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As the Canadian hockey obsession moved west into British Columbia and surrounding areas during the early part of the twentieth century, new teams were formed and strongly supported by their fan base. Several teams provide the historical beginnings of the modern day Vancouvewr Canucks. Their story is an intriguing part of hockey's growth over the past 100 years.The Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) was formed in 1911 by the Patrick family and initially had three teams including the inaugural Vancouver Millionaires. The Patricks built Denman Arena in Vancouver's West End to house the new team. They promoted their league and sought to lure players such as star Fred "Cyclone" Taylor from the established National Hockey Association (NHA) as a way to improve their level of play and overall credibility. Before the PCHA began, the area had a team called the Creamery Kings. When the Kings were transforming into a new franchise and trying to forge contracts with big players, money was the best negotiating tool. Some of these first players were paid very high salaries which led to the eventual nickname Millionaires.After a few years, the two leagues decided to make an agreement that their league champions at the end of each season would play for the ultimate prize of the Stanley Cup. The same year saw the Millionaires win their league and then soundly defeat the Ottawa Senators in the best of five final series.This first final for Vancouver was in the 1914-15 season. Cyclone Taylor was a strong factor in the victories. The game scores were not close and the Millionaires swept their opponents in three games. Thousands of fans packed into their home arena to cheer their team to the championship. This was a far west journey for the Stanley Cup at the time. It remains the only Cup to be won by a Vancouver team.The Millionaires competed for the Stanley Cup three more times but were defeated in each series. The team changed their name to the Maroons in 1922 and won the PCHA championship in the league's final two years. However, a new league called the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) had been formed by this time and the PCHA winner was then required to beat the WCHL champion to get to the Cup final. In these last two years, the Maroons were not able to advance past the Western League winners.The Maroons were unable to continue their championship form in later years. Once the PCHA disbanded, Vancouver played in the WCHL for a time before the franchise was finally abandoned in 1926. This winning tradition has not been forgotten by Canucks fans, however. The Millionaires classic logo has been revived in a line of sporting apparel. The Canucks have also worn the old logo on team jerseys occasionally.The tradition of hockey surrounding the Vancouvewr Canucks has produced many great players and exciting moments, especially with the early championship teams. What an exciting atmosphere it must have been back when the early teams were competing and winning. This strong heritage continues today as fans cheer for their team and look to the future for another Stanley Cup.
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