Ontario native helped Seattle win its first major pro sports championship
The 1916-1917 Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association were the first U.S team to win The Stanley Cup, defeating the National Hockey Associations Montreal Canadiens three games to one.
Frank “The Flash” Foyston, shown above in Seattle’s distinctive barber-pole uniform, helped the Metropolitans claim hockey’s ultimate prize in an exhilarating four-game series against the Montreal Canadiens — the first time a U.S. team won the Cup.
During the 1917 title series, Foyston scored six goals and was a constant menace around the Montreal goal. At season’s end, he was voted to the right wing position on the Pacific Coast Hockey Association First All-Star Team.
The 1917 Finals took place in the Seattle Ice Arena, a 2,500-seat facility built in 1915 and located across the street from what is now the Fairmont Olympic Hotel on University Street in downtown Seattle. The Metropolitans called the venue home through the 1924 season, at which point, due to to declining interest and attendance, it was remodeled into a parking garage. The building was torn down in 1967.
Two years after Foyston led the Metropolitans to the championship, he led Seattle into a Stanley Cup rematch with the Canadiens. The crafty forward scored an incredible eight goals in the first four matches of that series, which was abandoned because of the world-wide influenza pandemic. It proved to be the only year in which the Stanley Cup wasn’t awarded.
The 1917 Metropolitans included three Hockey Hall of Fame players. In addition to Foyston, who entered the Hall in 1958, rover Jack Walker entered in 1960 and Harry “Hap” Holmes in 1972. The Mets’ goalkeeper, Holmes posted a 3-1 record in the 1917 Finals, with a 2.75 goals-against average.
The coach of the 1917 Metropolitans, Pete Muldoon, also had an enduring celebrity of sorts, although not entirely for his work in Seattle. A decade after leading the Metropolitans to the Stanley Cup, Muldoon lost his job as head coach of the Chicago Black Hawks (their name then) after his team failed to finish in first place. When club owner Major Frederic McLaughlin fired him, Muldoon reportedly placed a curse on McLaughlin’s franchise, insisting it would never again finish in first place. The “Curse of Muldoon”, later proved to be a media fabrication, nevertheless gained traction because the Black Hawks did not finish in first place (regular season) until 1967.
Born in Minesing, Ontario, Foyston played professional hockey for 16 years, including nine with Seattle (played in 249 games, scoring 139 goals with 24 assists). He also played for the Toronto Blueshirts of the NHA, the Victoria Cougars in the WCHL/WHL and for the Detroit Cougars in the NHL.
Foyston won the Stanley Cup with Toronto in 1914, again in 1917 with Seattle, and for a third time in 1925 with Victoria. He is one of only ten players in history to win Stanley Cups with three different teams.
Foyston coached for seven years after his playing days, including four years with the Seattle Sea Hawks of the Northwest Hockey League.
After his playing, scouting and coaching careers, Foyston operated a turkey farm in Port Orchard, WA. He died on Jan. 19, 1966, and is interred at Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park in Seattle.
(Wayback Machine is published every Tuesday as part of Sportspress Northwests package of home-page features collectively titled, The Rotation.)