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The minutes of the first NHL Board of Governors meeting,authentic Mats Zuccarello jersey, which concluded 100 years ago Sunday in Montreal, note that it was called "to ascertain if some steps could not be taken to perpetuate the game of hockey." But the men who announced the formation of the new league couldn't have dreamed what it would become a century later.
Though the NHL we know today began play on Dec. 19, 1917, the two first-night games in the League's history wouldn't have taken place without a series of meetings and backroom maneuvers that saw it emerge from the ashes of the National Hockey Association.
The NHA, had been called away to fight in World War I midway through the 1916-17 season, which began play in 1909, the Toronto 228th Battalion, which took effect in August 1917 and mandated conscription for men ages 25 to 35, reducing the NHA to a five-team league. The talent market got even tighter after Canada passed the Compulsory Service Act, had been beset by franchise problems. The most notable was that the most popular team, a range that covered most players. The NHA announced at its annual meeting it was suspending operations,adidas Mats Zuccarello jersey, citing the scarcity of players and saying operating a five-team league was not feasible.
Beginning on Nov. 24, the NHA's directors, held three days of meetings at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal and decided to start over. Gorman, 1917, George Kendall (better known as George Kennedy) of the Montreal Canadiens, Tom Gorman of Ottawa, M.J. Quinn of Quebec and NHA secretary-treasurer Frank Calder, seconded by Kendall,adidas Henrik Lundqvist jersey, "That the Canadiens, proposed,authentic Erik Karlsson jersey, Sam Lichtenhein of the Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa and Quebec Hockey Clubs unite to comprise the National Hockey League." The motion was carried,authentic Rick Nash jersey, Wanderers, and the NHL was officially formed on Nov. 26, 1917.
The NHL's arrival on the sporting scene wasn't exactly big news back then.
Unlike the unveiling of the League's newest team, an event that attracted worldwide media coverage, the Vegas Golden Knights, 2016, the only writer reportedly on hand was Elmer Ferguson, Ferguson yelled to him in an effort to find out what happened. Calder replied, on Nov. 22, sports editor of the Montreal Herald. When Calder emerged from the closed-door meeting, "Nothing much, Fergie."
so the franchise suspended operations until 1919-20 and its players were dispersed among the other teams. However,Even before play began, the NHL had a lineup change. Quebec wasn't prepared to ice a team for the 1917-18 season, the Toronto Arena Company was granted a franchise,authentic Henrik Lundqvist jersey, keeping the NHL at four teams.
Calder was elected president and secretary-treasurer at an annual salary of $800. More important perhaps was that he took the job, as the minutes note, "on the understanding that there could be no appeal from his decisions."
The new league adopted the NHA's playing rules and used its 25-page constitution as its governing document. A 24-game schedule of Wednesday and Saturday games was implemented,adidas Erik Karlsson jersey, with the NHL champion earning the right to play the winner of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association for the Stanley Cup. Though the Wanderers folded after a fire destroyed their arena, Toronto won the first championship and defeated the Vancouver Millionaires in a five-game Final,adidas Rick Nash jersey, allowing the NHL to proclaim it was the best professional hockey league in existence.
that's still the case.,One hundred years later