Preserving and Promoting local history for the former Rideau Township
Log Fence

Paul's talk covered the time between those early days of hockey in Ottawa until the loss of the first Ottawa Senators NHL team in 1934. The end came when the larger cities became seriously interested and were able to outbid Ottawa for the better players.

The Ottawa teams had several firsts or near firsts for a hockey team. In addition to the first radio broadcast Ottawa played in the first season the Stanley Cup was challenged in 1893, and won. They were the second team to travel to an out of town game on a train.

The Ottawa Hockey Club and the first Senators were a very good team. Canadian sports editors selected The Senators were selected by Canadian sports editors to be Canada's greatest team in the first half of the 20th century.

One of the most notable reminders of the differences in hockey between then and now were the pictures of the early teams. A team consisted of only 7 members. No, the seventh wasn't a spare. There were 7 players on the ice for each team. The seventh player was called a "rover" and he apparently chased the puck on defence and tried to get in the clear anywhere on offence. He did not have a specific position to play.

The Dey Brothers Arena

This Dey Brothers rink was one of two or three arenas the  family built in Ottawa on the banks of the canal. The Dey family was prominent in Ottawa at the time, with a boat works serving the lumber business. Member of the family also played hockey, so the interest in rinks was not surprising.

Paul's book "Win, Tie, or Wrangle" is expected to be published in late 2008.

The talk was really interesting and we all left the building that night with our heads a little higher because of the knowledge of our excellent Ottawa hockey history.

125 Years of Professional Hockey in Ottawa

presented by Paul Kitchen

Rideau Branch, Ottawa Archives, North Gower
February 20, 2008

Paul Kitchen is a retired librarian, a hockey enthusiast, and, fortunately for Ottawa, a noted hockey historian. Ottawa, it turns out, has a delightful and successful hockey history. Paul has captured the fun and facts of this hockey history in his upcoming book, “Win, Tie or Wrangle”.

Paul Kitchen

His presentation of photos and other illustrations included the connections with Thomas D’Arcy McGee, Archibald Lampman, Mayor Nelson Porter, the name “Senators”,  and the first radio broadcast.

The Ottawa Hockey Club first played in Ottawa in 1883. It was first and amateur club, turning professional later. In 1883, of course, they played outside and the fans stood around the rink. Indoor hockey in heated arenas was not to appear until decades later.

Early hockey game in Montreal

The team, now named the Ottawa Senators, played in the NHL from 1917 until 1934. It was a very good team, winning  11 Stanley Cups. Did you know that in those the Stanley Cup was a challenge series? There could be, and was on occasion,  more than one series in a year.