What’s In a Name?

SPORTS LEGEND: A National Hockey League franchise never actually came up with a team name during its fifteen years of existence.

Professional hockey was, and IS, very popular in Montreal.

It was so popular that in 1924, the National Hockey League (NHL) decided to expand and a second Montreal franchise to go along with the Montreal Canadiens, who were one of the original teams in the NHL.

The theory was that this new team would appeal more to the English-speaking people of Montreal while the French-speakers would remain fans of the Canadiens (note that the nickname for the Canadiens is the Habs, which is a shortening of the term Les Habitants, which is what the French settlers of Quebec called themselves).

The new team paid a $15,000 entrance fee ($11,000 of it went to the Montreal Canadiens, presumably to assuage them over the new competition) and had an arena built, the Montreal Forum (which would become much more famous for its usage by the Canadiens for decades).

The team had everything it needed to get started – except a name!

And shockingly, they never actually officially PICKED one!!

The team just referred to itself officially as the Montreal Professional Hockey Club.

montrealmaroonsmontrealmaroonsalternate

Eventually, the media began referring to them as the Montreal Maroons, due to their jersey color.

When the team won the Stanley Cup in 1926 (just two years into their existence!), the league engraved the name Maroons into the Cup.

“Won / By Montreal ‘Maroons’ 1925-26”

However, when they won again in 1935, the League this time engraved:

“Montreal Professional Hockey Club / Winners / 1934-35”

Due to the Great Depression, Montreal could no longer support two teams, and the Maroons folded.

And they never got to officially pick a team name…

STATUS: True.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is [email protected]

Leave a Reply