Research

Hockey may be regarded as the most distinctive and the most popular of Canadian games. None of the others evoke such enthusiasm. Allegiance is divided among baseball, lacrosse, football, and cricket in the summer. In winter hockey is supreme. We are a nation of workers. There are few who have the leisure to spend much of the day time either in playing or in watching a game. Hockey is played almost wholly in the evenings, hence it is supported as none of the summer sports are.

On account of its acknowledged superiority, therefore, the present condition into which the game has been brought is a matter of greatest concern. It started out with the purest amateurism. One of the first teams that played the game originated at Rideau Hall, Ottawa, the Governor-General of the day, Lord Stanley, being instrumental in starting it. His interest in hockey was such that he donated the famous cup which bears his name. Now we find it infested with professionalism in its rankest shape without any adequate system of control. With professionalism, such as that which has been adopted by the Alberta baseball league and by the baseball world generally, I have no quarrel. I prefer amateur sport but have to recognise that once a game reached certain proportions, we cannot wholly maintain amateurism. What I object to is the mixing up of the two systems, with all the uncertainty and deception and sharp practices that follow in its train.

In the Manitoba league it looked as if Kenora, the Stanley cup holder, was going to lose the championship. They promptly brought Smith and Westwick, two of Ottawa's best players, up to strengthen their forward line. No one who has seen on the ice these two men, who have so long done brilliant work for Ottawa, was surprised on learning that Kenora had won the two deciding games from Brandon quite handily. As this is being written, the hockey world is awaiting the result of the first Stanley cup game between the Kenoras and the Montreal Wanderers. But the acting trustee of the trophy, Mr. Foran of Ottawa, has declared that Smith and Westwick must not play. He has brought down on his head the furious denunciation of the Kenora supporters. But his decision was the only reasonable one to arrive at. What good is a cup that is supposed to be emblematic of Canadian hockey championship if a team can import what players it likes from other clubs just when it wants them? It is a fact that other Stanley cup contestants have done this. But this is no reason why a stand should not be made against the practise now. Lord Stanley would certainly be justified under the circumstances in asking for the withdrawal of the cup altogether. The money power is dominating the game. Where the sport comes in which a number of men who are backing a team put up a certain amount of money to bring in outside players in order that they may double or triple their investment, is more than I for one can understand. No matter whether professionals or amateurs are playing, I want to see the game played for the love of it.

by "Cover Point" in Edmonton Saturday News, March 23, 1907.

Source Citation   (MLA 7th Edition)
"Hockey." Alberta History 61.2 (2013): 23. Academic OneFile. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.