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TIME Magazine, March 29, 1948, p. 44:

CANADA: THE DOMINION: Life on the Ice
    ...This week some 6,000,000 Canadians (almost half the Dominion's 12,582,000 population) will listen to broadcasts of the Stanley Cup* playoffs, the World Series of professional ice hockey.

    The Business. Last season the National Hockey League's six teams (two in Canada, four in the U.S.) drew better than 2,400,000 fans, grossed almost $4,000,000, paid 102 players (93 Canadians, four Britons, five U.S. citizens) about $900,000. The league had an investment of $25,000,000 in arenas. The three professional leagues now operating had an investment in players of $75,000,000. Such figures are only a partial measure of how far the game has come in its 73 years of history.
    Besides the N.H.L., there are two other important professional circuits, the American Hockey League (eleven teams) and the U.S. Hockey League (eight teams) which operate in the U.S. This season the two minor leagues drew all but five of their 348 men from the Dominion.

    The Game. There are 70,000 registered amateur hockey teams in Canada... This year the Dominion's two big-league teams (Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens) will spend more than $70,000 to help keep amateurs on ice, groom some of them ultimately for the big time...
    The National Hockey League's present fortunes are guided by a tight-lipped, teetotaling bachelor named Clarence S. Campbell, who made news a fortnight ago when he cracked down on a couple of players involved in a gambling fix (TIME, March 22). For love of hockey, Campbell ditched a profitable law practice for three years to referee big-league games. In September 1946, he was made N.H.L.'s president, given a $15,000 salary, a spacious office in league headquarters in Montreal. Campbell wants more clubs, more arenas. Says he: "It's an awfully good game."

*Put up in 1893 by Baron Stanley of Preston, then Governor General of Canada, it was the exclusive property of amateurs until 1911. By then, most of the simon-pures had turned pro and the cup went to play-for-pay teams by default.