Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Shortage of Yankee Bucks

A few years back, the Canadian clubs in the National Hockey League were being financially crippled by the vast discrepancy between the value of the Canadian and American dollar. Being under contractual obligation to remunerate their players in U.S. funds, resulted in difficult times for several franchises. The NHL was forced to create an assistance plan to aid clubs that were overwhelmed by this additional expense. In the late 1940s,  another economic crisis had the potential to inflict devastating ramifications upon the National Hockey League.

On November 18, 1947, due to a shortage of U.S. dollars, harsh trade restrictions were put into place. They were similar to the restrictions during World War 11. It was the responsibility of Prime Minister MacKenzie King and Finance Minister Douglas Abbott to inform the Canadian public of the new measures.

The restrictions dealt with a wide range of goods that could no longer be imported - all automobiles/vehicles, refrigerators, washing machines, radios, typewriters, furniture, jewelry and candy. A severe reduction in the importing of - oranges, lemons, grapefruit, fruit juices, potatoes, apples, onions, clothes, leather goods and sporting goods.

The major concern for the NHL pertained to restrictions on travel to the United States. The annual limit for individual expenditures for travel to the U.S. was set at $150. Fortunately for the league, foreign exchange control restrictions provided relief if travel was required relating to business, health and educational purposes. Thus, clubs in the NHL had no difficulty in obtaining U.S. funds for travel to and from games.

It would have been an enormous and devastating blow for the league, as they were just climbing out of the harsh realities of wartime.

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