Ice Hockey Wiki
Montreal Wanderers
Conference NHL
Founded 1903
History Montreal Wanderers
1903 - 1918
Arena Montreal Arena
City Montreal, Quebec
Team Colors White and Red
General Manager
Head Coach
Minor League affiliates
Stanley Cups none
Presidents' Trophies none
Conferences none
Divisions none
Official Website
Home ice

The Montreal Wanderers were a professional men's ice hockey team that played in Montreal, Quebec, and were one of the founding franchises of the National Hockey League in the 1917-18 NHL season. They were outright winners of the Stanley Cup four times and winner of a Cup challenge in a fifth season.


The team was a namesake of the Montreal Wanderers team which played in the Montreal Winter Carnival hockey tournament in 1884.

Montreal Wanderers, 1905.

Prior to the formation of the NHL, the "Redbands" were one of the most successful teams in hockey. They played in the Federal Amateur Hockey League in 1904 and 1904-05, the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association from 1906-09, and the National Hockey Association from 1910-17. They won the Stanley Cup in five of those seasons. The 1908 team scratched their names inside the bowl, which was just prior to the second band being added to the Cup.

The team included five future Honoured Members of the Hockey Hall of Fame: Moose Johnson, Hod Stuart, Riley Hern, Lester Patrick, and Ernie Russell. Many of the early Wanderers had been members of the Montreal Hockey Club team of 1902, which won the Stanley Cup. That team had been known as the "Little Men of Iron" because of the players' tenacity and small stature, and the nickname carried over to the new club.

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.[1]

The last active Wanderers player was George Geran, who all played his last NHL game in 1926. Dave Ritchie and Phil Stevens also played that season, but not the full year.

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.


League Championships

  • 1904: Federal Amateur Hockey League
  • 1907: Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association
  • 1908: Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association
  • 1910: National Hockey Association

Stanley Cup Championships

Date Opponent Series Hockey Season
1906 (March) Ottawa Senators (ECAHA) league playoffs 1905-06
1907 (March) Kenora Thistles challenge 1906-07
1908 (January) Ottawa Victorias (FAHL) challenge 1907-08
1908 (March) Winnipeg Maple Leafs (MHA) challenge 1907-08
1908 (March) Toronto Trolley Leaguers (OPHL) challenge 1907-08
1908 (December) Edmonton Eskimos (Alberta Hockey League) challenge 1908-09
1910 (March) Berlin Union Jacks (OPHL) challenge 1909-10

Other Stanley Cup Series

Date Winner Notes
1904 (March) Ottawa Senators forfeited after tied challenge game
1907 (January) Kenora Thistles lost challenge during season

List of NHL Wanderers Players


See Also


  1. 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.” 
Relocated and Defunct NHL Teams
Relocated Atlanta Flames · Atlanta Thrashers · Colorado Rockies · Hartford Whalers · Kansas City Scouts · Minnesota North Stars · Quebec Nordiques · Winnipeg Jets
Defunct Oakland / California (Golden) Seals · Cleveland Barons · Hamilton Tigers · Montreal Maroons · Montreal Wanderers · New York/Brooklyn Americans · Ottawa Senators (original) · Philadelphia Quakers · Pittsburgh Pirates · Quebec Bulldogs · St. Louis Eagles