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1945 NHL One Assist Rule

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02-01-2014, 04:26 PM
  #1
Canadiens1958
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1945 NHL One Assist Rule

At the June 1945 meetings the NHL Rules Committee made five rule changes. Buried in the changes was the one assist rule:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...4300%2C2760007

So scoring standards changed between the 1944-45 and the 1945-46 seasons. A quick check of the scoring summaries November to November of the respective seasons shows fewer second assists given out during November 1945 than 1944. The fact that second assists were given out shows that the rule, not completely worded, was either tweaked or modified or clarified as to whether second assists were given in certain situations - no second assist if the first assist was a rebound assist, etc.

Fact remains that by the end of the season, assists were down relative to goal scoring.

Comparing the two seasons - each featuring six teams playing a 50 game regular season.

1944-45 TG/G = 7.38. 1945-46 TG/G = 6.69. Down ~ 10%
Assists. Top five 1944-45 respectively 54/40/38/36/36. 1945-46 respectively 34/30/30/27/27 or a drop in the 20-35% range.

Interesting to follow-up on the following seasons while tracking NHL assist rule modifications.

The idea of arena or scorer bias should be put to rest.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 02-06-2014 at 04:44 PM. Reason: typo
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02-01-2014, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
The idea of arena or scorer bias should be put to rest.
Interesting. Yet by the early to mid 50's accusations of precisely that by The Rocket. And I dont believe he was prone to conspiracy theories. Honorable man, integrity.... another curiosity is how in Chicago one night in 1962, Jacques Plante in backing into his crease during the warmup discovers the crossbar isnt hitting him in the back where he's accustomed to it being. So they measure it, and sure enough, the nets at both ends rather than being regulation are 2"'s shorter than there supposed to be.

The league sends Vern Buffy out to measure them everywhere, Montreal, Detroit, Toronto & New York all fine, but in Boston, nets are 3/4"s of an inch narrower at the Bruins 1st & 3rd period home end of the ice. Visitors side, regulation width. Now, 3/4"'s of an inch might not seem like much but it actually is in hockey, as is a whopping 2"'s in height. And who knows for how long Chicago & Boston were getting away with this although theyd never admit that it was deliberate. Manufacturers error. Had nooooo idea. So sure, very likely some "funny stuff" going on with off-ice officials employed by some, not all, but some of the clubs. Chicago as well, score board so high up, hard to read. Official at ice-level using stopwatches for regulation time, penalties.

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02-02-2014, 07:46 AM
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Too Early To Tell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Interesting. Yet by the early to mid 50's accusations of precisely that by The Rocket. And I dont believe he was prone to conspiracy theories. Honorable man, integrity.... another curiosity is how in Chicago one night in 1962, Jacques Plante in backing into his crease during the warmup discovers the crossbar isnt hitting him in the back where he's accustomed to it being. So they measure it, and sure enough, the nets at both ends rather than being regulation are 2"'s shorter than there supposed to be.

The league sends Vern Buffy out to measure them everywhere, Montreal, Detroit, Toronto & New York all fine, but in Boston, nets are 3/4"s of an inch narrower at the Bruins 1st & 3rd period home end of the ice. Visitors side, regulation width. Now, 3/4"'s of an inch might not seem like much but it actually is in hockey, as is a whopping 2"'s in height. And who knows for how long Chicago & Boston were getting away with this although theyd never admit that it was deliberate. Manufacturers error. Had nooooo idea. So sure, very likely some "funny stuff" going on with off-ice officials employed by some, not all, but some of the clubs. Chicago as well, score board so high up, hard to read. Official at ice-level using stopwatches for regulation time, penalties.


There was a drop in assists accorded from 1944-45 to 1945-16 as outlined above. If this trend continued beyond the arrival of Gordie Howe in the NHL then my feeling is that the skaters most affected by the shortage of assists would be the playmaking centers and transition defensemen.

Will have a clearer picture in a few days.

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02-05-2014, 05:15 PM
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1944-45 Scoring and Assists

In this post we will look at team and league scoring during the 1944-45 NHL season:

Format = Entity / Total Goals / Total Assists / Assists to Goals

Boston 179 / 214 / 1.20
Chicago 141 / 182 / 1.29
Detroit 218 / 238 / 1.09
Montreal 228 / 271 / 1.19
New York 154 / 185 / 1.20
Toronto 183 / 231 / 1.26

League 1103 / 1321 / 1.1976

Individual scoring:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

Notes. Elmer Lach with 54 assists in 50 games set the league record for assists in a season.

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02-05-2014, 05:46 PM
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1945-46 Scoring and Assists

After the rule change according assists in the NHL.

Format = Entity / Total Goals / Total Assists / Assists to Goals

Boston 167 / 187 / 1.12
Chicago 200 / 248 / 1.24
Detroit 146 / 165 / 1.13
Montreal 172 / 197 / 1.14
New York 144 / 147 / 1.02
Toronto 174 / 194 / 1.11

League 1003 / 1138 / 1.1365

Individual scoring:http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

Notes - 100 fewer goals but 183 fewer assists so the rule did have an impact. Question is what players, either position or skill set were impacted?

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02-05-2014, 06:10 PM
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Great thread and wow, that's some story about the Boston nets, Killion!

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02-05-2014, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Question is what players, either position or skill set were impacted?
Bostons Bill Cowley's numbers are certainly interesting. Often referred to as "the Gretzky of his era" he was the leading Assists/Set-up Man & Playmaker through that period, holding the record until I think it was Elmer Lach finally surpassed it. Only in one year during the 41-47 season's when Cowley missed a spate of games due to injury did he not lead the league in Assists. Herb Cain finishing in first in that department that year but Cowleys numbers still very impressive and on a torrid pace, hints of what he might have achieved.... then if you scan down the list, yes, you do spot names of players who's numbers are decidedly off from previous seasons, yet one would be very much remiss in thinking they didnt contribute to the likes of Cowleys #'s & scorers league wide with secondary Assists.... and ya SF, that is something else huh?!

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02-06-2014, 12:43 AM
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The article says continued on page 17; I looked for 10 minutes and could not find where it is continued. I am assuming that is where the one assist rule is mentioned. What was the reasoning for eliminating the second assist? How long had the giving of the second assist been in effect for?

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02-06-2014, 01:00 AM
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^^^ Upper right hand corner of page 16 leading into 17 beside the horse racing, above the article on pets. Just a brief blurb. Mostly deals with Waivers.... Not sure how long the 2nd Assist Rule had been effect nor really why they felt it should be removed as its an important statistic. That 2nd Assist is often where the play begins that results in a goal. Tic Tac Toe. Wildly speculating here, but one reason may be that it was just too difficult to track or they felt it was cumbersome; another reason being that in awarding 2nd Assists it would give a player more leverage when negotiating a Contract if he could point to his Assists, demanding more $$$.

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02-06-2014, 09:28 AM
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Well, there were 63 assists lost comparatively (if you factor the 1102 goals to 1003 goals the assist difference year to year is 1201 in 44-45 and 1138 in 45-46.

6 teams, so ~10 assists per team lost over the season.

Ofc top players who have a higher ratio of assists would have suffered more. (Cowley, Lach, Blake, both Bentleys, O'Connor.)

Also worth noting that in addition to Lach having an unprecedented 44-45 one of the most prominent assist per game players of the previous decade, Syd Howe, dropped off and ended the next season in the AHL, the same as Art Jackson, a prominent guy who retired, Lorne Carr retired after 45-46 age 35 after his worst ever season, Hank Goldups career ended half was through 45-46, as did Modere Bruneteau, Bob Davidson and Earl Seiberts.

That is 7 of the top 30 assist leaders from the previous year who were done in 45-46 when they were top players still the year before... and Lach having such an insane season. I think that and the one assist rule combined to decrease overall assists... and it surely impacted top players especially.

But 63 assists over a season, ~10 a team mean I cannot imagine top playmakers lost more than ~5-6 assists each... though one or two may have been impacted more.

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02-06-2014, 10:43 AM
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Type Of Assist

^^^Question remains, the type of assist that was lost or gained as a result of rule changes. 1937 formal recognition of the rebound assist being an example.

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02-06-2014, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Appleyard View Post
But 63 assists over a season, ~10 a team mean I cannot imagine top playmakers lost more than ~5-6 assists each... though one or two may have been impacted more.
Yes, true enough. Though its still a peculiarity, "odd", and though numerically were only looking at a dip of 63 accredited Assists that number has got to be low. No idea what full standard was used beforehand, before they eliminated it, but when you fully consider how Goals develop that 2nd Assist is often the point of creation, Intelligent Design followed by the Big Bang & into the net so to speak. A nice feed tape-tape, someone with serious vision from perhaps behind their own blue line or a forward beyond the opponents blue line playing it like a Chess Master.... or Checkers if you prefer... Tic Tac Toe anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
^^^Question remains, the type of assist that was lost or gained as a result of rule changes. 1937 formal recognition of the rebound assist being an example.
Its certainly a strange one. Seems almost reverse Darwinism. Youd think theyd have been more sophisticated even then to have recognized the importance of acknowledging the importance of a 2nd Assist & awarding a point accordingly in recognition of in many instances the Genesis of how the goal was scored. That the player who initiated it would be given credit.

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02-07-2014, 05:38 PM
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1945-46 The Press Comments.

Although game reports and summaries are not perfect, by early December writers were starting to comment about players being denied assists. Prime example, the following report from a Rangers / Canadiens game, where Dink Carroll clearly states that Phil Watson deserved an assist on the winning goal. A two assist goal seems to require a combination that appears to be uninterrupted:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...=5014%2C376933

Also the Bruins /Wings game - report on the RS of the page, raises a few questions. Harry Watson's goal seems to be from a rebound. Unclear if the rebound was his own or generated by another player.

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02-07-2014, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Its certainly a strange one. Seems almost reverse Darwinism. Youd think theyd have been more sophisticated even then to have recognized the importance of acknowledging the importance of a 2nd Assist & awarding a point accordingly in recognition of in many instances the Genesis of how the goal was scored. That the player who initiated it would be given credit.
I think your theory about money is probably spot on, although it would be interesting to investigate it further. As you well know, most of the NHL owners of that era could be accused of reverse Darwinism.

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