This past Sunday, Rebecca and I ventured out for morning breakfast followed by a walk into Stanley Park with our cameras. Venturing down to the trails, I was mentioning how depressing it is that there is next to nothing in terms of honoring the spot where Denman Arena once stood.
Then Rebecca points out this.
It’s not much, but there is a brief mention of the rink where the Vancouver Millionaires won the Stanley Cup against the Ottawa Senators in the 1915 finals. Today, it’s not much more than a bus stop, a great set of benches to chill on the corner of Denman and Georgia, and a small parking lot for the nearby marina.
I kept thinking that this is such a Canadian version of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”. Instead of paving paradise to put up a parking lot, the rink burned down so they stuck in a parking lot. Of course, Coal Harbour has a tad more history to it than that, especially since the arena met its end in 1936.
Among their contributions:
- The forward pass
- The blue line
- The penalty shot
- The boarding penalty
- The playoff system
- Kicking of the puck (except into the net)
- Allowing goalies to fall to make a save
- Crediting of assists on goals
That’s just to name a few, but 22 of the changes implemented by these brothers are still in the modern day NHL rule book, shaping the game that’s still played today. In fact, they helped build the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from near scratch to one of the best leagues to play in at the time. Why there isn’t more recognition of this is beyond me, if not a little sad.
After that, it almost seemed fitting that you walk into the park for which the Stanley Cup is named after, Lord Frederick Stanley, the statue pictured above.
For more insight on Denman Arena, Rebecca has more on miss604.com: