The new league would eventually consist of the Victoria Cougars, the New Westminster Royals, the Seattle Metropolitans, the Portland Rosebuds (who replaced the Royals) and, of course, the Vancouver Millionaires. The Patricks began raiding the NHA, the main league in the East and the forerunner of the NHL, and ended up signing such notable players as Newsy Lalonde, Cyclone Taylor, Jack Adams and Didier Pitre. Eventually in 1914 the NHA agreed to a special agreement with the PCHA that would see the champions of each league play each other for the Stanley Cup – many called it “The World Series of Hockey”.
Hugh Lehman (Goalie)
Si Griffiths (Captain & Defenseman)
Frank Patrick (Manager, Coach & Defenseman)
Lloyd Cook (Defenseman)
Cyclone Taylor (Rover)
Mickey MacKay (Centre)
Frank Nighbor (Right Wing)
Barney Stanley (Left Wing)
Ken Mallen (Spare)
Johnny Matz (Spare)
Jim Seaborn (Spare)
Lester Patrick ( non-playing Coach)
Of these 11 great players and 1 coach no less than 8 would eventually be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame!
The arena was the first place west of Winnipeg that had ever hosted a Stanley Cup series and would go on to host three more. It was later used as a military barracks during WW1, it hosted an address by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and became home to the first radio broadcast of a hockey game in the province. Sadly, the Denman arena burned down in 1936.
|Inside Denman Arean|
Si Griffiths would unfortunately miss the series with a broken ankle but the Millionaires were still a formidable force. The Senators were rather cocky, leaving the Stanley Cup behind in Ottawa ( not imagining they would lose) and refusing to sub their players during the series. It took only 3 games to decide the series played on March 22nd (score of 6-2) , 24th (score of 8-3) and 26th (score of 12-3) .
Senator’s coach Alf Smith complained of the forward pass as a “farce” but even under Eastern rules in the second game Ottawa was beaten by 5 goals! Vancouver author, Craig Bowlsby, credits the Patrick brothers for their strategy and also calls Cyclone Taylor the star of the series.
Frank Patrick fathered 22 rules that have molded the game into what it is today. The epic Stanley Cup win by the Vancouver Millionaires had given such credibility to the style of the Western game that it would forever change hockey across the country. Hockey blogger, Joe Pelletier, states that “…hockey as we know it today was cemented by the Vancouver Millionaires Stanley Cup win of 1915.”
On October 1, 2010 the parent company of the Vancouver Canucks purchased the rights to the Vancouver Millionaires logo and the NHL team has since worn the famed jerseys twice in regular season games including a 100 year celebration of the advent of the first professional hockey club in Vancouver. And maybe, just maybe, one day we will see the Cup come again to our beautiful province under the banner of the Canucks...
"Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable". 1 Corinthians 9:25
Sources and Further Reading:
Stanley Cup: 120 Years of Hockey Supremacy by Eric Zweig
Vancouver Tourism "History" Here
The Story of the Vancouver Millionaires, The Patrick Brothers, and their 1915 Stanley Cup Conquest Here
Vancouver Province Blog Here
Greatest Hockey Legends Here