They played only four games in the NHL's inaugural season and lost all but one before their home rink, the Montreal Arena, burned down on January 2, 1918. At the time, they had lost star players Sprague Cleghorn and Odie Cleghorn and had appealed to the other teams for player help. Before the fire, they had successfully obtained goaltender Hap Holmes from Seattle of the PCHA and it seemed that they might turn around their misfortunes. After the fire, the Wanderers again appealed for reinforcements, but none was forthcoming. The team disbanded soon after, defaulting games against the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Arenas.
Especially after the Montreal Canadiens were founded, specifically appealing to Montreal's Francophone community, the Wanderers drew their support from Montreal's English-speaking community. A new team, the Montreal Maroons, was later established to take the Wanderers' place. It too would eventually fold in 1938, ending efforts to entrench separate Montreal-based teams for French- and English-speaking fans.
↑Holzman, Morey; Joseph Nieforth (2002). "Lichtenhein Loses the War", Deceptions and Doublecross: How the NHL Conquered Hockey. Toronto: Dundurn Press, pp. 169-70. ISBN 1-55002-413-2. “The league did not accept the Wanderers' resignation immediately, electing to wait and see whether the team showed up for its scheduled match in Toronto on Saturday January 5. ... The deadline did expire, and the once-powerful team that had been known as the Little Men of Iron was thrown onto the scrap heap of hockey history. The Wanderers' scheduled games of January 2 and 5 were officially recorded in the standings as victories for their respective opponents, the Canadiens and Torontos.”