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Ottawa Senators

NHL debuted 100 years ago with contract snags and many goals

It was a night of sticky ice, last-minute player signings and a small crowd.

Such were the glitches when the NHL it made its debut 100 years ago. Now, the world's premier hockey league celebrates its centennial with an outdoor game Saturday night between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators.

The days of multimillion-dollar contracts, instant replays and Florida were a long way off when the four-team NHL's first games took place on Dec. 19, 1917, while a gruesome war raged in Europe.

The Canadiens took on an early incarnation of the Senators in Ottawa while the Toronto Arenas played the Wanderers in Montreal.

The daily newspapers of the time, and their...

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