The Coliseum’s Impact

The Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum imported new industries centered around migrant workers whose economic impact was negligible. The Coliseum supported multiple sports teams including the Phoenix Suns (NBA) and the Phoenix Roadrunners (WHL and WHA). Though the Suns migrated players from across the United States, the Phoenix Roadrunners immigrated from Canada. The Suns’ 1968 inaugural roster included 18 American players. Besides being imported from Victoria, British Columbia, the Roadrunners 1967-68 inaugural roster included 28 Canadians.

From 1968 until 1977, The Roadrunners transitioned across leagues while maintaining a largely migrant workforce. From 1968 until 1974, they played in the Western Hockey League, a minor professional league, with affiliation to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 1974, they switched to the NHL rival the World Hockey Association (WHA). In the WHA, the Roadrunners roster included 48 players with only 4 Finnish, 2 Americans, and 1 Dane. Of interest, two Finns, Pekka Rautakallio and Juhani Tamminen, shared their migration stories.

As migrant workers, Rautakallio and Tamminen are tied into the United States immigration laws and policies. The United States tracks two types of visas, immigrants and nonimmigrant. In the mid-70s, nonimmigrant visas, which includes temporary workers, exploded while immigrant visas remained fixed (Visa Office).

Visas Issued by Year

Latin American, usually Mexican, farm hands represent the public memory of migrant workers. These workers received H-2 visas especially after the Bracero program ended (ImmigrationHistory.org). However, most migrant workers, including hockey players, received H-1 visas. From 1974 until 1977, H-1 and H-2 visas represented less than 1% of all nonimmigrant visas. For the Roadrunners, the United States issued four temporary worker visas for the Finnish players. Even this represented a small percentage of temporary worker visas issued to Finland.

Fiscal YearCountryTemp Worker Visas
1974Finland31
1975Finland103
1976Finland128
1977Finland83

When the WHA floundered and merged with the NHL, Phoenix experienced little to no negative economic impact. Andrew Zimbalist identified four underlying reasons why. On the player and business side, he noted teams exert greater cultural impact than economic. Teams typically run a small front office full time. The rest are game day and only work four hours per game. Players rarely make permanent residence of their teams home barn. Most money gets expended in their home town or vacation spots. On the residents side, Zimbalist identified families usually run on fixed budgets. Thus, dollars spent at the rink are taken from other entertainment activities. Since the Memorial Coliseum was self-funded, budget gaps covered by public funding do not apply. Despite being self-funded and sustaining, the Coliseum and the players who called it home contributed little to Phoenix’s economic growth.

In 1962, the Arizona State Fair Commission proposed an exposition center, which became the Memorial Coliseum. Stanford Research Institute studied the development of a exposition center in 1960. The study estimated 237 days of use with a potential profit of $20,250 (Arizona State Fair Commission 1962) [1]. In 2016, the Arizona State Senate reviewed the Fair Commission for privatization. The enlisted research company identified the coliseum and fairgrounds generate 718 full-time jobs with $24.5 million in wages. Additionally, employee spending provided $3.4 million into the economy (Hanna 2016). While this sounds impressive, it was a fraction of Phoenix’s revenue.

In October 2007, Contemporary Economic Policy published an article reviewing research surrounding the economic impacts of professional sports teams and stadiums on their host communities. Most studies concluded “stadiums do not cause income or employment to grow (COATES 2007, 567) [2]. Coates identified flaws in studies supporting positive economic impact. For example, Baltimore’s M&T Stadium accounted for an aggregate income increase of $3 million dollars, which equated to approximately 0.02% of Baltimore’s revenue of $15 billion (568). The Arizona State Senate’s research exhibited the same misrepresentation as M&T Stadium’s impact.

The 1960 promise and the 2016 performance audit highlighted a Coliseum with great cultural significance while hoping for significant economic impact. The Coliseum brought in professional basketball and hockey sports teams. These added to the growth of Phoenix as it moved from 99th to 20th in size. Yet, neither the Coliseum nor the teams contributed significantly to Phoenix’s economic growth. Unlike many other stadiums and arenas, Arizona’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum remains a self-sufficient entity sustaining an ember of winter sports in the desert.

PART 1: Phoenix: Preparation for Migratory Sports
PART 3: Migration Patterns of Hockey Players: Pekka Rautakallio and Juhani Tamminen
PART 4: Pekka and Juhani: Their Migrant Story

END NOTES:

  1. 20,250USD is approximately 184,000USD in May 2021 dollars according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, accessed June 2021.
  2. Most studies reviewed by Coates focused on publicly subsidized stadiums and arenas. In 2016, Xia Feng and Brad Humphreys examined property values near privately funded sports facilities. Feng and Humphreys agreed that all sports facilities provide “little to no significant positive tangible impacts”. However, their results suggested an intangible benefits to the local economy. Journal of Sports Economics 19(2), 2016.

Sources:
Arizona State Fair Commission “Proposed Arizona State Fairgrounds Exposition Center“, lasted accessed from AZlibrary.gov on June 13, 2021
Hanna, Grant, “Final report of the sunset review of the Arizona Exposition and State Fair” , lasted accessed from AZlibrary.gov on June 13, 2021
COATES, DENNIS. “STADIUMS AND ARENAS: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OR ECONOMIC REDISTRIBUTION?” Contemporary economic policy 25, no. 4 (2007): 565–577. https://doi-org.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/10.1111/j.1465-7287.2007.00073.x
H-2 Guestworker Visa Program – Immigration History University of Texas at Austin, immigrationhistory.org, last accessed June 14, 2021.
HockeyDB “Phoenix Roadrunners 1967-68 roster and stats“, last accessed June 14, 2021.
RealGM “1968-69 Phoenix Suns Regular Season Roster“, last accessed June 14, 2021.
HockeyDB “Phoenix Roadrunners [WHA] all-time player list“, last accessed June 14, 2021.
Zimbalist, Andrew. 2013. Sports facilities and economic development. Government Finance Review 29, no. 4: 94-96, http://login.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/trade-journals/sports-facilities-economic-development/docview/1431183991/se-2?accountid=4485.
United States. Visa Office. Report of the Visa Office. Washington: U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs; [For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.]. via HathiTrust last accessed June 14, 2021.
11 – Report of the Visa Office. 1965-1973. – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library
3 – Report of the Visa Office. 1967. – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library
3 – Report of the Visa Office. 1968. – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library
1 – Report of the Visa Office. 1974. – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library
9 – Report of the Visa Office. 1974-1976. – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library
1 – Report of the Visa Office. 1977. – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library
3 – Report of the Visa Office. 1978. – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library
3 – Report of the Visa Office. 1979. – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library

Additional Reading:
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Bracero History Archive | About (braceroarchive.org)

The NAHL: Roy D. Schooley

Roy Dunlap Schooley, along with George Brown and Cornelius Fellowes Jr, completed the leadership triumvirate of the newly formed National Amateur Hockey League (NAHL). Like George, Roy came from more humble beginnings as a reporter in Welland, Ontario, Canada. In the early years of hockey, many reporters referreed games in order to get the story. As an independent reporter, Roy took advantage of this common practice. Roy, who apparently had a nose for a story, moved to Pittsburgh in 1901 and took this practice with him.

Outside of New York City and St. Paul, Pittsburgh attracted many Canadian hockey players. Tom Howard even played a few games there. In Pittsburgh, Roy gained renown as a referee. However, his primary means remained reporting. Working for the Pittsburgh Chronicle Telegraph, he focused on local politics. By 1917, Roy transitioned from a beat reporter to team owner/manager and embedded in the Pittsburgh political circles.

Between 1910 and 1930, Roy held many key city offices while maintaining the premier Pittsburgh hockey team. For example, Roy was the Chief Clerk of the Department of Public Works. These positions provided Roy the freedom to promote amateur hockey in Pittsburgh. In 1926, Roy transitioned the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets from amateur to professional hockey. With this move, Roy destroyed the NAHL and signaled the end of prominence of amateur hockey.

Roy moved through Pittsburgh Republican circles. He leveraged his knowledge of sports promotion to get several mayors elected. They rewarded Roy with the position of City Treasurer. In 1930, scandal wormed through the Republican stronghold. The city treasury came up short and several transactions appeared to be suspicious. Additional investigation identified that city funds lacked critical backing as mandated by law. The federal probe targeted Roy and other key leaders. When prosecutors were ready in 1933, Roy died from a protracted illness, and the embezzlement case against him dropped.

Roy Schooley sought local, national, and international recognition. He found it in Pittsburgh. He brought in one of the strongest teams into a fledgling amateur league. He attracted talent possibly equal to Hobey Baker with Herb Drury. Without Roy Schooley, the NAHL might have been just another New England curioso instead of near national level spectacle.

Tue, Nov 14, 1933 – Page 9 · The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com

Interlude: Winnipeg’s Forgotten Hockey Royalty, “Queen” Kathleen Howard

While many aspects remain in mystery, Kathleen Howard’s advocacy for women’s hockey is unquestionable. Her abilities and circumstances paved a way for to become the United States first female hockey coach.

A Winnipeg native, she was born Kathleen Cronn or Crown in 1874. Prior to her marriage, she taught ice skating and participated in various Winnipeg Carnivals*. On May 13, 1893, she married Tom Howard, which started the “first family” of hockey. The family was complete with the birth of their two boys, Tom Jr. and John “Jack”. When they moved to Brooklyn in 1900, she brought hockey with her, and specifically for women.

Kathleen’s advocacy sprang to life in 1917 with the pronouncement, “Hockey for Women is not a Novelty.” While women played hockey in the United States during the “teens”, she noted that New York City women seemed to have forgotten about hockey. She also penned an article on women’s hockey for Spalding’s Official Ice Hockey Guide 1917, which Tom Howard edited.

Kathleen howard on hockey
Kathleen howard on hockey Thu, Feb 8, 1917 – Page 22 · The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) · Newspapers.com

She coached St. Nick’s women’s teams for at least two seasons, 1916-17 and 1917-18. In the 1916-1917 season, she took over for her husband in December, 1916. In 1918, she arranged a charity hockey match with Boston to help the employees after the Brooklyn Ice Palace was ordered closed. Not to say that women’s hockey died after 1918. As a matter of fact, women’s hockey enjoyed great success through the 1920s and 1930s. However, Kathleen seems to drop out of the news after 1918.

Some of this may be due to imperfect records and inconsistent reporting. For example, Manitoba lists three birth certificates for two boys, 2 for Thomas and 1 for John. Each certificate has a different name including an incorrect last name, Cronner. The Winnipeg Tribune constantly reports her last name as “Cronn” whereas government records lists “Crown”. After getting married, she is almost exclusively referred to as “Mrs. Tom Howard” or a variation thereof. As a result, a shroud of mystery wraps Kathleen. In reality, the biggest reason is due to what happened to Jack in 1919.

Somewhere around 1927, She and Tom move to California to live with their son, Tom Jr. She outlived her husband, who dies in November 1945. However, her own death is as ellusive as her legacy.

Her greatest feat wasn’t getting married to a star hockey player and coach. It wasn’t raising two upcoming stars of the amateur hockey world. Her greatest feat was being the first woman to coach hockey in the United States, and quite possibly Canada, too. Of course, Kathleen may disagree and say that seeing women in professional hockey was her greatest legacy.

*Note: Carnival events included hockey, ice skating, curling, and dressing up. Kathleen was noted for her costumes in 1891 (gypsy queen) and 1892 (faerie).

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Interlude: CEF Goes to Hockey

While both Canada and United Sates militaries participated in sports before and after WWI, their participation in hockey did not emerge until recruitment impacted the amateur hockey world.

When the war started in August 1914, the Canadian military needed to modernize overnight, including raising a force. In 1914, Canada was in recession and unemployment was high. Additionally, patriotism surged amongst the general populace. As a result, there was a large willing and available manpower pool to resource units.

While notable hockey players trickled into CEF units between August, 1914 and August, 1915, a shocker came when the entire Selkirk hockey joined the 61st Battalion in September, 1915. However, this wasn’t reason why the CEF jumped into amateur hockey. It was the reason why it took off.

Richard Holt lays out how the CEF built units. In general, once a unit was authorized (or sponsored in the case of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry), recruiting would happen locally. The unit would also stay in garrison until initial training was complete, which was usually four months. Sports provided an outlet for those waiting for their unit to reach full strength. So, it wasn’t that the 61st waited  for hockey; hockey forced itself on to the 61st.

With the Selkirk team on hand, the 61st had a strong team and the Winnipeg leagues were voted to be playing for the Allan Cup. In the teens and twenties, the Allan Cup was possibly more popular than the Stanley Cup. One reason was that amateur hockey was more popular than professional hockey. And, The Allan Cup was for Amateurs only. As soon as newspapers reported on the 61st Battalion’s entrance to amateur hockey, other units submitted their application, including the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), the 40th Battery (Conn Smythe’s unit), the 94th Battalion (Thunder Bay) and many others. At least 24 CEF units participated in various amateur hockey leagues for the 1915-1916 season. (Note: a table of units is below.)

The 61st Battalion won the Allan Cup and defended the title throughout the 1916 season. In April, the 61st Battalion was declared the champions and shipped off to war. In addition to the 61st Battalion in the senior league, the 61st’s intermediate team won their league’s championship and the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadian) won the Winnipeg Central Hockey Associations’ championship title. These successes on the ice led to increased CEF participation in hockey, which led to the creation of the Military Hockey League for 1916-1917.

Nearly every CEF unit participated in the 1916-1917 season. Most (in)famously, the 228th under the McNamara brothers attempted to repeat the 61st’s success, except in the N.H.A. However, scandals and a strict adherence to deployment schedules interrupted the 228th’s chance. By 1918, the United States military supported hockey teams. Thomas “Tom” Howard Jr and John “Jack” Howard played for several U.S. Navy teams.

With the popularity of hockey in the late-teens, a lingering question remains on if the military recruited hockey players for hockey (promote support or recruitment) or war. The 228th supposedly offered Eddie Oatman $1200 to play hockey, but was unceremoniously dismissed two days prior to the 228th leaving for the front. Oatman claimed to have never been enlisted or properly enlisted. In contrast, the Howard brothers joined the Naval Reserve in 1917. Tom Jr. was passed from Newport Naval Yard to Charleston Naval Yard solely for hockey. In regards to the CEF, J.J. Wilson suggests that the CEF targeted hockey players for recruitment. While Wilson’s reasons may be contentious, it is clear the CEF appealed to hockey players to join. Captain  James Sutherland wrote an open letter and closed with the words “The whistle has sounded. Let every man play ‘the greatest game of his life’.”

Fri, Dec 31, 1915 – 12 · The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) · Newspapers.com

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Interlude: The Army Plays as Pros

In Canada and the United States, several military units created hockey teams. Most of these either played in a special military league or affiliated with an amateur league for cross-league play. However, one unit, the Toronto 228th Battalion, applied for a National Hockey Association franchise. The 228th became the first, and possibly the last, military unit with a professional sports team.

The 228th applied for franchise in September 1916 for winter 1917. At the time, hockey seasons ran from late December until March. The 228th was granted status in the NHA for the 1916-1917 season. But, this wasn’t without controversy.

Many of the players for the 228th, Northern Fusiliers, came from another NHA entity, the Torontos, aka Toronto Blueshirts. The 228th, being based in Toronto, received many of the Torontos players when they enlisted. Even before the season started the Torontos’ owner, Eddie Livingstone, filed grievances with the NHA over players. The NHA ultimately decided in favor of the 228th.

The 228th had a star-studded cast of professionals. Some went on to serve bravely. George and Howard McNamara were known as the “Dynamite Twins”. While known as powerful men on the ice, they served in the Canadian Railway Troops (CRT) in France and rose to the rank of Major. George “Goldie” Prodgers rose to Company Sergeant Major with the 6th CRT. A few were embroiled in as much turmoil as the 228th.

Gordon Meeking and Eddie Oatman created as much controversy as the 228th entering into professional sports. Gordon Meeking was more unlucky than anything else. He entered with the 228th on September, 1916; only to be discharged on February 10, 1917. It wasn’t the end of his military career. He was drafted under the Military Service Act in late 1917. Finally, Meeking was discharged as medically unfit in 1918. During his brief break in service, the NHA and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) bickered over whether to allow Meeking and Oatman to play.

Unlike Meeking, Eddie Oatman caused his own trouble. He started by publicly claiming he never was in the 228th. Furthermore, he claimed that the 228th owed him $800, assuming CAD, as a professional hockey player. Additionally, Livingstone claimed to have proof that Oatman was never in the 228th. Thankfully, Oatman’s service record is available from the Library and Archives Canada. He signed his attestation papers on November 1. Subsequently, he was discharged on February 10, 1917 as “not likely to become an efficient soldier”. Therefore, It is not clear, at this time, what was presented to the NHA regarding Oatman’s time with the 228th.

Meeking and Oatman represent the most public cases of the hockey players turned soldiers who left behind. NHA chose not to ban them from hockey. They were playing with the PCHA by December. However, it is not clear if the ban would have been effective. The PCHA was a separate league. Second, the NHA was collapsing and about to be replaced by the NHL.

As it transitioned overseas, the 228th broke up. This was part of the odd system of reinforcement. The major hockey players seemed to have been assigned to the Railway Troops in theater. Unfortunately, time wasn’t available to verify the full team roster or player aftermath. The McNamaras lived a long life with George passing away in 1952. But, the 228th’s transition also was a portent of NHL’s tumultuous start.

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Interlude: Winnipeg’s Forgotten Hockey Royalty, “King” Attie Howard

By the end of 1930, Thomas Atcheson “Attie” Howard became one of hockey’s most important forgotten legends. During his time in the limelight, hockey drastically changed from a predominantly amateur sport to a self-sustaining professional entity. Additionally, game play drastically changed. Approved rule changes included multiple substitutions and reduction to six players on the ice. With such a storied life, a simple posting can only highlight a few major events and aspects of hockey’s King.

Thomas Howard was player, coach, and fan of hockey. Although Tom played in college, he is better known as a Winnipeg Victoria Forward. His playing career peaked with winning the Stanley Cup. Although seemingly acquired by St. Paul hockey club in 1899, Tom signed a contract to coach at Yale.

In 1900, Tom started his coaching career. In a professional capacity, Tom coached at Yale for ten years, Columbia University, Yale, Dean of Hockey at Jamaica High School,  and was possibly considered for the general manager role for the New York Americans. However, it appears Tom’s love was always amateur hockey and returned to coach the sport time and time again.

Tom wasn’t just a player. He wasn’t just a coach. He was a fan of the game, especially when his sons played. Both of his sons joined the Navy Reserve and played for the Boston Yard team. Well, an account of a game between The Wanderers (of New York) and the Boston Yard Team highlighted how hockey was a family affair, even if they were in the stands.

Hockey fights are family affairs for the HowardsHockey fights are family affairs for the Howards Tue, Feb 19, 1918 – Page 15 · New York Herald (New York, New York) · Newspapers.com

For each major change in hockey in the teens and twenties, people consulte Tom or his Almanac. Whether it was the transition from seven to six man squads or amateur over pros, newspapers sought Tom’s opinion. Additionally, Tom supported his wife as she coached the St. Nicholas Blues, a women’s hockey team.

Tom retires around 1927 and moves to Los Angeles with his son, Tom Jr. The last note in a long, storied life came from The Winnipeg Tribune:

Toms obitToms obit Fri, Nov 30, 1945 – Page 5 · The Winnipeg Tribune (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) · Newspapers.com

Tom’s Wife, Kathleen, lived on until 1967. Tom’s kids, well, more on them later because Tom’s story doesn’t end here.

The CMPC in New York

As previously stated, the CMPC’s primary mission was to enforce conscription. In New York, the first head of station ensured that the media, and the American public, believed his mission was broader. The British Assistant Provost Marshal meant to apprehend fakers, deserters and other “undesirables”. That first head of station was Lt. Col Frederick Fraser Hunter, who arrived in March, 1918.

The British Assistant Provost Marshal (B.A.P.M) headquarters was located near Battery Park, New York City with 50 personnel assigned. This placed the headquarters well south of the BCMR’s main office on 681 fifth avenue, but within easy reach of the main recruiting office on 280 Broadway. Canada and Britian split funding for the B.A.P.M. Additionally, USA, Canada and Britian entered into a tri-party agreement on authorities. The B.A.P.M was the first foreign law enforcement authorized to operate in the United States. Moreso, the United States supported and assisted the B.A.P.M.

From various newspaper articles, The B.A.P.M prosecuted at least four cases. One case involved two Americans who volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Corps. They were declared deserters when they returned to Viriginia after the dissolution of the Air Corps in 1916. (Note: The Air Corps was reconstituted in 1917.) However, most of the cases were fakers.

Fakers posed as British officers with great military deeds and attempted to cash large cheques from Canadian banks. Usually, the faker would get a free meal, a free night’s stay, and some of the cash. The newspapers ran a few stories about these fakers and how they were caught by the B.A.P.M.

As for Col. Hunter, he led a storied and controversial life. Born in 1876 in Dunham, Ontario, Canada, he traveled the world in service of the empire. Hunter earned distinction during his survey mission in India and during his time with the South Perisan Rifles. Because of his Canadian background, he was the B.A.P.M. until April, 1919 when most of Canada’s war aparatuses were dismantled.

In 1919, the B.A.P.M. transitioned from Canadian to British hands. Besides the name change to British Army Provost Marshal, the replacement head of mission became Col. Norman G. Thwaites. Oddly enough, his courtship and marriage to Elleanor Whitridge Greenough made significant news. Unfortunately, not much appears to have been written about the B.A.P.M. under his direction.

The CMPC office in New York requires more research. Considering LtCol Hunter traveled most of the eastern seaboard of the United States, a question lingers about his true purpose. Additionally, what was the effectiveness of the New York office. Exact numbers on prosecutions were not listed in the Report on enforcement of the Military Service Act (MSA). However, the report on the Overseas Mission explicitly called out the MSA enforcement numbers as unverifiable. As result, I am unable to confidently determine the effectiveness or exact mission of the B.A.P.M. and Lt Col Fraser Hunter.

To note, Col Fraser died in Dunham, Ontario in 1959. Itt appears he married a Kate Upper in New York around 1903. More of his story can be found in the book “Kipling’s Canadian: Colonel Fraser Hunter, MPP, maverick soldier surveyor in ‘the Great Game'”.

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Interlude: Winnipeg’s Forgotten Hockey Royalty, the Howards

Attempting to repeat 1895, the Winnipeg Jets are trying to upset strong favorites in order to win the 2018 Stanley Cup. In Dec 1895, the Winnipeg Victorias amateur hockey club bested Montreal to secure the cup with a team that became known as “the Winnipeg Seven”. While some fame befell the Winnipeg Seven, Thomas Acheson “Attie” Howard stands out due to his very publicized move to Yale. However, hockey was a family affair for the Howards.

While Thomas Howard’s journey started in 1871, not much was able to be discovered about his early years. Tom’s first appearance is an unassuming marriage announcement to Kathleen Cronn in the May 1893 edition of the Winnipeg Tribune. A couple of years later, Thomas Howard, Jr. came into the world in 1895. Finally, Jack T. Howard completed hockey’s royal family in 1897.

The list of Tom’s accomplishments only started with winning Lord Stanley’s “Challenge Cup” in Dec 1895. In 1899, Tom agreed to become Yale’s head coach of Men’s Ice Hockey. In the 20’s, he joined Spalding to sell sticks and become the editor of Spalding Official Ice Hockey Guide, an almanac on hockey and winter sports. By 1927, Tom and Kathleen retired to Tom Jr’s place in Los Angeles. A lone obituary in the Winnipeg Tribune on 30 Nov, 1945 noted the passing of Tom “Attie” Howard on the 18th. But, this wouldn’t be a story on family if it was only about Tom.

In New York City, Kathleen Howard came into her own as possibly hockey’s first female coach. Noted as “Mrs. Tom Howard” in most newspaper articles, she argued that hockey was for women. Mrs. Howard clearly coached the St. Nick’s Reds throughout the teens. It’s not clear when things changed.

In April 1918, Kathleen organized a hockey match between St. Nick’s and a Boston team with all proceeds going to the employees of the Brooklyn Ice Palace. The Brooklyn Ice Palace created ice using a mechanical process and ammonia. A State Ice Controller ordered the ice rink to close to save materials for the war effort. While the Brooklyn Ice Palace eventually reopened and the St. Nick’s Reds started playing again, Mrs. Howard seemed to fade into the background. She moved to California with her husband and passed away in 1954.

Newspapers gushed over Tom and Kathleen’s kids, Tom Jr. and Jack. From all accounts, Tom limited Junior’s playing due to a possible heart condition. When Tom Jr played, commentators praised his ability. Unfortunately, few articles mention Jack. One of Jack’s last mentions was in an article about how he and his brother played for a Boston amateur team in the mid-20s.

In the midst of the twenties, Tom Jr. married Natalie Matthews. They eventually move to Los Angeles, where they end up taking care of their parents. Tom H. Howard possibly passes away in the 60s, but Natalie lived until 92 (1987).

This only touched upon highlights of, possibly, the first royal family of hockey. Most amazingly is the story of Kathleen Howard. She brought the tradition of women’s hockey from Canada to New York City and Boston. She started a team and organized games. She, quite possibly, was the first female hockey coach in the United States.

Unfortunately, deep mysteries abound. What happened to Jack/John T Howard after Boston? Did Tom Jr. and Natalie have children? For now, the Winnipeg Jets have a chance again to go for the Cup, and recreate the magic of the 1895 Winnipeg Victorias.

Interlude: Women’s Hockey during the Great War

While looking for more information on professional hockey players who served in WWI, a New York Times article on Girl’s hockey was buried in the search results. The article, “Girl’s hockey in brooklyn tonight”, stated that Mrs. Tom Howard would lead an exhibition game and other activities in support of the Ice Rink’s (Brooklyn Ice Palace) employees. The game occurred on April 13th, 1917.  The rink closed on the 14th. Although the news article didn’t explain, a Brooklyn Library blogger stated the rink was ordered to shut down to save on ammonia, which is used in creating artificial ice and munitions. But the information begged a bigger question. Who is Mrs. Tom Howard and How popular was women’s hockey in WWI.

As the NHL was finishing its century of hockey, women’s hockey is starting to pick back up. again. In honor of the WNHL, The Bustle published a great high level history of women’s hockey. For a more detailed look, Lynda Baril published a great book on women’s hockey in Quebec. And, Andrew Holman detailed the issues surrounding women’s hockey in 1920s. Currently, the Canadian Women’s Hockey  League (CWHL) and National Women’s Hockey Leage (NWHL) pay their players harkening back to the early 1900s.

Going back to the first question, Mrs. Thomas A. Howard hasn’t revealed herself, yet. Thomas Acheson “Attie” Howard is fairly well documented. A Stanley Cup winner with the Winnipeg Victorias, he moved to New York in 1899. He eventually ended up endorsing a hockey stick and writing a book on hockey and winter sports for Spaulding Co. He had two son, Thomas Jr. and Jack. Finally, he died in Los Angeles in 1945. In all of the documentation reviewed, there is only a “Howard, wife” (1920 New York Census) or Mrs. Thomas A. Howard (NYT, April 13 1917). Even his death certificate doesn’t list his wife or sons. For now, the mystery of Mrs. Thomas A. Howard remains. Hopefully, I’ll learn more about women’s hockey in uncovering her identity.

Background Reading:
1. Women’s National Hockey League: https://www.nwhl.zone/
2. Canadian Women’s Hockey League: http://www.thecwhl.com/
3. https://www.bustle.com/articles/115804-the-history-of-womens-ice-hockey-is-long-full-of-even-longer-skirts-heres

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Interlude: Hockey Goes to War

While I’m chasing down information related to CMPC locations, personnel and operations, I ran across an interesting topic Hockey and the Canadian military. The trigger was statement lamenting the inability to play hockey in the rear areas of the Great War. Unfortunately, I’ve seem to have lost the reference. However, I’ve found some other interesting articles about hockey, Canada,and WWI.

For Canada, many hockey players entered the ranks of the Canadian military. So much so, Canada created the “Memorial Cup” to remember those who served. The “Memorial Cup” is awarded to the junior hockey champions in the Canadian Hockey League.

Hockey is so integral to Canadians that the 148th Battalion ran two recruiting posters featuring hockey. (NOTE: I have no statistics to determine the success of the posters.) Additionally, Canadians played hockey while interned in Switzerland.

Finally, as Canada was dismantling from WWI, the Royal Military College requested 2000 (CAD) to refit two aviation hangers for hockey. The Privy Council issued Order of Council 1919-2040 to authorize it.

There is more to this story. JJ Wilson, CBC, and others have delved into greater detail. Canada’s Veterans Affairs even created a lesson plan to raise awareness on the close relationship between Hockey, the Canadian military and remembering those hockey players who’ve died in the line of duty.

Sources:
1. http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/those-who-served/hockey-canadian-military
2. http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/those-who-served/hockey-canadian-military/history
3. JJ Wilson (2007) Skating to Armageddon: Canada, Hockey and the First World War, The International Journal of the History of Sport, 22:3, 315-343, DOI: 10.1080/09523360500048746
4. List of Recruiting Posters: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/msscfa/sc23360-canada-recruit.htm
5. Order of Council 1919-2040: http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.redirect?app=ordincou&id=386631&lang=eng
6. Image of Canadian hockey team, Switzerland 1917: http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.redirect?app=fonandcol&id=3386118&lang=eng

Additional Sources:
1. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/hockey-and-the-first-world-war-1.2831318
2. 148th Battalion Recruitig poster: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/170081323398051922/
3. 148th Battalion Recruitig poster: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/170081323398051922/