He sought to obtain the Wanderers' name, but talks fell through, therefore the team was known as the Montreal Professional Hockey Club. The media later adopted the nickname "Maroons" after the color of their jerseys.
They were given the name "Maroons" by analogy with the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team then being organized by William S. Johnson. As there were no other American or Canadian pro teams at that time, it was assumed that everyone knew about them. In fact, only a few people in Montreal even knew who the Wanderers were before they came up with this name.
The first game played under these terms was on November 19, 1909, against the Patricks in Boston. The game was lost 3-2. The next day's newspaper, the Boston Daily Globe, described the event thus: "A crowd of 6,000, including many members of Harvard University, attended one of the most exciting games ever seen on Copley Field."
Two weeks later, on December 2, 1909, they played their first game in Montreal against the Victorias. It was also lost by the Maroons, this time 3-2. These were the only two games they played during the season, both of which ended in losses.
According to the Maple Leafs, the name was chosen to honor the Maple Leaf Regiment from World War I. According to another tale, Smythe named the squad after a team he previously scouted, the East Toronto Maple Leafs. Either way, it's clear that the man who owned the fledgling team wanted to pay tribute to another franchise that had success in the early 20th century.
The original Maple Leafs were one of the most successful teams in NHL history, winning four Stanley Cups between 1947-1948 and 1956-1957. They also made the playoffs nine out of their first ten seasons of existence.
However, financial problems caused by the expansion NHL draft and the subsequent rise of the Montreal Canadiens forced the team to relocate to Toronto in 1972. The new Maple Leafs failed miserably at the game and was relegated to last place in their division until they were defeated by the Vancouver Canucks in the final game of the season. At that point, the team's owner, Edward Black, Jr., ordered everyone off the ice so he could kill himself with a gun in front of his players. This is where the story gets weird: His wife didn't want him to do this for her, so she bought the team from him.
Mrs. Black then sold the team to a group of investors who renamed them the "Toronto Maple Leafs".
In 1969, the city of Vancouver was given an NHL expansion team. The Canucks were the team's name. A WHL version of the Canucks played at the Pacific Coliseum before the NHL club arrived to play there. They were called after Johnny Canuck, a superhero from the 1950s. When asked why he was called Johnny Canuck, the player said it was because he fought crime every night on the television show Night Beat.
The original Canadien players had brought the nickname "Canadiens" with them when they came to Canada from Montreal in 1872. In reference to their new home in Vancouver, they renamed themselves the Vancouverites. But since people were still calling them Canadiens, that name finally got adopted too.
After two more seasons in Washington D.C. and St. Louis, the NHL decided to expand west so they gave Vancouver a team again. This time they called them the Canucks because now they were located in British Columbia which is also known as "The West".
There is also a theory that the name comes from a French term meaning "men from Normandy", but this has not been confirmed by any source we have found.
Originally, the team was supposed to be called the New York Canadians but since that was already taken by another team, they just changed the name to something else. No one knows how or why they picked the name "Vancouver".
The pro-NHL team adopted a shortened version of their amateur counterparts and were prepared to enter the ice with a new name (St. Pats) and new colors for the 1919/20 season (green and white). The OHA St. Patricks were named to appeal to Torontonians of Irish ancestry. The original St. Patrick's Day was March 17, so they would have played their first game on Monday, September 18, 1919.
After two seasons in the OHA, the team moved to the National Hockey League where they became one of the founding members of that league. They have been known as the Maple Leafs since their inception in 1917. The team has won eleven Stanley Cups, most recently in 1967, so they are called the Cup champions!
If you ask 100 people why Toronto is called "St. Pats", you will get 100 different answers. But if you ask one person who knows a lot about hockey, they will tell you that the origin of the name "Maple Leaf" is connected to the St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Toronto. After all, the NHL team is called the Maple Leafs, not St. Pats' Leafs or OHA's St. Patrick's Ice Creams.
However, the exhibition schedule was completed before then due to the World War I crisis that year.