1911–12 NHA season
|League||National Hockey Association|
|Duration||December 25, 1911 – March 5, 1912|
|Number of games||18|
|Number of teams||4|
|Top scorer||Skene Ronan (39)|
|O'Brien Cup champions||Quebec Bulldogs|
|Runners-up||Ottawa Hockey Club|
The 1911–12 NHA season was the third season of the National Hockey Association (NHA). Four teams played 18 games each. The Quebec Bulldogs would win the league championship and take over the Stanley Cup.
League Business 
Two NHA franchises would be dormant this season. Because the O'Briens had decided to give up hockey, the Renfrew Creamery Kings were disbanded prior to the season, with the players distributed to the other teams by a draw of names. Two new teams based in Toronto intended to operate this season, the 'Torontos' and the 'Tecumsehs', but the new Arena Gardens would not be ready for play this season, so neither team played. This left four teams to play 18 games each.
Renfrew dispersal 
- Cyclone Taylor, Don Smith—Wanderers
- Odie Cleghorn—Quebec
- Sprague Cleghorn—Toronto
- Bert Lindsay—Tecumsehs
- Skene Ronan—Ottawa
- Larry Gilmour —Canadiens
"Tecumsehs admitted", The Globe, 1911-11-13: 13
Taylor would refuse to report to the Wanderers, while Don Smith and Bert Lindsay would join the PCHA. Odie Cleghorn refused to report to Quebec and joined the Wanderers as did his brother Sprague.
- Emmett Quinn (president)
Board of Directors:
- E. McCafferty, Quebec
- Sam Lichtenhein, Wanderers,
- George Kennedy, Canadiens
- Charles Sparks, Ottawa
- J. Jane, Toronto
- Fred Robertson, Toronto
Rule Changes 
The rule changes implemented for this season introduced the format of play seen today.
For this season, the number of players per side was reduced to six by the elimination of the rover position. This was opposed by several teams, including the champion Ottawa team whose 'puck possession' style of play was dependent on the rover. The team would attempt during this season and next to get the league to return to seven-man hockey.
This season saw the introduction of major and minor fouls.
- throwing a stick to prevent a goal
- deliberate tripping and hooking
- foul language
for which the player would be banished for the match and fined $5. Teams could substitute the player.
- kicking, throwing, holding or batting puck with the hand
- raising stick above shoulder except for 'lifting'
- loafing offside
for which the player drew a caution. Three cautions and you were out. If your fines reached $25, special discipline might be warranted by the president.
- number armbands to identify players
- home club to choose end
- overtime in case of tie
- unlimited substitution, however unless in case of injury, the player could not return
The O'Brien Cup was introduced for the NHA league championship winners.
The Canadiens team was to sign only francophone players and the other teams would refrain from doing so.
Coleman, "Trail of the Stanley Cup"
Equipment changes 
The league would adopt the LeSueur goal and the Spalding puck as official equipment. This was the first season that numbers were attached to player jerseys. At first, they were attached by armbands, then eventually stitched onto the front of the jerseys. To identify the players to the fans, a large 'key' sign was hung at the side of the rink.
NHA - PCHA relations 
In a foreshadowing of when the NHL in 1926 would declare the American Hockey League an "outlaw league", the NHA declared the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) an "outlaw league" after it signed several NHA players. The league expelled Newsy Lalonde, Ernie Johnson and other players who signed with the PCHA 'for life' and barred NHA teams from playing PCHA teams. After the season, Art Ross arranged an 'all-star' tour of NHA players in British Columbia against the PCHA in defiance of the league. The NHA granted immunity for the players to play against the PCHA.
Regular season 
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Prior to the season, on November 2, Bruce Ridpath of the Stanley Cup champion Ottawa Hockey Club would be seriously injured with a fractured skull after being hit by an automobile on Yonge Street in Toronto. He lived in Toronto and was rumoured to be a possible manager of the future Toronto NHA franchise.
Fred Taylor went on public record stating that he would not play for Wanderers as he had a good position with the Interior Department in Ottawa, and would not play at all instead of playing for the Wanderers. Ottawa would attempt to secure his rights from Montreal. Ottawa would offer to trade Ronan (who would go on to win the scoring championship) for Taylor but was turned down.
On November 18, the NHA developed a schedule with a provisional opening date of the Arena Gardens late in January, and allowed the two new Toronto teams to play only away games at the start of the season. The architects of the Gardens assured them that the arena would be ready in time.
The PCHA raids, while taking players from the NHA, also meant the demise of the OPHL and players from the OPHL signed with NHA clubs, including Louis Berlinguette, Ernie Dubeau, Jack Marks and George Prodger.
In this season, the Ottawa Hockey Club became more commonly known as the 'Ottawa Senators'. The organization remained known as the Ottawa Hockey Association.
Ronan of Ottawa would score 5 goals against the Wanderers on February 9, and follow up with 8 against the Wanderers on February 14. Gordon Roberts of the Wanderers would score 6 against the Canadiens on February 21.
On January 24, Fred 'Cyclone' Taylor played for Ottawa against the Wanderers, despite his rights being held by the Wanderers, for which he refused to play for. Ottawa would win the game, but it was protested and ordered replayed if necessary. This was Taylor's final game in the NHA, as he would join Vancouver the next year.
On March 2, Quebec defeated Ottawa 6–5 in a game decided after 23 minutes of overtime. With seven seconds to play, Joe Malone scored to tie the game. Joe Hall scored the winning goal. Ottawa would now have to play the replay game against the Wanderers in Montreal. On March 6, Ottawa lost the replay, and the loss would cost them a tie of the league championship, as Quebec finished 10–8 and Ottawa would finish 9–9.
Final standings 
|Ottawa Hockey Club||18||9||9||0||99||83|
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF= Goals For, GA = Goals Against
Stanley Cup challenges 
After the season, Quebec played one challenge against Moncton Victorias. The Moncton team was essentially the same Galt team that had challenged Ottawa in 1911. This was the first series playing six to a side.
Moncton vs. Quebec 
|Billy Hague||G||Paddy Moran|
|Ras Murphy||P||Goldie Prodgers|
|Fred Povey||CP||Joe Hall||2|
|Tommy Smith||2||F||Joe Malone||3|
|Rollie Norman||1||F||Eddie Oatman|
|Louis Berlinguette||F||Jack McDonald||4|
|Fred Doherty||sub||Jack Marks|
|Referees - J. Marshall, C. McNamara|
|Billy Hague||G||Paddy Moran|
|Ras Murphy||P||Goldie Prodgers|
|Fred Povey||CP||Joe Hall|
|Tommy Smith||F||Joe Malone||2|
|Rollie Norman||F||Jack Marks|
|Fred Doherty||sub||Walter Rooney||1|
|Referees - J. Marshall, C. McNamara|
Quebec wins best-of-three series 2–0
Unplayed challenges 
The Port Arthur Bearcats, who had previously challenged Ottawa in a Cup challenge in 1911, issued a challenge in February 1912. They were ordered by the Stanley Cup trustees to play off against Saskatoon in a two-game total-goals series to qualify. Port Arthur defeated Saskatoon 12–6. The club chose not to play a series against Quebec.
In February 1912, prior to the end of the PCHA season, the PCHA issued a challenge to play against the NHA champions. However, their season ended in March and it was considered too late for the PCHA champions (in this case the New Westminster Royals) to travel to the east to face Quebec. The challenge was postponed until December 1912. The challenge was never played.
Ottawa intended to hold a benefit game for Bruce Ridpath who had been injured in an automobile accident, intending to play a team composed of all-stars from the other NHA teams. After changing dates several times, the All-Star benefit game was set for March 16. The All-Star team would have Art Ross, Ernie Russell and Gordon Roberts of the Wanderers; Paddy Moran, Joe Malone and Joe Hall of Quebec; Didier Pitre Jack Laviolette and Ernie Dubeau of the Canadiens. Additionally, Cyclone Tayler had permission to play. However, two days before the event was to occur, the NHA president Emmett Quinn, while in New York city, booked the Wanderers and Canadiens for an exhibition game in Boston, and Ottawa was unable to make alternate arrangements, cancelling the NHA benefit. The Ottawa New Edinburghs, champions of the amateur Inter-Provincial Amateur Hockey Union (IPAHU) held their own benefit for Ridpath on March 23 against other IPAHU players. Future professional stars Clint Benedict, Harry Broadbent and Eddie Gerard played for Ottawa, which raised $300 for Ridpath, while Cyclone Taylor was the referee.
All four NHA teams played an exhibition series in New York and Boston from March 16–March 23.
Art Ross All-Stars 
A group of players, dubbed the 'Art Ross All-Stars' played three games against a PCHA all-star team in British Columbia from April 2–April 6, losing two out of three games, 4–10, 2–8, 6–5. Hughie Lehman, Fitzpatrick, Ernie Johnson, Newsy Lalonde, Tom Dunderdale, Ran McDonald and Harry Hyland played for the Western stars, and Paddy Moran, Art Ross, Hamby Shore, Skene Ronan, Joe Malone, Odie Cleghorn and Jack McDonald played for the East with Cyclone Taylor substituting for Malone.
Schedule and results 
|25||Ottawa||3||Canadiens||2 (22' overtime)|
|Mar.||2||Quebec||6||Ottawa||5 (23'50" overtime)|
|2||Canadiens||2||Wanderers||1 (6'36" overtime)|
† Protested by Wanderers, replayed on March 6. Often mistaken as March 5th.
‡ Replay of protested game.
Player statistics 
Goalkeeper averages 
Leading scorers 
Quebec Bulldogs 1912 Stanley Cup Champions 
† missing from team picture
- Coaching and Administrative Staff
- Philippe Auguste Choquette (President/Owner), Mike J. Quinn (Vice President/Manager)
- Charlie Nolan (Coach), Dave Beland (Trainer)
- J. Eugène Matte (Treasurer), Barney J. Kaine (Secretary)
- Louis A. Lagueux, Charles Fremont, Thomas B. O'Neil (Directors)
- Camélien Joseph Lockwell, Fred Hill, Arthur Demore (Directors)
See also 
- National Hockey Association
- List of pre-NHL seasons
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- 1911 in sports
- 1912 in sports
- 1912 PCHA season
- Coleman, Charles (1966), The Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol. 1, 1893–1926 inc., NHL
- Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Bolton, Ont.: Fenn Pub. pp 12, 50. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7
- Chi-Kit Wong, p. 63
- Coleman, p. 223
- "No NHA in 1913?", The Globe, 1912-03-15: 12
- "The Unstable NHA?", The Globe, 1912-03-22: 12
- "Bruce Ridpath Badly Hurt", The Globe, 1911-11-03: 12
- "Quebec Won at Ottawa", The Globe, 1912-02-04: 12
- Standings: Coleman, Charles (1966). Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol. 1, 1893-1926 inc. National Hockey League. p. 226.
- "Saskatoon Won the Game". The Globe. March 5, 1912. p. 12.
- "Coast Champions Not Coming". The Globe. March 5, 1912. p. 12.
- "Wanderers 10; Canadiens 2", The Globe, 1912-03-10: 12
- "Ridpath's Benefit Saturday", The Globe, 1912-03-12: 12
- "Ridpath Benefit is Off", The Globe, 1912-03-13: 12
- "The Ridpath Benefit", The Globe, 1912-03-25: 12
- "Western All-Stars Win", The Globe, 1912-04-04: 14
- "Belated Hockey Games", The Globe, 1912-04-08: 14
Ottawa Hockey Club
Stanley Cup Champions