The Sabres open their pre-season on the road versus Columbus tonight and a post-Capt Jack era will officially start with a young core of players under the guidance of a Head Coach who has won both as a player and HC will endeavor to take Buffalo to the playoffs.
I appreciate and enjoy the pomp and ceremony of Hockey even in pre-season but as we all know as soon as the regular season begins the pre-season is soon forgotten.
What has stoked my interest historically about this NHL 2021-22 Season is it has been approximately 97 years since the cities of Vancouver and Seattle played each other in the same professional Hockey league that could eventually led to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The battle between the two PCHA Stanley Cup champions, with Seattle being the first team in the United States of America to win the Stanley Cup, resumed on a late September day nearly a century between games with an NHL pre-season contest on September 26th 2021.
Professional Hockey history is rich with storied teams and leagues and the Kraken victory over the Canucks in a 2021-22 pre-season game brings into sharp relief how deeply embedded professional Hockey is in North America.
In 1924 the Pacific Coast Hockey Association folded after only nine seasons, but what an interesting nine seasons it was. Both PCHA league teams Seattle and Vancouver beat their rival league champions from the National Hockey Association for no less than two Stanley Cup Championships.
The 1919 Stanley Cup Finals tied at 2-2-1 had game six cancelled just hours before puck drop because of a number of Canadiens players having come down with feverish temperatures. This cancellation happened during the height of the Spanish Flu in the United States of America.
There was an offer for Seattle to claim victory but the Metropolitans HC refused to accept the Cup due to the circumstances surrounding game six.
Officially 1919 is listed in NHL history of the Stanley Cup as “no winner”, admirably though when the Cup was redesigned in 1948 the NHL had the inscription added, “1919 Montreal Canadiens Seattle Metropolitans Series Not Completed”.
As the 2021-22 gets under way for the Buffalo Sabres with a pre-season contest in Ohio versus the Blue Jackets I will watch and listen with a renewed enthusiasm for a “meaningless game” that might just not be.