Canadian Professional Hockey League

The Canadian Professional Hockey League, also known as Canpro, was a minor professional hockey league founded in 1926. After three seasons, it became the International Hockey League in 1929. The name was then given to a new league of IHL farm teams which operated in the 1929-30 season.

The first Canpro league (1926-1929)

The initial meeting to organize a new league was held on June 27, 1926 in Hamilton, Ontario. The governing body for amateur hockey in Ontario, the Ontario Hockey Association, had been cracking down on teams that induced players to move from other areas in violation of the league's residency requirements. In mid-June, the OHA refused to certify over 20 players who had changed residences. Windsor alone had eight players who were denied OHA certification.

In response, and also driven by the recent expansion of professional hockey in North America, seven OHA senior teams met to discuss forming a minor professional league that would be affiliated with the National Hockey League. Brantford and Toronto were at the initial meeting, but had to bow out, and the remaining five teams became the inaugural members of the CPHL: Hamilton, London, Niagara Falls, Stratford and Windsor. Charles King of Windsor was made league president on August 4 and served in that role for all three seasons the CPHL operated.

After the 1927-28 season, all the players on the Hamilton Tigers were purchased by the new Buffalo Bisons (a team based in Fort Erie), and an entirely new team played in Hamilton. Teddy Oke's Kitchener Millionaires moved to Toronto to take the place of the Toronto Ravinas which disbanded in 1928. Oke sold the franchise rights to Kitchener to a new owner, who created the Kitchener Flying Dutchmen. The team included players from the Millionaires that did not move to Toronto.

The league championship in 1929 was a cross-border matchup between the Windsor Bulldogs and the Detroit Olympics, with Windsor winning the championship. Five of the eight teams had lost money during the season, including all the Canadian teams except the Bulldogs. Before the 1929 playoffs were over, it was rumoured that the league would be replaced by an international league the following season and that a lower-level minor league would be created in Ontario.

The league held its annual meeting in September 1929, re-elected King as president, and renamed itself the International Hockey League. The only change in the lineup was that the Kitchener franchise was transferred to Cleveland, Ohio, with the Kitchener players reassigned to Toronto and Toronto's players sent to Cleveland.

Franchises

  • Buffalo Bisons: 1928-29, joined the IHL in 1929
  • Detroit Olympics: 1927-28, 1928–29, joined the IHL in 1929
  • Hamilton Tigers: 1926-27, 1927–28, 1928–29, joined the IHL in 1929
  • Kitchener Flying Dutchmen: 1928-29
  • Kitchener Millionaires: 1927-28
  • London Panthers: 1926-27, 1927–28, 1928–29, joined the IHL in 1929
  • Niagara Falls Cataracts: 1926-27, 1927–28, 1928–29, joined the IHL in 1929
  • Stratford Nationals: 1926-27, 1927–28
  • Toronto Millionaires: 1928-29, joined the IHL in 1929
  • Toronto Ravinas/Falcons: 1927-28
  • Windsor Hornets/Windsor Bulldogs: 1926-27, 1927–28, 1928-29, joined the IHL in 1929

Championships

  • 1927: London Panthers defeated Stratford Nationals (4-1, total goals)
  • 1928: Stratford Nationals defeated Kitchener Millionaires (2-0, best-of-three)
  • 1929: Windsor Bulldogs defeated Detroit Olympics (3-2, best-of-five)

The second Canpro league (1929-1930)

Teddy Oke led the organization of the minor pro hockey league in Ontario, designed to be a farm system for the IHL teams and a step up from existing industrial leagues. It took the abandoned Canpro name with teams in Kitchener, Galt, Guelph, and Brantford. League president was Robert Dawson of Guelph, Ontario. There were no artificial ice rinks in Guelph, so the Maple Leafs played all their games on the road until the weather was cold enough to support ice at the Royal City Arena in Guelph. The league disbanded after one season, with Galt and Guelph joining the Ontario Professional Hockey League.

Franchises

  • Brantford Indians
  • Galt Terriers
  • Guelph Maple Leafs
  • Kitchener Flying Dutchmen

Championships

  • 1930: Guelph Maple Leafs defeated Galt Terriers (3-1, best-of-five)

References

1926–27 Canadian Professional Hockey League season

The 1926-27 CPHL season was the first season of the Canadian Professional Hockey League, a minor professional ice hockey league in Ontario, Canada. Five teams participated in the league, and the London Panthers won the championship.

1927–28 Canadian Professional Hockey League season

The 1927-28 CPHL season was the second season of the Canadian Professional Hockey League, a minor professional ice hockey league in Ontario, Canada, with one team based in Detroit, Michigan. Eight teams participated in the league, and the Stratford Nationals won the championship.

1928–29 Canadian Professional Hockey League season

The 1928-29 CPHL season was the third season of the Canadian Professional Hockey League, a minor professional ice hockey league in Ontario, Canada, with one team based in Detroit, Michigan. Eight teams participated in the league, and the Windsor Bulldogs won the championship.

1929–30 Canadian Professional Hockey League season

The 1929-30 CPHL season was the first and only season of the reborn Canadian Professional Hockey League, a minor professional ice hockey league in Ontario, Canada. Four teams participated in the league, and the Guelph Maple Leafs won the championship.

Berlin Dutchmen

The Berlin Dutchmen were an early professional ice hockey team operating out of Berlin, Ontario, (renamed Kitchener in 1916) from 1907 in the Ontario Professional Hockey League (OPHL). The Berlin team is notable for challenging for the Stanley Cup in 1910 versus the Montreal Wanderers. The dormant team was revived in 1926 as the Kitchener Dutchmen of the Canadian Professional Hockey League. The dormant name was revived in 1947 as the senior Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen, notable for winning Canada a bronze medal at the 1956 Olympics and a silver medal at the 1960 Olympics. The minor junior Kitchener Dutchmen continue the name today.

Buffalo Bisons (IHL)

The Buffalo Bisons were a professional ice hockey team representing Buffalo, New York, although they played home games in nearby Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, at the 5,000-seat Peace Bridge Arena.

Detroit Olympics

The Detroit Olympics were a minor league hockey team located in Detroit, Michigan that was a member of the Canadian Professional Hockey League 1927-29 and the International Hockey League 1929-36. The team played all of their home games at the Detroit Olympia. On October 4, 1936, after winning the IHL championship, the Olympics moved to Pittsburgh to become the Pittsburgh Hornets.

Doug Young (ice hockey)

Douglas Gourley "The Gleichen Cowboy" Young (October 1, 1908 – May 15, 1990) was a Canadian ice hockey defenceman playing mostly for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. Young was also captain of the Red Wings from 1935 to 1938.

F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy

The F.G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy is awarded to the regular season champion of the American Hockey League's North Division. It is the oldest trophy awarded by the AHL, but it passed through two leagues previously. It is one of the oldest trophies in professional hockey. It is named after Teddy Oke, the owner of the Kitchener team in the Canadian Professional Hockey League (CPHL) and former player.

The 1928–29 CPHL champions, the Windsor Bulldogs, took the trophy with them when they defected to the International Hockey League (IHL) in 1929–30. The Oke Trophy remained the championship trophy of the IHL until 1936 when the league joined with the Can-Am to form the International American Hockey League (I-AHL), the precursor of the AHL.

The I-AHL operated as a "circuit of mutual convenience" for its first two years, with the IHL's four surviving teams comprising the I-AHL's West Division. They continued the trophy's tradition in the new league when it was awarded to the West Division champions, the Syracuse Stars. The Stars went on to become the I-AHL's first champions by winning the Calder Cup.

The Oke trophy remained the west division championship until the 1952–53 season, when it became the trophy for the AHL team with the best regular-season record, while the Calder Cup remained the playoff trophy. The 1960–61 Oke Trophy champions, the Springfield Indians, took the trophy with them, winning the East Division in 1961–62. The newly christened John D. Chick Trophy replaced the Oke Trophy as the West Division's trophy the same year. The AHL has realigned divisions several times since 1961–62, and until the 2011–12 season, the Oke Trophy had followed the previous winning team to the new division.

Gord Fraser (ice hockey)

Gordon Wellington "Gord" Fraser (March 3, 1894 – October 1, 1964) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who played five seasons in the National Hockey League for the Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Cougars, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Quakers. He won the Stanley Cup in 1925 with the Victoria Cougars, the last non-NHL team to win the Cup.

Fraser died in London, Ontario in 1964 after a long illness at the age of 70. He was buried at Woodland Cemetery of that same city.

International Hockey League (1929–1936)

The International Hockey League was a professional hockey league operating in Canada and the United States from 1929 to 1936. It was a direct ancestor of the American Hockey League.

It was formed when the Canadian Professional Hockey League split into two leagues. The larger teams formed the IHL, which was one step below the National Hockey League. The smaller teams kept the CPHL name, and served as a farm system for the IHL for one season.

Three teams folded and two others merged after the 1935-36 season, leaving the IHL with only four teams—the minimum required for the league to be viable. The remaining teams joined with the Canadian-American Hockey League, which had also been cut down to four teams, to form a "circuit of mutual convenience" called the "International-American Hockey League." The two leagues played an interlocking schedule for the next two years, with the IHL serving as the I-AHL's Western Division and the Can-Am serving as its Eastern Division. The Buffalo Bisons, a charter IHL member, suspended operations due to an arena collapse and subsequent financial problems after only 11 games, and the I-AHL played as a seven-team unit for the rest of the season and all of the 1938-39 season.

At a meeting held in New York City on June 28, 1938, the two leagues formally merged into a unified league operating under the I-AHL name. The Eastern Amateur Hockey League's Hershey Bears were added as an expansion team, replacing the Bisons. The league changed its name to the current AHL in 1940.

Jack Connolly (ice hockey, born 1900)

Jack "Johnny" Connolly (b. August 24, 1900 - d. July 16, 1967) was a Canadian ice hockey player who played in the professional leagues during the 1920s.

Connolly played Major League hockey with the 1925–26 Vancouver Maroons of the Western Canada Hockey League.

Jim Cain (ice hockey)

James Francis "Dutch" Cain (February 1, 1902 – January 13, 1962) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who played two seasons in the National Hockey League for the Toronto St. Pats and Montreal Maroons. He was born in Newmarket, Ontario. He is the cousin of Herb Cain.

London Panthers

The London Panthers were a professional ice hockey team based in London, Ontario, Canada that existed from 1926 until 1936. The team played in the Canadian Professional Hockey League from 1926, joining the International Hockey League in 1929. In 1930, the team was renamed the London Tecumsehs. The team played at the London Arena.The team was disbanded after the International League announced it would merge with the Can-Am League on October 4, 1936.

Mickey McGuire (ice hockey)

Frank Stewart "Mickey" McGuire (July 7, 1898 – May 23, 1968) was a Canadian professional ice hockey forward who played 36 games in the National Hockey League for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was born in Gravenhurst, Ontario.

After retiring from hockey, McGuire became a competitive bowler, residing in Windsor, Ontario. He also worked for Chrysler. He died in 1968 after a long illness at a hospital in Windsor, Ontario.

Pete Palangio

Peter Albert Palangio (September 10, 1908 – December 24, 2004) was a professional ice hockey player who played 70 games in the National Hockey League with the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Cougars and Chicago Black Hawks. Born in North Bay, Ontario, he won the Stanley Cup in 1938 with Chicago. He died December 24, 2004 in North Bay, Ontario. He was the last surviving member of Black Hawks 1938 Stanley Cup team.

Rolly Huard

Joseph Albert Marcel Rolland Huard (September 6, 1902 – September 16, 1979) was a professional ice hockey centre who played in one National Hockey League game for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1930–31 NHL season and became the first player (of four, as of 2018) to score a goal in his only NHL game. Huard would ultimately play eight seasons of pro hockey from 1926-34, primarily in the Canadian Professional Hockey League (later the International Hockey League.) He died in 1979 on a fishing trip near Maniwaki, Quebec, and was interred at Notre Dame Cemetery in Ottawa.

Teddy Oke

Frederick Gilmore "Teddy" Oke (September 20, 1885 – April 30, 1937) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player, referee and team owner. Oke played for the Toronto Tecumsehs and Toronto Blueshirts of the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Halifax Crescents of the Maritime Professional Hockey League (MPHL). He was the owner of the minor-league Kitchener Flying Dutchmen of the Canadian Professional Hockey League.

Toronto Tecumsehs

The Tecumseh Hockey Club, also known as the Toronto Tecumsehs and nicknamed the Indians, were a team in the National Hockey Association in 1912-13. They then became the Toronto Ontarios.

The NHA was founded in 1909 without any teams from Toronto, Ontario because there wasn't an arena in the city that was large enough to sustain a franchise. In 1911, a new arena was being built in Toronto and a franchise was awarded to the Toronto Hockey Club, and a group affiliated with the Tecumseh Lacrosse Club applied for a second franchise. The Tecumsehs bought a franchise from Ambrose O'Brien, paying CA$500 cash and promissory notes for CA$2,000.

The Tecumsehs were put on the NHA schedule for the 1911-12 season with no home games scheduled until late in January, when the arena was expected to be completed. Because of construction delays, it soon became clear that the arena would not be ready in time, and both Toronto teams were removed from the schedule, leaving the NHA with only four teams for the season.

Before the 1912-13 season started, O'Brien said that he never received the balance of the franchise fee from the Tecumseh backers, so he re-sold the franchise to a group headed by W.J. Bellingham from Montreal. Goaltender Billy Nicholson, formerly with Montreal Hockey Club, was appointed player-manager-captain. The team he put together included future hall-of-famer George McNamara and his brother, Howard McNamara. Teddy Oke, who would go on to be one of the founders of the Canadian Professional Hockey League in 1926, was also on the team.

They played their first game on December 28, 1912 against the Montreal Wanderers at the arena, which would soon become known as Arena Gardens. The visiting Wanderers won 7-4 in front of 5,000 fans. Paid attendance of 4,339 and gate receipts of CA$3,040 both set short-lived Toronto hockey records. The Tecumsehs got off to a good start, but at the end of the season were in last place in the six-team NHA in with seven wins and 13 losses. Bellingham sold the bankrupt club to Tom Wall, who renamed the team the Toronto Ontarios.

Canadian Professional Hockey League seasons

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