The Quebec Senior Hockey League (QSHL) was an ice hockey league that operated between 1941 and 1959 in Quebec, Canada. From 1941, it operated on an amateur basis, before becoming the semi-professional Quebec Hockey League (QHL) in 1953. Most notable of the QSHL's players was Jean Beliveau, who played for the Quebec Aces in 1951-52 and 1952-53.
The origins of the Quebec Senior Hockey League rest with the Quebec Amateur Hockey Association(QAHA) which grew out of the Inter-Provincial Amateur Hockey Union which began play in Quebec from 1908. The bulk of the teams that formed the QSHL were part of the "Montreal Senior Group" of the QAHA. The QAHA re-organized its senior league for 1941 and the QSHL was formed.In November 1944, the QSHL was at odds with the Ottawa District Hockey Association which denied permission for a team from Hull, Quebec to play in the QSHL. George Dudley mediated the dispute and decided that no players would be suspended from the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) while talks were ongoing.
In 1950, the league was reclassified as a "major" league and became ineligible for the Allan Cup. QSHL championship teams would play in the Alexander Cup championship tournament. The 1951 Valleyfield Braves and the 1952 Quebec Aces won the Alexander Cup.
Most notable of the QSHL's players was Jean Beliveau, who played for the Quebec Aces in 1951-52 and 1952-53. The Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League held Béliveau's professional rights, yet the young phenom refused to play for the club, preferring to stay with Quebec. He received a high salary, already twice the NHL average. Beliveau joined Montreal in 1953. That year, the league had become a professional league and Beliveau would have been obligated to play for Montreal as he had signed a 'B' form as a junior. An often-repeated story is Frank J. Selke, the Canadiens' general manager, eventually became fed up, and in 1953 bought the rights to the entire QSHL, and turned it into the professional Quebec Hockey League, forcing Béliveau to play for the Canadiens. However, the QSHL became a professional league after it left the CAHA due to a dispute. It was not bought by the Canadiens.[ citation needed ]
In May 1953, the league decided to leave the CAHA by resigning from the QAHA, which was itself under suspension from the CAHA.After leaving the CAHA, the team owners voted to become professional to protect their player contracts. However, QSHL players who had signed forms with NHL clubs to play professionally, could not sign with the new QHL teams. The players who signed QHL contracts became QHL team property and their contracts could be sold or traded to NHL or other professional leagues.
The QHL disbanded following their 1958-59 season, with the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens, Montreal Royals and Trois-Rivières Lions going to the Eastern Professional Hockey League and the Quebec Aces heading to the American Hockey League.
Amateur QSHL: 1941-42 through 1952-53
Semi-professional QHL: 1953-54 through 1958-59
|1941–42||Cornwall Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Pats, Montreal Royals, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Aces||Ottawa Senators(Season), Quebec Aces(Playoffs)|
|1942–43||Cornwall Flyers, Montreal Army, Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Royals, Ottawa Commandos, Ottawa RCAF Flyers, Quebec Aces||Ottawa Commandos|
|1943–44||Cornwall Army(withdrew), Montreal RCAF(withdrew), Montreal Royals, Ottawa Commandos, Quebec Aces, University of Montreal||Quebec Aces|
|1944-45||Hull Volants, Montreal Royals, Ottawa Commandos, Quebec Aces||Quebec Aces|
|1945-46||Hull Volants, Montreal Royals, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Aces, Shawinigan Cataracts, Valleyfield Braves|| Montreal Royals |
|1946-47||Montreal Royals, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Aces, Shawinigan Cataracts, Valleyfield Braves||Montreal Royals|
|1947-48||Boston Olympics, Montreal Royals, New York Rovers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Aces, Shawinigan Cataracts, Valleyfield Braves|| Ottawa Senators |
|1948-49||Boston Olympics, Montreal Royals, New York Rovers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Aces, Shawinigan Cataracts, Sherbrooke St. Francis, Valleyfield Braves||Ottawa Senators|
|1949-50||Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Montreal Royals, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Aces, Shawinigan Cataracts, Sherbrooke Saints, Valleyfield Braves||Sherbrooke Saints|
|1950-51||Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Montreal Royals, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Aces, Shawinigan Cataracts, Sherbrooke Saints, Valleyfield Braves||Valleyfield Braves|
|1951-52||Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Montreal Royals, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Aces, Shawinigan Cataracts, Sherbrooke Saints, Valleyfield Braves|| Quebec Aces |
|1953-54||Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Montreal Royals, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Aces, Sherbrooke Saints, Springfield Indians, Valleyfield Braves||Chicoutimi Sagueneens (Season), Quebec Aces (Playoffs)|
|1954-55||Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Montreal Royals, Ottawa Senators(withdrew), Quebec Aces, Shawinigan Cataracts, Valleyfield Braves||Shawinigan Cataracts (Season and Playoffs)|
|1955-56||Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Montreal Royals, Quebec Aces, Shawinigan Cataracts, Trois-Rivieres Lions||Shawinigan Cataracts (Season), Montreal Royals (Playoffs)|
|1956-57||Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Montreal Royals, Ottawa-Hull Jr. Canadiens, Quebec Aces, Shawinigan Cataracts, Trois-Rivieres Lions|| Quebec Aces (Seasons and Playoffs)|
|1957-58||Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Montreal Royals, Quebec Aces, Shawinigan Cataracts, Trois-Rivieres Lions||Chicoutimi Sagueneens (Season), Shawinigan Cataracts (Playoffs)|
|1958-59||Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Montreal Royals, Quebec Aces, Trois-Rivieres Lions||Montreal Royals (Season and Playoffs)|
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