By RAY SHANK
Montreal’s entry in the new National Lacrosse Association hasn’t yet got a name but that’s one of the few details still to be ironed out before the team opens its home schedule May 10.
“We’re set to go,” team owner Brian McFarlane of Toronto told The Gazette yesterday. “All we have to to is select a name for the club and set a date for our tryout camp.”
Both those details are expected to be solved by the latter part of next week.
The team will play a 38-game schedule against teams from Toronto, Detroit, Peterborough, Vancouver, Victoria, Portland and New Westminster.
The eastern teams will play an interlocking schedule with teams from the west.
Canadiens hockey star has already been hired as coach of the Montreal squad. Ferguson may also be called on to handle the general manager’s position.
Montreal will play its home games at the Paul Sauve Arena. McFarlane also hopes to play a few home dates—when the Paul Sauve isn’t available—at Quebec City and Ottawa.
Ottawa was supposed to have an entry in the professional circuit but couldn’t come up with the financial backing.
McFarlane has set a budget of over $100,000 for his first year of operation.
Players salaries will range from $1,000 to $2,500 for the season.
“We can’t afford to go hog wild with salaries the first year,” says McFarlane. “But the players will be well dressed, wear the best equipment and will travel in style.
“A lot of players might think they’ll have to quit their regular jobs to play for us. Not so. When we have to make long trips we’ll charter airliners.”
Original plans for the pro league were more ambitious. Morley Kells of the Toronto team and Jim Bishop of the Oshawa Green Gaels—the latter has taken over as coach of the Detroit entry—were seeking National Hockey League backing for teams in each of the six “old” NHL cities.
“With all the problems of expansion,” explains Bishop, “this was a tough year to go to the NHL teams.”
No junior age players will be signed or drafted this year. However, a junior may play 12 pro games during the season. The pros have agreed not to call up a player on a night when his own team is playing.
Montreal will likely take Cornwall as its affiliate junior team.
The lacrosse rule book has been given a new look for the pros. It will include a 45-second rule, similar to pro basketball’s rule requiring teams to shoot within 24 seconds of gaining possession of the ball.
(Montreal Gazette, March 22, 1968)