At the races

3 Unbelievable Things You Should Know About the Early Days of the NHL

The National Hockey League was spawned from its predecessor, the National Hockey Association. See, there were four teams, but they couldn’t get along with Eddie Livingstone, owner of the Toronto Blueshirts, so they formed a whole new league and froze that guy out. A hockey historian explained: “It would be like if the Rolling Stones couldn’t fire Brian Jones, so they started a new group called the Rolling Rocks and left him out.”

In additon to the NHA/NHL, two other professional leagues were running in the early part of the 20th century. The Pacific Coast Hockey Association introduced many innovations, some of which are an integral part of the game today. They came with the blue line, penalty shots, playoffs and numbers on jerseys. Our hockey historian said, “There was a lot of innovation in the early years. Heck, they didn’t even have a penalty box. You had to stand in the corner and think about what you did.”

One of the teams in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association was the Vancouver Millionaires. Their home games were played at Denman Arena, the first rink in Canada with artificial ice. Their official song had these lyrics:

On the ice and in da club
We’re the best, ain’t no scubs
We’re the Millionaires, we run this game
We’re poppin bottles and makin’ it rain


About Joe Ditzel

Joe Ditzel is a keynote speaker, humor writer, and really bad golfer. You can reach him via email at [email protected] as well as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.