Today, my wife and I had lunch at this Seattle sports pub we frequent called Sport. It's one of those places where they hang various sports memorabilia on the walls alongside dozens of TVs tuned exclusively to sporting events.
As you walk in, there's a timeline of Seattle sports history. I'd never noticed before that the first event is a Stanley Cup championship.
Even more surprising to me, the Seattle Metropolitans, a member of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915 to 1924, were the first U.S. hockey team to win the Stanley Cup, which they did in 1917.
With that nugget, I learned that my vast hockey knowledge lacked a very cool little detail. My new city was the first in America to claim the Cup. And they did so against the legendary Montreal Canadiens, 3 games to 1.
Not only that, but the Metropolitans played for the Cup two more times in 1919 and 1920. (There was no Stanley Cup champion in 1919 due to the series cancellation by the flu epidemic.)
In case you can't read that placard behind the glass in the photo — sorry about the glare, we're having one of those unusual sunny days — here's what it says:
The Seattle Metropolitans, in only their second season, grabbed the most prized possession in professional hockey, the Stanley Cup. The Metropolitans were the first U.S. team to win the Stanley Cup and did so behind the efforts of star forward Bernie Morris who scored an unprecedented 6 goals in a 9-1 victory in the series clincher. The Metropolitans went on to play in two more Stanley Cup Finals before disbanding in 1924.
Despite all these championship appearances during their relatively short existence, Seattle was not the first American city represented in Stanley Cup play. If Wikipedia is to be trusted, the PCHA's Portland Rosebuds did that in 1916. They lost the series to the Canadiens, 3-2.
The Stanley Cup became an NHL-exclusive championship trophy in 1927. The first American NHL team to win it was the New York Rangers in 1928. The Boston Bruins played for it and lost in 1927.
I know none of this is related to uniforms or jerseys (except that there's a mock-up of the Metropolitans' sweater crest in the photo) but I thought it was a neat tidbit to share during the Stanley Cup Playoffs about my city's hockey history. Now if only we could get an NHL team here. (First need a new arena, though.)
One more thing. GO BOLTS!
Thanks to Icethetics reader and fellow Seattle resident M Jarred Shelton, I'm able to make this post even better! Jarred visited the Hockey Hall of Fame a couple of weeks ago and has shared some photos relevant to our city's hockey past.
First, here's an actual Metropolitans goalie sweater (right). The placard above it reads:
Goaltender Harry "Hap" Holmes jersey that he wore late in his career with the Seattle Metropolitans of the PCHA. Holmes was a PCHA 2nd Team All-Star seven times as a Metropolitan, winning the Stanley Cup in 1917.
A very cool, but very Christmas-y sweater. And by that I mean both green and red as well as gaudy.
In an email to me, Jarred wrote of the HHOF: "As a Seattle resident, there isn't much to hang our hockey hats on so it was certainly nice to see those two pieces while we were there."
The other piece he is referring to is what truly rounds out this blog post. It's a photo of how Seattle is forever represented with an engraving on the Stanley Cup. Well, I say "forever," but actually it's not even there now.
"Seattle is not on the actual Cup anymore but on one of the rings that used to be on it," Jarred said. "It had a separate area in the Stanley Cup hall at the HHOF."
The Cup's trustees regularly remove rings from the trophy in order to make room for future champions. Obviously, continuing to add rings indefinitely without removing any would eventually make it too big for one person to carry.
He also mentioned: "The picture of Seattle on the Cup ring is a little blurry because of the way they had the lights on it."
Still, this is how the Emerald City was engraved on hockey's most coveted trophy (left): "SEATTLE / World's Champions / Defeated Canadians / 1917"
Go Seattle hockey!