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International Hockey Association - Royal Canadian Dragoons history

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In 1892, a group of six hockey club owners in Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec and New York met behind closed doors in Toronto. This meeting was originally called to plan a one-time ice hockey tournament, but what resulted was the formation of the world's first professional hockey league, the International Hockey Association. The chairman of the meeting, Hiram Jameson was named the first president of the league. Each team would play a total of 10 games after which the top two teams would face each other to compete for the still unnamed championship trophy. At the time, the game of ice hockey was significantly different than it is now. At the time, there were six skaters and a goaltender on each side: left wing, center, right wing, rover, point, and coverpoint. Nets were not introduced yet, and the goals were just two posts guarded by a goaltender who wore no special equipment. The goalie was not allowed to leave their feet for any reason during play.

 

The first IHA season had 6 teams facing off. The Buffalo Hockey Club was the league's first American club. Wearing Blue and Orange, the Buffalo Hockey Club was lead by player/owner Eugene McCreary who served as the club's goaltender. Since they were the only American club thus far, local business owners helped the team pay for the best players they could hire to represent the States the best they could. 

buffalo1893.thumb.png.627c93cf296512c624e5f172f320e2d4.png

Across the border in Hamilton, Ontario, the Hamilton Hockey Club, nicknamed the Snappers, were also funded by some deep pockets in the hope of winning the championship. 

hamilton1893.thumb.png.22390488d3eeedd9b2f6c0df40b70f8c.png

Up the road in Toronto, tryouts were held offering full-time employment for any hockey players talented enough to make the team. The team was known at the Toronto Athletes and they wore a thunderbolt logo on their sweater to show off their incredible speed.

toronto1893.thumb.png.8bb080e8d862e1449a27a48c081af677.png

In Kingston, a relatively smaller club, the Mercuries was formed. Though they lacked the raw talent of some of the other clubs, they made up for it with hard work and a violent streak.

kingston1893.thumb.png.a8fcfc5a3d799a7048ed96e1cd9579de.png

Representing the province of New Brunswick, the Portland Victorias wearing red and white stripes took to the ice with the league's most prolific scorer, Lemuel Payne. Despite his abilities, the club did not do well financially, and the league threatened to suspend the club's operations. 

portland1893.thumb.png.5040f64a40f9d9f979f4a379bb462af0.png

Finally, a group of veterans and Soldiers of the Royal Canadian Dragoons started a hockey club in Quebec City representing the regiment. The club only hired players that were current or former members of the regiment. 

rcd1893.thumb.png.0a9e529e0cca77bdb7d9c26a6d913b28.png

 

The final standings in the 1892-93 season were as follows:

 

1. Hamilton Snappers - 8-2-0
2. Toronto Athletes - 6-3-1
3. Buffalo Hockey Club - 6-4-0
4. Kingston Mercuries - 4-5-1
5. Royal Canadian Dragoons - 4-6-0
6. Portland Victorias - 2-7-0

 

The first ever IHA championship was played in Mississauga, halfway between Toronto and Hamilton. Despite a coming out and scoring the first 3 goals, the Snappers couldn't handle the speed of the Athletes, who rallied to win 6-5. After the game, the league announced that the Toronto Athletes' center Myles Lewden was the league's most valuable player for the 1892-93 season. Portland's Lemuel Payne led the league in scoring with 14 goals, and Buffalo's goaltender Eugene McCreary was named best goaltender.

 

 

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Interesting concept! Will the league be expanding soon?

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This'll make an interesting companion to the PHL... and I like it!

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The first IHA season was a great success, but it wasn't without its troubles. The Portland Victorias were hemorrhaging money due to the cost of traveling, and were on the brink of collapse. After playing two games of the 1893-94 season, they were sold to a wealthy business owner in London, Ontario, who moved the team. The Victorias kept their name though and began play as the London Victorias. 

 

After the Toronto Athletes won the 1893 championship trophy, it was decided by the league that the champions would defend their title against the first place club at the end of the season. The Buffalo Hockey Club had a stellar year thanks to the dominant goaltending of player-owner Eugene McCreary, and the scoring of G.W. Helmer who led the league in scoring. During the regular season, the Buffalo club only lost one game, to the Hamilton Snappers. The Royal Canadian Dragoons had an excellent season as well finishing second to Buffalo thanks in part to brothers Harland and Joseph Collette who played on each wing.

 

The final standings in the 1893-94 season were as follows:

1. Buffalo Hockey Club - 9-1-0
2. Royal Canadian Dragoons - 7-2-1
3. Toronto Athletes - 5-3-2
4. Hamilton Snappers - 3-6-1
5. Kingston Mercuries - 2-7-1
6. Portland Victorias/London Victorias - 2-7-1

 

The second IHA championship was played in Toronto, the home of the reigning champions. The Athletes had no chance against Buffalo, and were trounced 9-2. After the game, Buffalo goaltender Eugene McCreary was named both MVP and the league's best goalie. 

 

In uniform news, the Victorias added sock stripes and changed their logo when they moved to London.

london1894.thumb.png.5a1f20504425ec2025bdedbe16921b27.png

The Kingston Mercuries changed their socks and added stripes on their sleeves. This look would stick for a very long time.

kingston1894.thumb.png.c4de3e5abdcd62352ce83ff4d7b876bf.png

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Wow the separation in the league is shocking! But what do you expect from 1890s am I right? Also, the defending the cup thing seems excellent until you realize it could be flawed.. unfortunately the flaw already exposed itself in the first year of doing so.

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This is looking great, JCR! Shame that we're still a century from the '90s, but I've got no problem waiting until then.

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20 hours ago, TheHealthiestScratch said:

Wow the separation in the league is shocking! But what do you expect from 1890s am I right? Also, the defending the cup thing seems excellent until you realize it could be flawed.. unfortunately the flaw already exposed itself in the first year of doing so.

 

Don't worry! It will be phased out soon enough. If you look at the Stanley Cup though they had equally asinine methods of determining the winners back in the day.

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In your fictional hockey league, do you hope to add teams in markets that the NHL doesn't currently have?

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I don't really follow too many sports fan fiction threads, but this already has put itself as one of the best designed ones I've seen. Followed!

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This thread is not dead, however, I am changing the way I do this. I'll be releasing the history of each team starting with the oldest and working my way from 1893-2017.

 

Up first is the Buffalo Hockey Club:

 

The Buffalo Hockey Club began play during the inaugural season of the IHA, and has been a part of the league since day one. During their first few seasons, they wore these simple uniforms:

1893.thumb.png.9dc7b348b60f1b458a71a914751ac73a.png

1893-1897

 

In 1897, the cub added stripes to their uniforms:

1897.thumb.png.d0b0b57b04fcd5374226a2bfd4ebfdc9.png

1897-1900

 

In 1900, the club changed their look, but retained their B logo for promotional materials:

1900.thumb.png.26f4920eff6a58dfc491f5ecd1518290.png

1900-1903

 

In 1903, a yoke was added. This uniform was worn for the next decade:

1903.thumb.png.668bb7351e8491d3814f2d1bda7ac2c2.png

1903-1915

 

In 1915, the previous owner and retired goaltender Eugene McCreary fell ill and had to sell the team. The club was renamed the Buffalo Nickels and changed their colors and look:

1915.thumb.png.0b37d84e2bc0665e4d336671ee12469a.png

1915-1916

 

The next season, the Buffalo Nickels added a patch showing a buffalo nickel to the front of their uniform:

1919.thumb.png.f9b6bfe5bddad12cf85cc757991c016a.png

1916-1919

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It's back! I wonder if there's a Detroit team in the future...

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2 minutes ago, PackMan said:

It's back! I wonder if there's a Detroit team in the future...

Stay tuned, especially once we reach the 1920s...

 

For the 1919 season, the nickel logo got larger and simplified. For the first time in franchise history, numbers were added to the back of the uniform:

1919.thumb.png.b84077b417e0730946dcff2babcd7644.png

1919-1921

 

In 1921, white was added to the logo and numbers to help them stand out:

1921.thumb.png.1cab5c62b0eedfc91917de15bbe9b3f8.png

1921-1927

 

In 1927, a silver yoke was added and the chest stripes disappeared. The blue jersey would look fairly similar for the next 90 years:

1927.thumb.png.694888ebb81e4d557959ccb1c9ee70da.png

1927-1932

 

In 1932, the crest was updated:

1932.thumb.png.2c6bec347513e9a383e0f07bddb06e0a.png

1932-1937

 

In 1937, the pants became blue:

1937.thumb.png.f1bdce449745a9a2e4a6e1c45eee9e01.png

1937-1939

 

In 1939, a white jersey was added for road games, and the collar became a lace-up collar. This uniform would last throughout the next decade:

1939.thumb.png.0ee4c45478ad7dac1742f67b8da92dee.png

1939-1950

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In 1950, the striping became bolder and the current crest was adopted. This would be the basic look the team would use until today:

1950.thumb.png.8fb8f12f079672160b052e9f5cee79c0.png

1950-1960

 

In 1960, numbers were added to the sleeves to aid in identifying players:

1960.thumb.png.79f05f52791207dad28e481825d8bd7c.png

1960-1978

 

In 1978, according to a new IHA rule, names must be displayed on the back of the jersey:

1978.thumb.png.b6ea0600def08c57e11f08175d1dae0b.png

1978-1982

 

In 1982, the collar was changed from a lace-up collar to a two-tone collar and a stripe was added to the pants:

1982.thumb.png.92286a2ec943ec13ca8918c7f1fdf60c.png

1982-1995

 

For the 1992-93 season, to celebrate the team's 100th anniversary, these uniforms based on the inaugural uniforms were worn for a few games:

00_1993.thumb.png.5af7cf8632f0180633147061209409b9.png

1992-93 Special

 

In 1995, the font was changed for the first time since the addition of numbers to the sweaters:

1995.thumb.png.adeb29a265febec16215e31fa6d56a64.png

1995-2017

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For the 2008 Winter Classic game, these uniforms were worn inspired by the 1903-05 uniforms. They were so popular that they were used as the club's first alternate uniform until 2017:

00_2008.thumb.png.fa4ead16de66141234058ed6a4897069.png

2007-2008 Special    2008-2017 Alternate

 

For the 2011 Winter Classic game, the Nickels were the road team, so they wore gray uniforms based on their 1919 uniforms:

00_2011.thumb.png.d6bcf92050cb70cdfa8d3eb167d6bbc0.png

2010-2011 Special

 

When Adidas took over the league's uniforms in 2017, the Nickels brought back the lace-up collars and original font:

2017.thumb.png.ea395182d6f2f5ccecd2ccd52d1f69c5.png

2017-Present

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