1917–18 Toronto Hockey Club season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1917–18 Toronto Hockey Club
Stanley Cup champions
League2nd (1st half), 1st (2nd half) NHL
1917–18 record13–9–0
Home record10–1–0
Road record3–8–0
Goals for108
Goals against109
Team information
General ManagerCharles Querrie
CoachDick Carroll
CaptainKen Randall
ArenaArena Gardens
Team leaders
GoalsReg Noble (30)
Penalty minutesKen Randall (96)
WinsHap Holmes (10)
Goals against averageArthur Brooks (4.00)
1917–18 season Toronto Arenas. Top row, from left: Rusty Crawford, Harry Meeking, Ken Randall, Corbett Denneny, Harry Cameron. Middle row, from left: Dick Carroll, Jack Adams, Charles Querrie, Alf Skinner, Frank Carroll. Bottom row, from left: Harry Mummery, Harry "Hap" Homes, Reg Noble.

The 1917–18 Toronto Hockey Club season was the first season of the new Toronto franchise in the newly organized National Hockey League (NHL). The team was intended as a 'temporary' franchise, operating without an official club nickname (the press would dub them the "Blue Shirts" or "Torontos",[1] and in 1948 the NHL would engrave "Toronto Arenas" on the Stanley Cup as the 1917–18 winner) and without a formal organization separate from the Toronto Arena Company that managed the Arena Gardens. Despite this, the team came together to win the first NHL Championship, competing against existing teams that had transferred directly from the National Hockey Association (NHA). Toronto would go on to win the Stanley Cup by defeating the Pacific Coast Hockey Association champion Vancouver Millionaires – the first Stanley Cup for an NHL team and the second Cup for a Toronto team after the Toronto Blueshirts' victory in the 1913–14 season of the NHA.

Team business[edit]

A series of disputes in the NHA with Toronto Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone led the owners of the other four NHA clubs to create the NHL for the 1917–18 season. They didn't invite Livingstone to join them, effectively leaving him in a one-team league.

The owners turned down a proposal from the management of the Toronto Arena Company to create a new Toronto-based franchise to join the other former NHA teams in a five team NHL.[2] When the Quebec Bulldogs announced they didn't have enough financing to ice a team for the NHL's first season, the NHL granted a temporary franchise to the Toronto Arena Company, maintaining a balanced four-team league and providing representation to the second largest market in Canada. The Arena Company was required to return their temporary franchise to the league if they could not resolve the dispute by the end of the season.

The Toronto Arena Company reached an agreement to lease most of Livingstone's NHA players. The Toronto Arena Company paid players on a cash basis, and many players played without a contract. The players used the same uniform as the previous NHA season – blue with a white 'T'. As a result, while this team did not have an official name, fans and reporters called them "the Torontos" or even "the Blueshirts."

While agreement was reached on leasing the players, financial terms were not settled and this would lead to Livingstone filing a post-season lawsuit against the Toronto Arena Company.[2] This dispute included a disagreement regarding the distribution of revenues from the Toronto Stanley Cup games in 1917, resulting in the Toronto club never engraving their name on the Cup to memorialize their series victory. In 1948, the NHL engraved "1918 Toronto Arenas" on the Cup, using the official nickname of the closely related 1918–19 Toronto franchise.

Following the season, the Arena Company returned its temporary franchise to the NHL. However, in response to the lawsuit, instead of returning the players to Livingstone, or even paying Livingstone, the Arena Company immediately formed a new club, the Toronto Arena Hockey Club, popularly known as the Toronto Arenas. The new club was a standalone corporation that could exist separate from any legal action. The NHL duly admitted the Arenas as a full member in good standing. After only one season, the Arenas filed for bankruptcy, and were sold to new owners who changed the team's name to the Toronto St. Patricks. Midway through the 1926-27 season, the St. Pats adopted their current name, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

While the Maple Leafs claim the 1917-18 Torontos season as the first season in their history, they do not claim the history of the NHA Blueshirts as their own even though the 1917-18 Torontos were a nearly complete (though unpaid) leasing of the 1916–17 Blueshirts. The NHL was formed to eject Livingstone from the NHA, and the Blueshirts franchise formally ceased to exist. For that reason, the Maple Leafs could not claim the NHA Blueshirts' legacy.

Regular season[edit]

The Toronto team (the 'Torontos' for the remainder of this article), Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, and Ottawa Senators were the original four teams of the league. The Wanderers would not finish the season, as the Montreal Arena burned down on January 2, 1918, and the club would fold after just six games.[3]

The Torontos would finish the first half of the season with an 8–6–0 record, finishing second to the Montreal Canadiens, however, the Torontos put up a league best 5–3–0 record in the second half of the season, earning a spot in the O'Brien Cup finals against the Canadiens. Overall, the Torontos finished 13–9–0, tied with the Montreal Canadiens with the best record in the NHL.[4]

During a game on January 28, 1918, Alf Skinner of the Torontos and Joe Hall of the Montreal Canadiens were involved in a stick swinging duel. Both players received match penalties, $15 fines, and were arrested by the Toronto Police for disorderly conduct, in which they received suspended sentences.[5]

Reg Noble led the Torontos with 30 goals, which placed him third in the league, while Corbett Denneny had 20 goals, and Harry Cameron scored 17 goals. Alf Skinner, Ken Randall, and Harry Meeking would each get into double digits with goals, scoring 13, 12, and 10 respectively. Randall led the club with 55 penalty minutes, while Rusty Crawford earned 51 penalty minutes in only 9 games after being acquired from Ottawa.[6]

In goal, Hap Holmes played the majority of games, earning a club high 10 victories, while backup Arthur Brooks posted a team best 4.00 GAA.[7]

Final standings[edit]

First Half
Montreal Canadiens 14 10 4 0 20 81 47
Toronto Hockey Club 14 8 6 0 16 71 75
Ottawa Senators 14 5 9 0 10 67 79
Montreal Wanderers 6 1 5 0 2 17 35
Second Half
Toronto Hockey Club 8 5 3 0 10 37 34
Ottawa Senators 8 4 4 0 8 35 35
Montreal Canadiens 8 3 5 0 6 34 37

[8] Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.
The Wanderers defaulted scheduled games against the Canadiens (Jan. 2, 1918) and Toronto (Jan. 5, 1918), when their arena burned down.
These appear as losses in the standings, but the games were not played.[9]

Record vs. opponents[edit]

1917-18 NHL Records
M. Canadiens 2–0 6–4 5–5
M. Wanderers 0–2 0–2 1–1
Ottawa 4–6 2–0 3–7
Toronto 5–5 1–1 7–3

Schedule and results[edit]

First half[edit]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record Pts
1 December 19 Toronto 9–10 Montreal Wanderers 0–1–0 0
2 December 22 Ottawa Senators 4–11 Toronto 1–1–0 2
3 December 26 Montreal Canadiens 5–7 Toronto 2–1–0 4
4 December 29 Toronto 2–9 Montreal Canadiens 2–2–0 4
5 January 2 Toronto 6–5 Ottawa Senators 3–2–0 6
6 January 5 Montreal Wanderers 0–0 Toronto 4–2–0 8
7 January 9 Montreal Canadiens 4–6 Toronto 5–2–0 10
8 January 14 Toronto 6–9 Ottawa Senators 5–3–0 10
9 January 16 Ottawa Senators 4–5 Toronto 6–3–0 12
10 January 19 Toronto 1–5 Montreal Canadiens 6–4–0 12
11 January 26 Toronto 3–6 Ottawa Senators 6–5–0 12
12 January 28 Montreal Canadiens 1–5 Toronto 7–5–0 14
13 February 2 Toronto 2–11 Montreal Canadiens 7–6–0 14
14 February 4 Ottawa Senators 2–8 Toronto 8–6–0 16
  • Montreal Wanderers forfeit game on January 5.

Second half[edit]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record Pts
1 February 9 Toronto 7–3 Montreal Canadiens 1–0–0 2
2 February 11 Ottawa Senators 1–3 Toronto 2–0–0 4
3 February 13 Toronto 6–1 Ottawa Senators 3–0–0 6
4 February 18 Montreal Canadiens 9–0 Toronto 3–1–0 6
5 February 20 Toronto 4–5 Montreal Canadiens 3–2–0 6
6 February 23 Ottawa Senators 3–9 Toronto 4–2–0 8
7 March 2 Montreal Canadiens 3–5 Toronto 5–2–0 10
8 March 6 Toronto 3–9 Ottawa Senators 5–3–0 10


Toronto 10, Montreal Canadiens 7[edit]

The Torontos qualified for the post-season as they had the best record in the league in the second half of the season, and faced the Montreal Canadiens, who were qualifiers from the first half-season, in a two-game total goal series.

In the first game at Mutual Street Arena, with Hap Holmes in goal for the Torontos, against Georges Vezina of the Canadiens. Toronto took an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Harry Meeking five minutes into the game. The Torontos Ken Randall gave the club a 2-0 heading into the second period. Montreal cut into Toronto's lead, as Newsy Lalonde scored four minutes into the second period, however, a minute later, the Torontos restored their two-goal lead as Harry Meeking scored his second goal of the game. In the third period, Harry Meeking scored his third of the game to give Toronto a 4-1 lead. Bert Corbeau cut the Torontos lead down to 4-2 after he scored two minutes later, however, two quick Toronto goals, one by Jack Adams and another by Harry Cameron gave the team a commanding 6-2 lead. Newsy Lalonde scored his second of the game a minute after Cameron's goal, cutting the lead to 6-3, but the Torontos responded on a goal by Harry Mummery, giving them a 7-3 win.

The series moved to the Jubilee Arena for the second game, with Hap Holmes getting the start for Toronto against Georges Vezina of Montreal. Reg Noble scored the only goal of the first period, giving Toronto a 1-0 lead. In the second period, Montreal tied the game on a goal by Joe Malone, and took a 2-1 lead after a goal by Jack Mcdonald. The Torontos Rusty Crawford tied the game 2-2 late in the period. The Canadiens Newsy Lalonde scored early in the third, giving Montreal a 3-2 lead, however, Rusty Crawford tied it for Toronto midway through the period. Two and a half minutes later, Newsy Lalonde gave Montreal a 4-3 lead, however, that was all the Canadiens could do, as Toronto defeated Montreal 10-7 in the two game total goal series.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 March 11 Montreal Canadiens 3–7 Toronto 1–0
2 March 13 Toronto 3–4 Montreal Canadiens 1–1

Stanley Cup final[edit]

The Toronto club would face the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHA to determine the winner of the 1918 Stanley Cup Finals in a best of 5 series, with all games being played at Mutual Street Arena. The Torontos took the series opener by a 5–3 score, with the Millionaires earning a 6–4 win in the second game. The teams would again split the next two games, setting up a fifth and final game. The Torontos would hold off the Millionaires with 2–1 victory, as Corbett Denneny scored the winning goal of the series.[10]

Toronto 3, Vancouver Millionaires 2
# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 March 20 Vancouver Millionaires 3–5 Toronto 1–0
2 March 23 Toronto 4–6 Vancouver Millionaires 1–1
3 March 26 Vancouver Millionaires 3–6 Toronto 2–1
4 March 28 Toronto 1–8 Vancouver Millionaires 2–2
5 March 30 Vancouver Millionaires 1–2 Toronto 3–2
  • Games 1, 3, and 5 played with NHL rules, Games 2 and 4 played with PCHA rules.

Player statistics[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Reg Noble 20 30 10 40 35
Corb Denneny 21 20 9 29 14
Harry Cameron 21 17 10 27 28
Harry Meeking 21 10 9 19 28
Alf Skinner 20 13 5 18 28
Ken Randall 21 12 2 14 96
Harry Mummery 18 3 3 6 41
Rusty Crawford 8 1 2 3 51
Jack Coughlin 5 2 0 2 3
Jack Adams 8 0 0 0 31
Art Brooks 4 0 0 0 0
Sammy Hebert 2 0 0 0 0
Hap Holmes 16 0 0 0 0
Jack Marks 5 0 0 0 0


Arthur Brooks 4 220 2 1 0 23 0 4.00
Hap Holmes 16 965 10 7 0 76 0 4.73
Sammy Hebert 1 70 0 1 0 10 0 8.57
Pos = Position; GPI = Games played in; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes; +/- = Plus/minus; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals
Min, TOI = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T,T/OT = Ties; OTL = Overtime losses; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts; SA = Shots against; SV = Shots saved; SV% = Save percentage;

Awards and records[edit]


Torontos 1918 Stanley Cup champions[edit]



Coaching and administrative staff

a Played rover position in the Stanley Cup series.
b Released before playoffs.
c Did not play in Stanley Cup series due to ineligibility.

Stanley Cup engraving

Even though they officially did not win the Cup during this season, the Vancouver club had the words "Vancouver/Defeated Seattle/1917–18/Score 1–0" engraved on the Cup after winning the PCHA championship over the Metropolitans, who won the previous year's Cup finals. This was similar to the practice prior to 1915 when the trophy was officially passed on to the winner of the league championship of the previous Cup champion's league.

However, the Toronto club never did engrave their name on the Cup to memorialize their series victory over Vancouver. At the time, the NHL club was in a dispute with the owner of the NHA Toronto franchise holder over the Stanley Cup revenues. In 1948, the NHL engraved "1918 Toronto Arenas" on the Cup.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Morrison, John; Mclatchy, Doug (1996). The Toronto Blue Shirts a.k.a. The Torontos, the NHL's first Stanley Cup champions 1917–1918. Hockey Information Service Inc. ISBN 1-894014-00-6.
  2. ^ a b McFarlane, Brian. "Early Leagues and the Birth of the NHL". National Hockey League. Archived from the original on November 30, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
  3. ^ Holzman, Morey; Joseph Nieforth (2002). "Lichtenhein Loses the War". Deceptions and Doublecross: How the NHL Conquered Hockey. Toronto: Dundurn Press. pp. 169–70. ISBN 1-55002-413-2. The league did not accept the Wanderers' resignation immediately, electing to wait and see whether the team showed up for its scheduled match in Toronto on Saturday January 5. ... The deadline did expire, and the once-powerful team that had been known as the Little Men of Iron was thrown onto the scrap heap of hockey history. The Wanderers' scheduled games of January 2 and 5 were officially recorded in the standings as victories for their respective opponents, the Canadiens and Torontos.
  4. ^ Final NHL Standings 1917–18
  5. ^ Borden D. Mills. "Kenora Thistles: 1907 Stanley Cup Champions: Joe Hall". Archived from the original on 2009-10-20.
  6. ^ 1917–18 National Hockey League [NHL] standings at hockeydb.com
  7. ^ Toronto Arenas goaltending history : Harry "Hap" Holmes
  8. ^ Standings: NHL Public Relations Department (2008). Dave McCarthy; et al. (eds.). THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Official Guide & Record Book/2009. National Hockey League. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0.
  9. ^ Holzman, Morey; Joseph Nieforth (2002). "Lichtenhein Loses the War". Deceptions and Doublecross: How the NHL Conquered Hockey. Toronto: Dundurn Press. pp. 169–70. ISBN 1-55002-413-2. The league did not accept the Wanderers' resignation immediately, electing to wait and see whether the team showed up for its scheduled match in Toronto on Saturday January 5. ... The deadline did expire, and the once-powerful team that had been known as the Little Men of Iron was thrown onto the scrap heap of hockey history. The Wanderers' scheduled games of January 2 and 5 were officially recorded in the standings as victories for their respective opponents, the Canadiens and Torontos.
  10. ^ Legends of Hockey – Silverware – 1917–18 Stanley Cup Winner – Toronto Arenas