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Historical Headlines: McGregor Writes Check for Pens

Penguins Now Official Member of NHL (1967)

by Jimmy Jordan / Post-Gazette Sports Writer

This story was originally written by Post-Gazette Sports Writer Jimmy Jordan and was published on Tuesday, June 5, 1967.

MONTREAL, June 5 - The Penguins officially became Pittsburgh's representative in the National Hockey League tonight when Senator Jack McGregor presented President Clarence Campbell with a certified check for $2 million.

And five other clubs also became official members during a brief ceremony held in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, headquarters for the 50th anniversary convention of the NHL. They each tossed in two million bucks as payment for franchises in the league's expansion program.

Several hundred representatives of news media from coast to coast are attending the convention, biggest and most important in the half century that hockey's "Big League" has been in existence.

Each of the expansion clubs - to be known as the "Western Division" of the NHL - will find out tomorrow just what kind of team it can expect to take into the 1967-68 season.

That's when they'll try to line up a contending team - Western Division contender, that is - in the expansion draft, not only the most important piece of business at this meeting, but also the biggest venture in the half-century of the NHL's existence.

Each of the new clubs - Philadelphia, St. Louis, Minnesota, Los Angeles and San Francisco-Oakland (also known as California) as well as the Penguins - will be allowed to draft two goalies and 18 other players from lists supplied by each of the six "Eastern Division" teams.

Just what they'll get, or just that players will be available, will not be known until tomorrow morning. The existing clubs will file their protected lists of one goalie and 11 other players tonight with the league.

These will be posted for the newcomers at 9 a.m. tomorrow, and the actual draft will start one hour later.

There will be an element of risk in drafting players tomorrow. Undoubtedly, older players who have just about finished out their careers will be on the available lists. Some of these may not wish to play any longer, and an early draft choice just could go for a big zero.

There will be a no time to confer with an available player before drafting him. Each team will be allowed three minutes to make a selection, although there will be three ten-minute discussion periods allowed each club during the day.

And without a pre-draft conference, the drafting club has no assurance it will get that player.

Today's opening session of the convention was taken up with discussion of possible rules changes, a function which seemed somewhat unimportant compared with tomorrow's draft session.

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