RICHMOND, Va. -- I’ve always found the NHL's 1967 expansion completely fascinating. The thought of an established professional sports league doubling in size — from an infinitesimal six teams to a still-modest 12 — seems impossible in this day and age.
The staggering amount of roster spots on the new teams gave many career minor-leaguers a shot at the NHL at last, and Ken Schinkel was one such player.
Named to the inaugural squad at the relatively ancient age of 35, Schinkel nevertheless was an immediate bright spot in the Penguins' lineup, putting up points and making all-star teams. He played until age 40, at which time he was asked by management to retire so that he could take over the coaching reins in January of 1973. He was only moderately successful, and was replaced by Marc Boileau a year later … but he stayed in the organization, working for two years as a scout, and in 1977, he took over again as head coach when Boileau was fired, replacing the man who’d replaced him.
[caption id="attachment_903162" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] ROB ULLMAN / DKPS[/caption]