1910 NHA season

Last updated
1910 NHA season
League National Hockey Association
Sport Ice hockey
DurationJanuary 5 – March 15, 1910
Number of games12
Number of teams7
Regular season
Top scorer Newsy Lalonde (38)
O'Brien Cup
Champions Montreal Wanderers
  Runners-up Ottawa Hockey Club
NHA seasons

The 1910 NHA season was the first season of the National Hockey Association men's professional ice hockey league. The season started on January 5, but was suspended immediately and the league then absorbed the Ottawa and Shamrocks teams of the Canadian Hockey Association and the season continued from January 15 to March 15. Seven teams played 12 games each. The Ottawa Hockey Club played two Stanley Cup challenges during the season, but lost the Cup to their rivals the Montreal Wanderers who won the league championship and played a Cup challenge afterwards.


League business

After the Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) turned down the Wanderers' application to join, Wanderers' manager Jimmy Gardner, along with Renfrew's Ambrose O'Brien worked to put together enough teams to form a league. Gardner approached the Ottawa Senators of the Federal League to have an Ottawa entry, but the players decided to fold the team, rather than compete with the Ottawa Hockey Club. [1] Gardner also approached the Mutual Street Rink of Toronto to form a professional team, but was turned down as the rink was fully booked. [2]

The league was founded on December 2, 1909, at a private meeting at 300 St. James Street, the headquarters of the Dominion Office and Store Fitting Limited in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. [3] At this meeting four franchises were approved:

Eddie McCafferty acted as secretary, and he also was representative of interests in Toronto. A franchise would be held for a future Toronto team. The NHA discussed organizing a team in Ottawa with the Ottawa Lacrosse Club and getting Montreal Le National to join the NHA. [3] The Wanderers and Renfrew signed a pact not to merge with the CHA unless Cobalt and Haileybury were also admitted. [4] The teams pledged a $1,000 bond to stay together. [5]

Two days later on December 4, the NHA held an organizing meeting at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal. The CHA was meeting at the hotel also, and a message was sent to the Ottawa, Shamrocks and Le National teams to seek a merged seven-team league. This was turned down by the CHA, which would not accept Cobalt and Haileybury. [4] The CHA proposed that Renfrew and Wanderers join the CHA, but the NHA teams turned that proposal down. [5]

An executive was elected:

At the meeting, a franchise for 'Les Canadiens' was granted, to be organized by Jack Laviolette. Mr. Hare of Cobalt put up a security deposit for the franchise on the understanding that it would be transferred to Montreal French sportsmen as soon as possible. [6]

The NHA decided to run the league in a more business-like manner. The league decided to write a standard player's contract. McCafferty, who was also secretary of the Montreal Baseball Club, was to draw up the contract. The NHA also decided to have professional referees. Both of these were innovations in the world of ice hockey. [5]

Regular season

The first Canadiens game ever took place on January 5 under a cloud. Didier Pitre had signed a contract with both the Canadiens and the Nationals. Pitre was risking a $2,000 fine and 60 days jail time. The Nationals had a legal injunction against Pitre playing for the Canadiens. This contributed to an over-capacity crowd at the Jubilee Rink of about 5,000. Pitre did play (he was guaranteed any fines by Canadiens' management) and court action commenced. Pitre was found to not to have a binding contract with the Nationals by the courts. By this time, the CHA had folded, and no contract was enforceable. Pitre would have a long career with the Canadiens, playing into the 1920s. [7]

On January 15, a meeting was held by the league executive and Ottawa and Montreal Shamrocks were admitted to the NHA. The games played before that date were thrown out, and games from that date forwards counted towards the final standings. [8]

On January 22, at a game between Renfrew and Shamrocks, Shamrock's Joe Hall was ejected for striking the judge-of-play Rod Kennedy. After regulation time, the game was tied. Referee Tom Hodge proposed that Hall return for the overtime, but Renfrew objected and did not play the overtime. Hall was later fined $100 for the incident and suspended until January 30. The game was ordered replayed but wasn't due to ice conditions and the game results were accepted as a tie. [9]

On Cyclone Taylor's first return to Ottawa as a member of the Renfrew team, he made his famous promise to score a goal backwards against Ottawa. This led to incredible interest, with over 7000 in attendance. A bet of $100 was placed at the King Edward Hotel against him scoring at all. [10] The Senators would win 8–5 (3 goals in overtime) and more importantly keep Taylor off the scoresheet. Later in the season at the return match in Renfrew, Taylor made good on his boast with a goal scored backwards. This was the final game of the season, and the Senators had no chance at the league title, and don't appear to have put in an effort, losing 17–2. [11]

Final standings

National Hockey Association
Montreal Wanderers 1211109141
Ottawa Hockey Club 129308966
Renfrew Creamery Kings 128319654
Cobalt Silver Kings 1248079104
Haileybury Hockey Club 124807783
Montreal Shamrocks 123815295
Les Canadiens 12210059100


Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF= Goals For, GA = Goals Against

Stanley Cup challenges

During the season, Ottawa, as Cup champion, played a challenge against Edmonton Hockey Club in addition to their regular schedule. They had played a challenge during the CHA season against Galt.

Ottawa vs. Edmonton

Edmonton was champion of the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association.

January 18
Jack WinchesterGPercy LeSueur
William FieldPFred Lake
Hugh RossCPHamby Shore
Fred Whitcroft 2ROBruce Stuart, Capt.2
Harold Deeton 1CMarty Walsh1
Hay Millar 1RWGordon Roberts4
Bert Boulton LWBruce Ridpath1
Referees – Bowie & Campbell
January 20
Jack WinchesterGPercy LeSueur
William FieldPFred Lake
Hugh RossCPHamby Shore1
Fred Whitcroft3ROBruce Stuart, Capt.5
Harold Deeton2CMarty Walsh1
Hay MillarRWGordon Roberts3
Bert Boulton2LWBruce Ridpath3
Referees – Bowie & Campbell

NHA league champions take over Stanley Cup

The Wanderers won the championship of the NHA and took possession of the Stanley Cup from Ottawa. They had a challenge from Berlin, champions of the Ontario Professional Hockey League and easily defeated them. For 1910, there would be two Stanley Cup holders, Ottawa which held and defended it until March, and Montreal for the rest of the year.

Wanderers vs. Berlin

March 12
Hugh Lehman, Capt.GWilliam "Riley" Hern
Albert Seibert 1PJack Marshall
Harvey Corbeau 1CPErnie Johnson
E. "Toad" Edmunds ROFrank "Pud" Glass, Capt.
Roy Anderson CHarry Hyland3
Ezra Dumart RWErnie Russell4
Oren Frood 1LWJimmy Gardner
Referees – Bowie & Kirby

NHA exhibitions at New York

After the season, the NHA arranged an 'international championship' at New York City's St. Nicholas Rink. Like the previous spring, Ottawa and Wanderers played a two-game series in New York for a purse of $1,500. Wanderers won both games 4–3. Renfrew next travelled to New York and defeated the Wanderers in a single game for $1,000.

DateWinning TeamScoreLosing Team
March 15, 1910Montreal Wanderers4–3Ottawa HC
March 16, 1910Montreal Wanderers4–3Ottawa HC
March 19, 1910Renfrew Millionaires9–4Montreal Wanderers

Schedule and results

Jan.5Cobalt6Canadiens7 (5'35" over.)†
8Cobalt6Wanderers10 †
12Cobalt11Renfrew9 †
18Cobalt7Haileybury6 (4'30" over.)
25Haileybury2Shamrocks3 (30" over.)
12Renfrew5Ottawa8 (10' over.)
11Shamrocks4Canadiens5 (12' over.)

† Games played before January 15, which were played before the CHA teams joined were not counted against the final standings.

‡ The January 22 game was abandoned due to an on-ice incident. It was ordered replayed on March 2 in Ottawa, but wasn't played due to soft ice in Ottawa.

Player statistics

Goaltending averages

Note: GP = Games played, GA = Goals against, SO = Shutouts, GAA = Goals against average

Nicholson, Billy Haileybury133.0
Hern, Riley Wanderers124113.4
Lindsay, Bert Renfrew12544.5
Winchester, Jack Shamrocks5265.2
LeSueur, Percy Ottawa126615.5
Moran, Paddy Haileybury11807.3
Broughton, George Shamrocks5438.6
Cattarinich, Joe Canadiens3237.7
Groulx, Teddy Canadiens9778.6
Jones, Chief Cobalt121048.7
Baker, Bill Shamrocks22613.0

Scoring leaders

Newsy Lalonde Montreal Canadiens
Renfrew Creamery Kings
Ernie Russell Montreal Wanderers 123251
Harry Smith Cobalt Silver Kings
Haileybury Hockey Club
Lester Patrick Renfrew Creamery Kings122425
Harry Hyland Montreal Wanderers112023
Herb Clarke Cobalt Silver Kings122027
Horace Gaul Haileybury Hockey Club122053
Marty Walsh Ottawa Senators 111944
Steve Vair Cobalt Silver Kings12178
Bruce Ridpath Ottawa Senators121632

Stanley Cup engraving

The 1910 Stanley Cup was presented by the trophy's trustee William Foran. The Wanderers never did engrave their names on the Cup for their championship season.

The following Wanderers players and staff were eligible to have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup

1910 Montreal Wanderers



Coaching and administrative staff

  • Filbert Strachan (President)
  • Dickie Boon (Manager)
  • Robert "Bob" Stephanson (Vice President)
  • Dr. Walter Dorion (Director)
  • Paul Lefebvre (Trainer)

Stanley Cup engraving

Montreal Wanderers did not put their name on the Stanley Cup. When the trophy was redesigned in 1948 the words "1910 Montreal Wanderers" was put onto its then-new collar.

See also

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  1. "Senators Won't Have a Team". The Ottawa Citizen. December 2, 1909. p. 8.
  2. "Toronto Will Not Enter Team". Ottawa Citizen. December 2, 1909. p. 8.
  3. 1 2 "Big New Professional League Was Launched at Montreal". Ottawa Citizen. December 3, 1909. p. 6.
  4. 1 2 "Peace Overtures Rejected". The Globe. December 6, 1909. p. 8.
  5. 1 2 3 "Seven Club Hockey League Likely Solution of Difficulty". Ottawa Citizen. December 6, 1909. p. 8.
  6. Coleman(1966), pg. 179
  7. O'Brien(1971), pp. 4–9
  8. Coleman(1966), pg. 182
  9. Coleman(1966), pp. 185–186
  10. "none". Ottawa Citizen. February 11, 1910.
  11. Coleman(1966), pg. 189
  12. Standings: Coleman, Charles (1966). Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol. 1, 1893-1926 inc. National Hockey League. p. 190.
Preceded by Montreal Wanderers
Stanley Cup Champions

March 1910
Succeeded by
Preceded by NHA seasons
Succeeded by