Intra-League Draft

This is a fascinating photo for all kinds of reasons.

First, the crowd. An adult male (second row, in the awful suit and 1975 haircut) appears to be the only person not paying attention to the play!

Hey! Dummy! The NUN is following the play! Blondie looks like she’s about to be physically ill because of something on the ice, and another woman (next to nun) is standing UP because there’s something happening! Boy next to her looks pensive, and then we have Efrem Zimbalist Jr himself who is staring at a stanchion.

Idiot.

Okay, the players. I don’t know the St. Louis player on the ice although I believe it to be Brian Lavender (seriously). Anyway, the player I’m interested in talking about now is the guy in the Seals uniform, Stan Gilbertson.

Stan Gilbertson turned pro in 1965. He played 375 games in the high minors before the Seals took him from the Bruins in the IL draft that summer. The Seals actually took THREE left wingers that day: Gilbertson, Frank Hughes and Wayne Carleton (who also played a lot of center).

Stan Gilbertson scored 31 goals in the AHL for the Hershey Bears in 70-71 and that got him drafted by Oakland. The Bruins had so much depth at left wing that they could have dressed another team and not gotten to Gilbertson (Bucyk, Cashman, Marcotte, Carleton, Garnet Bailey and they traded for Mike Walton) during the era when 3 lines (plus two extra forwards) were the only guys who dressed for a game.

Gilbertson had a career. Not a huge one, 428 games and 85 goals. If not for the Intra-League Draft this guy may never have seen the light of day. With the IL draft (and waiver draft) long gone, it is probable there are NHL-worthy players in the minors, in Russia, in the pressbox, who could help a major league team.

If the NHL was more interested in putting the best possible product on the ice, they might adopt rules similar to baseball’s Rule V draft. The aim of that draft is to prevent teams from stockpiling too many young players who are of big league calibre and would surely find employment on other MLB teams. It also forces trades because it is (and has been) effective in its goal.

Using baseball as a rule of thumb, I’d suggest the NHL adopt the following rules:

  • exemption for draft picks for 3 years after player is drafted.
  • exemption for minor league signings for 1 year after player is signed.
  • Total player exemption: 20.

That includes junior players, Europeans, college kids, everyone on a team’s list of signed or drafted players. Using Edmonton as an example, this summer’s list might have looked like this:

  • G-Roloson, Deslauriers
  • D-Pitkanen, Staios, Greene, Gresbeshkov, Smid, Gilbert
  • C-Horcoff, Stoll, Reasoner, Pouliot
  • L-Torres, Sanderson, Moreau, Jacques
  • R-Hemsky, Nilsson, Pisani, Brodziak

This list excludes free agents like Souray, Penner, Tarnstrom and Garon. Grebeshkov is included in the list because he would be Oilers property after the Bergeron trade despite not being signed. Any European player drafted or traded for who is not covered by the draft and minor league signing restrictions as listed above would be eligible.

NOTE: If I’ve forgotten someone, that’s fine. The idea isn’t to make this list bullet proof, but instead to make a point. Also ineligible would be anyone drafted 2004 to 2006 and then of course free agents.

However, college kids, juniors and Euro’s not covered by the rules above would be eligible. The list of eligibles:

  1. Patrick Thoresen
  2. Mathieu Roy
  3. Zack Stortini
  4. Alexei Mikhnov
  5. Colin McDonald
  6. Mikael Zhoukov
  7. Kalle Olsson
  8. David Rohlfs
  9. Dragan Umicevic
  10. Jozef Hrabel
  11. Troy Bodie
  12. Jesse Niinimaki
  13. Brock Radunske
  14. Jonas Almtorp
  15. Glenn Fisher
  16. Mikko Luoma
  17. Patrick Murphy
  18. Fredrik Johansson

Then draft in reverse order to last season’s standings. Do it on draft weekend before the Entry Draft. A team selecting a player would obviously have to drop a player from their roster who goes back into the pool.

The advantages:

  1. The Stan Gilbertson’s of the world get to play in the show
  2. Fans don’t have to watch “showcase” games
  3. The Dick Tarnstrom’s of the world don’t get screwed over because of #2.

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15 Responses to "Intra-League Draft"

  1. Ribs says:

    It’s hard enough keeping track of these guys! hah.

  2. Bruce says:

    Great pic as usual, LT. I just love that stuff. Only thing missing here — because of the fallen Brian Lavender — is the white skates. Were the Seals still wearing them then?

    The NHL had a version of the waiver draft for many more years — I recall Oilers losing Willy Lindstrom to the Penguins around 1985 or so, a real bummer — but in recent times it has dried up to nothing. Have they simply made too many exemptions?

    Your suggestion is very worthy of merit. If for no other reason, that it would make things very interesting. Which in itself is a reason why it won’t happen in Gary Bettman’s NHL.

    I’d be interested to read a few examples of current Stan Gilbertsons, guys buried in the AHL that would seriously help an NHL team.

  3. Lowetide says:

    bruce: I’ve looked and looked for an online photo of the Seals funky boots but can’t find one. I have several in books, but can’t find one online.

    I think it is Lavender which is weird because he wasn’t famous and two pictures in two days is insane. However, the Blues had about 30 guys wearing #16 before Pierre Plante arrived and this cannot be Pierre Plante.

  4. Rube Foster says:

    I think Brain Lavender is becoming my favorite player.
    Quick question when was last time you saw a Nun at a Hockey game, let alone in the first three rows on the glass? Halloween doesn’t count.
    Bruce, it sucked seeing Willy the Wisp leave town, he always came though for me ias a late round pick in the playoff pools.

  5. Rube Foster says:

    I think Brain Lavender is becoming my favorite player.
    Quick question when was last time you saw a Nun at a hockey game, let alone in the first three rows on the glass? Halloween doesn’t count.
    Bruce, it sucked seeing Willy the Wisp leave town, he always came though for me ias a late round pick in the playoff pools.

  6. Lowetide says:

    rube: lol. That photo is a gift that keeps on giving. I just zoomed it to 400% and found Roman Polanski sitting next to the nun!

    We’re through the looking glass here, people.

  7. Art Vandelay says:

    Didn’t Gilbertson lose a leg to gangrene? Or did he die young? Or both?

  8. Lowetide says:

    I think he had an accident, lost part of his leg. Right at the end of his career, before training camp.

    I think that’s right, sometimes get him mixed up with Joey Johnston who was a better player (but a LW for the Seals). Johnston drank a bit and was involved in a car accident that produced a head injury and balance problems. It was right after he was traded for Jim Pappin.

    I think the injuries are right. Johnston with the brain injury, Gilbertson losing part of his leg.

  9. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I think the blonde is mid-sneeze.

  10. Rod says:

    I’d bet it’s a dark haired lady with a white band or scarf or U-shaped thing or something rather than a nun. Wasn’t that kind of thing worn in the 70′s? (was only a kid then, so I don’t really know…just going from TV and such).

    Still a great photo though. The crowd reactions are fun enough, but Lowetide’s description…the guy staring at the stanchion…priceless.

  11. Bruce says:

    bruce: I’ve looked and looked for an online photo of the Seals funky boots but can’t find one. I have several in books, but can’t find one online.

    Try this:

    http://tinyurl.com/yup4rz

    Not exactly an action shot, but maybe better than nothing.

    The team sucked even worse than their unis … that 1971-72 team went 21-39-18 for 60 points, their third BEST season in 9 sorry years in the Bay Area.

  12. Mr DeBakey says:

    The I-draft never worked in the NHL because the owners/managers are too near-sighted. They set it up so that everyone with two working legs didn’t have to be protected.


    Just scan
    those photos of the white skates and upload them.

    That one is from my Esso Power Player Album. No white skates,just green & gold.

  13. kanadienkyle says:

    LT,

    I recalled seeing this pic a while ago.

    http://www.sealshockey.com/sweb/images/1971-72%20team%20photo.jpg

  14. lectrick says:

    that guy is my freakin’ great uncle, no shit.

    - Mike Gilbertson

  15. lectrick says:

    that guy’s my freakin’ great uncle.

    - Mike Gilbertson

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