A falling out among owners of the Eastern Canada Hockey Association over a planned move to a smaller arena by the Montreal Wanderers ownership, led to the dissolution of the league and two leagues being born out of its ashes. With all of the league’s players effectively free to go wherever they chose, money was being thrown around. In 1909, the Canadian Hockey Association was formed, using most of the former franchises of the ECHA; a second new league took the name "the National Hockey Association." This league boasted teams from Renfrew, Cobalt, Haileybury and two teams from Montreal. One of the teams was the former ECHA club, the Wanderers; the second was a franchise intended to appeal to francophone Montrealers, known as les Canadiens. As the two leagues began stocking their respective rosters, owners from each league went to war, and the NHA, who managed to lure "Cyclone" Taylor to Renfrew, made the Biggest splash, giving the new league instant credibility.

The CHA owners, who had effectively created the need for two leagues by ousting the Wanderers and refusing league entry to Renfrew, were now behind the eight ball because fans regarded Read More
A falling out among owners of the Eastern Canada Hockey Association over a planned move to a smaller arena by the Montreal Wanderers ownership, led to the dissolution of the league and two leagues being born out of its ashes. With all of the league’s players effectively free to go wherever they chose, money was being thrown around. In 1909, the Canadian Hockey Association was formed, using most of the former franchises of the ECHA; a second new league took the name "the National Hockey Association." This league boasted teams from Renfrew, Cobalt, Haileybury and two teams from Montreal. One of the teams was the former ECHA club, the Wanderers; the second was a franchise intended to appeal to francophone Montrealers, known as les Canadiens. As the two leagues began stocking their respective rosters, owners from each league went to war, and the NHA, who managed to lure "Cyclone" Taylor to Renfrew, made the Biggest splash, giving the new league instant credibility.

The CHA owners, who had effectively created the need for two leagues by ousting the Wanderers and refusing league entry to Renfrew, were now behind the eight ball because fans regarded the NHA as the higher profile league. Just ten days into their inaugural season, a meeting was called that would have the brass of the NHA meet with the CHA owners and it was speculated the two leagues would merge into one. However, the NHA offered only to grant entry to the Shamrocks and the defending Stanley Cup champion Ottawa Senators, and when both teams accepted the invitation, the CHA was crippled and forced to fold. With seven teams, the NHA went on to have a very successful inaugural season. The free-spending ways of that initial year would prove costly; many teams changed hands or relocated following the season and a salary cap was implemented. Many players were unenthusiastic about this decision and two of Renfrew’s star players, Lester and Frank Patrick, left the league and returned to Vancouver. The brothers resurfaced in the 1911-12 season when they formed the rival Pacific Coast Hockey Association. The PCHA, in order to stock its rosters, raided many NHA teams but a much Bigger problem was the outbreak of World War I. Many players were shipped overseas and incredibly, in 1916-17 an entire team was dispatched - the military franchise 228th Battalion. The tumultuous season of ’16-’17 would prove to be the final year of the NHA; that summer the league was reorganized and renamed the National Hockey League.

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Fred "Cyclone" Taylor

Fred "Cyclone" Taylor

CHIN

© Hockey Hall of Fame


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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