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ARCHIVED - Backcheck: a Hockey Retrospective

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The roots of the National Hockey League can be traced back to December 8, 1886 in Montréal, when the founding meeting of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada was held. This was the world’s first formally organized hockey league.


A meeting of those favorable to the formation of a Dominion hockey association was held in the Victoria skating rink last evening, when the following delegates were present: Messrs. J. G. Monk, J. Arnton and J. Muir, of the Victoria Hockey club; T. D. Greene and Hamilton, of Ottawa; C. H. Macnutt, Holden and Wylde, of McGill college; E. Sheppard and Wm. Barlow, of the M.A.A.A.; R. Laing and McCaffrey, of the Crystal. Mr. J. Arnton acted as chairman, and Mr. J. G. Monk as secretary.

The meeting was enthusiastic and very harmonious, which augurs well for the success of the new association. The concensus of opinion was strongly in favor of the object before the meeting.

Mr. Monk said that he had, as requested, written to Quebec and Ottawa, asking them to send a representative to this meeting. Ottawa had complied with his request, but he had not received any word from Quebec.

Mr. Arnton explained the object of the meeting, which was to further and make it what lacrosse is in summer, viz., the winter game. He referred to the progress the game had made in recent years, and asked the delegates to give expression to their view.

Mr. Monk said he would like to see the game prosper and approved of the idea of forming an association. It should be placed on a firm basis and governed by certain rules. The first thing they had to do was to consider the advisability of forming such an association, which, he considered would be an exceedingly wise thing to do, and to make hockey a recognized game.

Mr. Greene, Ottawa, stated that his club was much pleased with the proposal to form an association and would join in doing what they could to further the project.

Mr. Monk here stated that he expressed the sentiments of those present when he said that they were pleased at the courteous manner in which the Ottawa club had taken the matter up, which was evinced by their sending a representative.

The name of the new association will be the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada. The constitution which was adopted is similar to that governing lacrosse, with, of course, alterations to suit hockey.

The meeting then proceeded with the election of officers for the ensuing year with the following result: --

President -- Mr. T. D. Greene, Ottawa.
First Vice-president -- Mr. J. Arnton, Victoria.
Second Vice-President -- Mr. R. Laing, Crystals.
Secretary-treasurer -- Mr. E. Stevenson, Victoria.
Council -- Messrs. James Stewart, Crystals; J. G. Monk, Victoria; H. A. Budden, McGill; E. Sheppard,
M.A.A.A., and Percy Myles, Ottawa.

At this point Mr. Arnton vacated the chair in favor of Mr. Greene. Mr. Barlow moved that the constitution and rules be printed and sent to the clubs forming the association. Agreed.

It was decided that the season should be from lst January to the 15th March.

On the motion of Mr. Sheppard a vote of thanks was tendered to Mr. Monk for his services.

The newly elected council met, and with a few alterations adopted the rules which were in force last year. It is likely that a trophy will be offered for competition during the present season.