Hockey Canada History

History (Part 4)

In 1940 the Association took a further step providing that players would be permitted to play in our Association even though receiving definite salaries. These steps were inevitable in view of the great development of the game in Canada, particularly since the provision of artificial ice surfaces and commodious and well appointed arenas have occasioned the stretching out of the hockey season with exclusive scheduling of games.

An attempt was made in 1923 to introduce a working arrangement between professional and amateur hockey. This proved abortive. But, in 1936 representatives of professional hockey and this Association met to discuss their problems. As a result, an agreement was entered into which provided for the recognition of certain matters by both organizations and for the provision of uniform playing rules.

An agreement between the CHA and the NHL, representing professional hockey, continued from that time, until 1975, the conditions of the agreement varying according to the times and the situation. Quite a few significant changes were made to the agreement which was signed in May, 1967. The agreement drawn up at that time provided for the elimination of professional sponsorship for individual amateur teams. An amateur draft for players going overage for Junior Hockey was implemented. The use of professional tryouts, and option forms for amateur players, was eliminated. Under the new agreement a Joint Development Committee was formed representing the NHL and the CHA, charged with implementing a Development Program as an alternative to sponsorship.

By 1975, because of the formation of a new professional organization, the World Hockey Association, the NHL was no longer able or prepared to enter into an agreement with the CHA. For a time after the formation of the WHA, the CHA succeeded in having agreements with both professional organizations. These, however, were terminated and today no formal agreement exists in Canada between professional and amateur hockey.

Canadian Hockey has been represented in the international field by the Association since the formation of the International Ice Hockey Federation following World War II. Canada's participation in hockey, both Olympic and World Championship competition, dates back to 1920. The day has gone when Canada is an automatic winner in international competition, and the great advances made in our sport in many parts of the world, and especially in countries such as Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, have resulted in the Olympic and World Championship competitions becoming an outstanding event in recent years.

To meet the new calibre of competition prevailing in international hockey, the CHA authorized in 1963 the formation of a National Team to represent our country in the 1964 Olympics in Insbrook, Austria.

The Association continued the National Team program over the next four years until the spring of 1969 when this project was turned over to a new organization, Hockey Canada, who was charged with providing a team, under the jurisdiction of the CHA to represent Canada in the international sphere.

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