Daily Almanac for Monday, December 19, 2022

On this date in 1917, The National Hockey League began its first professional season with four teams, Montreal Wanderers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Quebec Bulldogs



The National Hockey League was established in 1917 as the successor to the National Hockey Association (NHA). Founded in 1909, the NHA began play in 1910 with seven teams in Ontario and Quebec, and was one of the first major leagues in professional ice hockey. However, by its eighth season, a series of disputes with Toronto Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone led team owners of the Montreal Canadiens, the Montreal Wanderers, the Ottawa Senators, and the Quebec Bulldogs to hold a meeting to discuss the league’s future.[13] Realizing the NHA constitution left them unable to force Livingstone out, the four teams voted instead to suspend the NHA, and on November 26, 1917, formed the National Hockey League. Frank Calder was chosen as the NHL’s first president, serving until his death in 1943.[14]

The Bulldogs were unable to play in the NHL, and the remaining owners founded the Toronto Arenas to compete with the Canadiens, Wanderers and Senators.[15] The first games were played on December 19, 1917.[16] The Montreal Arena burned down in January 1918, causing the Wanderers to cease operations,[17] and the NHL continued on as a three-team league until the Bulldogs returned in 1919.[18]

The NHL replaced the NHA as one of the leagues that competed for the Stanley Cup, an interleague competition at the time. Toronto won the first NHL title, and then defeated the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) for the 1918 Stanley Cup. The Canadiens won the league title in 1919, but the series in the Stanley Cup Finals against the PCHA’s Seattle Metropolitans was abandoned due to the Spanish Flu epidemic. In 1924, Montreal won their first Stanley Cup as a member of the NHL. The Hamilton Tigers won the regular season title in 1924–25, but refused to play in the championship series unless they were given a C$200 bonus. The league refused and declared the Canadiens the league champion after they defeated the Toronto St. Patricks (formerly the Arenas) in the semi-final. Montreal was then defeated by the Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) in 1925. It was the last time a non-NHL team won the trophy, as the Stanley Cup became the de facto NHL championship in 1926, after the WCHL ceased operation.

The National Hockey League embarked on a rapid expansion in the 1920s, adding the Montreal Maroons and the Boston Bruins in 1924, the latter being the first American team to join the league. The New York Americans began play in 1925 after purchasing the assets of the Hamilton Tigers, and were joined by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The New York Rangers were added in 1926, and the Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars (later the Red Wings) were added after the league purchased the assets of the defunct WCHL. A group purchased the Toronto St. Patricks in 1927 and immediately renamed them the Toronto Maple Leafs.


Montreal Wanderers
Montreal Canadiens
Quebec Bulldogs
Ottawa Senators (original)


Question of the Day

Why do people say, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”?

The saying, which generally means “Don’t be ungrateful,” seems to stem from the practice of giving horses as gifts. To check the age of a horse, you normally look into its mouth. This would be considered quite rude if the horse was being given to you as a gift.

Advice of the Day

When bubbles in your coffee collect in the center of the cup, expect fair weather. If they form a ring or cling to the sides, expect rain.

Home Hint of the Day

Here’s how to tell real antique ivory from plastic imitations. Heat the end of a needle with a match, then try to insert the needle into a spot that will not show. The heated needle will not pierce real ivory, but it will sink into any imitation.

Word of the Day


Fear of the northern lights

Puzzle of the Day

Why are dudes no longer imported into this country from England?

Because a Yankee dude’ll do (Yankee doodle doo).


  • Emily Brontë (writer) – 1848
  • Walter Williams (age 117: last known Civil War vet) – 1959
  • Hope Lange (actress) – 2003


  • Joe King” Oliver” (jazz musician) – 1885
  • Fritz Reiner (conductor) – 1888
  • Cicely Tyson (actress) – 1933
  • Tim Reid (actor) – 1944
  • Jennifer Beals (actress) – 1963
  • Criss Angel (illusionist) – 1967
  • Alyssa Milano (actress) – 1972
  • Jake Gyllenhaal (actor) – 1980
  • Marla Sokoloff (actress) – 1980


  • Fictional Robinson Crusoe left island after 28 years. Daniel Defoe’s story is based on an actual person, Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor, who was found on an island where he had been stranded for 52 months. (He was rescued on Feb. 1, 1709)– 1686
  • Mark Twain received a patent for suspenders– 1871
  • The National Hockey League began its first professional season with four teams– 1917
  • Robert Ripley’s column, Believe It or Not!, first appeared in The New York Globe– 1918
  • The first known radio broadcast from outer space was transmitted when President Eisenhower’s recorded voice issued a holiday greeting for the whole world from the Atlas satellite which was launched the previous day– 1958
  • New transatlantic submarine cable, CANTAT-1, between Britain and Canada (first link in a proposed around-the-world Commonwealth system) is inaugurated by a telephone conversation between Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Diefenbaker of Canada– 1961
  • Intelsat III F-2 communications satellite launched– 1968


  • Louisiana Purchase explorer William Dunbar wrote, “… the e[a]ves of our cabin hang with beautiful icicles”– 1804
  • The temperature at Yellowstone National Park was -59 degrees F– 1924
  • It was so cold in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, that several children got stuck to their playground equipment and had to be thawed off. (It was -43F or -41.5C.)– 1983

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