"For some reason, perhaps because it made better television, the NHL substituted a big jeezly wheel, the kind you see on the midway. It was numbered one to twelve. I won a toss to see who picked what numbers for the main spin. I chose the top ones. There was a hell of a crowd in the ballroom at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, everyone in hockey there. When the first spin of the wheel stopped at eight, I had won first choice in the expansion draft. Everybody at our table cheered. But now came the big one."Clarence Campbell spun the wheel. When it stopped, he looked at the winning number and announced "Number one! Vancouver wins first choice in the amateur draft!"But I was on my feet and so was everybody at our table, pointing and yelling, "Eleven! Eleven!"Clarence took another look. The digits in the double figures were one above the other.It's always amused me that Clarence didn't say, "I've made a mistake." He said, "There has been a mistake. The winning number is eleven..." the rest was drowned out in the wild uproar, not only at our table, but through the room, with only Vancouver and it's supporters remaining quiet. Even glum."
"But this night when [Abel] saw me, it was only a few hours after I'd won first choice in the expansion draft. He hooked his arm though mine and said so the guys with me could hear, "Come with me, Punch. I want to give you something.""I'll bet you do!" I said.We walked to a quite corner."Look, you know Tom Webster?""Yeah." The protected lists were out and Webster was not protected. Detroit wanted him, badly. Obviously."If you'll pick Webster first, we'll trade you Roger Crozier for him," Abel said.Music! Whatever else we got in the draft, we just had to come up with an NHL goalkeeper. But Crozier was beyond my wildest dreams. He had won the rookie award in his first full year, the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs a year later and had a low 2.65 goals against average in the season just ended. But he wasn't happy in Detroit an dthey though he was sick too much. That's when you can get a guy."You got a deal!" I told Abel.
"They played that funny game where they don't let you have the puck. I remember before the game, at the reception the Knoxes threw for opening night, somebody said that everybody there would do anything they could to help the Knoxes, except play goal. The game that night show how true that was. Roger Crozier was just magnificent in our goal, but they outshot us 44-14 and beat us 3-0."