Live EventGet Ready for NFL Sunday: The Pro Football Football Show & Barstool Sports AdvisorsWatch Now

On This Date in Sports November 18, 1926: NHL in the USA

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

It is a new era for the National Hockey League, as they become the sole possessor of the Stanley Cup with the collapse of the Western Hockey League. As a result of the WHL folding, the NHL adds three new teams and becomes a ten-team league. The new teams are the New York Rangers, Chicago Black Hawks, and Detroit Cougars, who would become the Detroit Red Wings.

The New York Rangers played their first game on November 16, 1926. They were coached by Lester Patrick, with several key players coming off the roster of the Saskatoon Sheiks. Owned by the Madison Square Garden management team itself, the team got its name from Garden President Tex Rickard, who referred to his team as Tex’s Rangers. In their first game at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers beat the Montreal Maroons 1-0 as Lorne Chabot earned the shutout, and Bun Cook scored the game’s only goal. The Rangers would win the American Division with a record of 25-13-6 but lost to the Boston Bruins in the playoffs.

One day later, the Chicago Black Hawks hosted the Toronto St. Pats in their first game at the Chicago Coliseum, winning 4-1. The Black Hawks were founded by Frederic McLaughlin, who had served as a major during World War I. McLaughlin’s army unit was nicknamed the Blackhawks, a name he bestowed on to his team. With most of their team coming from the WHL’s Portland Rosebuds, the Black Hawks were coached by Pete Muldoon. The Black Hawks would finish third in the American Division with a record of 19-22-3. They would get beaten in the playoffs by the Boston Bruins. The team was officially called the Chicago Black Hawks until 1986, when they were rebranded the Chicago Blackhawks. The St. Pats, meanwhile, became the Toronto Maple Leafs in the middle of the season.

On November 18, 1926, it was the Detroit Cougars played the Boston Bruins in their first game suffering a 2-0 loss. The Cougars Olympia Stadium in Detroit would not be completed in time for the first season, meaning the Cougars had to play their first season across the border in Windsor, Ontario, at the Border Cities Arena. A group of investors called the Townsend syndicate purchased the WHL’s most successful team, the Victoria Cougars, and moved them to Detroit after the team folded. The Cougars had upset the Montreal Canadiens in the 1925 Stanley Cup Finals, becoming the last non-NHL team to win it. The Cougars were led by Art Duncan but struggled, leading to a change of coaches to Duke Keats, as they finished in last place with a record of 12-28-4. In 1930 the Cougars became the Detroit Falcons; two years later,  they became the Detroit Red Wings.