Seattle Metropolitans

Seattle Metropolitans
Seattle Metropolitans logo.svg
City Seattle, Washington
League PCHA
Founded 1915[1]
Folded 1924[1]
Home arena Seattle Ice Arena[1]
Colors Green, red, white
Head coach Pete Muldoon
Regular season titles 1917, 1918, 1920, 1922, 1924
Stanley Cups 1917

The Seattle Metropolitans were a professional ice hockey team based in Seattle, Washington, which played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915 to 1924. During their nine seasons, the Metropolitans were the PCHA's most successful franchise; their 112–96 overall record better than second place Vancouver's 109–97 record. The Metropolitans won five PCHA Championships to Vancouver's four with Seattle finishing second on three other occasions. The Metropolitans played their home games at the 2,500 seat Seattle Ice Arena located downtown at 5th and University.

The Metropolitans made seven postseason appearances in their nine seasons, playing for the Stanley Cup three times between 1916–17 and 1919–20. The Metropolitans won the Stanley Cup in 1917, tied for the Cup in 1919 and lost in five games in 1920. The inspiring story of the Metropolitans' 1917 championship, making Seattle the first American team to win the Cup, was chronicled in the 2019 book, When It Mattered Most. Seattle's Stanley Cup championship occurred 11 years before the New York Rangers became the National Hockey League's first American franchise to win the Cup in 1928.[2]

The Metropolitans folded in 1924 when a replacement for the Seattle Ice Arena could not be found. Seattle would not have another team competing for the Stanley Cup until the NHL expansion Seattle Kraken, who are scheduled to begin play in 2021.


The Metropolitans were formed in 1915 as an expansion team by Frank and Lester Patrick, the owners of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. The team's name was derived from the Metropolitan Building Company, the entity that built the Seattle Ice Arena on the University of Washington's Metropolitan Tract property.[3]

A long simmering player war between the NHA and PCHA exploded once again in 1915 when the Patricks caught the Ottawa Senators trying to poach Vancouver's best player, Cyclone Taylor. In response, the Patricks raided the Toronto Blueshirts who were falling apart that offseason, signing Eddie Carpenter, Frank Foyston, Hap Holmes, Jack Walker and Cully Wilson for the Metropolitans.[4] The Blueshirts had won the Stanley Cup in 1914 and this immediately provided Seattle with a competitive squad. To complete the roster, Pete Muldoon signed forward Bobby Rowe and offered a tryout to center Bernie Morris who had both been reserves the previous season in Victoria and cut by the team that summer. Muldoon immediately moved Rowe to defense where he thrived and Morris quickly made the team, scoring the game winning goal in the Metropolitans' first game and eventually became a 5-time PCHA All-Star. Roy Rickey was signed a few weeks into the inaugural season after he was released by Vancouver to complete the expansion roster[5] and the final Metropolitans' stalwart Jim Riley was signed just prior to the 1916-17 season when he too was cut by Victoria.

In an era of one-year contracts and rampant player movement, the Metropolitans roster remained remarkably stable. With a typical roster of nine skaters, the Metropolitans had seven players spend seven or more seasons in Seattle. Foyston, Walker and Rowe played all nine campaigns while Morris, Holmes and Rickey spent eight years with the Metropolitans and Jim Riley seven, missing 1918 while serving overseas in World War I.

The team's official scorer was legendary Seattle journalist Royal Brougham who covered the Metropolitans, Sonics, Seahawks and Mariners during his 68-year career at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

First U.S. Stanley Cup

Seattle Metropolitans Stanley Cup winning team in 1917. Top row: Harry Holmes, Bobby Rowe, Eddie Carpenter, Jack Walker; Middle: Frank Foyston, Pete Muldoon, mgr.; Bottom: Bernie Morris, Cully Wilson, Roy Rickey, Jim Riley.

Seattle won the 1917 championship by defeating the National Hockey Association's Montreal Canadiens three games to one by a combined score of 23–11. The heavily favored Canadiens trounced the Metropolitans in Game One despite only arriving in Seattle that morning.[6] The Metropolitans would storm back to win Games Two, Three, and Four, outscoring Montreal 19-3. Fourteen of Seattle's goals were scored by Bernie Morris (including six in game four alone).[7] Games one and three were played under PCHA rules, i.e., seven players per side, forward passing in the neutral zone, and no substitution for penalized players. Games two and four were played under NHA rules, i.e., six players per side, no forward passing, substitutions allowed.[7]

Later Years in PCHA

After winning the 1917 Stanley Cup the Metropolitans also played in the Stanley Cup finals in 1919 (which was cancelled due to the Spanish flu pandemic after five games, with the series tied 2-2-1) and 1920, when they lost to the Ottawa Senators.[7]

The day the 1919 playoffs began, star center Bernie Morris was arrested and jailed at Fort Lewis for draft evasion, despite being a Canadian citizen. Without their best scorer, the Metropolitans still annihilated the Vancouver Millionaires in the PCHA championship series and jumped out to a 2-1 lead through Game three of the Stanley Cup Finals, outscoring Montreal 16-6 as Seattle's best player, Frank Foyston, scored eight goals. Game four of the 1919 Stanley Cup Final is regarded as perhaps the greatest game ever played, resulting in a scoreless tie after two overtime periods with players collapsing on the ice from exhaustion at the final whistle. The Metropolitans' Cully Wilson netted the lone puck on the night only to have it waved off by referee Mickey Ion who decided time had expired a split second before the goal. The Metropolitans jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third period of Game Five before exhaustion consumed the short-handed Metropolitans. Montreal scored three goals in the final period to tie the game and force a second consecutive overtime match. With Frank Foyston injured in the period and Jack Walker out with a broken skate, Cully Wilson collapsed on the ice as the Canadiens scored the game winner to send the series to an unprecedented sixth game. The next morning, the Spanish flu pandemic ravishing the globe struck the two teams, ultimately killing Montreal's Joe Hall and hospitalizing four other Canadiens. Without the ability to field a team, Montreal offered to forfeit the Cup though the offer was declined by Frank Patrick and Pete Muldoon who felt championships should be won on the ice.

During the 1920 Stanley Cup finals, the Ottawa Senators would don solid white Jerseys[8] to avoid confusion with Seattle's barber pole style of green, red and white (Ottawa traditionally wore black red and white pole style jerseys).[7] Game Four and Five of the series was subsequently relocated from Ottawa to Toronto's mutual artificial ice surface at Toronto's Mutual Street Arena due to poor ice conditions.[8]

The PCHA consisted of four teams for the 1915–16 and 1916-17 seasons, while operating under only three teams from 1917-18 until its final season in 1923-1924. From 1922-23, games against the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) counted in the PCHA standings. This allowed Seattle to have a losing record yet still win the league regular season championship in 1924. After the season, the owners of the newly built Olympic Hotel told the University that they needed the Seattle Ice Arena as a parking garage. The UW bought out the final year on the team's lease, sending the franchise's leadership scrambling to secure funding to build a new arena. When it became apparent they would not succeed, the Metropolitans folded with the core of the team joining Victoria. Vancouver and Victoria joined the WCHL for the 1924-1925 season with the Portland franchise playing the final western season of 1925-26.


Metropolitans inspired jerseys with the Seattle Jr. Totems
  • On December 5, 2015, the Seattle Thunderbirds held a special "Seattle Metropolitans Night" to celebrate 100 years of Seattle hockey. During the game, the team wore replicas of the original Metropolitans jersey and temporarily changed the team name to the Seattle Metropolitans. The final score was a 3–2 Metropolitans win over the Tri-City Americans.
  • The Seattle Jr. Totems of the Western States Hockey League named November 15–17, 2019, as "Seattle Hockey History Weekend" wearing Metropolitans' colored uniforms during games.
  • The "S" logo of the National Hockey League's Seattle Kraken was made in homage to the Metropolitans logo.[9]

Season-by-season record

1921 Seattle Metropolitans. Back row: Pete Muldoon, Bobby Rowe, Charles Tobin, Hugh "Muzz" Murray, Trainer Bill Anthony, Roy Rickey, Harry "Hap" Holmes. Front row: Jack Walker, Frank Foyston, Bernie Morris, Jim Riley.

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

PCHA season GP W L T PTS GF GA PIM League
1915–16 18 9 9 0 18 68 67 -- 2nd N/A
1916–17 24 16 8 0 32 125 80 -- 1st League champions
Won Stanley Cup over Montreal Canadiens 3-1
1917–18 18 11 7 0 22 67 65 -- 1st Lost PCHA final to Vancouver Millionaires 3-2
1918–19 20 11 9 0 22 66 46 -- 2nd Won league championship over Vancouver Millionaires 7-5.
No decision in Stanley Cup final with Montreal Canadiens
1919–20 22 12 10 0 24 59 55 -- 1st Won league championship over Vancouver Millionaires 6-3.
Lost Stanley Cup final to Ottawa Senators 3-2
1920–21 24 12 11 1 25 77 68 -- 2nd Lost PCHA final to Vancouver Millionaires 13-2
1921–22 24 12 11 1 25 65 64 -- 1st Lost PCHA final to Vancouver Millionaires 2-0
1922–23 30 15 15 0 30 100 106 -- 3rd Did not qualify
1923–24 30 14 16 0 28 84 99 -- 1st Lost PCHA final to Vancouver Maroons 4-3

Metropolitans' Statistical Top-10s

Games Played
Season Player Games Year Career Player Games Years Played
1 Frank Foyston 30 1923-24 1 Frank Foyston 201 1916-24
Jack Walker 30 1923-23 2 Bobby Rowe 200 1916-24
Gordon Fraser 30 1923-24 3 Hap Holmes 192 1916-17, 1919–24
Hap Holmes 30 1923-24 4 Jack Walker 186 1916-24
Frank Foyston 30 1922-23 5 Bernie Morris 154 1916-23
Jack Walker 30 1922-23 6 Jim Riley 153 1917-24
Bobby Rowe 30 1922-23 7 Roy Rickey 153 1916-23
Hap Holmes 30 1922-23 8 Gordon Fraser 82 1921-24
9 Smokey Harris 29 1923-24 9 Cully Wilson 68 1916-19
Jim Riley 29 1922-23 10 Muzz Murray 55 1919-21
Goals Scored
Season Player Goals Year Career Player Goals Years Played
1 Bernie Morris 37 1916-17 1 Frank Foyston 174 1916-24
2 Frank Foyston 36 1916-17 2 Bernie Morris 148 1916-23
3 Frank Foyston 26 1919-20 3 Jim Riley 90 1917-24
Frank Foyston 26 1920-21 4 Jack Walker 82 1916-24
5 Jim Riley 23 1920-21 5 Cully Wilson 44 1916-19
Jim Riley 23 1922-23 6 Bobby Rowe 42 1916-24
Bernie Morris 23 1915-16 7 Gordon Fraser 23 1922-24
8 Bernie Morris 22 1918-19 8 Roy Rickey 21 1916-23
9 Bernie Morris 21 1922-23 9 Doc Roberts 20 1918
10 Frank Foyston 20 1922-23 10 Charlie Tobin 14 1920-21
Bernie Morris 20 1917-18
Doc Roberts 20 1917-18
Season Player Assists Year Career Player Assists Years Played
1 Bernie Morris 17 1916-17 1 Bernie Morris 73 1916-23
2 Jack Walker 15 1916-17 2 Jack Walker 57 1916-24
3 Bernie Morris 13 1920-21 3 Frank Foyston 53 1916-24
4 Bernie Morris 12 1917-18 4 Bobby Rowe 37 1916-24
Frank Foyston 12 1916-17 5 Jim Riley 25 1917-24
6 Bobby Rowe 11 1916-17 6 Cully Wilson 23 1916-19
7 Smokey Harris 10 1923-24 7 Roy Rickey 19 1916-23
Bernie Morris 10 1921-22 8 Gordon Fraser 11 1922-24
9 Bernie Morris 9 1915-16 9 Smokey Harris 10 1924
10 Jack Walker 8 1922-23 10 Lester Patrick 8 1918
Frank Foyston 8 1922-23
Lester Patrick 8 1917-18
Jack Walker 8 1918-19
Season Player Points Year Career Player Points Years Played
1 Bernie Morris 54 1916-17 1 Frank Foyston 227 1916-24
2 Frank Foyston 36 1916-17 2 Bernie Morris 221 1916-23
3 Bernie Morris 32 1917-18 3 Jack Walker 139 1916-24
Bernie Morris 32 1915-16 4 Jim Riley 115 1917-24
5 Frank Foyston 31 1920-21 5 Bobby Rowe 79 1916-24
6 Frank Foyston 29 1919-20 6 Cully Wilson 67 1916-19
Bernie Morris 29 1918-19 7 Roy Rickey 40 1916-23
8 Frank Foyston 28 1922-23 8 Gordon Fraser 34 1922-24
Jim Riley 28 1920-21 9 Doc Roberts 23 1918
10 Jim Riley 27 1922-23 10 Smokey Harris 18 1924
Charlie Tobin 18 1920-21

Hall of Famers

Five honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame are recognized as part of the Seattle Metropolitans team.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "Seattle Metropolitans". seattle hockey. Retrieved 2014-11-28.
  2. ^ "How a Team in Seattle, of All Places, Changed Hockey Forever". Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Bowlsby, Craig (2012). Empire of Ice: The Rise and Fall of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. Vancouver, B.C.: Knights of Winter. ISBN 978-0-9691705-6-3.
  5. ^ Ticen, Kevin (2019). When It Mattered Most. Seattle, WA: Clyde Hill Publishing. ISBN 9781798208496.
  6. ^ Ticen, Kevin (2019). When It Mattered Most. Seattle, WA: Clyde Hill Publishing. ISBN 9781798208496.
  7. ^ a b c d Coleman, Charles L. (1964). The Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol I. Kendall/Hunt.
  8. ^ a b "HHOF Site Map". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  9. ^ "Seattle Kraken". NHL Enterprises, L.P. July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  10. ^ "Seattle Metropolitans - Legends of Hockey - The Legends". Legends of Hockey. Retrieved 2014-01-28.

External links