Vancouver Hockey CentennialThe Boston Bruins are an Original Six NHL team founded by Charles F. Adams on November 1, 1924. Since that date, the Bruins have lifted Lord Stanley's Cup on six different occasions in 1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972 and 2011. From Eddie Shore to Bobby Orr, Milt Schmidt to Cam Neely, some of the greatest to ever play the game have called Causeway Street home over the years.
Building the sport to its most brilliant and breathtaking level, their vision and courage created the game we play today. The face of hockey is their contribution. They introduced the twenty two rules that have created the game, the sixty minute game being divided into three twenty minute periods, the first team system in hockey, as well as the playoff series, the blue line, forward passing, the penalty shot, and numbers on sweaters so fans could identify the players.
The Patrick brothers also gave us the practice of a defenseman bringing the puck up the ice, the goal assist, substitution of players while the game was being played, allowing a goaltender to fall to the ice to make a save, the gesture of raising the stick when a goal was being scored, and eventually allowing a team to dress two goaltenders before a game.
The Patrick brothers along with their father Joe sold their prosperous sawmill business to single handily establish and finance three West Coast Teams. The Victoria Senators, The New Westminster Royals and The Vancouver Millionaires, so called because of the high salaries the brothers were willing to pay to have the best talent re-establish themselves on the West Coast.
The brothers financed their own arena – the Denman Arena. Vancouver's climate necessitated playing on the first artificial ice rink in Canada, in a city where most people had never seen a hockey game or had any knowledge of the sport. The odds against them were immeasurable. Teams had to travel for days by train just to play a game, yet the Vancouver Millionaires would go on to play for the Stanley Cup five times and win the Stanley Cup in 1915. They lived the dream.
The Boston Bruins are proud to play the game that is the legacy of so many who came before.
The Centennial of the birth of professional hockey in Vancouver is also the Centennial of the expansion of hockey to become a North American sport we love and play today. Frank and Lester Patrick had a dream and the courage to pursue it. We are all the beneficiaries of their dream. They exhibited imagination, initiative, and integrity. We honor the Patrick brothers – the builders of hockey.