1991 NHL Dispersal and Expansion Drafts
This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The 1991 NHL Dispersal and Expansion Drafts were held via telephone conference call on May 30, 1991. The dispersal draft took place to fill the roster of the league's only expansion team for the 1991–92 season, the San Jose Sharks, first from the Minnesota North Stars pool of players, and then from the rest of the NHL pool of players (to re-stock the North Stars' roster and to fill out the Sharks' roster).
|1991 NHL Dispersal and Expansion Drafts|
|Date(s)||May 30, 1991|
|Expansion teams||San Jose Sharks|
In 1990, as a result of slipping attendance, George and Gordon Gund, the owners of the Minnesota North Stars, petitioned the NHL for permission to relocate their team to the San Francisco Bay Area. The NHL denied their request, with other owners wishing for the market to be used to draw a lucrative expansion fee. As a compromise, the league agreed to award the Gund brothers a new NHL expansion franchise to be located in the Bay Area, which would become the San Jose Sharks. The Gunds would sell the North Stars to an NHL-approved purchaser. One of the conditions of sale and expansion deal was that the Sharks would have the right to draft players from the North Stars organization. After that draft, the North Stars' roster would be replenished by the expansion draft as well.
The Gunds paid $50 million for the Sharks franchise. They sold the North Stars to a consortium consisting of Howard Baldwin, Morris Belzberg and Norman Green for $31.5 million. A series of disputes led to the team being completely controlled by Green, who would eventually move the team to Dallas after the 1992–93 season.
George and Gordon Gund had previously owned the Cleveland Barons and its predecessor, the California Golden Seals, before merging that team with, and ultimately assuming ownership of, the North Stars in 1978. By spinning off the Sharks from the North Stars, it effectively undid the 13-year merger between the two franchises.
Dispersal Draft: Before the draft, the North Stars selected 14 skaters and two goaltenders who had played at least 50 NHL games by the end of the 1989–90 season. These players were protected. From the unprotected North Stars players (but excluding 1990 draft picks), the Sharks selected 14 skaters and two goaltenders. Up to three Shark selections could have been unsigned North Stars draft choices, while another three could have been players signed between May 2 and June 15, 1990.
After San Jose had chosen 14 skaters and two goaltenders from Minnesota, the teams would take turns choosing from the pool of unclaimed players until the Sharks roster reached thirty players.
Expansion Draft: The other 20 teams in the league were allowed to protect two goaltenders and 16 skaters. The Sharks and North Stars would take turns selecting from the pool of unprotected players until each had chosen ten players. 20 total players would be selected, one from each franchise.
The Sharks selected 24 players from the North Stars.
|1.||Shane Churla (RW)||Minnesota||NHL|
|2.||Brian Hayward (G)||Minnesota||NHL|
|3.||Neil Wilkinson (D)||Minnesota||NHL|
|4.||Rob Zettler (D)||Minnesota||NHL|
|5.||Ed Courtenay (RW)||Kalamazoo||IHL|
|6.||Kevin Evans (LW)||Kalamazoo||IHL|
|7.||Link Gaetz (D)||Kalamazoo||IHL|
|8.||Dan Keczmer (D)||Kalamazoo||IHL|
|9.||Dean Kolstad (D)||Kalamazoo||IHL|
|10.||Peter Lappin (RW)||Kalamazoo||IHL|
|11.||Pat MacLeod (D)||Kalamazoo||IHL|
|12.||Mike McHugh (LW)||Kalamazoo||IHL|
|13.||Jarmo Myllys (G)||Kalamazoo||IHL|
|14.||J. F. Quintin (LW)||Kalamazoo||IHL|
|15.||Scott Cashman (G)||Boston University||H.E.|
|16.||Murray Garbutt (C)||Spokane||WHL|
|17.||Rob Gaudreau (RW)||Providence College||H.E.|
|18.||Arturs Irbe (G)||Dynamo Riga||Soviet Championship League|
|19.||Shaun Kane (D)||Providence College||H.E.|
|20.||Larry Olimb (D)||University of Minnesota||WCHA|
|21.||Tom Pederson (D)||University of Minnesota||WCHA|
|22.||Bryan Schoen (G)||University of Denver||WCHA|
|23.||John Weisbrod (C)||Harvard||ECAC|
|24.||Doug Zmolek (D)||University of Minnesota||WCHA|
Not all of the players selected by the Sharks and North Stars in these drafts stayed with their new teams for long. Among players moved before the start of the 1991–92 season were the following:
- Tim Kerr, selected by San Jose in the Expansion Draft, was traded to the New York Rangers for Brian Mullen and future considerations on May 30, 1991,
- Rob Murray, selected by Minnesota in the Expansion Draft, was traded to Winnipeg for a seventh-round pick in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft on May 31, 1991,
- Greg Paslawski, selected by San Jose in the Expansion Draft, was traded to Quebec for Tony Hrkac on May 31, 1991,
- Shane Churla, selected by San Jose in the Dispersal Draft, was traded back to Minnesota for Kelly Kisio, whom the North Stars had selected in the Expansion Draft, on June 3, 1991,
- Dave Babych, selected by Minnesota in the Expansion Draft, was traded to Vancouver for Tom Kurvers on June 22, 1991,
- Charlie Huddy, Randy Gilhen and Jim Thomson, all drafted by Minnesota in the Expansion Draft, were traded along with a fourth-round pick in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft to Los Angeles for Todd Elik on June 22, 1991,
- Dan Keczmer, selected by San Jose in the Dispersal Draft, was traded to Hartford for Dean Evason on October 2, 1991,
- Guy Lafleur, selected by Minnesota in the Expansion Draft, was traded back to Quebec for Alan Haworth, and he retired before the 1991–92 season began.
As with most other Expansion Drafts, the majority of the players selected did not have lengthy NHL careers; many of them ended up in the minor leagues. San Jose's original minor league affiliate was the Kansas City Blades of the International Hockey League. The Blades won the IHL Championship, the Turner Cup, in 1992, and a majority of their players were under contract to San Jose. In fact, many of those players were under contract with the North Stars the previous year and played for a rival IHL team, the Kalamazoo Wings.
- Official Guide and Record Book p. 168
-  Sharkspage.com draft history
-  Usenet post quoting from "Rink Report", the official San Jose Sharks newsletter, dated October 30, 1990
-  Usenet post listing players selected in Expansion and Dispersal Drafts
- Chicago Tribune Newspaper Chicago, IL. May 10, 1990. pg. 3 (NHL wire reports)
- Chicago Tribune Newspaper Chicago, IL. Aug 25, 1990. pg. 2 (NHL wire reports)
- Chicago Tribune Newspaper Chicago, IL. Oct 23, 1990. pg. 4 (NHL wire reports)
- The National Hockey League (1991). The NHL Official Guide and Record Book 1991–92. p. 168. ISBN 0-920445-19-5.