1913 Off-Season -Part 4: Affilitiation agreement, Moncton's Players, Glace Bay's chances

  • Posted on: 29 December 2014
  • By: lrigby

The end of October brought news that it was looking likely that the MPHA would sign the affiliation agreement with the NHA and the Pacific Coast league.  Some of the Maritimers were in favor of the agreement, hoping that the affiliation would bring more credibility to the league along with some top notch players. Other who disagreed with the plan did not like the idea that the other two leagues could purchase some MPHA players.  It was also thought that if the other league put in a salary cap and the MPHA was not bound by it, they might be able to offer higher salaries and steal away some of the stars in the other two leagues.

There was also news reported in the St. John Times that the Halifax Crescents had been purchased by the owner of the Toronto Tecumshes of the NHA.  The Toronto owner, Tom Wall, had already made a deal with the Moncton team to gain control over its players.  This now gave the Toronto owner control over three professional Canadian hockey teams.  According to rumors, the owner was planning to move players between the two teams during the season.  This was good news for the Crescents who were the weakest team in the MPHA the pervious year.  They would have access to many of the star players on the Moncton squad along with players playing in Toronto.

Glace Bay's chances of acquiring a team were looking even brighter as the month of October was coming to a close.  At the time, Glace Bay had a population of 17,000 and was the fourth largest municipality in the Maritimes and had a significant sporting history.  The reporters of the Glace Bay Gazette found themselves in a position of having to defend Glace Bay's reputation against press attacks coming from Halifax and competing Amherst who accused the city fans of demanding admission in the league.  The Glace Bay sports reporter responded by stating that "Glace Bay will not demand admission to the league, neither will she beg.  If her promoters of the game become satisfied that they can finance the proposition they will simply apply for admission."

Moncton, in one last attempt to save their team for the 1914 season, put forth a proposal that would see the construction of a circus tent on their athletic grounds to serve as an enclosure for a large sheet of ice.  As novel a suggestion as this was, it didn't hold any water with the rest of the league, with one interested party stating that "hockey of a professional nature attempted under such improvised conditions would be out of the question."  This was the last straw for the Moncton management who had finally came to terms with the fact that professional hockey would not be possible in Moncton for the 1914 season.  The fight for Moncton's released players began to escalate.  The Crescent's management's acquisition of the players for the Halifax team was put into question by the fact that the Victorias had not sent in their list of reserve men at the end of the previous season.  Therefore, according to the rules of the MHPA, those players would become free agents  and would be at liberty to sign with any team.  In a letter from MPHA

 

President Lithgow to NHA President Quinn, Lithgow stated that the MPHA executive was meeting on November 6th 1913 to formulate a plan to settle a deal with the NHA and the Pacific Coast league.  Lithgow also indicated that they would be sending a delegate to the NHA meeting the following week.  The NHA president was hoping to secure a four year deal similar to what the NHA and the Pacific Coast league had in place.  The present one year deal between the NHA and the MPHA was set to expire on January 15th, 1914.