The Vancouver Millionaires were founded by Frank and Lester Patrick in 1911. The franchise lasted until 1926, having renamed themselves the Maroons two years prior. Back in the day, the league winner of the West Coast Hockey Association met the finalists of the NHA and then NHL to vie for the Stanley Cup. In 1924, the WCHA merged with the Pacific Coast Hockey League to become the Western Canada Hockey League. The Millionaires name came from the wealthy Patrick family and the teams logo was a large V with Vancouver spelled down the right side and back up the left.
The Millionaires won the 1914-15 Stanley Cup with a 3-0 win over the Ottawa Senators.The 26 goals Vancouver scored in the series set an early NHL for most goals by one team in a Stanley Cup final.
Millionaires also appeared in the 1917-18 final, losing to the Toronto Arenas, three games to two. Cancouver outscored The Arenas in the 5 games series 21-18. The 39 goals scored by both teams, set a finals record.
In 1920-21, they lost again, this time to the Ottawa Senators, three games to two. The following season the renamed Vancouver Maroons lost 3-1 to the Toronto St.Pats.
The Millionaires biggest star was Cyclone Taylor. In 1912, helped draw an estimated 20,000 spectators to watch the final. Each Vancouver player received $300 while the Senators earned $200 for their appearance. Taylor was a defenseman originally, and could skate backwards as fast as he could forward. The 1915 Cup was Taylors second. He scored 6 goals in his teams domination of Ottawa. The sheer magnitute of his play elevated him to the status of cross Canada hero. He retired in 1921 having scored 194 goals in 186 games. Taylor earned the remarkable distinction of being named to the First All-Star team in each season he played, whether in the PCHA, the IHL, the ECAHA, and the NHL.
The Millionaires playing manager was Frank Patrick, one of the greatest builders the game has known. He and his brother Lester were both excellent players, managers, team owners, and organizers of leagues across North America. Frank also refereed a Stanley Cup final game at the age of 20. The two brothers were the first pair of defenseman to rush the puck up ice. Prior to them, the position was used strictly to protect a team's own goal. They once held out on the Renfrew Millionaires, demanding a salary of $3,000 each to suit up. They got it. Frank teamed with Cyclone Taylor to become the best defensive pairing the game had seen to that point.
Following their years in Renfrew, the brothers along with their father decided to start a league on the West Coast. The father sold a lumber company and the three headed west. They founded the West Coast Hockey Association (WCHA) and spent $350,000 to build a 10,000 seat arena in Vancouver. It became at the time, the largest building in the country. At that time, the sport was little known and rarely played in that part of Canada. It took off quickly thanks to Taylor's star power and the Patrick family, who build a 4,200 seat arena the following year in Victoria. The league began play 1911-12, with Frank as Manager of the Millionaires and also president of the league itself. The WCHA was given a major boost when Frank convinced superstar of the day, Taylor to join the team. Patrick set an NHL record in the teams first season that stands to this day - scoring 6 goals in one game, not bad for a defenseman!
Frank Patrick accounted for 22 rule changes that remain in the NHL presently. The innovations he brought were numerous and visionary. He introduced the blue line, the forward pass, and the playoff system, a change adopted by leagues of every sport around the world. Along wih Lester, they were the first to use numbers on players sweaters to identify them and created programs for the fans. The goal crease and faceoff circles were their idea. They allowed the puck to be kicked everywhere but into the net. They allowed goaltenders to fall to make saves. They created the assist and invented the penalty shot.
It is no wonder, the Patricks were called "the Brains of Modern Hockey!"
Members of the 1914-15 Vancouver Millionaires were: Ken Mallen, Frank Nighbor, Fred "Cyclone" Taylor, Hugh Lehman, Lloyd Cook, Mickey Mackay, Barney Stanley, Jim Seaborn Si Griffis (Captain), Johnny Matz, Frank Patrick (Playing Manager)