Traditionally players salaries rise from season to season. But in the NHL during their early 30s, salaries were going down.
Attendance suffered around the league as the depression continued. Even know tickets were as little as $.50 only 4000 fans turned out in Chicago to see the champion leafs play the Blackhawks. Early in the 1932 33 season.
in 1934 — 35 season, a salary cap of $62,500 was placed on teams, and the league’s general managers were ordered not to pay more than $7,000 to any individual player.
During that time, the Ottawa Senators. So many of their best players and were granted permission to move to St. Louis, where they were called the Eagles. This team didn’t play very well and soon supporters stayed away in droves.
The New York Americans struggled as well, and owner Bill Dwyer, publicly denied reports that his players were on the verge of mutiny, because their salaries weren’t being paid on schedule.
By 1936, the New York Americans were barely able to function and eventually the team was retired in 1942.
Yet hockey fans did continue to love the game and managed, even during the Depression, to support six professional hockey teams — often referred to as the original six.