The Pittsburgh Pirates were an early professional ice hockey club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and were members of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League for the 1908 WPHL season. The team, and the league, played all of their games at the Duquesne Gardens. The Pirates are best known for being involved in the first known trade of professional hockey players.
When the WPHL was revived in 1907, the only two original teams to return to the league after operations were suspended after the 1903-04 season were the Pittsburgh Athletic Club and the Pittsburgh Bankers. Two new teams were needed to get the league back to its original number of four teams. One of the teams to enter the league in 1907 was the Pittsburgh Lyceum, and the other was the Pirates. The Pirates entered the league loaded with professional players like Dunc Taylor, Ray Robinson, Ed Robitaille‚ Harry McRobie, Edgar Dey, Charles Masson and goaltender Jim MacKay.
After the 1902 season, the WPHL became the first league to openly hire hockey players. Many of the athletes in the WPHL were Canadians who were drawn to Pittsburgh because of the Duquesne Gardens, which was one of the few arenas in North America that had an artificial ice rink. To their credit, the Pirates might have been the first team to trade professional hockey players. According to the deal, the Pittsburgh Pirates sent Jim MacKay, Edgar Dey and Dunc Taylor to the Pittsburgh Bankers for Joseph Donnelly, Clint Bennest and a player named "McGuire" on January 28, 1908. The Pirates played only one year in the WPHL. They ended their only season with a record of 5 wins, 10 losses, and 2 ties.
- ↑ "Great hockey to be played in this city" The Pittsburgh Press, November 24, 1907.
- ↑ "Sporting Comment – On Happenings in Sportdom" Richard Guy, The Gazette Times, February 14, 1912.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Fitzsimmons, Ernie. "Is Pittsburgh the Birthplace of Professional Hockey? The early years of hockey 1900-1910". Pittsburgh Hockey.net. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
- ↑ Bouchette, Ed (May 2, 1999). "Ice Age". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2011-04-29.
- ↑ "Hockey games for this week" The Pittsburgh Press, February 2, 1908.
- ↑ Fitzsimmons, Ernie (2000), "Early Professional, Early Senior WHA and Modern Minor Professional League Standings", in Diamond, Dan, Total Hockey, Total Sport Publishing, pp. 414–432, ISBN 1-892129-85-X