Skip to main content


NHL competition 94 years old Monday @NHL
Ninety-four years ago today, the first games in the NHL's history were played. Not surprisingly, the city of Montreal was at the heart of the action.

On Dec. 19, 1917, the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators 7-4 and the Montreal Wanderers beat the Toronto Arenas 10-9 as the four-team season began. The Wanderers did not finish the season after their arena, the Montreal Arena, burned down and forced the Wanderers to withdraw from the competition and eventually fold. The Arenas eventually evolved into the Maple Leafs.

Ninety-four years ago today, the first games in the NHL's history were played. (Photo: Getty Images)
Toronto, who finished second in the first half of the season to the Canadiens, won the second-half crown and also claimed the Stanley Cup that year.

Joe Malone of the Montreal Canadiens would go on to win the scoring race, totalling 48 points in 20 games. Ottawa's Cy Denneny (46) and Toronto's Reg Noble (40) would also average at least two points per game.

The Canadiens, who finished with 13 wins that first season, were just getting started with their winning ways. They currently have 3,117 victories and 23 Stanley Cups in franchise history; both are the most by any NHL team.

The Senators remained an NHL franchise until 1934, when the team disbanded for financial reasons. The Senators were resurrected in 1990 when the NHL expanded.

The Canadiens and Maple Leafs are in action Monday night. Montreal will pay a visit to Boston while Toronto will play host to the Los Angeles Kings.
View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.