The Quebec Senior Hockey League was formed for the 1945-46 season and later on it rose to prominence in the hockey world. History will remember the Quebec Hockey League as the league that Jean Béliveau built. The young Quebec Aces star put the QHL on the map with his dogged loyalty to his team. While the Montreal Canadiens actively pursued him, Béliveau, out of loyalty to his organization and the fans of Quebec, put off turning pro to continue to play with the Aces. Béliveau proved to be such a great draw that the Colisée, the arena that eventually housed the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques, had to be rebuilt to accommodate fan interest, following the fire of 1949. After three full seasons, Béliveau finally joined the Canadiens full-time in 1953-54 and the heyday of the Quebec Senior League ended. The league ceased operations in 1959.

Herb Carnegie along with his brother Ossie Carnegie and Manny McIntyre, made headlines in the late 1940’s when they became the first all-black hockey line, playing for the Sherbrooke Red Raiders, later called The Saints. The center on that line was Herbie, and he was the Quebec League’s MVP for Read More
The Quebec Senior Hockey League was formed for the 1945-46 season and later on it rose to prominence in the hockey world. History will remember the Quebec Hockey League as the league that Jean Béliveau built. The young Quebec Aces star put the QHL on the map with his dogged loyalty to his team. While the Montreal Canadiens actively pursued him, Béliveau, out of loyalty to his organization and the fans of Quebec, put off turning pro to continue to play with the Aces. Béliveau proved to be such a great draw that the Colisée, the arena that eventually housed the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques, had to be rebuilt to accommodate fan interest, following the fire of 1949. After three full seasons, Béliveau finally joined the Canadiens full-time in 1953-54 and the heyday of the Quebec Senior League ended. The league ceased operations in 1959.

Herb Carnegie along with his brother Ossie Carnegie and Manny McIntyre, made headlines in the late 1940’s when they became the first all-black hockey line, playing for the Sherbrooke Red Raiders, later called The Saints. The center on that line was Herbie, and he was the Quebec League’s MVP for three straight seasons between 1946 and 1948. Despite a social climate that didn’t fully accept a black hockey player, Carnegie made it impossible to ignore him, scoring 127 points in just forty QHL games. Despite his incredible skills, Carnegie never got the opportunity to play in the NHL, though he played an important pioneering role for a QHL player who followed him, Willie O’Ree, the first black hockey player in the NHL in 1957-58.


© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Willie O'Ree

Willie O'Ree was the first player to break the color barrier in th e NHL in 1947. O'Ree played parts of two seasons with the Boston Bruins scoring four goals and fourteen points in forty-five games.

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© James McCarthy/Hockey Hall of Fame


Jean Béliveau Discusses His start With the Canadiens

Jean Béliveau racante ses débuts avec les Canadiens. Click 'View the Transcript' for video link

Clip One:

Jean Béliveau discusses his start with the Canadiens.


For three years I came to the Canadiens’ training camp which started before the one in Quebec. And each time I left Quebec, they were scared that I would not return. And particularly, at that moment, let’s not forget that the Aces of Quebec in the Senior League of Quebec was the property of the paper mill, that was financially very comfortable. And yes it’s true, each time I left, they would tell me: "Whatever they offer in Montreal, the same thing here".

Well, it’s true perhaps that I could have joined the Canadiens, two or three years earlier, I could see it by the training camp’s performance, but for me in life, people are very important. They treated me well during those two years with the junior Citadelles. And the two years I finally spent with the Aces were an act of recognition towards the population of Quebec. And I’ve said it, I had announced one year finally with the paper mill, and Punch Imlach as the coach; I had played the second year with the Aces of Quebec.

Clip Two:

Jean Béliveau remembers the beginning of televised broadcasts.

I remember very well the first games when we would pass through the villages and that the merchant would place a television set in the window. It’s very clear in my mind. I remember, there were 25 or 30 people outside that would be watching the games. Because you know, in those days, we weren’t all fortunate enough to have a television set in ’52, ’53.


Clip Three:

Jean Béliveau talks about goaltenders.

Everyone talks about how Terry Sawchuck was such a great goaltender. If we are speaking here of elegance, Terry Sawchuck is my choice; but the one that gave me the most trouble is Johnny Bower. Johnny Bower was a stand-up goaltender. If you can remember, I use to love to make fakes, and most goaltenders would tend to move on fakes, but not Bower. And this was what would make the situation much more difficult. I’ve always had admiration for a goaltender that had a stand-up style. I admire many goaltenders, but Bower is the one that gave me the most difficulty (throughout my career).

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© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.


Senior Hockey

Senior Hockey. Click 'View the Transcript' for video link

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© 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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