As stated in the first post of the series, I intend to cover background material on key people involved in the United States’ National Amateur Hockey League (NAHL). For refresher, the NAHL only lasted one season, 1917-18 before morphing into the U.S. Amateur Hockey Association. It included four teams, the First Naval District, the Pittsburgh All-Stars (Yellow Jackets), the New York Wanderers and the Boston Arenas. The champions won a challenge cup, called the Fellowes Cup, who became the U.S. National Amateur Champions. The Fellowes Cup holder won the right to challenge Canada’s top amateur team who held the Art Ross Cup. In 1918, the holders of the cup were the Montreal Hochelaga.
I hope to cover one key character per week. I viewed these people through a tiered lens. The top tier covered key enablers, which included CAPT William Rush, George V. Brown, Roy Schooley and Cornelius Fellowes. These people enabled the formation of the NAHL. CAPT Rush probably hired George Brown to be his athletic director. Roy Schooley was well established in Pittsburgh. Cornelius Fellowes, entrenched in New York sports, sponsored the league’s challenge cup.
The next tier included dedicated coaches, which only covers Ralph Winsor. The rest of the teams had a player-coach or a manager-coach.
The last tier, which will start 29 or 30 June 2019, covers the key players. Players were chosen because of what they did on the ice, in the war or post-war. A few went on to play in one or both of the first two Olympic ice hockey games. Ralph Winsor coached the 1932 U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team. All three teams won silver losing only to Canada.
To tease, expect, at a minimum, the following players to be covered in upcoming posts:
Raymie Skilton – USNRF, First Naval District
George “Chippy” Gaw – USNRF, First Naval District
Herb Drury – Pittsburgh All-Stars
Joe McCormick – Pittsburgh All-Stars
Mickey Roach – New York Wanderers
Frank Synott – Boston Arenas
These men lived storied lives. Their league faced many challenges including possible revocation as amateurs. After war over the ice and war on the ice, many faced war itself.
So, I hope you’ll continue reading about the men of wartime American hockey.