A birthday today for this arresting headline from an inside page of Montreal’s Gazette — happy 113 years young!
The worry behind it? Two new professional leagues were in the making that Saturday in December of 1909, which meant that Montreal might be seeing twice or maybe even three times as many games than the city was used to, of a winter, plus all kinds of senior fixtures, too, adding up to … a glut?
“Fairminded critics with nothing more than the interest of the game at heart are wondering what this big bill of hockey fare will lead to,” the Gazette noted. “It looks like a big gamble all around.”
Maybe the public would turn out, “and the game may boom as it never has before in Montreal.”
But maybe not. “It may, on the other hand, prove indifferent from the start, or become surfeited with hockey before the season is half over. In the latter event, there will be deficits for all the clubs, amateur and professional, to face at the end of the season.”
In other news, a new team was founded that very same day in Montreal, over in room 129 of the Windsor Hotel, the very same establishment in which the National Hockey League would conjure itself into being eight years later. The Gazette reported on that birthday the following week:
Many happy returns of the day, Le Canadien.