Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association
|Ottawa Hockey Club|
|Most titles||Montreal Wanderers|
The Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association (ECAHA) was a men's amateur – later professional – ice hockey league in Canada that played four seasons. It was founded on December 11, 1905 with the top clubs from two other leagues: four from the Canadian Amateur Hockey League (CAHL) and two from the Federal Amateur Hockey League (FAHL). It was formed to maximize the revenues of a now popular spectator sport and help these amateur teams cope with professionalism in the sport. The league would shed its amateur status for the 1908 season, leading to the split between Canadian amateur ice hockey teams playing for the Allan Cup, and the professionals playing for the Stanley Cup. The league would itself dissolve in 1909 over a dispute between team owners over business issues.
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The CAHL held its regular meeting on December 9, 1905. At that meeting it was decided that amalgamation with the FAHL should be attempted. On December 11, it was announced that the amalgamation would form a new league, the ECAHA. The CAHL was discontinued, but the FAHL would continue. The first executive was elected:
- Howard Wilson, Montreal (president)
- G. P. Murphy, Ottawa (1st vice-president)
- Dr. Cameron, Montreal (2nd vice-president)
- James Strachan, Wanderers ( Secretary-treasurer)
However, on December 20, the vice-president titles were abolished and the Secretary-treasurer position was given to William Northey of the Montreal Arena Company.
From the start, the league allowed teams to openly use professional players. The players who were professionals had to be printed publicly. In 1908, the amateur-only Montreal Victorias and Montreal Hockey Club teams left the league. The league became a professional-only league, leading to several amateurs retiring from their teams. In significance of the change the league was renamed the Eastern Canada Hockey Association.
In November 1909, the league dissolved over the plans of the Wanderers to move to an arena with fewer (revenue paying) spectator seats. The three other teams announced that they were leaving the ECHA, creating the Canadian Hockey Association (CHA). The Wanderers helped form a competing league, the National Hockey Association (NHA). The CHA played for less than two weeks, merging with the NHA in January 1910.
A silver championship trophy, designated the 'Arena Cup', was donated by the Montreal Arena Company. It was crafted from 90 ounces (2.6 kg) of sterling silver and designed by Birk's of Montreal. After the Wanderers won it in 1906 through 1908, they were given the trophy permanently, a condition engraved in the silver of the trophy. The trophy is now on permanent display in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
|1906||Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Shamrocks, Montreal Victorias, Montreal Wanderers†A, Ottawa Hockey Club†A, Quebec HC||Ottawa and Wanderers tied (best record)
Wanderers won two-game playoff
|1907||Montreal HC, Montreal Shamrocks, Montreal Victorias, Montreal Wanderers†, Ottawa HC, Quebec HC||Wanderers (best record)|
|1907–08||Montreal HC, Montreal Shamrocks, Montreal Victorias, Montreal Wanderers†, Ottawa HC, Quebec HC||Wanderers (best record)|
|1909||Montreal Shamrocks, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa HC†, Quebec HC||Ottawa (best record)|
† Stanley Cup Champions.
A - Ottawa and Wanderers are both considered 1906 Stanley Cup Champions.
References & notes
- Coleman, Charles (1966). The Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol. 1, 1893–1926 inc.
- "Historic Trophies: Arena Cup". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- Hockey Hall of Fame. Other years have multiple winners, including 1907 when the Wanderers lost the Cup and won it back. Since Ottawa was already the holder of the Cup, others consider it merely a successful defense of the Cup.