National Lacrosse League (1975)
Born: 1974 - NLL founding franchise.
Died: February 1976 – The NLL ceases operations.
Arena: The Montreal Forum (16,544)
The Montreal Quebecois were one of six founding members of the National Lacrosse League in 1974. The NLL was a summer-season operation that played box (indoor) lacrosse on wooden floors in NHL and minor league hockey arenas. The other five cities in the league in 1974 were Maryland, Philadelphia, Rochester, Syracuse and Toronto.
Originally the Quebecois were going to be a joint venture between Quebec investors Nelson Stoll and John Ferguson along with Sydney Salomon, owner of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues. Shortly before the inaugural season began though, Stoll and Ferguson bought out Salomon’s 50% interest to make the Quebecois into a fully locally-owned franchise. Ferguson was a former Montreal Canadiens ice hockey star who won five Stanley Cups during his 12-year career with the NHL team from 1959 to 1971. Ferguson was pressed into coaching the Quebecois during the 1974 season when the club’s original hire, Bill Bradley, had a change of heart and decided he wanted to play only and not manage the team.
The Quebecois’ top player was John Davis, who finished 2nd in the league in scoring in 1974 (78 goals, 105 assists) and 3rd in 1975 (79 goals, 129 assists).
During the 1975 season, the Quebecois acquired a provincial rival when the NLL’s Syracuse Stingers franchise moved to Quebec City and became Les Caribous de Quebec. The Quebecois and the Caribous met in the Nations Cup championship series in September 1975, with the Caribous upsetting Montreal 4 games to 2. The games drew large crowds in both cities, but they also proved to be the final lacrosse matches ever staged by the NLL. The league folded in February 1976 after membership dwindled to only three viable clubs.
==Quebecois Games on Fun While It Lasted==
|1974||5/15/1974||vs. Toronto Tomahawks||W 14-8||Program|
|1974||8/8/1974||vs. Maryland Arrows||W 14-12||Program|
|1974||8/13/1974||vs. Philadelphia Wings||L 23-13||Program|
|1974||9/8/1974||vs. Rochester Griffins||W 20-11||Program|
“It Was Provincial Indeed” – October 6, 1975 Sports Illustrated coverage of the 1975 NLL Nations Cup final.