Project: Keeping the NHL to 6 starting goalies in 1968

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by RabbinsDuck, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. RabbinsDuck

    RabbinsDuck Registered User

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    The Devil Made Me has alluded to exploring the goalie makeup of the league, had expansion never occured. I find this a fascinatinating project and hope to spur it along. There are a lot of implications at play here, unique to goalies when comparing post-expansion goalies vs. Pre-expansion goalies.

    So I propose starting in 1968, who does the collective here believe would be the starting 6 goalies in the league and their backups?

    I just want to spur things along, and hope TDMM will take over from here :)

    Who are your 6 starters and 6 backups in 1968?
     
  2. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I definitely don't have time tontake this over, but do have one thing to say - realize that the goalies will not necessarily be the best 6 goalies - if a goalie played well the previous season, he wouldn't lose his job.

    Are you including Euro goalies or assuming they never came over to approximate the original 6 league better?

    Really interesting idea.
     
  3. RabbinsDuck

    RabbinsDuck Registered User

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    Re: Euros.... Not sure, will be interested in what others think. I tend to favor including them as I am interested in including the best in the world, which it was all Canadians for the most part during the original 6.

    I think this will be interesting as reputation and past results will have more than a factor than a one-year elite result.
     
  4. SealsFan

    SealsFan Registered User

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    Interesting project. You have Gumper, Sawchuk, Hall and Bower all at advanced ages and playing well, and as "Devil" said, they would be quite likely to keep their job as entrenched veterans. So I would add Giacomin and perhaps Cheevers to those four as the first-stringers for the six-team NHL. From there, it's very difficult for me to pick the backups. I'll go with Crozier, Parent, Vachon, Johnston, Gary Smith and Villemure.
     
  5. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    Can't wait till we get to Hasek.
     
  6. BubbaBoot

    BubbaBoot Registered User

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    !968-1969
    Don't know how you would not count whomever was already in place for the Original Six.

    As a Bruins fan I know we had Cheevers and Johnston in uniform, having left both Bernie Parent and Doug Favell exposed in the expansion draft, (and both picked by the Flyers). So who would be preferred, given the hindsight?

    The Rangers relied heavily on Eddie Giacomin, with Gilles Villemure and Don Simmons as backups, exposing Cesare Maniago, (drafted by the North Stars).

    Toronto went with Bruce Gamble with Johnny Bower as backup, exposing both Terry Sawchuk, (who had been 15-5-4 / 2.81 GAA the year before) and Gary Smith, (who played fairly well despite being on some atrociously bad defensive teams).

    Chicago went with Denis DeJordy and Dave Dryden that season, leaving Glenn Hall exposed for the 1967 draft, despite the fact that he had a good record for them and a better record in St. Louis than either DeJordy and Dryden had that year. Hall split duties with Jacques Plante, who had retired but was still property of the Rangers. Chicago also had let Roy Edwards available in the draft and he was claimed by Pittsburgh (and later traded to Detroit). If there had been no expansion, would Plante have stayed retired?

    Detroit went with Roy Edwards, Gary Crozier and an aging fast Terry Sawchuk with Joe Daley claimed by Pittsburgh.

    Montreal went with Rogie Vachon, Gump Worsley and Tony Esposito(!) after letting Charlie Hodge, (who had been backup to Worsley the previous two seasons), get claimed by the Seals. Worsley was sold to the North Stars the following year and Montreal promoted rookie Phil Myre as backup to Vachon. Myre was subsequently claimed by Atlanta in the 1972 expansion draft.

    For Boston:
    - Cheevers
    - Johnston, (he played strongly as backup before starting to decline in the 72-73 season )
    Bernie Parent didn't become the HoFer until after his first stint with Philly, where he was traded to Toronto a hectic 1 1/2 yr jaunt through WHA, to be ironically traded back to the Flyers in a deal that included Doug Favell.

    For New York:
    - Giacomin
    - Villemure
    Maniago was a backup, NY being his 3rd NHL team sandwiched between 5 minor league teams in 5 years.

    For Toronto:
    - Gamble
    - Sawchuk
    Would they have convinced Bower to retire? Would they have left Gary Smith in the minors until Sawchuk retired?

    For Chicago:
    - DeJordy
    - Hall
    Hall was still playing strong but had lost the #1 job to DeJordy the year before. Was Hall exposed because Dave Dryden was a younger and cheaper alternative? Roy Edwards had been a career minor leaguer and I imagine he was Chicago property just so he could be exposed in the draft.

    For Detroit:
    - Gary Crozier
    - Don Edwards
    These guys had been the tandem the previous season.

    For Montreal:
    - Vachon
    - Worsley
    Hodge had been a backup for a couple of years before the draft and probably would've been released to the minors. Vachon and Worsley were the tandem. Worsley was still playing well, even at 39 yrs old....would he have also gone down to make room for Tony Esposito the following year or two later?
     
  7. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    Really nice work - this was the way I was intending to handle the problem (but haven't had time to work out the details). Would love to see you attempt to bring it out a few more seasons!
     
  8. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    1969-70

    Assuming teams favored their incumbent goalies to begin the season, these seem to be pretty much locked in:

    Boston - Cheevers/Johnston tandem
    Chicago - Glenn Hall? Food for thought - if Hall still plays for the Blackhawks, does Espo ever get a shot at the starting position?
    Detroit - Roger Crozier
    Montreal - Rogie Vachon
    New York - Ed Giacomin

    Pure speculation:

    Toronto - Jacques Plante

    Toronto is interesting. I have to believe Sawchuk would have been compelled to retire by this point, and the Leafs lacked a top-end starter, so they might have looked toward some of the players languishing in the minors. Bruce Gamble would soon be out in Toronto as his career hit the skids, especially since he really was traded the next season. At the same time Jacques Plante made his comeback, playing extremely well in St. Louis, and the Leafs dealt for him a couple of years later... I speculate that they would have been quicker to swap Gamble for Plante in a 6-team league.

    I'm not sure what to think about Detroit. Roger Crozier was exposed in the expansion draft so presumably they would not have stuck with him if they had other options available, but it's not clear who those options would have been.

    As for backups...

    Boston - Cheevers/Johnston tandem. Bernie Parent and Doug Favell would have been in the system.
    Chicago - Tony Esposito. Denis Dejordy was traded to LA that year, and probably would have been a minor leaguer in a 6-team league. Espo's main competition would have been Roy Edwards at his peak, making it entirely possible that the real-life Vezina winner would have at least begun the year in the minors.
    Detroit - Perhaps Joe Daley? More likely an acquisition from another team or a draft pick of some sort.
    Montreal - Gump Worsley aged out and retired mid-season. Rookie Phil Myre would have been the most immediate choice as a replacement, but one has to believe that Ken Dryden would have taken the job if given the opportunity to try out.
    New York - Gilles Villemure
    Toronto - IMO the Leafs would likely given the backup spot to Gary Smith, with Plante serving as a coach of sorts.


    So your final tandems with a bit of educated guesswork:

    Boston - Gerry Cheevers, Ed Johnstone
    Chicago - Glen Hall, Tony Esposito/Roy Edwards
    Detroit - Roger Crozier, Joe Daley
    Montreal - Rogie Vachon, Gump Worsley/Phil Myer/Ken Dryden
    New York - Ed Giacomin, Gilles Villemure
    Toronto - Jacques Plante, Gary Smith
     
  9. BubbaBoot

    BubbaBoot Registered User

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    Hall had been #1 in Chicago up until 65-66 but split the duties with DeJordy over the next 3 seasons. DeJordy had also been Hall's back up in 64-65, playing in 30 games. His Chicago record was 90-80-24 / 2.75 GAA / 13 shutouts, (of which a little over 2 years was post-expansion).

    Roy Edwards had been a career minor leaguer and didn't get a chance to play in the NHL until the expansion, at the age of 30. His career record was 97-88-38 / 2.92 GAA / 12 shutouts.

    Dejordy would have become a journeyman / minor leaguer at some point but I think Edwards wouldn't have made the NHL if it were'nt for expansion.
     
  10. DJ Man

    DJ Man Registered User

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    Montreal got a break in that Vachon, a first-year pro, wasn't eligible for the expansion draft in the first round, so they could protect Worsley and didn't have to choose between them. Gump was coming off some injury-spoiled seasons, and I thought they should have kept Hodge (who was somewhat younger) instead, but in retrospect, Worsley still had some good years left in him.

    It seems to me that Boston would have benefited the most from no expansion, as Parent and Favell served to get Philadelphia off to a great start so far as goaltending goes. I wonder if Cheevers would have been around long enough to become a star had those two remained Bruins property.
     
  11. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    For some reason, the NHL entrusted Montreal GM Sam Pollock to write the expansion rules and somehow, they kept getting breaks - like being able to keep Vachon for free.
     

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