Toronto Arenas Team History
By the fall of 1917, a dispute between Eddie Livingstone, owner of the Blueshirts, and the owners of the NHA’s other four clubs the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators and Quebec Bulldogs had come to a boil. The other NHA owners were eager to disassociate themselves from Livingstone, but discovered that the NHA’s constitution didn’t allow them to simply vote Livingstone out. With this in mind, on November 22 the NHA board of directors voted to suspend operations. At the same time, the other four NHA clubs voted to created a new league the National Hockey League. However, they didn’t invite Livingstone to join them, effectively leaving him in a one-team league.
However, the other club owners felt it would be unthinkable not to have a team from Canada’s second-largest city in the NHL. They also needed a fourth team to balance the schedule, since the Bulldogs were forced to suspend operations due to financial troubles and, as it turned out, wouldn’t return until 1920. To solve the problem, NHL president Frank Calder assigned the contracts of the Blueshirt players to a ‘temporary’ Toronto franchise to be operated by the Toronto Arena Company, who also owned the Montreal Arena. Calder had ordered Livingstone to sell the team, but Livingstone turned down several offers. The Arena Company was given a year to resolve the dispute or lose the franchise. The Arena Company did agree to compensate Livingstone for the use of the players for the season, although no suitable figure was ever reached, and the league itself disputed any claims that Livingstone had on the players.
The 1918 Stanley Cup Final was contested by the National Hockey League (NHL) champion Toronto and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) champion Vancouver Millionaires. In a series held entirely in Toronto, the Toronto team won the series by three games to two in the best-of-five game series to win the Stanley Cup. It was the first series contested by the new NHL and subsequently the first Stanley Cup win by the Toronto NHL franchise team.
The franchise was founded in 1917, operating simply as Toronto and known today as the Toronto Arenas, as it was operated by the Toronto Arena Company, owners of the Arena Gardens arena.
1917 – Present National Hockey League
Arenas – The team operated without a formal organization separate from the Arena Company and without an official club nickname.
1927 – Present Toronto Maple Leafs
1919 – 1927 Toronto St. Patricks
1917 – 1919 Toronto Arenas
Stanley Cups 1
1966 – 1967, 1963 – 1964, 1962 – 1963, 1961 – 1962, 1950 – 1951, 1948 – 1949, 1947 – 1948, 1946 – 1947, 1944 – 1945, 1941 – 1942, 1931 – 1932, 1921 – 1922, 1917 – 1918
1999 – Present Air Canada Centre
1932 – 1999 Maple Leaf Gardens
1917 – 1931 Mutual Street Arena
1998 – Present Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
1996 – 1998 Steve Stavro and Larry Tanenbaum
1991 – 1996 Steve Stavro
1990 – 1991 Estate of Harold Ballard
1972 – 1990 Harold Ballard
1970 – 1972 Stafford Smythe and Harold Ballard
1961 – 1970 Stafford Smythe, Harold Ballard, and John Bassett
1927 – 1961 Conn Smythe
1919 – 1927 Charles Querrie
1917 – 1919 Toronto Arena Company
5 Bill Barilko
6 Ace Bailey
99 Wayne Gretzky
1995 – Present Carlton the Bear
*Blue is this team’s history