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the admiral

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I think the funniest part of the Blues story is that they pulled out if the draft that year when they had the 5th overall selection, only for Cam Neely and Tom Barasso to go top-10.

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Other notable players from that draft:

Claude Lemieux

Bob Probert

Bob Essensa

Kevin Stevens

Rick Tocchet

Vladislav Tretiak

Viacheslav Fetisov

Stu Grimson

Dominik Hasek

But that's okay, at least the Blues got NO ONE.

Man, the more I read about this, the more it's basically proto-Balsillie:


On January 12, 1983, Ralston told a stunned St. Louis community that it had received a purchase offer to buy the Blues from a Saskatoon based company known as Batoni-Hunter Enterprises, Ltd. Batoni's president, Bill Hunter, was one of the founders of the World Hockey Association in 1972, and an owner of the WHA's Edmonton Oilers before they joined the NHL in 1979. Hunter claimed that after all the necessary approvals had been granted, his group was ready to break ground on a $43 million 18,000-seat arena that could be completed in time for the 1983-84 season.

Although fans in St. Louis were shocked by the January announcement, the Blues players first became aware of a possible move on December 7, 1982, on a road trip in Edmonton. There, representatives from the Saskatchewan Board of Trade were circulating detailed pamphlets entitled "Saskatchewan in the NHL."

The only remaining obstacle preventing the Blues move to Saskatoon was the authorization by 75% of the NHL Board of Governors for the sale and transfer of the club.

On May 18, by a 15-3 vote, the Board rejected Ralston's sale to Hunter's group. Among other things, the NHL felt such a small Canadian outpost had no chance of being self-sustaining or financially viable.

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I think the funniest part of the Blues story is that they pulled out if the draft that year when they had the 5th overall selection, only for Cam Neely and Tom Barasso to go top-10.

Actually, they didn't. From St. Louis Game Time:

Despite Ralston's short-sighted and asinine decision, the Blues were somewhat spared from total disaster. Back in 1982, Francis had traded the Blues first (for Rob Ramage) and second (for Guy Lapointe) round picks, leaving St. Louis' first selection to the third round, No. 48 overall. At that point, players like Steve Yzerman, Pat Lafontaine, Claude Lemieux, Cam Neely and Tom Barrasso had all been taken. The best players the Blues had the opportunity to take with their other 10 forfeited draft choices included Esa Tikkanen, Kevin Stevens, Rick Tocchet and Dominik Hasek.
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Discussions in the Lounge helped me remember another entry for the book.

Chapter 51: That time they named a Trophy and (indirectly) a Conference after a Nazi Sympathizer.

So anyway, as many remember, once upon a time the NHL named divisions and conferences after people instead of geography-primarily because there was no good geographic description for a division that included Los Angeles and Montreal except "WTF," even for a league that placed Philadelphia in the West and Vancouver(!) in the East. While the divisions were named after "builders and owners" then President and noted egotist Clarence Campbell decided he merited nothing less than an entire conference in recognition for his many contributions to the game. Such as preserving the reserve clause, holding down player salaries, crippling one league and admitting any joker with an arena lease to the league membership in order to kill a second. However, as there were two conferences, there remained the question of what to call the second. Red Dutton was out because he ragequit the Presidency after the O6 refused to let the Brooklyn Americans back in after World War Two. Frank Calder was out because they named the rookie of the year trophy after him and the AHL named their trophy after him. That is plenty of honor for him.

Then, it occurred to Campbell that the Prince of Wales trophy was just sitting there. The trophy had fluctuated in between being awarded to the regular season points champion and a division champion, depending on whether or not the league was a single table. Perhaps it would be a good idea to make it a conference champion trophy and name said conference after it.

"But Rams80," you say. "I thought the trophy and by extension Conference was named after noted sportsman and closeted hockey enthusiast Prince Charles of Wales." Right?


The Prince of Wales Trophy,[1] also known as the Wales Trophy, is an award presented by the National Hockey League (NHL) to the Eastern Conference (formerly the Wales Conference) playoff champions, prior to the final series of games for the Stanley Cup. Named for Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII, and then Duke of Windsor),

"OK then, that doesn't mean much..."

The Duke of Windsor is widely suspected as holding Nazi sympathies throughout World War Two. While there is no formal proof of this, please note that he was fired from his (ceremonial) position of military liaison to France, before being sent off/exiled to be Governor of the Bahamas (which was a veritable backwater as far as the conflict went) for the rest of the War, and then never receiving any other employment (ceremonial or otherwise) after the war. He was also on very good terms with multiple German officials throughout the 1930s and 40s, to the point where he was actually subject to surveillance by Allied intelligence services. Please also note that the British government and Royal Archives did a very thorough sweep of his correspondence with German officials and do a very good job of restricting access to those same documents.

So anyway...in short, the trophy is almost certainly named after a Nazi sympathiser and is still used to this day.

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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.

That Baltimore team would have moved to Washington just like the Bullets did, unless they built a better arena, which they wouldn't have. They didn't even build a new stadium for the Colts.

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When he went to Nagano in February for the Winter Olympics, he scheduled a meeting with Okubo—only to receive a note when he arrived stating that Okubo was sorry, but he had been pulled away by a business emergency in China. "He sent me a tie clasp," Bettman says.

I read this in Bobby Hill's voice and couldn't stop laughing.

Tony Guanci, a consultant for the Las Vegas-based Maloof family, which considered buying Tampa Bay last summer and later purchased the NBA Sacramento Kings, says jokingly, "Not only did I never speak to Okubo in our eight months [of pursuing Tampa Bay], I began to wonder if he exists."

An employee of the Maloofs saying "boy, I'm not too sure about this guy" and not saying it about one of his employers? Only in the goddamned NHL!

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I'm seeing an anthology.

Only in the Goddamned NHL: Ten Tales of Greed, Lies and Breathtaking Incompetence From the Worst-Run League in Professional Sports

Everybody grabs a chapter, I'll edit, we split the meager proceeds equally and everybody puts in fifty bucks to hire some former player to write an introduction about how much Bettman sucks.

I'm serious. We can do this.

Who wants what?

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Oh, don't worry. Bettman will continue to supply material for volumes to come. ;)

So lay your claim here, fellas. Grab a story, but not unless you're willing to actually write the tale. I'd say that they're going fast, but we all know there are plenty of stories to go around.

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Tempted to grab the Livingstone story but how many words are we looking for here? It's fun to talk about writing this up but a series of half-page posts in a forum thread do not a book make. I think we'd have to have a consistent level of detail to each story, as well.

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Curse you for jumping on the editing part.

For the title, maybe make it a bit less negative and throw in a word(s) like "quirky" or "weird".


This is the God Damned NHL! We're not making some kids trivia book. Said adjectives fail to capture the true essence of the book and the league.

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