That other Montreal hockey team, the Maroons, which folded in 1938, was as colourful a team as any, and it really is a shame they’re no longer with us. But in the 1930’s, the city of Montreal could only support one team, and so the Maroons bowed out.
They had some good stories, though, while they were in business.
Maroon defenceman Dunc Munro was given the largest three-year contract ever offered a player at that time, and in his contract, Munro demanded that he have the rights to print and distribute all the programs for Forum events. He told Frank Selke later that he netted fifty thousand dollars profit on the programs per season. Imagine $50,000 in the 1930’s?
The Canadiens and Maroons had such an intense rivalry that after one night when the Maroons beat the Canadiens, one of the team directors was so happy he gave Maroons’ star Hooley Smith a fully-equipped farm in Quebec.
Maroons players were big on playing the stock market, and they did really well with the help of fans who gave them tips. The stock market became so important to the players that at one practice, only two showed up because the rest were downtown counting their riches from a rising market.
Maroons players lived high and mighty with their new wealth until one day in 1929, the stock market crashed and everyone lost their shirts. But it turned out to be a good thing because after the shock had subsided, they settled down and became a fine and dangerous team after they began concentrating on hockey and not stocks.