I like philosophy. In my mind philosophy is as plainly as I can put it “the natural order of the way the world works.”
One of the ways the world works, (most of the time anyway… Brad Marchand is a Stanley Cup champion after all…) Is that if you’re an arrogant ass hat, most of the time the universe smacks you down.
Clearly the 1925 Montreal Canadians did not get that memo. You see in 1924, on the backs of stellar play by Howie Morenz and George Vezina, The Canadiens beat the Calgary Tigers (random history nugget…That would be the last time a team from Calgary played for the Stanley Cup for 60 some odd years) to claim the cup.
Evidently in the early twenties equivalent of an ovechkin bender that followed… Someone had the bright idea to replace the famous Montreal Canadiens Crest with a globe to symbolize their dominance as world champions.
History does not record if written in small script under the globe was the phrase “We won, lick our buttholes.” I like to think it was there though.
I mean you can almost picture this right? It’s the morning after and everyone wakes up in the rink still in their equipment…. The goalies got vomit running down his chest protector (or given that it’s 1924, the lack thereof) and the real intellectual dude of the group is like…”guys I’ve got the best idea! Let’s put the globe on our crest so everyone will know we are the world champions!”
So the Canadiens started the next season with a giant globe-sized target on the front of their jerseys, and to the surprise of no one, did not do very well. That season they came in third and actually surprised the Toronto St.Pat’s in the playoffs (cuz even back then beating Toronto in the playoffs was a thing).
They actually went on to play the Hamilton Tigers (what’s with all the tigers? Who names these teams Joe Exotic?) But Hamilton, justifiably so, was on strike because the NHL had extended the games played from 24 to 30 without increasing the pay.
The NHL not knowing what to do, kind of through their hands up and were like…”Guess you douches are the champions this year.”
Now back then, we were still in the era of the challenge cup… And I plan to do a whole blog about the challenge cup…. But basically it worked more like the world titled than it did the Stanley Cup.
At the time there were three leagues, WHL, PCHA, and the NHL. The champion of the WHL and the PCHA would play each other, The winner would advance to the final. The NHL would have to play the loser of the previous series for the chance to go to the finals. The NHL bodied everyone… Like it wasn’t even close. The two leagues never played each other in the finals despite their being a probability of that happening.
In 1925 the PCHA had disbanded. Therefore the NHL just got to play the winner of the WHL, in this case the Victoria Cougars (there’s a joke there I’m not touching with a 10-ft pole) .
During the challenge cup years, players would have to travel by train (That sounds real fun doesn’t it?) So the actual arena the cup would be contested would vary from year to year. It just so happens that this year it would be played on the West coast exclusively. Specifically in Victoria.
I imagine all season the Canadiens would stroll into whatever arena they were in like “Hey look at the globe on our jersey, we’re world champions did you know?” No one cares dude…. Drop the puck let’s f****** go.
But now you have the Canadians strolling in with their jerseys, on hostel ice for the entire finals. See where this is going?
Now because one of the leagues had bowed out the finals had reverted to a best of five series…. Before then it was awarded based on what team scored the most goals (I know it’s insane, Ill cover this in depth another time).
Victoria won the first two games in fairly convincing fashion 5-2 and 3-1, the Canadiens made a series of it in game three but then bowed out in game four, 6-1 off a cup winning goal by Gizzy Hart (who the hell name’s an infant that?) But hey I’m sure they looked pretty badass in their cool globe jerseys right?
Victoria is the only non NHL team to challenge and solely win the Stanley Cup. (Seattle shared the cup as the finals weren’t fully finished in 1919)
The lesson here kiddos, God don’t like ugly or arrogant….”Get down,….stay humble”