the NHL institutes a Universal Draft in 1963 & breaks up its farm systems & monopolies, ripping up the for all intensive purposes indentured servitude contracts known as the A, B & C Forms. Announces Expansion. To grow the game? Hah! To avoid anti-trust. I think some kind of a deal was made with the US Justice Department whereby the NHL promised to both expand and to voluntarily take its hands off the throats of leagues, teams & players throughout North America "or else". Goin down like the IBC.

It obviously served several purposes, from a labor standpoint, in terms of unloading an arena or two, the possibility of a national TV contract & so on & so forth. But really I think those reasons are merely beards to the real reason why the NHL underwent so dramatic a sea change from about 55-66/67. Running scared. Now, I cant prove this theory, but all the pieces are there. Makes sense. Explains an awful lot in terms of how they dealt with things. If proof does exist likely to find it in the private papers of Norris, and Id imagine most of those were destroyed yes? Evidence Baby. You dont leave stuff like that lying around and it was probably only spoken, inferred by Justice Department Attorneys. Dont know. Not an investigative reporter. But Im certain theres a paper trail in the archives somewhere that would confirm such.

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09-25-2013, 08:58 PM
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USA vs Canada

^^^ The linkage Norris Sr with the Red Wings and the IBC is not in dispute. The US Government vs the IBC is not in dispute. Part of American legal history.

The NHL offside with American Antitrust laws during the pre 1967 expansion era is very doubtful. The NHL at that time was Canadian based so it would be subject to Canadian Competition laws. The Canadian Federal government was not going to do anything since they were running Canada's biggest monopoly at that time, the CBC, virtually controlling radio and television. A few licenses had been granted to the private sector but the CBC was dominant.

Then you had the issue of provincial liquor boards controlling sales in the Canadian provinces.

The US Antitrust legislation against the IBC succeeded because it was shown that there were mob connections. That American citizens - boxers were negatively impacted by limited access to championship fights was shown. Likewise it was shown that American businesses - promotors and venues were denied championship fights. So the action succeeded.

Antitrust applied to the NHL in the USA might have worked if the four American teams folded their tents and the two Canadian teams stayed out. The US government may have nailed one or two owners forcing them out of the NHL.

However the NHL was very clever in the USA. The sponsorship of hockey playing amateurs or minors never existed in the USA. US citizens graduating from the NCAA or playing amateur under any USA jurisdiction were absolute free agents until they signed with a pro team. Then the same contract rules as followed by the NFL, NBA or MLB kicked in.

Furthermore the NHL and the minor leagues were creating jobs in the USA, filling empty dates in arenas, generating revenues for American businesses and citizens. Unlike the IBC where it was possible to show that viable boxing venues were denied championship fights in favour of a select few, it would have been very difficult to show that viable arenas were denied NHL hockey until the sixties arena boom in the USA.

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09-25-2013, 09:25 PM
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Odorous C58. That the NHL was domiciled in Canada... and of course the Mounties would absolutely drag their feet on a Mothers Milk issue like this one... just on & on. No, Im afraid Ive built this massive Conspiracy Theory to rival the number of rooms in Bran Castle on the Tranyslvvanian border with Wallachia. Ancestral home of Vlad the Impaler. The real Castle Dracula. None of this fairytale stuff. Real deal.

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09-26-2013, 11:34 AM
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October, 1966. CMJHL vs the CAHA

The start of the CMJHL. July 4, 1966. The Manitoba teams never took the ice.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...=1082%2C560875

End of the CAHL.



http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...4%2C918711From the sports section of the Edmonton Journal, October, 1966 the battle between the CMJHL and the CAHA:

October 7,1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...2362%2C1514622

Season starts. SAHA comments.

October 8, 1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...1008%2C2040878

Threat of suspensions.

October 11, 1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...3921%2C2281961

Possible sanctions against on ice officials.

October 12, 1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...1685%2C2633352

Multiple stories and column. Details.

October 13, 1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...=765%2C2948667

Friction between the SAHA and the CAHA. Two cents from Clarence Campbell.

October 14, 1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...=863%2C3233964

SAHA sides with the CMJHL. Clarence Campbell withdraws his two cents raises the issue of funding. In other words the NHL will not pay the CMJHL for players.

October 15, 1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...=868%2C3806155

The old transfer gambit is played. Must read if you are not familiar with this trick.

October 17, 1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...3620%2C3962837

SAHA appeals, play continues in the CMJHL.

October 19, 1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...3139%2C4850761

SAHA appeal lacks branch support.

October 20, 1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...=796%2C4994141

CMJHL raises the stakes. Talk of other junior leagues throughout Canada.

October 21, 1966

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...3077%2C5230250

Some defections.

October 24, 1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...5872%2C5872689

CAHA suspends Frank Boucher, offers a compromise.

October 25, 1966.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...=775%2C6090365

Suspensions and lawsuits.

October 28,1966

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...3350%2C7506872

Fans support the CMJHL.

More to follow.

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