How watered down was the league during the war years?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by arrbez, Mar 16, 2006.

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  1. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    Just curious...

    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?
     
  2. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Here is an interesting thing:

    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."
     
  3. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    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.
     
  4. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    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.




     
  5. tinyzombies

    tinyzombies Registered User

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    In 1946-47 the Rocket scored 45 goals and was awarded the Hart Trophy as the most valuable player. Even Conn Smythe said he was the best player in the NHL and tried to buy him.
     
  6. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    Yes, and the Globe and Mail in Toronto ran a photo of Richard in a Toronto Maple Leaf uniform.

     
  7. tinyzombies

    tinyzombies Registered User

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    That's hilarious. Richard would have ripped it to shreds if he had seen it. He hated the Maple Leafs.
     
  8. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    It was and we made sure we used that picture in the companion book to the Maurice Richard exhibit at the Museum of Civilization. If I find it and scan it, I'll try to post it here.

     
  9. tinyzombies

    tinyzombies Registered User

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    I don't want to see it.... too creepy.... :biglaugh:
     
  10. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    No, you just have to see it. The Leafs were serious about it. Can you imagine the reaction in Montreal if it went through?

    I've attached it so hopefully it will be viewable.

    Let me know what you think.

     
  11. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    He scored 45 goals in 60 games. Still fantastic, but only 3/4 of his performance during 1945 where he would have been on pace for 60 goals. That's still a very significant difference.
     
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