Author: Al Young

Al Young is a sports stats enthusiast and budding web designer. He loves how hockey history created legends and wanted to combine that with how hockey stats can be tell stories as well. IceHockeyLeagues.com is another web site dedicated to the FanSeeStats.com group of 'stats-as-stories' web properties.

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1893-1898 Summary

The Amateur Hockey Association played five of its first six seasons in a challenger format, a championship process we see in boxing where the winning party continues to hold the championship title until defeated. The AHAC did play its second season in 1888 in a balanced, round-robin format but switched back to challenge play from 1889 until 1892. In 1893 this all changed.

The six seasons from 1893 to 1898 are summarized below as a single entity because the AHAC adopted three critical practices in 1893:

  1. The AHAC would become the official premier hockey league when its champion was gifted the first ever Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup.
  2. The AHAC switched to an ongoing round-robin format for each subsequent season, a tradition that has been followed ever since.
  3. The membership of the AHAC would become set with five premier clubs: Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Victorias, Montreal Crystals/Shamrocks, Quebec Hockey Club, and Ottawa Hockey Club.

 

Team TGP TW TL TT TGF TGA SW/SP
Montreal Victorias 48 34 13 1 233 158 4/6
Montreal Hockey Club 48 28 20 0 185 135 2/6
Ottawa Hockey Club 48 28 20 0 173 140 0/6
Quebec Hockey Club 47 17 29 1 141 204 0/6
Montreal Shamrocks 31 8 23 0 89 142 0/4
Montreal Crystals* 16 3 13 0 35 77 0/2

 

* The Montreal Crystals were absorbed into and replaced by the Shamrocks in 1895.

SW/SP = Seasons Won / Seasons Played

 

Legacy of the Amatuer Hockey Association of Canada

The Amateur Hockey Association of Canada would establish itself as Canada’s (and the World’s) elite hockey league between 1887 and 1898. The MWC Tournament was the first ever organized ice hockey tournament that lead to the creation of the first ice hockey league, making the MWC Tournament the direct predecessor to the AHAC for historical and statistical purposes.

The Tournament helped establish Ice Hockey through the following important events:

  • First organized inter-city ice hockey competition, establishing Montreal as the premier ice hockey city in 1883.
  • First international ice hockey tournament when Tournament was moved to Vermont, USA for one year in 1886.
  • The top tournament teams went on to form first ice hockey league in 1887.
  • Canada’s Governor General Lord Stanley was inspired by watching MWC Tournament play in 1889 to the point that he considered donating a Championship Cup to Canada’s top hockey teams. He would later donate the Stanley Cup in 1893, ten years after the Tournament was established.
AHAC Senior Division
Season Number of Teams Format Champions
1887 5 Teams Challenge Montreal Crystals (final challenge)
1888 4 Teams Series Montreal Hockey Club (playoff)
1889 5 Teams Challenge Montreal Hockey Club (final challenge)
1890 4 Teams Challenge Montreal Hockey Club (final challenge)
1891 6 Teams Challenge Montreal Hockey Club (final challenge)
1892 4 Teams Challenge Montreal Hockey Club (final challenge)
1893 5 Teams Series Montreal Hockey Club (best record)
1894 5 Teams Series Montreal Hockey Club (playoffs)
1895 5 Teams Series Montreal Victorias (best record)
1896 5 Teams Series Montreal Victorias (best record)
1897 5 Teams Series Montreal Victorias (best record)
1898 5 Teams Series Montreal Victorias (best record)


 

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada Cumulative Standings:

Team TGP TW TL TT TGF TGA SW/SP
Montreal Hockey Club 78 52 26 0 288 189 7/12
Montreal Victorias 67 45 21 1 291 194 4/11
Montreal Crystals 34 8 26 0 74 134 1/7
Ottawa Hockey Club 57 34 23 0 205 161 0/9
Quebec Hockey Club 52 17 34 1 147 218 0/10
Montreal Shamrocks 34 8 26 0 94 159 0/6
McGill University 8 0 8 0 5 49 0/2

SV = Seasons Won / SP = Seasons Played

 


 

Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament Cumulative Championship Points

IceHockeyLeagues.com Premier-League Championship Points span to 1887-98
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 7 (1888-94) 22
Montreal Victorias 4 (1895-98) 16
Montreal Crystals 1 (1887) 4

Team: Montreal Wanderers (1884)

 

 

Montreal Wanderers (1884)

 

In the 1880s there was a few teams called the Wanderers hailing from Montreal. The team that forfeited two of their three games in 1884 is not the same organization that played such an important role in Hockey in the early 1900s. This team shared the Wanderers name, but that is all.

 

 

 

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Team: Montreal Football Club

 

Montreal Football Club

 

Back in the day when athletic clubs kept in shape by playing in different sports, the Montreal Football Club played hockey in the winter months. Besides lending a critical hand in helping establish Ice Hockey, the Montreal Football Club played only a single game in a single season in 1885 at the premier hockey level. They went on to play a critical role in Canadian Football.

 

 

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Team: McGill University Hockey Club

 

McGill University H.C. was an elite hockey club that was formed by students who played at Montreal’s McGill University. This team helped establish Ice Hockey by playing in the earliest games and played to a high enough level to win the first ever Montreal Winter Carnival Tournament in 1883. By the end of the 1880s it had stopped playing in the top leagues and instead switched over to recreational and college competitions.

 

McGill University

 

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McGill University H.C. has the distinction of being the first ever team to win a premier league championship after seven seasons of play in two different leagues. McGill had two of its Montreal Winter Carnival seasons cancelled and when it played in its first and only full round-robin season in 1888 it was painfully evident that it could no longer compete at the premier league level.

 

Team: Montreal Crystals

 

 

Montreal Crystals

The Montreal Crystals was a hockey club that played for the first decade of premier league hockey. In 1887 they were the first team to win the AHAC championship but had the unfortunate distinction of winning it despite having a poor record by virtue of winning the final challenge game. This created enough controversy that the AHAC instituted in 1888 a round-robin season.

The Crystals went on a identity crisis during the later years, adopting the monikers (Domions and Crescents) before returning back to the Crystals. The club and team then folded and the best pieces would be picked up by the Montreal Shamrocks in 1895.

 

 

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Canadian Amateur Hockey League, 1899

In 1899, the Canadian Amateur Hockey League replaced the AHAC as the premier hockey league. This was created following a conflict within the AHAC, leading for the first Hockey Schism.

The CAHL was started by the top division teams from the AHAC, . The Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Shamrocks, Montreal Victorias, Quebec Hockey Club, and the Ottawa Hockey Club participated in a balanced, round-robin league schedule.

The first season played in 1899 (played from January 7 to March 4) saw The Montreal Shamrocks win the Championship. 1899 was the seventh year that the Dominion Challenge Cup was awarded. The Montreal Shamrocks also was awarded the Cup by winning a cup challenge game against the Ottawa Capitals of the Central Canada Hockey Association (CCHA).

IceHockeyLeagues.com Premier-League Championship Points span to 1883-99
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 9 (1885-86, 88-94) 30
Montreal Victorias 5 (1884, 95-98) 20
Montreal Shamrocks 1 (1899) 4 (+4)
Montreal Crystals 1 (1887) 4
McGill University 1 (1883) 2

The CAHL was the second premier Ice Hockey league, formed by four Quebec-based teams plus Ottawa. These five teams all played in the MWC Tournament and AHAC so that tournament and league are the direct predecessors to the CAHL for historical and statistical purposes.

Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, 1899

Edited from Wikipedia entry:

Lord Stanley of Preston as Governor General of Canada became highly enthusiastic about ice hockey. Stanley was first exposed to the game at Montreal’s 1889 Winter Carnival, where he saw the Montreal Victorias play the Montreal Hockey Club.

Stanley’s entire family became active in ice hockey. Two of his sons, Arthur and Algernon, formed a new team called the Ottawa Rideau Hall Rebels. Arthur also played a key role in the formation of what later became known as the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), and would go on to be the founder of ice hockey in Great Britain.

Arthur and Algernon persuaded their father to donate a trophy to be “an outward and visible sign of the hockey championship”. Stanley sent the following message to the victory celebration for the three-time OHA champion Ottawa Hockey Club:

“I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup which should be held from year to year by the champion hockey team in the Dominion [of Canada].

There does not appear to be any such outward sign of a championship at present, and considering the general interest which matches now elicit, and the importance of having the game played fairly and under rules generally recognized, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held from year to year by the winning team.

I am not quite certain that the present regulations governing the arrangement of matches give entire satisfaction, and it would be worth considering whether they could not be arranged so that each team would play once at home and once at the place where their opponents hail from.”

As regular season champions of the CAHL in 1899, the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup (known today as the Stanley Cup) was to awarded to Montreal Shamrocks. But before the Shamrocks were crowned cup champion, the Montreal Victorias (1898 cup champion) played and won a cup challenge against the Manitoba Hockey Association (MHA) champion Winnipeg Victories. The result of the matches was:

February 15, 1899 – Montreal Victorias (CAHL) 2–1 over Winnipeg Victorias (MHA) in Montreal.

February 18, 1899 – Montreal Shamrocks (CAHL) 3–2 over Winnipeg Victorias (MHA) in Montreal.

After defending the Challenge Cup, the Montreal Victorias did not win the CAHL regular season championship, which was instead won by the Montreal Shamrocks.

The Shamrocks then accepted one challenge by the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) champion Queen’s University. The result of the match was:

March 14, 1899 – Montreal Shamrocks (CAHL) 6–2 over Queen’s University (OHA) in Montreal.

Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup to December 31, 1899
Team Start End Challengers # of days total days
Montreal Victorias (AHAC) January 1, 1899 March 3, 1899 CAHL loss 62 1,136
Montreal Hockey Club (AHAC)          – 720
Winnipeg Victorias (MHA)          – 320
Montreal Shamrocks (CAHL) March 4, 1899 December 31, 1899 CAHL win; Defeated OHA 303 303

There are actually three Stanley Cups in existence:
1) Stanley’s original Cup from 1892, known as the “Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup” was awarded until 1970, and is now on display in the Vault Room at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
2) In 1963, NHL president Clarence Campbell believed that the original Cup had become too brittle to give to championship teams, so the “Presentation Cup” was created and is the well-known trophy awarded today.
3) The final Cup is a “Replica Presentation Cup”, which was created in 1993 by Montreal silversmith Louise St. Jacques and is used as a stand-in at the Hall of Fame when the Presentation Cup isn’t available.

Unlike other major league sports trophies, a new Cup isn’t made every year. Instead, after each championship, the names of the players, coaches, management, and staff of the winning team are added to the Cup. The first team to have its roster engraved was the 1906-07 Montreal Wanderers, whose names were etched within the inner bowl of the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. The only other team names engraved on the inner bowl are the 1914-15 Vancouver Millionaires.

Canadian Amateur Hockey League, 1900

In 1900, the Canadian Amateur Hockey League played its second season, having replaced the AHAC as the premier hockey league in 1899. This was created following a conflict within the AHAC, leading for the first Hockey Schism.

The CAHL was started by the top division teams from the AHAC, . The Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Shamrocks, Montreal Victorias, Quebec Hockey Club, and the Ottawa Hockey Club participated in a balanced, round-robin league schedule.

The second season played in 1900 (played from January 6 to March 10) saw The Montreal Shamrocks win the Championship. 1900 was the eighth year that the Dominion Challenge Cup was awarded. The Montreal Shamrocks also retained the Cup by winning playoff games against the Winnipeg Victorias of the Manitoba Hockey Association (MHA) and the Halifax Crescents of the Maritimes Professional Hockey League (MaPHL) before winning the CAHL regular season.

IceHockeyLeagues.com Premier-League Championship Points span to 1883-1900
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 9 (1885-86, 88-94) 30
Montreal Victorias 5 (1884, 95-98) 20
Montreal Shamrocks 2 (1899-1900) 8 (+4)
Montreal Crystals 1 (1887) 4
McGill University 1 (1883) 2

The CAHL was the second premier Ice Hockey league, formed by four Quebec-based teams plus Ottawa. These five teams all played in the MWC Tournament and AHAC so that tournament and league are the direct predecessors to the CAHL for historical and statistical purposes.

Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, 1900

Edited from Wikipedia entry:

Lord Stanley of Preston as Governor General of Canada became highly enthusiastic about ice hockey. Stanley was first exposed to the game at Montreal’s 1889 Winter Carnival, where he saw the Montreal Victorias play the Montreal Hockey Club.

Stanley’s entire family became active in ice hockey. Two of his sons, Arthur and Algernon, formed a new team called the Ottawa Rideau Hall Rebels. Arthur also played a key role in the formation of what later became known as the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), and would go on to be the founder of ice hockey in Great Britain.

Arthur and Algernon persuaded their father to donate a trophy to be “an outward and visible sign of the hockey championship”. Stanley sent the following message to the victory celebration for the three-time OHA champion Ottawa Hockey Club:

“I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup which should be held from year to year by the champion hockey team in the Dominion [of Canada].

There does not appear to be any such outward sign of a championship at present, and considering the general interest which matches now elicit, and the importance of having the game played fairly and under rules generally recognized, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held from year to year by the winning team.

I am not quite certain that the present regulations governing the arrangement of matches give entire satisfaction, and it would be worth considering whether they could not be arranged so that each team would play once at home and once at the place where their opponents hail from.”

As regular season champions of the CAHL in 1900, the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup (known today as the Stanley Cup) was to awarded to Montreal Shamrocks.

Just prior to playing the upcoming CAHL seasons, the Shamrocks accepted two desperate challenges; Winnipeg Victorias of the Manitoba Hockey Association (MHA)  and the Halifax Crescents of the Halifax City Hockey League (HCHL). The results of these matches was:

February 12, 1900 – Winnipeg Victorias (MHL) 4-3 over Montreal Shamrocks (CAHL) in Montreal.

February 14, 1900 – Montreal Shamrocks (CAHL) 3-2 over Winnipeg Victorias (MHL) in Montreal.

February 16, 1900 – Montreal Shamrocks (CAHL) 5-4 over Winnipeg Victorias (MHL) in Montreal.

March 5, 1900 – Montreal Shamrocks (CAHL) 10-2 over Halifax Crescents (HCHL) in Montreal.

March 7, 1900 – Montreal Shamrocks (CAHL) 11-0 over Halifax Crescents (HCHL) in Montreal.

 

Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup to December 31, 1900
Team Start End Challengers # of days total days
Montreal Victorias (AHAC) 1,075
Montreal Hockey Club (AHAC) 720
Montreal Shamrocks (CAHL) January 1, 1900 December 31, 1900 CAHL win; Defeated MHA and MaPHL 367 670
Winnipeg Victorias (MHA) 320

There are actually three Stanley Cups in existence:
1) Stanley’s original Cup from 1892, known as the “Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup” was awarded until 1970, and is now on display in the Vault Room at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
2) In 1963, NHL president Clarence Campbell believed that the original Cup had become too brittle to give to championship teams, so the “Presentation Cup” was created and is the well-known trophy awarded today.
3) The final Cup is a “Replica Presentation Cup”, which was created in 1993 by Montreal silversmith Louise St. Jacques and is used as a stand-in at the Hall of Fame when the Presentation Cup isn’t available.

Unlike other major league sports trophies, a new Cup isn’t made every year. Instead, after each championship, the names of the players, coaches, management, and staff of the winning team are added to the Cup. The first team to have its roster engraved was the 1906-07 Montreal Wanderers, whose names were etched within the inner bowl of the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. The only other team names engraved on the inner bowl are the 1914-15 Vancouver Millionaires.