A lot of people that find their way to this website are either young kids learning the game of hockey or people that want to become embedded in the chaos and carnage that is the NHL. When you have a team that is as storied as the New York Rangers, sometimes it is difficult to imagine what the league was like before them. While the Rangers remain one of the most storied teams in the NHL, they were not Madison Square Garden’s first team.
That honor belongs to the New York Americans. To explain how they came into existence, we need to go back to before the formation of the Americans and actually head north of the border to Hamilton, Ontario. It was the Hamilton Tigers that would fund the resources into New York that would give the Rangers predecessors the ability to lay the groundwork for one of the best hockey markets in the world.
Hamilton got the franchise after the Quebec Bulldogs were sold and the team was moved. After a very successful 1925-26 season, the players wanted more pay and a strike occurred. While there was some pushback and struggle, eventually New York’s own Tom Duggan and Bill Dwyer agreed to pay the players’ contracts. It should be noted that this was just the players, not the franchise. The Americans were an expansion team in that regard while the Tigers were expelled.
So, the New York Americans entered the league, becoming the 2nd team in the USA after the Boston Bruins. The infamous red, white, and blue of the star-spangled banner served as the inspiration for their attire and became iconic as the Americans came to be. They served as the premier voyage into the great city of New York for the NHL. They’d play their home games at the original garden, but would it be successful?