The Vancouver Canucks did not join the National Hockey League until 1970, but that’s not to say that they didn’t exist as a team long before that. The Canucks have been around, in fact, since 1945, when a franchise was established in Vancouver by the Pacific Coast Hockey League (PCHL). This team was quite successful in its own league, so when, in 1965, it was announced that the NHL was looking to expand into new markets, the Canucks’ owner applied.
Unfortunately, due to a poorly-planned pitch and animosity between the Vancouver owners and the owner or the Red Wings (Bruce Norris) and the owner of the Leafs (Stafford Smyth), their application was unsuccessful. You may have thought that this mess may have required plumbing contractors to clean it up, but this setback, however, didn’t stop an arena being built in Vancouver on the grounds of the Pacific National Exhibition.
The Flames, though now a source of prides for so many Albertans, didn’t actually originate in Calgary. The team was originally the Atlanta Flames, having been founded in Atlanta in 1972 (only a few states away from a famous raleigh catering company I’ll tell you all about in my post about the Caroline Hurricanes). They relocated to Calgary in 1980 when a group of entrepreneurs from Calgary acquired the Atlanta team and decided to move them up north to Calgary. The team’s first home was the Stampede Corral, where they played the first three seasons of their career, before moving into the Scotiabank Saddledome in 1983.
The Montreal Canadiens hockey club was formed in 1909, making it the oldest professional hockey franchise in the world. It was founded by J. Ambrose O’Brien as a team especially for the francophone community of Montreal in the National Hockey Association, which preceded the National Hockey League (NHL). The team came dead last in their first season, but their fortunes started to improve after management was switched in 1910, and in the 1915-1916 season they deserved to rent out a party bus service, because they won their first Stanley Cup.
As I’ve already admitted, the Leafs are my favourite team. That said, I will do my absolute best to compose an unbiased summary of their history. Even though my family was a huge contributor to the profits of certain pizza joints of food service Niagara every Saturday night of my childhood. To start, interestingly enough, they weren’t always known as the Leafs.
When the team was first formed in 1917, they were simply known as the Torontos, or the Blueshirts. That said, the team wasn’t technically the Blueshirts … but the players were. Let me explain. The Toronto Blueshirts – along with the Montreal Canadiens, the Montreal Wanderers, the Quebec Bulldogs, and the Ottawa Senators – had all been members of the National Hockey Association.