The Vancouver Canucks have a rich history dating back to the early 1900′s and several predecessor teams. This area of British Columbia boasts a strong ice hockey tradition and fan base that loves their local team. The story of professional hockey’s early years in Vancouver is an interesting look at how this tradition began.
A professional team called the Vancouver Millionaires was formed in 1911. They were one of three initial teams to make up the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA). This league was formed independently of the National Hockey Association (NHA). At first, PCHA teams tried to lure players from the NHA and from this effort, Vancouver acquired one of its earliest stars, Cyclone Taylor.
Before the PCHA began, the area had a team called the Creamery Kings. When the Kings were transforming into a new franchise and trying to forge contracts with big players, money was the best negotiating tool. Some of these first players were paid very high salaries which led to the eventual nickname Millionaires.
The two leagues later entered into an arrangement where their respective champions each year would play for the Stanley Cup. Within the first year of this agreement, the Millionaires won their league and went on to defeat the Ottawa Senators in the final Cup series.
This first final for Vancouver was in the 1914-15 season. Cyclone Taylor was a strong factor in the victories. The game scores were not close and the Millionaires swept their opponents in three games. Thousands of fans packed into their home arena to cheer their team to the championship. This was a far west journey for the Stanley Cup at the time. It remains the only Cup to be won by a Vancouver team.
The Millionaires maintained their winning ways in following years. They made the Stanley Cup final three more times but did not win the championship on any of those attempts. The Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) formed in 1921 and the Millionaires changed their name to the Maroons. The two western leagues agreed that their champs would play for advancement to the Stanley Cup final each year. Although the Maroons won the PCHA league two more times, they were not able to advance past the WCHL champions either time.
When the PCHA later became extinct, Vancouver played in the WCHL for its final few years though without the previous level of winning success. Although these leagues and the Maroons eventually folded, the city still honors its history and only Stanley Cup winning team. The original Millionaires jerseys have been commemorated in a sportswear line of clothing and also as a throwback jersey for the current day Canucks.
Fans in the early days of hockey in western Canada were crazy for their teams, and the fan base remains strong today. It must have been wild in their home Denman Arena when the team was in its heyday and winning championships. The Vancouvewr Canucks can draw on their early history as a foundation for their team today. It is an exciting and inspiring legacy.
Bobbie Barton is a fitness trainer She likes SportsFanTreasures.com and recommends you check out their info on Edmonton Oilers Watch, New York Rangers Watch and Vancover Canuks Blanket