Hockey Night in Toronto
June 20, 2010 1 Comment
Toronto has not won the Stanley Cup since 1967, but it dominated the 1940s and 1960s, and Cup wins go way back, the first two coming in 1913-14 (pre-NHL) and 1917-18 (the first year of the NHL). My grandfather, Frank Carroll, was the trainer of both those early Toronto teams. His brother Dick, was co-trainer of the Blueshirts in 1913-14, and the coach of the 1917-18 team.
Frank later coached the Toronto St. Patricks himself, 1920-21. They finished first in the NHL that year, but were beaten by the Ottawa Senators in the final. His season record that year (15 wins, 9 losses) is the highest winning percentage (.625) for all Toronto coaches to date (albeit over a very short period). According to Michael Ulmer, who has examined the Cup up close, Frank Carroll’s name is engraved on the inside of the Cup along with six other members of the Toronto Blue Shirts . Our family house in Toronto was filled with old hockey photos, a number of which are reproduced here.
Toronto’s First Cup
The 1913-14 Toronto ‘Blueshirts’ (they went by that name or simply the ‘Torontos’) won the O’Brien and Stanley Cups, defeating Montreal in a two-game, total goals match (6-2) :
- Game 1: March 7, 1914, Montreal 2, Toronto 0 (in Montreal)
- Game 2: March 11, 1914, Toronto 6, Montreal 0 (in Toronto)
That should have been the end of it, but then the Victoria Aristocrats showed up unannounced and challenged them to a match. A best-of-five series was played which Toronto won 3-0 (all games in Toronto):
- Game 1: March 14, 1914, Toronto 5, Victoria 2
- Game 2: March 17, 1914, Toronto 6, Victoria 5, won in overtime (PCHA rules)
- Game 3: march 19, 1914, Toronto 2, Victoria 1
It was a good thing Toronto won because Victoria had not officially ‘challenged’ Toronto, and had they won the series, they wouldn’t have got the Cup. That would have been awkward. To avoid such problems in the future, the leagues put an end to the so-called ‘challenge era.’ Starting in 1914-15, the NHA champions (as the league was known then) would play the PCHA champions (Pacific Coast Hockey Association) for the Cup. PCHA rules were slightly different, with seven players on the ice versus six for the NHA (later the NHL), and playoff games alternated rules.
Back row: Dick Carroll (trainer), Con. Corbeau, F. R. McGiffen, J. C. Marshall (manager), George McNamara, Jack Walker, C. W. Wilson, Frank Carroll (trainer). Front row: Claude Wilson, F. C. Foyston, ‘Scotty’ Davidson (captain), Harry Cameron, Harry Holme.
The 1913-14 season also saw several innovations: it was the first time referees dropped the puck for face-offs (as opposed to placing it on the ice), and assists were recorded for the first time. It is worth noting that penalties were handled a bit differently back then. Not only were players thrown off the ice, fines were levied: $2 for a minor infraction, increasing to $3 with a 5 minute penalty, $5 with a 10 minute penalty and, ultimately, $10 with a match penalty. Deliberately injuring someone carried a $15 fine and banishment until the injured player returned to play .
That last penalty may sound unnecessary, but it was a wilder game back then. In a December game that year between the Canadiens and Quebec, Newsy LaLonde was given a match penalty for hitting Joe Hall over the head with his stick, Hall requiring eight stitches. In the return match in January, Hall levelled LaLonde into the boards inflicting a ten-stitch wound, thus evening things up. Not for nothing was he known has Bad Joe Hall .
The Second Cup
In 1917-18, Toronto again won the O’Brien and Stanley Cups, with Dick as coach (below, far left, center row), Frank as trainer (far right, center row). This was the first year of the NHL. Toronto won the second half of the season and played Montreal, who had won the first half. Toronto prevailed in the total-goals playoff (10-7) and won the NHL Championship and the O’Brien Cup :
- Game 1: March 11, 1918, Toronto 7, Montreal 3 (in Toronto)
- Game 2: March 13, 1918, Montreal 4, Toronto 3 (in Montreal)
Toronto then squared off against the Vancouver Millionaires in a best-of-five series for the Stanley Cup, all games played in Toronto, which they won 3-2 (though they would have lost a total-goals match, 18-21):
- Game 1: March 20, 1918, Toronto 5, Vancouver 3
- Game 2: March 23, 1918, Vancouver 6, Toronto 4
- Game 3: March 26, 1918, Toronto 6, Vancouver 3
- Game 4: March 28, 1918, Vancouver 8, Toronto 1
- Game 5: March 30, 1918, Toronto 2, Vancouver 1
The team picture states 1918-19, but that may be the championship reign of the team (won in 17-18, champions for 18-19 until the next playoff). Who knows. A lot if things about the early years are not clear. The team name, for example, was not engraved on the Cup at the time. In 1947, ‘Toronto Arenas’ was engraved, but it is not clear that was the name of the team – that may simply have been an abbreviation of the name shown in the photo, ‘The Arena Hockey Club of Toronto.’ That’s the Stanley Cup in the lower right – much smaller than it is today.
Top Row: Russell Crawford (LW), Harry Meeking (C), Ken Randall (D), Corbett Denneway (C), Harry Cameron (D); Middle Row: Richard Carroll (coach), Jack Adams (RW), Charles Querrie (manager), Alfred Skinner (RW), Frank Carroll (trainer); Bottom Row: O’Brien Cup, Harry Mummery (D), Harry Holmes (Goal), Reginald Noble (C), Stanley Cup.
Family legend has it that Frank, mad that one of his players had knocked up a girl, gave the player a good beating, which he felt settled things. The player took this badly, however, and charged Frank with assault (which, though well-deserved, it was). Because Frank considered the matter closed – bad behavior, good beating, all square – he didn’t bother to show up at the court hearing. That was a mistake: the court awarded the family house on Jarvis Street to the complaintant and the Carroll’s had to move to what was then the cottage, a small house on Fallingbrook Road at the east end of Queen Street in Toronto (which is where I grew up and where these photos hung). It is difficult to verify this story (the only people who knew the details are now dead), but it is quite plausible since Frank was a fighter by trade: he was the Canadian Welterwight Boxing Champion in 1906, and coached the Canadian Boxing Team at the Olympics in Amsterdam in 1928 (team member Raymond Smillie – and thus Frank also – winning a bronze medal).
After the 1917-1918 season, Frank coached the University of Toronto Schools where he led the team to the Junior OHA Championship 1918-1919. Three years later he led the Granite Hockey Club of Toronto to the Canadian Amateur Championship (1921-22) winning both the Sir Montagu Allan Memorial Cup and the John Ross Robertson Cup (in between he coached the Toronto St. Patricks in the NHL).
Top Row: D.R. Gunn (sub.), S. M. Greey (LW), W. J. Lougheed (hon. coach), H. J. Crawford (headmaster), J. O. Carlisle (hon. coach), D.J. Jeffrey (RW), R. J. Kearns (sub.); Bottom Row: J. A. Sullivan (goal), D. A. Irwin (sec. treas.), D. B. Munroe (D), J. Taggett (captain, C), W. L. Rowell (D), W. R. Baker (manager), Frank Carroll (coach).
Top Row: H. Westerby (trainer), D. T. Prentice (treasurer), H. E. Beatty (persident), W. J. Lumbers (vice president), Frank Carroll (coach); 2nd Row: H. S. Smith (F), Allen Cup, Robertson Cup, Dr. J. M Sheldon (D); 3rd Row: H. E. Watson (F), Duncan B. Munro (D), A. J. McCaffrey (captain, F), H. J. Fox (D), D. J. Jeffrey (F); Bottom Row: F. G. Sullivan (F), E. J. Collett (goal, manager), A. E. Romeril (F), R. F. Anderson (goal), J. T., Aggett (F).
A few years later Frank coached the Springfield Indians, a professional minor league team owned by the New York Rangers, that played in the Canadian-American Hockey League. With Frank as coach they won the League Championship the first two years – 1926-27, 1927-28 – and again in 1930-31. In 1932-33, Frank coached another team in the C-AHL, the New Haven Eagles. After that he gave up coaching hockey, though he did coach the Orillia Terriers lacrosse team to the Canadian Championship, winning the Mann Cup, in 1935.
There is no player list attached to the photo above, but Frank’s notes from this period (1927 – 1930) name the following players: Bill Wilson (D), Dick Benson (LW), Cliff Barton (RW), Sammy MacAdam (C), Patsy Callighen (D), Ott Heller (G), George Heard (F), Wilfrid Starr (LW), Ted Saunders (RW), O. Heximer (LW), and Bud Jarvis (LW).
For ten years, between 1913 and 1923, Frank was involved with almost every championship hockey team in Toronto, amateur and professional. Frank Carroll died in 1938.
- If the Cup Could Talk, p.18.
- Contemporary newspaper accounts confirm these records. See The Toronto Globe, March 1914.
- The Trail of the Stanley Cup, 1893-1926, C. Coleman. Toronto, 1966. p.248.
- Joe Hall died of the flu during the playoffs the next year, putting an end to the season and leaving the championship unresoved, the only year (1918-19) that a Stanley Cup series did not produce a winner. See Quest for the Cup, p.25.
- Contemporary newspaper accounts confirm these records. See The Toronto Globe, March 1918.
- 1914 Toronto jersey, The Trail of the Stanley Cup, 1893-1926, C. Coleman. Toronto, 1966. Plate facing page 672.
This entry is still under construction. Please send corrections or additional information to: email@example.com.
The Quest for the Cup, Jack Falla (ed.). Thunder Bay Press, San Diego, 2001.
If the Cup Could Talk, Michael Ulmer. Sleeping Bear Press, Michigan. 2000.
The Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol. 1, C. Coleman, NHL, 1966.
I received the following email from Alex Laney, Toronto, Ontario:
It turns out it’s partly a myth about the Toronto-Victoria series not counting as an official stanley cup challenge. I’ve read some old newspaper accounts and I’ve updated the Wikipedia article at 1913–14 NHA season (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1913%E2%80%9314_NHA_season). The trustees thought they were being ignored deliberately when Victoria did not file a challenge, but that was only a misunderstanding. Victoria expected the NHA president to ‘file the paperwork.’ The trustees sent a letter stating that they would not ship the Cup west, but the next day the misunderstanding was cleared up and the challenge was okayed. So it was official.