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53507Re: [hockhist] Re: Superstar gets a C from history

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  • Karkoski James
    Jan 4, 2011
      On 2011/01/04, at 4:43, Lloyd Davis wrote:

      > Well, the classic story of the C-form, and one that I suspect is the
      > most misunderstood, involves Bobby Orr, and that was 1962.
      > I'd love to see some research that sheds light on the whole issue of
      > the various tryout contracts and option forms. The article Bill refers
      > to does state clearly that a player could not sign before turning 18,
      > and it seems to me that just about any North American jurisdiction
      > reserves the right of a minor to escape any contract at his or her
      > option. Still, there are so many anecdotal accounts of players signing
      > _something_, and receiving cash consideration for their playing rights
      > before the age of 18, whether with or without the consent of a parent
      > or guardian. My feeling is that many of these players were signing
      > away their _amateur_ rights.

      You'll have to explain that last sentence a bit more, Lloyd, because
      they way I understand it the C-form gave away the player's rights
      because it bound them to the reserve clause which means they could
      only resign with the same team that had previously signed them, and
      for the junior aged players who signed them it meant that they were
      bound to the NHL team because they could only resign with that team.
      It was in a sense like being drafted by the team and then when the
      player was 18 they had to come to agreement on his pro contract just
      like any player who is drafted now does.

      The mix of this having pro rights to amateur players still lives on
      today with the guys playing in the NCAA who get drafted by an NHL
      team. The NHL team doesn't have the player under contract, but they
      still have the pro rights to him.

      Bobby Orr is a good example of how the C-form bound the player's pro
      rights. He had signed his C-form and when he reached 18 he could turn
      pro and the Bruins, who had been touting him as their savior to the
      home town fans (they actually brought Oshawa to the Boston Garden to
      play so people could see him) low balled him on the salary and since
      he had Eagleson as his agent he wouldn't sign and they started talking
      about how he would play with Father Bauer's National Team, which was
      about the only other option open to Orr.

      The thing I don't understand is how the C-form tied into the
      sponsorship system which was below the junior level.

      > Incorrect. On page 51 of his book, Lewicki writes that, at the stroke
      > of midnight on his 16th birthday, his junior coach in Fort William --
      > Leo Barbini -- went to the telegraph office and placed Lewicki's name
      > on the Providence Reds' negotiating list. He says that Barbini later
      > told him all six NHL teams had tried to add Lewicki to their neg list,
      > only to be told it was too late.

      This is the first time I heard of a minor pro team having negotiating
      lists. Barbini must have been a Providence scout.

      > Lewicki writes that he had rejected earlier offers of a C form, from
      > Toronto and New York. The New York offer included a bonus of $800.
      > Doug Hunter, in his biography of Tim Horton, suggests that the Ranger
      > offer was a B form.

      One of the forms was a one year contract which binded the player to a
      team for only for one year and not in perpetuity like the reserve
      clause did.

      > In the book, Lewicki relates a tale that he re-told at a recent
      > meeting of the Society for International Hockey Research in Toronto.
      > Squib Walker, the Leafs' chief scout, visited the Lewicki home,
      > presented "a document" and a hundred one-dollar bills, and explained
      > that the paper "would give Toronto the first opportunity to negotiate
      > with me when and if I turned professional." Lewicki's mother entered
      > the room and, not knowing or caring what was going on, chased Walker
      > out of the house at the end of a broom.

      Sounds like it was a C-form. So, what about Providence's negotiating
      > In the summer of 1947, Lewicki says, Barbini tells him he's been
      > invited to the Reds' training camp in Sherbrooke. He would receive
      > $100 "for expenses. I had to sign an agreement to ensure I would
      > attend." Lewicki characterizes this as a deal "cooked up between
      > Toronto and Providence.
      > I have trouble with that. Providence looks to have been an independent
      > operation. It would've been in their interest to wait for Lewicki to
      > turn pro and then auction him to the highest NHL bidder.

      I seem to remember that I learned from a post to this list that
      another form was that the player got money to attend training camp but
      after the camp was finished they weren't bound by any agreement. It
      would make sense that Providence (and the Leafs) would want to get
      Lewicki into camp and see how he stood up against pro players. If
      there was going to be a trade between the two they would want to
      assess him before they did it.

      > In any event, Lewicki went to the training camp, then spent 1947-48 in
      > Fort William. He gets picked up by the Port Arthur Bruins for the
      > Memorial Cup, and they win. He scores 21 goals in 17 games.
      > Lewicki writes that, in the summer of 1948, he entertains junior
      > offers from Brandon, Winnipeg, Guelph, St. Mike's, the Marlboros and
      > Stratford, and settles on Stratford. Subsequently, the Leafs trade
      > Jack Hamilton and a sum of cash (Hunter sets the figure at $20,000;
      > Lewicki writes it was $35,000) for Lewicki's pro rights.
      > Smythe's plan, according to Hunter, was to have Lewicki play for the
      > Marlboros, but Lewicki's team in Fort William intervened, arguing that
      > Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. owned his pro rights, not his amateur rights,
      > and that Lewicki would be playing in the Twin Cities as far as the
      > were concerned.
      > Essentially, they were setting up an auction. Stratford outbid the
      > Marlboros, paying Fort William $3,500. Lewicki confirms this sum in
      > his own book.
      > The Kroehlers, meanwhile, also held the junior rights to Leaf prospect
      > George Armstrong, the league scoring champion in 1947-48. He was
      > another player whose pro rights belonged to the Leafs and whom Smythe
      > wanted sent to the Marlboros. But Armstrong and the Kroehlers balked.
      > Hunter writes that Smythe paid $2,000 and a couple of players to
      > secure Armstrong's amateur rights.
      > Lewicki goes to Leaf training camp in 1948, gets the tendons in his
      > instep sliced by the tip of Bill Barilko's skate blade. He misses a
      > dozen or so games, but still manages 22 goals in 29 games. In March
      > 1949, he turns 18. That summer, the Leafs decide they still want him
      > for the Marlies. And this time, Smythe isn't about to pussy-foot
      > around the Kroehlers. The NHL's agreement with the CAHA apparently
      > specified that an NHL team could place an 18-year-old on a pro roster
      > without his amateur club's consent. So the ultimatum was issued:
      > Lewicki plays for the Marlies, or else he goes to the farm club in
      > Pittsburgh.
      > Lewicki says the Kroehlers were prepared to make his situation a test
      > case for the validity of the C form. However, in the end they and the
      > CAHA backed down and Smythe got his way. Lewicki played in 1949-50 for
      > the Marlboros. It appears the Kroehlers were motivated by two factors.
      > First, Clarence Campbell would've blacklisted Lewicki. Second, as
      > Hunter suggests, Smythe made it clear that he wouldn't loan Stratford
      > another junior prospect if they didn't back down. The Kroehlers were
      > not sponsored, so this would've been a valid concern.

      When did Lewicki sign a C form with the Leafs? And if they already had
      his pro rights then why would they have to sign him to one?

      I also have a question I'm hoping someone will answer, how many
      leagues world wide don't allow fighting? Thanks!

      > MacAdam is misleading in writing the C form was abolished "shortly
      > afterwards." This is based on Lewicki's writing that it happened "a
      > few years later."
      > I share Bill's sense that "shortly afterwards" means 17 years later,
      > in 1966, and that Lewicki had nothing to do with it.
      > > 3-Berenson was not the first college player to play (or be as he
      > > says sic
      > > "drafted" into the NHL) in the NHL.that distinction goes to Billy
      > > Hay. Jack
      > > McCartan also played several games in 59-60 ands 60-1.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > The author gets an F in history. :-)
      > Don't get me started.

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