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The Great Depression was an economic downturn that lasted from October, 1929, well into the late 1930's.

It had a great effect on hockey. The National Hockey League had 10 teams in 1926-27. By 1938-39 it was down to 7. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Quakers, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Maroons, and St. Louis Eagles were all victims of the depression. Also victims were possible expansion teams.

There were only two hockey teams that could afford to travel from Europe to the 1932 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Both teams (Germany and Poland) were heavily subsidized by the United States.

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