Worst NHL Team Ever, Philadelphia Quakers 15th Straight Loss – January 8, 1931
The Philadelphia Quakers, Worst NHL Team Ever, Lost their 15th Consecutive Game – January 8, 1931
The worst NHL team ever, was the Philadelphia Quakers. They only existed during the 1930-1931 season. The Quakers were the successors to the Pittsburgh Pirates (No relation to the baseball team).
In their last season in Pittsburgh, the Pirates were a dismal 5-36-3. The Quakers however, managed to be even worse. They finished the season at 4-36-4.
Small Arena Big Problems
The Quakers played at the 6,000-seat Philadelphia Arena. It was considered too small to properly accommodate an NHL franchise, but it turned out to be more than adequate for the paltry crowds the Quakers would draw.
The Quakers Win a Game After Being Outscored 19-3 in their First Five
The venue was the least of their problems. The Quakers flat out stunk. They lost their opener at home to the Rangers, 3-0. Then they lost to the Maple Leafs in Toronto, 4-0. In their third game in Detroit (The team was called the Falcons then.) the Quakers got onto the scoreboard, but still lost 5-1. Finally, against Ottawa at home, they pulled off a 2-2 tie. After the tie they lost again to the Rangers 5-0. On November 25, they finally got a win against the Maple Leafs, beating them at home 2-1.
The Start of a 15 game Losing Streak
The win must have gone to their heads. They lost their next 15 games. The losing streak lasted until January 10. Their most infamous loss was on Christmas day in Boston. The Bruins beat them 8-0. The lopsidedness of the score however, is not what drew the most press coverage. That was the left to the two fights the Quakers initiated in the third period.
Twice, the referees needed the help of the police to restore order. The Chicago Tribune reported, “Until the fist fighting, late in the third period, the hockey game was the dullest such contest seen here in years. The Bruins scored at will, and so disorganized were the Quakers’ rushers that they were not only unable to score, but they could only get in position to take 20 shots at the Bruins’ net during the entire game.”
The Losing Streak Ends for One Game
On January 10, the Quakers ended their losing streak by beating the Montreal Maroons, 4-3 in overtime. That win was followed by another run of 11 win-less games, which did include two ties.
Two More Wins and That’s All
Their next win, their only road win of the season, came on February 17 in Detroit. They beat the Falcons again on March 12. That game was followed by two more losses. In the last game of the season on March 21, the last game ever for the hapless Philadelphia Quakers, they were beating the Montreal Canadians, but the Habs scored in the final minute and the game ended in a tie.
Bye Bye Quakers
On September 26, 1931, a few weeks before start of the 1931-1932 season, NHL president Frank Calder announced that the Ottawa Senators and the Philadelphia Quakers agreed to suspend operations “for one year.” The Senators did in fact return to action for two more seasons, starting in 1932-1933. (The current Ottawa Senators, began operations in 1992, and are related in name only to the original franchise.)
The 1974-1975 Washington Capitals came very close to matching the Quakers record of futility. Their season record of 8-67-5 was just a shade better percentage-wise.