Hockey History

Exploring the origins and historical events of hockey.

Presented in association with the Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR). Whether you're a die-hard booster from the early days of Conn Smythe or a new supporter of Randy Carlyle, these are the 100 things all Maple Leaf fans need to know and do in their lifetime. Authors Michael Leonetti and Paul Patskou have collected every essential piece of Maple Leafs knowledge and trivia, as well as must-do activities, and ranked them, providing an entertaining and easy-to-follow checklist as...
In the long history of the NHL there have been many moments that the league wished never happened. Some on my list are of course made tongue-in-cheek, and I only restricted myself to 100. Do you have any other examples of incidents in the NHL that led to bad publicity or was just embarrassing to the league in general, sad stuff, or stuff that happened behind closed doors that the league tried to put a lid on? 1918 – “Montreal Arena in flames” – Montreal Wanderers 1919 – “Spanish...
Can't believe 15 years have passed. I remember getting the bad news when I got home from school and ESPN was showing Gary Bettman announcing that the season would be cancelled followed by a video shown below.
This was a very interesting crossroads series- a young up and coming Penguins against a veteran Flyer team that, contrary to what I once though, did not have a ton of old guys (only 6 players on this roster were 30 or older), but had a lot of playoff experience and postseason mileage.
As of August 28th (which it nearly is now in Japan), it's been 32 years since Canada Cup 1987. What a great tournament and some great memories. I was a kid of 11 then, and Rendezvous '87 and this tournament were my first exposure to international hockey. I thought it'd be fun to re-view the final series between Canada and the Soviet Union, as it's remembered as one of the highlights of hockey history. Tonight, I'm re-watching game one. I haven't seen the game, in full, since 1987, so it's...
Posted on Behind the Boards (SIHR Blog). Various family constellations have been part of the ice hockey world throughout the history of organized competition, most often made from a set of brothers. The Montreal Hockey Club (AAA), for instance, the first club to capture the Stanley Cup in 1893, had the Hodgson brothers, Billy and Archie, on the roster during the 1888 AHAC season, and the MacKerrow twins, Clarence and Andy, during the 1895–96 season, just to mention two early examples from...
Posted on Behind the Boards (SIHR Blog). The era in ice hockey from around the turn of the twentieth century and up until the formation of the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1917 doesn’t have a formal name, but it is sometimes referred to as the “pre-NHL era.” Or, up until the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) disbanded in 1926, and all of the best players gathered in a singular league, in the NHL, as the “pre-consolidation era.”
Presented in association with the Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR). A publication of the Champlain Society. A Hotly Contested Affair: Hockey in Canada is a collection of documents that trace the history of Canada’s national winter game from its “founding” in Montreal in the mid-1870s into the early twenty-first century. Composed of 157 edited and annotated sources, the volume is organized into ten chapters based on the sport’s central themes.
For the seasons 1926-27 to 1929-30, NHL coaches were polled for their all-stars of the season to create all-star teams. I've posted the 1926-27 and 1927-28 teams previously. The 1929-30 teams are new to me and I don't think they have been posted here. (thanks to Pam Coburn for the article). I think we're just missing the full 1928-29 team. 1926-27 From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 3, 1927, p. 41 1926-27 all star teams - Newspapers.com No vote totals for this year, unfortunately. And...
Posted on Behind the Boards (SIHR Blog). Anatoli Tarasov was the most vocal figure in Soviet hockey – so vocal, in fact, that hockey historians tends forget he wasn't actually the head coach of the Soviet national team during its dynasty years from 1963 to 1972. Tarasov was only the assistant or associate coach. The head coach was another, much more reserved man: Arkadi Chernyshov. However, even those who are aware of him are prone to think of Chernyshov as a mere figurehead who dealt with...
Presented in association with the Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR). This book reveals for the first time the remarkable story of how Canadian players came to Sussex on the south coast of England in the mid-1930s - in the midst of the Depression in Canada - and formed the Brighton Tigers, one of the founder members of the English National League, the country's first pro hockey circuit.
The goal of this project is pretty simple. I set out to create a complete map of the aftershocks of the epic 1992 trade of Eric Lindros from Quebec to Philadelphia. That trade set off a domino effect of transactions which has greatly impacted all 31 franchises over the past 26 years. While it’s true that there have been other trades which have created a chain of other moves around the league, I’m quite convinced at this point that the Lindros trade is unique in its breadth and depth of...
Ranking the performances of the recipients of the Conn Smythe since 1980.
Presented in association with the Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR). Wilf Cude (1906-1968): gifted NHL goaltender, dedicated hockey coach, conscientious sports talent scout, small businessman, husband and parent. A hockey book with all the statistics and information any hockey enthusiast might want, it's a story of success, failure, strength, skill, determination, negotiation, love and luck. This offers a lively and spirited literary immersion into our Canadian and North...
Posted on Behind the Boards (SIHR Blog). Eduard Georgievich Ivanov (1938-2013) was a staple on the defence of the Soviet national team from 1962/3 until 1966/67. A curious episode from the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck, however, has led some to falsely assume he played as a forward in that tournament. The confusion was caused by no-one else but the Soviet coaching staff. As Bryan Lawrence writes in a 2014 SIHR Blog Entry: One unusual postscript is that the Best Forward of the tournament was...
I thought it would be neat thing to take a look at the early European players who got attention from North Americans. Players that were put on negotiaion lists of NHL clubs, were invited to training camps or just generally were commented on that they could play in the NHL. When time permits I will look at each and everyone of them, how they did at the training camps, or just comment on their chances to make it over in North America. Of course, the criteria is that they spent their...
I grew up a Leafs fan and still consider them to be my favourite team — although that means a lot less to me at age 57 than it did when I was 17 … or 7! It’s been a long time since I would say I’ve bled blue and white. It was probably in 1989 (I’d have been 25 at the time) when I made my peace with the fact that the Montreal Canadiens were actually the greatest franchise in hockey history. (Though I’ve yet to make similar peace with baseball and the New York Yankees, whom I still despise!)...
Well, the Maple Leafs lost. Again. There was still a long way to go, but there will be no Stanley Cup win in Toronto this year. Again. Just like there hasn’t been since 1967. Haven’t even reached the Finals since then. The Leafs haven’t even won a playoff series since 2004. So, Toronto goes on to Year #55 without a Stanley Cup title, which is the longest drought in NHL history, surpassing the 54 years from 1940 to 1994 that the New York Rangers went without. Still, when it comes to Stanley...
I’d been pretty busy until recently, working on a new book for Firefly called Hockey Hall of Fame True Stories. They wanted something less stats-driven than most of their recent books … and they wanted it fast! So, in early March, I started writing and I delivered a lengthy manuscript at the end of April. It was quite the crunch. Not enough time for other things until now. Although I’ve taken the title from the movie Airplane!, and the content makes me think of Jerry Seinfeld’s new book Is...
Just because this is a Stanley Cup story about teams from New York and Montreal, don’t go reading into it that I’m predicting the Islanders and Canadiens to reach the Final. (Then again, if it happens to be the two of them facing off against each other two weeks or so from now, remember where you read it!) No, this is really just an excuse by me to spin a story out of a recent query about Lester Patrick’s sons, Lynn Patrick and Murray (Muzz) Patrick, scratching their names onto the Stanley...
Since writing last week about the Gilmour brothers, I’ve been spending some of my lockdown time trying to find the story of how Billy Gilmour and his daughter escaped from Nazi-occupied France. If their account actually appears somewhere in print, perhaps it was told in an Ottawa or Montreal newspaper that isn’t available online. But, I have been able to piece together from other sources quite a bit of what might have happened. According to stories in Ottawa papers in the 1930s, Billy...
One year to the day of the declaration of a global pandemic, I’m using the somewhat flimsy pretext of an overlooked anniversary (of sorts) from last week as an excuse for running this story today. Really, it’s just another old incident I may have figured out something new about… This past Sunday, March 7, marked the 115th anniversary of Fred Brophy of the Montreal AAA hockey team scoring a goal on Nathan Frye of the Montreal Victorias. What makes this goal noteworthy is that Brophy himself...
On February 24, 1952, the Edmonton Mercurys completed an undefeated run through the Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway, to win the gold medal in hockey. Canada had previously won Olympic hockey gold in 1920, 1924, 1928, and 1932, and after settling for a surprising silver behind a Great Britain team loaded with Canadian-born players in 1936, won gold again in 1948 when the Olympics resumed after World War II. With the Soviet Union entering the Olympic scene in 1956, Canadian men wouldn’t win...
According to Wikipedia (if I counted them up correctly!), there have been 299 sets of brothers who’ve played in the NHL from the league’s beginning in 1917 through 2019–20. Of that group, 47 sets of brothers have played together on the same team, but only 10 have won the Stanley Cup together. The numbers are slightly larger if we expand the time frame beyond the birth of the NHL and back to the start of the Stanley Cup in 1893. Still, in all that time, there are only two instances when a...
I figured I couldn’t call myself a hockey historian if I didn’t have something to say about Toronto and Montreal in the NHL playoffs. But — surprise, surprise! — we’re going back a little bit further here… I was 3 1/2 years old when Toronto beat Montreal to win the Stanley Cup in 1967. I don’t remember it. (My hockey memories don’t kick in until after I saw my first game, at Maple Leaf Gardens in December of 1970.) But I remember well when the two teams met in 1978 and 1979. The Leafs of...
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