1913 Off-Season -Part 2: New Rules, Glace Bay Franchise, Moncton's Fate
In September 1913, in anticipation of the upcoming season, it was announced that the MPHA would be changing their rules to come in line with the new off side rules being proposed in the PCHL and the NHA. The new rules would eliminate the center ice offside rule and create two lines each 60 feet from the goal line. Offsides would be called only at these new lines and only after the offside player had touched the puck. This suggestion was proposed by management of the Pacific Coast Hockey league and put in place to speed up the game.
Exciting news for Cape Breton hit the newspapers a few days later in late September when it was rumored that an group of Glace Bay sporting enthusiasts were planning to apply for a Glace Bay based team in the MPHA. The management of the Sydney club when asked about Glace Bay's plans to submit a proposal for a team stated that the enthusiasts will have the "earnest and wholehearted support of the Sydney Hockey Club an its members". There were also rumors that committees were forming in Truro and Amherst in the hopes to put forth a bid for their own pro team.
Early October 1913 brought some news from Upper Canada that a deal had been struck between the NHA and the PCHL. Some in the Maritime provinces were nervous by the news and were offended that the MPHA had not been considered an equal partner in the negotiations of this commission. Many were concerned that the newly formed commission would tie up all the best hockey players and would leave fewer star players for the teams in the Maritimes.
Another big issue in the off season was the fate of the Moncton hockey players who had been reserved by the Moncton team last April before the unfortunate fire ruined their prospect of a 1914 season. One reporter on October 8th stated that the Moncton management had sold the rights to their players to a Toronto professional team and the remaining players were sold off to the Halifax Crescents. This was dismal news for the Moncton fans who still had a faint hope that there would be a new arena built in time for the hockey season.
On October 10th, the Sydney team executive held their first meeting of the year. The meeting was organized to elect a new team executive and to begin discussion regarding the 1914 hockey season. At the meeting J.J. Curry, current team president let the group know that he did not intend to continue on as team president but was willing to assist the club in other ways. He then appointed D.J. Buckley, J.F. Miles and V.W. Merchant to a committee that would nominate a new executive for the team. When asked about correspondence from other teams in the league and which teams would be in the league this season, he indicated that he had not received any word from other clubs. There, however, had been correspondence received from players inquiring about positions for the upcoming season. There was some discussion about the entrance of Glace Bay into the league and most of the present executive were in favor of the proposition of a second Cape Breton club.