Friday, May 28, 2010

NHL Life circa 1932

A pretty cool listing on Classicauctions.net for a set of Toronto Maple Leaf ledgers and receipts from the 1930's. I find it interesting to get a glimpse into the long distant past of professional hockey life. The above invoice to the NHL from the Maple Leafs is for a trip to Montreal to play the Maroons in the 1932 semi-finals. Toronto would tie 1-1 this, the first game of the two game total goal series . They would beat the Maroons 3-2 on April 2nd to take the series.

There were 17 seats and 17 sleeping berths purchased for the trip to Montreal. I myself have made the train trip from Toronto to Montreal many times and it's a scenic five to six hour trip. I'm assuming they left Union Station in Toronto on the evening of March 30th (hence the sleeping berths) after dispatching of Chicago in the first round on March 29 at Maple Leaf Gardens. The train itself cost $373 for seats and berths for 17 players. That's almost 6000 of today's dollars. It's interesting that the Leafs carried no extra players with them, only these 17 guys played throughout the playoffs, it seems that no others even travelled with them. This was the era of the Kid Line of Charlie Conacher, Joe Pimeau and Busher Jackson as well as Ace Bailey, King Clancy, Hap Day and Lorne Chabot in net. These stars were afforded an expense of $5.00 per day for meals, which is almost 80 current dollars. Their hotel expenses were $2.50 per man, or the same $5.00 ($80 current) per room, as they boarded two per room.
The trip itself was a mere step on the way to a Stanley Cup as the Leafs would go on to sweep the Rangers by tennis scores of 6-4, 6-2 and 6-4. More looking into the life of an old time hockey team to come as there are lots of great images of these Leaf expense ledgers to delve into.

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