Bryan Hextall who was an all star player missed the entire 44-45 season and and most of 45-46 becuase he was refused entry to the USA by the War Mobilization Command. He played for the Rangers and was born in Saskatchewan. Whay would this have happened?
According to the book Total NHL more than 80 players joined the armed services in WWII. Aq uote for the book. "The war years also gave many players their chance to play in the NHL. When the war ended, those players helped rejuvenate the minor leagues and deliver an unprecedented hockey revival. The minor-pro American and Western leagues became so powerful, many experts argued that the champions of those leagues could have challenged for the Stanley Cup without embarassment."
I looked at the 45-46 Toronto Maple Leafs. Their top 3 scorers Gaye Stewart, Billy Taylor, Syl Apps all missed all of the 43-44 and 44-45 seasons. Nick Metz their 6th leading scorer in 45-46 appeared to miss the 42-43 and 43-44 seasons. Bob Goldham appered to miss the 42-43-43-44 and 44-45 seasons. David "Sweeney" Schriner missed the 43-44 season. Wally Stanowski missed 42-43 and 43-44. Bud Poile missed 44-45 and it appears chunks of other years. Walter "Turk" Broda appeared to miss several seasons too. There are probably more players from the Leafs than that.
Of course, the quality of the players was lower. There was lack of depth and the replacements were younger players.
But its important to realize that the calibre of the goaltending was the real problem. The Rangers especially had a real tough time getting NHL goaltending. Steve Buzinski is an example of a war time replacement that wasn't good enough.
Originally Posted by arrbez
I noticed that some guys put up huge seasons that seem pretty out of whack from their normal totals
Bill Cowley put up season of 62, 71, 72, and 65 points during the war period, but never topped 42 at any other point
Elmer Lach scored 80 points in 50 games in 1945, and followed that up with 47 points in 50 games in 1946.
Maurice Richard scored 50 goals in 50 games in 1945, and followed it up with 27 goals in 50 games in 1946.
Babe Pratt had seasons of 37 (in 40 games), 57, and 41 points in the last 3 years of the war, and never topped 30 at any other time in his career.
Joe Carveth put up back-to-back 50+ point season in 1944 and 1945, and never topped 40 points again after that.
Was the quality of players THAT bad, or is it just coincidence? What % of NHL'ers went to war?