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Renfrew Creamery Kings
|Renfrew Creamery Kings|
|League||National Hockey Association|
|Home arena||Renfrew Hockey Arena|
|Head coach||Alf Smith|
The Renfrew Hockey Club, also known as the Creamery Kings and the Millionaires, was a founding franchise in 1909 of the National Hockey Association, the precursor to the National Hockey League. The team was based in the founder Ambrose O'Brien's hometown of Renfrew, Ontario.
The team's founder, Ambrose O'Brien had played varsity hockey at the University of Toronto, then continued his interest as a team founder and owner, financed by his father's amassed great wealth during the Cobalt silver rush –mining magnate Senator M. J. O'Brien.
In 1909, when O'Brien sought to join the new Canadian Hockey Association with his existing Renfrew team in the semi-pro Federal Hockey League, the application was rejected. With fellow rejectee Montreal Wanderers, O'Brien founded the NHA, along with franchises in Cobalt, Haileybury and Montreal.
With O'Brien Silver Mine money backing the Creamery Kings, Renfrew iced a powerful team during its first season, with players Frank Patrick and Lester Patrick commanding salaries of $3,000 each, and Cyclone Taylor receiving a record-setting $5,250 for a two-month season.
In consequence, the team became widely nicknamed the "Millionaires" for the over the tops salaries. O'Brien also secured the services of Newsy Lalonde midseason from the Canadiens franchise, and Lalonde would wind up the season as NHA's first scoring champion. Coached by Ottawa Senators legend and future Hall of Famer Alf Smith, Renfrew finished in third place in the 1910 season with an 8-3-1 record.
Its second and final season, Renfrew lost Lalonde to the new Montreal Canadiens team, and finished with a less than stellar 8-8 record, with Don Smith and Odie Cleghorn being the leading scorers. Renfrew's final major professional game was a 7-6 victory on March 7, 1911, against the Wanderers.
Thereafter, with it being apparent that the small towns such as Renfrew, Cobalt and Haileybury could not support major senior hockey, O'Brien folded the franchise for good.
The team's first arena was their only home and lasted until a fire in the late 1920s destroyed it. A second arena called simply Renfrew Arena or Old Barn was completed in 1929.
- Don Smith LW
- James Ogilvie "Odie" Cleghorn RW
- Sprague Cleghorn D
- Fred Doherty RW
- Barney Gillerain RW
- Larry Gilmour RW
- Bert Lindsay G
- Hal McNamara
- Skene Ronan C
- Bobby Rowe D
- Cyclone Taylor D
- Steve Vair C
Hall of Famers
- Newsy Lalonde C
- Lester Patrick D
- Frank Patrick D
- Didier Pitre F/D
- Alf Smith RW
- Frederick Wellington "Cyclone" Taylor
- Sprague Cleghorn D
- Coleman, Charles L. Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol I., NHL, 1966.
- Cosentino, Frank. The Renfrew Creamery Kings: The Valley Boys of Winter 1910. Burnstown, Ontario: General Store Publishing House, 1990.
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