The 1925-26 season saw the NHL continue its growth with new teams in New York (transfered from Hamilton) and Pittsburgh. Hockey was an instant success in the Big Apple with the Amerks playing in front of 17,000 fans for opening night. There were new stars around the league, but none shone as brightly as Ottawa's Alex Connell who recorded an amazing 15 shutouts along with a 1.20 average, winning 24 of his team's 36 games. Up front, Frank Nighbor led the league with 13 assists on his way to his second Lady Byng Trophy.
The Senators captured their sixth regular-season title with a record of 24 wins, 8 losses and 4 ties. As such, the Sens earned a playoff bye and would meet the winner of the Maroons-Pittsburgh series. The Maroons, in only their second season in the NHL, came up on top and shocked the heavily favoured Senators in the finals with former Sens' Clint Benedict recording a 1-0 win in the second game. Benedict would go on to blank Victoria three times to lead the Maroons to the Holy Grail.
Reginald Joseph (Hooley) Smith
A member of the Granites, winners of the Olympic hockey championship for Canada in 1924, Hooley Smith played his entire amateur hockey in Toronto. He turned professional in 1925 with Ottawa and helped the Senators win the Stanley Cup in 1927. Traded to the Maroons, Smith combined with Nels Stewart and Babe Siebert on the great "S-Line". He also played with Boston and the New York Americans. He died on August 24, 1963, in Montreal.