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Allan Cup Hockey History: Teams and Interesting Facts

Allan Cup
Allan Cup

The Allan Cup is a prestigious trophy for which the best amateur hockey teams from Canada (aged 21+) compete.

The trophy represents the second important tournament after the Stanley Cup competition, but its history dates back more than 100 years!

In this article, we will look at the most interesting facts about the Allan Cup.

The Allan Cup Background

The year 1908 marked Canadian hockey history as a period of profound transformation. The gap between amateur and professional hockey players was growing wider and wider. As a result, many teams had no other choice but to leave the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association, as only professionals were playing there.

The amateur teams formed their own Inter-Provincial Amateur Hockey Union after leaving the association. And only amateur players were allowed to play there.

Today, every professional hockey team dreams of winning the Stanley Cup. But
not everyone knows that the Stanley Cup used to be an amateur trophy. So, it would still be today if many amateur clubs did not seek to generate as much revenue as possible from the games by bringing in professional players.

The money that the teams received for the games went into the pockets of these professionals. All of this led to the number of professional players in the amateur leagues going way over the limit of reasonableness. Since then, the Stanley Cup has been awarded only to the Canadian pro hockey champions.

But what did amateurs have to do? Play without a trophy? The answers to these questions were found relatively quickly.

When and How Was Allan Cup Hockey Created?

That is when Sir H. Montagu Allan came into the field in 1908. Allan was born in Montreal, the second son of Sir Hugh Allan, one of the wealthiest people in Canada and the proprietor of the transport business, the Allan Line.

He developed his fortune via numerous organizations in the industries varying from coal and rubber to hospitality and paper throughout his life.

But he was a hockey enthusiast, and in 1908, he donated to create the Allan Cup, a trophy that amateur hockey teams across Canada would conquer.

Like the Stanley Cup, the Allan Cup was initially meant as a challenge trophy: the teams could challenge the reigning champion to try to defeat them and get the champion status for themselves.

Allan's Letter of Destiny

Sir H. Montagu Allan wrote a letter to Blair Russel, the president of the Interprovincial Hockey Union, pointing out his desire to donate a trophy:

“To stimulate the hobby in newbie hockey in Canada, I am determined to provide a cup to be competed for. This Cup, I hope, will finally end up to the amateurs what the Stanley Cup now represents to the professionals”.

The trophy was then given to the Victoria Hockey Club of Montreal, who were members of the Inter-Provincial Amateur Hockey Union, to be provided to the league’s first season champions. The most effective company had four teams, primarily based totally in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto.
The trophy’s first winner was the Ottawa Cliffsides Hockey Club, which had a high-quality report withinside the league for the season.

After the season was over, the first-ever assignment for the Allan Cup was held with the Queen’s University Hockey membership of Kingston defeating the Cliffsides to take the trophy after Ottawa had first received it.

The Montreal Gazette published a quote:

“Defeating the Ottawa Cliffsides in one of the toughest matches performed in Ottawa for years, the Queen’s University hockey group of Kingston this night has carried off the newbie championship and the cup donated by Sir Montagu Allan of Montreal”.

In 1910, there were four demanding situations for the Allan Cup, with the Queen’s Golden Gaels triumphing two times and the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors triumphing twice.

In 1914, the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) was established, and the Allan Cup became its tournament trophy under the control of trustees appointed by Allan himself.
In March 1927, the CAHA took control of the Allan Cup and its profits from the trustees and used the funds to intensify amateur hockey development in Canada.

Winnipeg Monarchs

First Allan Cup Winners

In 1911, the Kenora Thistles were considered the leading contender for the Allan Cup. The youngsters showed themselves well in a few games, and they deservedly reached the final, where they fought against Winnipeg Victorias who were fighting well to get the trophy, were close to doing it, but still lost it. In 1914 the Kenora Thistles attempted to become the first club to win both the Stanley Cup and the Allan Cup. However, the Winnipeg Monarchs did not allow these dreams to come true.

The Allan Cup Hall of Fame

Most famous hockey players’ paths began in the amateur leagues. For example, hockey legends Fred Maxwell and Dick Irwin and the Winnipeg Monarchs were able to win the Allan Cup in 1915. The Allan Cup was won three years later by the Kitchener Greenshirts team, which featured another Hall-of-Fame member, George Hainsworth. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1961.

In 1916 the Winnipeg 61st Battalion team was the Triumphator of the Allan Cup. The captain of that team was Bullet Joe Simpson, whose name was forever inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Starting from 1920, clubs that won the Allan Cup consistently represented Canada in the Amateur Olympics and the World Championships. From that point on and over the next three decades, Canadian teams triumphed in many tournaments

The first club to win the Allan Cup and compete in the Olympics was the Winnipeg Falcons. One of that club’s best players was Frank Fredrickson, and so, it was no surprise that he was honored with induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame as well. 1920 was the year of Fredrickson’s triumph, who scored 12 goals in 3 games.

In 1922-1923, the winners of the Allan Cup were the Toronto Granites. This club represented Canada in the 1924 Olympics, and the club’s scorers, Harry Watson and Hooley Smith, were named in the Hall of Fame.

1936 was the only year the Allan Cup winners did not triumph in the Olympics. The paradox was that the club from Great Britain that beat the Canadian team was made up mostly of Canadians.

In addition to Canadian teams, the Allan Cup has also been won by teams from the United States. Notably, the Spokane Jets won the Cup in 1970, 1972, 1976, and 1980, and another American club, the Warroad Lakers, won the Allan Cup three consecutive times, from 1994 to 1996.

The Only Player to Win the Allan Cup, Stanley Cup, and Memorial Cup

Only one player in the world could win the Stanley Cup, the Allan Cup, and the Memorial Cup. Danny Lewicki conquered this achievement.

As a youngster, Danny and his team were able to win the Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League, becoming the league’s leading scorer with 19 regular-season goals and 12 playoff goals.

In 1948, Lewicki’s team won the Memorial Cup, and the forward himself became the top scorer for the Port Arthur West End Bruins. Given all this hockey player’s accomplishments, it’s no surprise that the Toronto Maple Leafs paid him a record $35,000.

The Allan Cup was conquered in 1950 when the Toronto Marlboro was the triumphator of that tournament. That same year, Danny began his NHL career, joining the Toronto Maple Leafs. And he immediately won the Stanley Cup. And all those accomplishments had been conquered by him by the age of 20.

The 2019-2022 Allan Cup Hockey

The last time the Allan Cup was played was in 2019 when the Lacombe Generals were the champions. Since 2020, the Allan Cup has been canceled three times due to COVID-19. So, teams wishing to win the trophy will have to wait until 2023.