The History of Professional Hockey in Victoria, BC: 1911-2011
 by Helen Edwards


The History of Professional Hockey in Victoria is an in-depth examination of professional hockey in Victoria. It includes details on the different leagues, statistics on every game played by a Victoria team, and information on every player to dress for at least one regular season game.

From the Patrick family to RG Properties, this book covers the ownership of teams and records the highlights and low points of every team.

It was produced as a “thank-you” to the players who entertained Victorians over a century, giving us reason to cheer on many occasions and to be disappointed as well. Victoria enjoyed three championships, including the Stanley Cup victory in 1925. Little did the Cougars know that they would go down in history as the last non-NHL team to win the Stanley Cup, and the last non-NHL team to play in a Stanley Cup series. They were also the last West Coast team to win the Stanley Cup until Anaheim did it in 2007. The 1950-51 Cougars, led by their “kid line” of Andy Hebenton, Bob Frampton, and Reg Abbott, won the league title while the Maple Leafs (with Hebenton in the lineup) won the Lester Patrick Cup in the1965-1966 season.

Included in the narrative is the story of the construction and operation of the different venues in which games were played. The politics behind arena construction are examined as well, with editorial cartoons to make the reader laugh about the folly of some ideas.

Biographies of selected players tell the story of individuals and how they came to play hockey in Victoria. Learn from behind-the-scenes stories told by the players themselves.

Lavishly illustrated, this is a book for those who love hockey history and its connection to Victoria, BC.

Exhaustive, almost encyclopedic, if that’s a word—Helen Edwards has fully, thoroughly, completely compiled the details that give the most detailed and authoritative look possible at the incredible and entertaining history of professional hockey in Victoria. The names, the maneuvering through arena issues, and a Stanley Cup are all chronicled and this book is a must for anyone who grew up around Victoria’s lone hockey rink. The one thing that shines through, and you’ll say it at the end—man, did she do lot of arduous research to get this completed work. Impressive.

Jim Swanson

Managing Partner and General Manager VICTORIA HARBOURCATS BASEBALL CLUB

Helen Edwards photo

Helen Edwards has been a fan of professional hockey in Victoria since the 1950s when a radio station offered tickets to Victoria Cougars games for a nickel. She held season tickets for the Victoria Maple Leafs and the Victoria Salmon Kings. Spurred by the demise of the Salmon Kings and the death of Bill Shvetz, a Maple Leafs’ defenceman, she embarked on an ambitious project to document the stories of the 483 men to play at least one game for a Victoria team. After over seven years of meticulous research, the book is finally complete.

Helen is an architectural historian by training but was able to combine her two passions, historical research and hockey, to bring to life long-forgotten stories about personalities who deserve to be known to today’s hockey fans.

She has lived in Victoria, BC all her life and is married with four children and three surviving grandchildren.


I am back to transcribing old newspaper articles for my hockey research and just had to share the report of a PCHL game between the Seattle Eskimos and the Portland Buckaroos on January 25, 1929. This sound like quite a game — it sounds like a Philadelphia game during the bully days. To give this a local flavour:  “Moose” Johnson played for  Victoria  from 1918-1922. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1952.

“Page 9:  Seattle is in second place with Pacific Coast Hockey League race today after its fourth straight victory, chalked up over Portland in Seattle last night. The score was Seattle three, Portland one. It was the most disgraceful exhibition to call the game of hockey that any city has ever seen. 28 penalties, nine of the majors and fines of $105 were handed out to the players of the two teams. All the fines were against the Portland club  and all but two of the major penalties. “Moose” Johnson,The Portland veteran, was the centre of most of the action. He was fined $20 and drew five penalties, one a major, and another for the balance of the game when there was better than three minutes left to go. Everything that could that could happen in a hockey game was staged for a packed house that hardly knew what it was all about, so fast and furious did the penalties come. The crowd was plainly disgusted with the whole exhibition. At one time there were only five men on the ice aside from the goalies, two Portlanders and three Seattle men. One of the Seattle goals was scored with goalie Timmons off the ice following his disputing of the first Eskimo goal. This dispute cost him $25 in addition to a two-minute penalty. What little hockey was played was played was a continual ovation for Timmins and Levine, the two goal tenders. Portland finally broke through on Levine in the first period but could not dent his net again. He stopped them from every angle, touch and soft ones alike. Brown’s work on the forward line and the splendid defensive work of McGoldrick, Borland and Daly stood out.”