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OITGDNHL: We Are The Kokusai Green Preservation Society


the admiral

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Ah, the Seals. My favorite of the Original Six expansion teams.

Only the Seals could:

  • have a kick-ass original identity,
  • struggle mightily at the gate, and get sold to Charlie Finley (he of the Oakland A's),
  • re-brand after the sale as the Golden Seals, adopting the colors of the A's (including white skates),
  • continue to fail at the box office,
  • be sold to Gordon Gund (he of the Cleveland Cavaliers), and relocate to Ohio as the Cleveland Barons,
  • suck royally in Cleveland for two seasons, and teeter on the brink of failure, only to
  • be merged with another struggling franchise, the Minnesota North Stars.

Did I miss anything?

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Well, you did miss that they were only brought into the league because CBS' television contract mandated that two California teams be added in the '67 expansion.

Speaking of which, St. Louis wasn't a candidate city for expansion in '67 either (Vancouver and Buffalo were) until Bill Wirtz said "Goddammit, I own an arena in that racist, humid swill-pit, so you're gonna put something in there."

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Oilers almost traded for Leafs and Devils and Capitals almost merged.

Ah, the Seals. My favorite of the Original Six expansion teams.

Only the Seals could:

  • have a kick-ass original identity,
  • struggle mightily at the gate, and get sold to Charlie Finley (he of the Oakland A's),
  • re-brand after the sale as the Golden Seals, adopting the colors of the A's (including white skates),
  • continue to fail at the box office,
  • be sold to Gordon Gund (he of the Cleveland Cavaliers), and relocate to Ohio as the Cleveland Barons,
  • suck royally in Cleveland for two seasons, and teeter on the brink of failure, only to
  • be merged with another struggling franchise, the Minnesota North Stars.

Did I miss anything?

The merger with the North Stars was dissolved and they became the San Jose Sharks!

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One of my favorite anecdotal OITGDNHLs is that players were banned from wearing 0 or 00 because the NHL's software couldn't process the numbers once they started computerizing records.

One of my favorites too. The idea of Martin Biron unwittingly destroying the NHL's database is so delightful. And on a Compuware note,

To be (somewhat) fair, that one can be blamed on IBM as well. They're the ones who came up with that software, apparently.

Speaking of which, St. Louis wasn't a candidate city for expansion in '67 either (Vancouver and Buffalo were) until Bill Wirtz said "Goddammit, I own an arena in that racist, humid swill-pit, so you're gonna put something in there."

Baltimore, as well.

Of course, you can't have OITGDNHL without acknowledging OITGDNHA. The only reason the NHL exists is because all the NHA owners hated the Toronto owner (Eddie Livingstone), so they formed a new league, took all the player contracts with them, and propped up their own guy at the head of the Toronto team. The new Toronto owners also owned Arena Gardens, so Livingston had a team without a rink in a league with no players.

This came after they had already tried to dissolve the Toronto NHA franchise at a board meeting when Livingstone was absent.

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Oilers almost traded for Leafs and Devils and Capitals almost merged.

Ah, the Seals. My favorite of the Original Six expansion teams.

Only the Seals could:

  • have a kick-ass original identity,
  • struggle mightily at the gate, and get sold to Charlie Finley (he of the Oakland A's),
  • re-brand after the sale as the Golden Seals, adopting the colors of the A's (including white skates),
  • continue to fail at the box office,
  • be sold to Gordon Gund (he of the Cleveland Cavaliers), and relocate to Ohio as the Cleveland Barons,
  • suck royally in Cleveland for two seasons, and teeter on the brink of failure, only to
  • be merged with another struggling franchise, the Minnesota North Stars.

Did I miss anything?

The merger with the North Stars was dissolved and they became the San Jose Sharks!

What actually happened was that the Gunds wanted to move the North Stars to the Bay Area, but the NHL denied the proposal, but they cut a deal with the Gunds in that if they sold the North Stars to Howard Baldwin, they would get an expansion team in the Bay Area. And thus, the San Jose Sharks were born.

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Ah, the Seals. My favorite of the Original Six expansion teams.

Only the Seals could:

  • have a kick-ass original identity,
  • struggle mightily at the gate, and get sold to Charlie Finley (he of the Oakland A's),
  • re-brand after the sale as the Golden Seals, adopting the colors of the A's (including white skates),
  • continue to fail at the box office,
  • be sold to Gordon Gund (he of the Cleveland Cavaliers), and relocate to Ohio as the Cleveland Barons,
  • suck royally in Cleveland for two seasons, and teeter on the brink of failure, only to
  • be merged with another struggling franchise, the Minnesota North Stars.

Did I miss anything?

and Charles Schulz was a season ticket holder! And as discussed before the whole timeline where you can kinda make the case the Sharks are an extension of the Seals

Also didn't the Senators get screwed over in the next expansion draft or something?

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Well, you did miss that they were only brought into the league because CBS' television contract mandated that two California teams be added in the '67 expansion.

Speaking of which, St. Louis wasn't a candidate city for expansion in '67 either (Vancouver and Buffalo were) until Bill Wirtz said "Goddammit, I own an arena in that racist, humid swill-pit, so you're gonna put something in there."

I thought Baltimore was slated for a '67 team as well.

EDIT-Yzerfan beat me to it. I think Baltimore became St. Louis IIRC. Which, in addition to not being a candidate originally, never even bothered to put together an expansion bid.

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Aw, you beat me to the punch on "Chapter 12: I Got Them Money-Losin', Draft-Forfeitin', Loophole-Findin' Blues."

The best part is that the NHL contracted the St. Louis Blues and then established a brand-new St. Louis Blues that happened to have the same players and intellectual property as the old St. Louis Blues. In the most technicallyest of technically, the Blues franchise only goes back to 1983, and the 1967-1983 organization no longer exists, but I think everyone will agree this is patently ridiculous.

The second-best part is that they almost moved to Saskatoon.

That contracted/terminated part is a detail I never knew to that saga.

That leads me to a question about Toronto.

I'm one of the few people who can't stand the use of the term "Original Six." Some call it jealousy or simple bitterness because a couple of big Blues rivals fall under the term. There's probably truth to that. But I don't hate it without logic. There is no such thing as the original six.

The NHL was founded with four teams: Montreal, Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa. I've always gone on to say that only the Canadiens still exist and that the Maple Leafs have a blurry tie to that original Toronto franchise.

To my understanding, that blur was that the other owners hated the guy who owned Toronto, so they dissolved his team and then started a new Toronto franchise with a new owner.

While on a technical basis you can make the argument the Blues are a new franchise started in 1983, I don't think anyone would. It's not even a Cleveland Browns situation. In any practical sense, they're the same franchise that opened up shop in 1967.

So my question is: does Toronto fit that bill too? When I make my argument against the Original Six marketing monicker, should I be including Toronto as one of the founding franchises along with Montreal?

One of my favorite anecdotal OITGDNHLs is that players were banned from wearing 0 or 00 because the NHL's software couldn't process the numbers once they started computerizing records.

One of my favorites too. The idea of Martin Biron unwittingly destroying the NHL's database is so delightful. And on a Compuware note,

To be (somewhat) fair, that one can be blamed on IBM as well. They're the ones who came up with that software, apparently.

Speaking of which, St. Louis wasn't a candidate city for expansion in '67 either (Vancouver and Buffalo were) until Bill Wirtz said "Goddammit, I own an arena in that racist, humid swill-pit, so you're gonna put something in there."

Baltimore, as well.

Of course, you can't have OITGDNHL without acknowledging OITGDNHA. The only reason the NHL exists is because all the NHA owners hated the Toronto owner (Eddie Livingstone), so they formed a new league, took all the player contracts with them, and propped up their own guy at the head of the Toronto team. The new Toronto owners also owned Arena Gardens, so Livingston had a team without a rink in a league with no players.

This came after they had already tried to dissolve the Toronto NHA franchise at a board meeting when Livingstone was absent.

I should read full threads before posting...

So the NHL started with the existence of the new Toronto franchise? So Toronto would qualify as a founding member?

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Of course, you can't have OITGDNHL without acknowledging OITGDNHA. The only reason the NHL exists is because all the NHA owners hated the Toronto owner (Eddie Livingstone), so they formed a new league, took all the player contracts with them, and propped up their own guy at the head of the Toronto team. The new Toronto owners also owned Arena Gardens, so Livingston had a team without a rink in a league with no players.

This came after they had already tried to dissolve the Toronto NHA franchise at a board meeting when Livingstone was absent.

The NHL is the real-life No Homers Club. "But you let Eddie Molson in!"

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So the NHL started with the existence of the new Toronto franchise? So Toronto would qualify as a founding member?

Actually, there's fun with that, too. IIRC, the 1917-18 Toronto Hockey Club was on a provisional franchise. The next year or the year after that the team operated under a new, permanent franchise. So you could argue that the team today is a different franchise than the 1917 team, much like the Blues.

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I know from an expansion documentry I watch that Ed Snyder said that Philadelphia was not on the list, but rather Baltimore, and he convinced the league to go to Philly instead I'll try to find the link to the video when I'm not on my phone.

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So the NHL started with the existence of the new Toronto franchise? So Toronto would qualify as a founding member?

Here's how it works. Eddie Livingston owned the Blue Shirts, Toronto's NHA team. The other owners wanted him out so they formed the NHL and set up the Toronto team. They took the roster of the Blue Shirts to fill out their roster. The original franchise was "provisional" and then made "perminant" the next season as the Arenas. Then they sort of became the St. Pats. The St. Pats then changed their name to the Maple Leafs when Conn Smythe bought them.

So how to we untangle this? The St. Pats to Leafs connection is straightforward. So onto the mess!

Well if we're not going to count the Blues' 1983 dissolution and re-establishment then we shouldn't count the provisional Toronto team from the NHL's first season as sepetated from the Arenas. Now the Arenas to St. Pats?

The change from Arenas to St. Pats is a lot like the change from Blue Shirts to the provisional Toronto team (aka Toronto Arenas Beta test). A new team absorbed the players from a old franchise in the same city. If we're going to connect the Arenas to the St. Pats then logically one would connect the Blue Shirts to the Arenas. Except that ousting the Blue Shirts was the impetus for forming the NHL in the first place. So the NHL simply connects the Arenas to the St. Pats/Leafs but not the Blue Shirts in the time-honoured tradition of keeping Eddie Livingston out of the NHL.

The Leafs, for example, are planning a 100th birthday celebration in 1917 and have a 1917 Stanley Cup Champions Arenas banner hanging alongside the St. Pats' banner and the Leafs' banners.

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Chapter 36

Beer, Beer Will Keep Us Together

The two leagues had discussed the possibility of merging for numerous years, despite the acrimonious relationship between the two after the WHA aggressively recruited NHL players upon the former's founding in 1971. The two sides came close to an agreement in 1977, but the merger was defeated by a group of hard-line NHL owners. The NHL also initially rejected the 1979 agreement by one vote. However, a massive boycott of Molson products in Canada led the Montreal Canadiens, who were owned by Molson, to reverse their position in a second vote along with the Vancouver Canucks, allowing the plan to pass.

Only Canada.

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This is technically OITGDPCHA, but upon doing research on the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals, which were cancelled due to the flu outbreak, out of all the crazy things that happened that series, this is probably the craziest: seeing this footnote to the Metropolitans' roster on Wikipedia

‡ Morris did not play in the series due to his arrest for draft evasion.
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So the NHL started with the existence of the new Toronto franchise? So Toronto would qualify as a founding member?

Here's how it works. Eddie Livingston owned the Blue Shirts, Toronto's NHA team. The other owners wanted him out so they formed the NHL and set up the Toronto team. They took the roster of the Blue Shirts to fill out their roster. The original franchise was "provisional" and then made "perminant" the next season as the Arenas. Then they sort of became the St. Pats. The St. Pats then changed their name to the Maple Leafs when Conn Smythe bought them.

So how to we untangle this? The St. Pats to Leafs connection is straightforward. So onto the mess!

Well if we're not going to count the Blues' 1983 dissolution and re-establishment then we shouldn't count the provisional Toronto team from the NHL's first season as sepetated from the Arenas. Now the Arenas to St. Pats?

The change from Arenas to St. Pats is a lot like the change from Blue Shirts to the provisional Toronto team (aka Toronto Arenas Beta test). A new team absorbed the players from a old franchise in the same city. If we're going to connect the Arenas to the St. Pats then logically one would connect the Blue Shirts to the Arenas. Except that ousting the Blue Shirts was the impetus for forming the NHL in the first place. So the NHL simply connects the Arenas to the St. Pats/Leafs but not the Blue Shirts in the time-honoured tradition of keeping Eddie Livingston out of the NHL.

The Leafs, for example, are planning a 100th birthday celebration in 1917 and have a 1917 Stanley Cup Champions Arenas banner hanging alongside the St. Pats' banner and the Leafs' banners.

I was going to say that OTGDNHL could make franchise lineage so cumbersome, but then I remembered the history of the Indianapolis Colts.

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