It was 98 years ago today that the Seattle Metropolitans defeated the defending champion Montreal Canadiens to become the first American club to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. Yes, the Emerald City once hosted a professional hockey franchise, though not from the National Hockey League we are all accustomed to. The Metropolitans played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA). The “Mets”, coached by Pete Muldoon, won the PCHA (and the honor of playing the Canadiens) with a regular season record of 16-8. It was a rather dominant performance from Seattle as they won the best of five series 3-1. After being thumped in game one 8-4, Seattle would win the next three games by a combined score of 19-3. Bernie Morris scored the “game-winning” goal in game 4; The Metropolitans would dump seven more goals on the Canadiens in game four.
What’s unique about this series is that there were different rules for each game. Montreal called the National Hockey Association (NHA) home at the time and had different rules than Seattle’s PCHA. They alternated rule books, starting with the PCHA guidelines in game one, then again in game three. Games two and four used NHA rules. The teams played all four matches at the Seattle Ice Arena. The PCHA continued operations until it merged with the Western Canada Hockey League in 1924.
The Seattle Metropolitans ceased operations in 1924 around the time the PCHA merged with the WCHA. I know there is a strong contingent of fans/advocates pushing for professional hockey to return to Seattle. No one likes the idea of relocation, but in today’s NHL landscape, it is a harsh reality that some cities simply cannot facilitate a successful NHL franchise. Perhaps the Pacific Northwest is ready to give the NHL a try, but Las Vegas, Quebec City and Hamilton, Ontario appear to be more attractive candidates for the time being.