The National Hockey Association, officially the National Hockey Association of Canada Limited, was a professional ice hockey organization with teams in Ontario and Quebec, Canada. It is the predecessor to todays National Hockey League. Founded in 1909 by Ambrose OBrien, the NHA introduced six-man hockey by removing the rover position in 1911, during its lifetime, the league coped with competition for players with the rival Pacific Coast Hockey Association, the enlistment of players for World War I and disagreements between owners. The disagreements between owners came to a head in 1917, when the NHA suspended operations in order to get rid of an unwanted owner. The remaining NHA team owners started the NHL in parallel as a measure, to continue play while negotiations went on with Livingstone. A year later, after no progress was reached with Livingstone, the NHAs rules, constitution and trophies were continued in the NHL. In November 1909, the Eastern Canada Hockey Association, holder of the Stanley Cup, the Montreal Wanderers team of the ECHA had been bought by P. J. Doran, owner of the Jubilee Rink in Montreal and he intended to move the teams games there. The Jubilee was smaller than the Wanderers current rink, the Montreal Arena which meant visiting teams would earn less on their trips to play the Wanderers. On November 25,1909, the teams in the league disbanded the ECHA and formed the new Canadian Hockey Association. The team had applied to the Stanley Cup trustees as champions of the Federal League, at the November 25 CHA founding meeting, held at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal, OBrien applied to join the CHA but the application was rejected. Sitting in the lobby of the hotel after the CHA meeting, OBrien met Jimmy Gardner of the Wanderers, together, they decided to form their own league, the National Hockey Association. At the same time, to build a rivalry and capture francophone interest in Montreal, OBrien and Gardner conceived of creating a team consisting of francophone players, to be managed by francophones. In all, OBrien and his father, Michael John OBrien, were financing four teams in the league, the Renfrew Creamery Kings, Cobalt, Haileybury, the Cobalt and Haileybury clubs were from the Timiskaming Professional Hockey League and Renfrew from the Federal Hockey League. Along with the Wanderers, the league had five teams, the OBriens were determined to win the Stanley Cup and a bidding war for players immediately started. Frank Patrick and Lester Patrick were each signed by the Renfrew Millionaires for $3,000 apiece, Renfrew also signed star player Cyclone Taylor of the champion Ottawa Senators team, reputedly at $5,000 per season. Attendance at the CHA games was poor and a meeting of the NHA was held on January 15,1910 to discuss a merger of the two leagues. Instead, the NHA admitted Ottawa and the Montreal Shamrocks to the NHA, the owners of the Montreal Le National were offered the ownership of the Canadiens but turned it down. The Quebec Bulldogs and the teams of the CHA were not even considered for membership
O'Brien Cup, the championship trophy of the NHA. The NHL would continue using it after 1917.
Frank Calder served as secretary-treasurer of the NHA, from 1914 until 1917, and was the last president of the league