Dave Ritchie (ice hockey)
Dave Ritchie pictured with the 1925–26 Montreal Canadiens team
October 1, 1891|
Montreal, QC, CAN
|Died||March 6, 1973
Montreal, QC, CAN
|Height||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)|
David Alexander Ritchie (October 1, 1891 – March 6, 1973) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who played nine seasons in the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Quebec Bulldogs, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Arenas and Montreal Canadiens. He is known for scoring the first goal in NHL history, which he did on December 19, 1917 as a member as the Wanderers in a game against Toronto.
Ritchie turned professional with the Quebec Bulldogs of the National Hockey Association, signing as a free agent with the club in 1914. In three years with Quebec he had 43 points in the 56 games he played. He scored a career high 17 goals in 1916–17 and finished 7th in league scoring. The 1916-17 season would be the last season of operation for the NHA and the last season for the Bulldogs until they resumed operation in the new National Hockey League two years later.
When the Quebec team disbanded, the players were dispersed to the new teams in the NHL. Ritchie was selected by the Montreal Wanderers and joined them for the inaugural NHL season. He would go on to score the first goal in National Hockey League history in the league's first game, the Wanderers versus the Toronto Arenas on December 19, 1917.  A couple of weeks later, on January 2, 1918, the Wanderers home rink, the Montreal Arena was destroyed in a fire. Ritchie's new team inevitably withdrew from the league and the players were dispersed to the remaining three teams in the newly formed league (Toronto Arenas, Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators). He was selected by the Ottawa Senators, playing out the remainder of the season with that club.
In the middle of the 1918–19 NHL season Ritchie signed with the Toronto Arenas on January 17, 1919, and would play in 4 of the clubs remaining 10 games. Before the start of the 1919–20 NHL season he would be transferred to the Quebec Bulldogs, as his old club resumed operation and joined the National Hockey league creating a four team league. Ritchie played in all but one of the teams 24 games that season scoring 6 goals in 23 games in his return to his former team. At the end of the 1919–20 season the Quebec team transferred to Hamilton, Ontario and was renamed. The new Hamilton Tigers traded Ritchie to the Montreal Canadiens before the start of the 1920–21 season. He would only play in 6 games that season and would retire to become a referee. He made a comeback to the NHL and signed on to play 5 games with the Canadiens in 1924-25 and would then play the last two games of his career the following season for Montreal in 1925-26.
In 58 career NHL games, he registered 15 goals and 6 assists for 21 points.
- He played for every team that played in the National Hockey League from 1917 to 1920.
- He was the last active member of the Quebec Bulldogs.
Awards and achievements
- 1917–18 - Scored the first goal in National Hockey League history, December 19, 1917 (Montreal Arena).
Regular season and playoffs
- Signed as a free agent by the Quebec Bulldogs (NHA), December 1, 1914.
- Claimed from the Quebec Bulldogs by the Montreal Wanderers in NHL Dispersal Draft, November 26, 1917.
- Claimed from the Montreal Wanderers by the Ottawa Senators in NHL Dispersal Draft, January 4, 1918.
- Signed as a free agent by the Toronto Arenas, January 17, 1919.
- Transferred from the Toronto Arenas to the Quebec Bulldogs when the franchise returned to the NHL, November 25, 1919.
- Transferred from the Quebec Bulldogs to the Hamilton Tigers after the franchise relocated, November 2, 1920.
- Traded from the Hamilton Tigers with Harry Mummery and Jack McDonald to the Montreal Canadiens for Goldie Prodgers, Joe Matte, Jack Coughlin and the loan of Billy Coutu for the 1920-21 season, November 27, 1920.
- Signed as a free agent by the Montreal Canadiens, January 28, 1925.
- Signed as a free agent by the Montreal Canadiens, January 13, 1926