In 1888, the first ever hockey tournament that debuted at the 1883 Montreal Winter Carnival was cancelled. The teams that normally participated in this tournament undertook a brave experiment by playing a balanced schedule in the new ice hockey league known as the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada (AHAC).
1888 saw no Carnival Cup winner.
|Championships to 1887 Montreal Winter Carnival Tournament|
|Team||# of MWC Championships||MWC Championship Points|
|Montreal Hockey Club||3 (1885-87)||8
|Montreal Victorias||1 (1884)||4|
|McGill University||1 (1883)||2|
In the previous year, the 1887 MWC Tournament was played partway through the AHAC season so teams participated in both league and tournament action. 1888 saw all AHAC teams play a balanced league schedule for the first time ever. The full schedule ended up leaving no time for the teams to play in the MWC Tournament.
Starting in 1883 with only three teams playing three games over two days, the humble beginnings of the MWC Hockey Tournament lead to the creation of the first persistent league. Four Montreal-based teams plus one team from Ottawa played in the MWC and also formed the AHAC in 1887. It is because of this direct linkage the MWC Hockey Tournament is considered to be the direct predecessor to the AHAC for historical and statistical purposes.