NHL’s Quebec Bulldogs, a team established in 1888, was sold to
December 22, 1920—
In ‘The Arena’—
Despite their good start, the Hamilton Tigers finished last, behind the Toronto St. Patricks, Ottawa Senators, and the Montreal Canadiens.
Tigers switch their uniform from vertical to horizontal stripes, and the logo from the growling tiger head to a prowling tiger. Despite some changes to the lineup, the team had another dismal season, finishing last.
The Hamilton Tigers acquired Art Ross as head coach. Not only would Art Ross would later be inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame, the NHL trophy for the highest scorer bears his name. Unfortunately, this new and tough head coach could not improve
This season began with a third and final change to their jersey—horizontal lines remained on the sleeves, and the logo switched to a capital H with ‘TIGERS’ printed across the H’s horizontal bar. Also in this season, the arrival of brothers Red and Shorty Green kickstarted the Tigers’ turnaround. Though the Tigers ended up last in the standings, this year they were only 2 points behind the Toronto St. Patricks.
1924-1925 Season—It was the best of times, it was the worst of times
This season saw the NHL expand for the first time. This expansion was doubly significant because it was the first time an American city was given an NHL team. This team was the Boston Bruins.
Top of the League
More importantly for the Tigers, their first successful season ended with their winning the league. They edged the Toronto St. Patricks by 1 point for first place in the NHL. Celebrations, however, would end there.
On a train trip from
March 16, 1925
First rumour that the Tigers would be sold to a business from
March 17, 1925
Tigers players were still willing to go to court, so the owners gave up and paid the players. Unbelievable.
April 13, 1925
News sources in
September, 1925—Tigers’ Exit from
Secret negotiations between
I will conclude this section with two enduring quotes from the Hamilton Herald, as quoted in Wesley and Wesley (2005, pp. 82 & 85).
“Whether the players of the Hamilton NHL club are at fault or the management, the fact remains that Hamilton’s thousands of loyal hockey fans have been denied the chance to see the most important game of the NHL season—the [championship game] …. It’s the fans who make hockey possible, still they are not taken into consideration in time of trouble” (Hamilton Herald, March 14, 1925).
“The hockey season of 1924-1925 in
To learn more about the Hamilton Tigers and their brief yet rich history, I highly recommend Sam and David Wesley’s Hamilton’s Hockey Tigers (2005). This exceptional book will take you back to life in the 1920s and will leave you wondering how
Coming up… a timeline of attempts to bring the NHL back to