In 1911, backed by the financial power of their millionaire lumberman father, former NHA stars Lester and Frank Patrick formed the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. The Patricks knew that, in order for their league to be successful, they would require top-flight talent and they knew the best players were in the NHA. By the time the puck dropped on the first PCHA season, many stars, including Newsy Lalonde, had been lured to the PCHA. Each year the league operated, there was a flow of players switching from one league to the other. Though the two leagues warred over talent, they were able to reach an agreement with the Stanley Cup trustees that would see the winner of each league battle for the Cup.

In 1921-22, the Western Canada Hockey League was formed and the PCHA adopted an interlocking schedule with the new league. Unfortunately, by '23-'24, owners were no longer able to compete with the NHL for players and the PCHA was hurting as a result. The Pacific Coast Hockey League, with its membership down to just two teams, ceased operations following the 1923-24 season. The two remaining teams applied for and received membership in the Western Canada Hockey League. After Read More
In 1911, backed by the financial power of their millionaire lumberman father, former NHA stars Lester and Frank Patrick formed the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. The Patricks knew that, in order for their league to be successful, they would require top-flight talent and they knew the best players were in the NHA. By the time the puck dropped on the first PCHA season, many stars, including Newsy Lalonde, had been lured to the PCHA. Each year the league operated, there was a flow of players switching from one league to the other. Though the two leagues warred over talent, they were able to reach an agreement with the Stanley Cup trustees that would see the winner of each league battle for the Cup.

In 1921-22, the Western Canada Hockey League was formed and the PCHA adopted an interlocking schedule with the new league. Unfortunately, by '23-'24, owners were no longer able to compete with the NHL for players and the PCHA was hurting as a result. The Pacific Coast Hockey League, with its membership down to just two teams, ceased operations following the 1923-24 season. The two remaining teams applied for and received membership in the Western Canada Hockey League. After thirteen seasons, the Patricks' league was disbanded, but not before leaving a large footprint on the development of professional hockey.

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Lester Patrick

Lester Patrick

CHIN

© Hockey Hall of Fame


Frank Patrick

Frank Patrick

CHIN

© Hockey Hall of Fame


The Western Hockey League was formed in 1922 under its original name, the Western Canada Hockey Association. It quickly made an agreement with the established Pacific Coast Hockey Association to operate with an interlocking schedule that would see each league play against the other through the course of the season. Eventually, the PCHA folded; the WCHA absorbed two of their teams and renamed itself the Western Hockey League. The WHL, much like the PCHA before it, was soon in trouble because the Big money was in the East with the NHL and, by the spring of 1926, players were being sold in wholesale lots to NHL clubs.

The Western Hockey League was formed in 1922 under its original name, the Western Canada Hockey Association. It quickly made an agreement with the established Pacific Coast Hockey Association to operate with an interlocking schedule that would see each league play against the other through the course of the season. Eventually, the PCHA folded; the WCHA absorbed two of their teams and renamed itself the Western Hockey League. The WHL, much like the PCHA before it, was soon in trouble because the Big money was in the East with the NHL and, by the spring of 1926, players were being sold in wholesale lots to NHL clubs.

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Upon its formation in 1904, the International Hockey League became the first professional hockey circuit. The only Canadian team was based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, with the others in the Pittsburgh and three in Michigan; Calumet, Houghton, and the American Soo. After the 1906-07 season, problems began to arise. While the league was discussing plans to expand into Toronto, Cleveland and Duluth, the reality was they had problems with their current clubs. The Pittsburgh franchise was actively seeking another league to play in and the Houghton team, the flagship Portage Lake club, wasn’t interested in another season. The league scrambled to add new franchises to fill the holes but the fatal blow came when the American Soo franchise announced it would not ice a team for the following season. The league announced that operations would cease for one season but this proved overly optimistic, and the league never recovered.
Upon its formation in 1904, the International Hockey League became the first professional hockey circuit. The only Canadian team was based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, with the others in the Pittsburgh and three in Michigan; Calumet, Houghton, and the American Soo. After the 1906-07 season, problems began to arise. While the league was discussing plans to expand into Toronto, Cleveland and Duluth, the reality was they had problems with their current clubs. The Pittsburgh franchise was actively seeking another league to play in and the Houghton team, the flagship Portage Lake club, wasn’t interested in another season. The league scrambled to add new franchises to fill the holes but the fatal blow came when the American Soo franchise announced it would not ice a team for the following season. The league announced that operations would cease for one season but this proved overly optimistic, and the league never recovered.

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Investigate the role that hockey plays in Canada’s national identity
  • Identify significant people involved in hockey in Canada
  • Describe the development of professional hockey in Canada
  • Describe the evolution of the National Hockey League
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the early regional hockey leagues in Canada
  • Investigate the rise of the World Hockey Association and its inclusion into the National Hockey League
  • Examine the history of the Stanley Cup

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