Bill Yeadon, the brother of the NAHC President and like his brother, a legendary player, was also the owner, General Manager and coach of the New York Eagles. While nearly everyone in the hockey community had nothing but the utmost respect for Bill, his team's finances were a mess. A mess partially due to the exorbitant rent the team paid the Bigsby Management Company, which owned and operated the Bigsby Gardens and the Eagles' main rival, the New York Shamrocks. The franchise had been saved several years ago when Detroit owner John Connolly Jr had purchased the club's debt in return for the right to swap rosters. But the Eagles' struggles continued and things came to another crucial juncture in 1939. And this time, it seemed there was no one to rescue the squad.

The Eagles' final season in New York was a poor one - they won just eight games and garnered just 26 points, though they did allow fewer goals than the Montreal Valiants, and scored one more than Montreal as well. Montreal finished five points ahead of the Eagles. The top of the standings was a near-perfect match to those of the previous season with the Bees winning the regular season title with a 33-7-8, 74-point season. Detroit was second (again) and Toronto third (ditto) though the Shamrocks leaped over the Chicago Packers into fourth.

The Bees' potent offense simply blew people away and Boston had four players top 40 points with Wilbur Chandler putting up 57 points with 24 goals and 33 assists to lead the league in assists and scoring and falling one goal short of tying Detroit's Miles Barfield for the goal-scoring title. For his efforts, Chandler won the McDaniels Trophy. Boston and Detroit split the four individual trophies with Waldemar Rupp of Boston copping the Yeadon Trophy for Gentlemanly Play and Detroit's Edgar Mount winning rookie honors and the McLeod Trophy while the Olympians' netminder George Dinsmore eked out the Juneau Trophy nod in a tightly-contested vote with Toronto's Gordie Broadway.

The postseason format remained identical to that of the year before and the matchups were only slightly different. The two quarterfinals would pit the Valiants with the Packers, while the Shamrocks would take on the Dukes. The top two seeds were again Detroit and Boston with Boston seeking revenge for their ignominious sweep at the Olympians' hands the year before.

The Packers outclassed the Valiants and swept them in two games. The Dukes needed three games to dispose of the Shamrocks. While the Bees and Olympians were beating themselves up in a series that would eventually go the full seven games, the Dukes easily handled the Packers and took them out in a two-game sweep. The Bees finally exacted revenge on Detroit, winning game seven on their home ice by a final of 4-2 to advance to the Challenge Cup Final.

Boston won game one by a score of 4-3 but Toronto fought back to earn the split with a 3-1 victory behind some stellar goaltending by Gordie Broadway. Neither netminder had a good game in game three, a 6-5 win by Toronto. Broadway would again star in game four, a 3-0 shutout by the Dukes, pushing Boston to the brink of elimination. The Bees fought back at home in game five, torching Broadway again for five goals and holding on for a 5-3 win. But in game six back in Toronto, the Dukes were efficient and won by a tidy 4-2 margin to claim their first Cup with Charles Tattler behind the bench.

And what of the Eagles? They did have friends in high places. For one thing, Eagles owner-GM-coach Bill Yeadon was the older brother of NAHC League President George Yeadon. For another, Detroit owner John Connolly Jr. had already helped rescue the Eagles once. But the franchise's savior this time came via an unlikely consortium that included club owners from both football and baseball and was headed up by a former NAHC player. The club owners were Roland Barrell of the AFA's Detroit Maroons and baseball's Brooklyn Kings' owner Daniel Prescott. The player was Richard R. Rigney, better known to hockey fans as "Badger" because of his tenacious nature. Rigney was the front man for the group with Barrell and Prescott contributing cash - and a little something extra - for 25% stakes apiece. Barrell & Prescott had worked together on a failed professional basketball league and had an aging barn in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. 

When the dust settled it went like this: the Eagles would move to Brooklyn and play in the Brooklyn Arena (owned by Prescott & Barrell - who still harbored hopes of a pro hoops circuit). Rigney would be the Team President and own 40% of the club. Bill Yeadon would remain with the team as coach and own a 10% share. Prescott & Barrell each claimed 25% ownership and the franchise would continue in 1940-41 as the Brooklyn Eagles.

North American Hockey Confederation Standings 1939-40

American Division GP W L T PTS GF GA
Boston Bees 48 33 7 8 74 188 107
Detroit Olympians 48 28 13 7 63 147 86
Toronto Dukes 48 19 18 11 49 120 109
New York Shamrocks 48 20 20 8 48 112 114
Chicago Packers 48 20 23 5 45 97 122
Montreal Valiants 48 13 30 5 31 85 164
New York Eagles 48 8 30 10 26 86 133


Packers v Valiants Packers win two games to none
Dukes v Shamrocks Dukes win two games to one
Bees v Olympians  Bees win four games to three
Dukes v Packers Dukes win two games to none      
Challenge Cup Finals
Bees v Dukes Dukes win four games to two



Player Goals   Player Assists   Player Points  
Miles Barfield, DET 25   Wilbur Chandler, BOS 33   Wilbur Chandler, BOS 57  
Wilbur Chandler, BOS 24   Larry Dees, BOS 30   Waldemar Rupp, BOS 48  
Tommy Hart, BOS 24   Rosie McInnis, DET 30   Tommy Hart, BOS 47  
Archie Watts, BOS 23   Waldemar Rupp, BOS 29   Harry Edgerton, NYS 46  
Garrett Moran, DET 21   Harry Edgerton, NYS 29   Larry Dees, BOS 45  
Joe Morey, BOS 20   Tommy Hart, BOS 23   Garrett Moran, DET 42  
Waldemar Rupp, BOS 19   Ed Bowlin, DET 23   Miles Barfield, DET 41  
Gil Nagle, TOR 19   Harris Tardy, NYS 21   Rosie McInnis, DET 38  
Harry Edgerton, NYS 17   Garrett Moran, DET 21   Harris Tardy, NYS 36  
Two Players Tied 16   Three Players Tied 20   Gil Nagle, TOR 36  



Player GP W L T ShO GAA
Gordie Broadway, TOR 47 19 11 10 7 1.73
George Dinsmore, DET 48 28 13 7 11 1.75
Paul Kirk, CHI 31 15 12 4 5 2.03
Tom Brockers, BOS 48 33 7 8 6 2.17
Tommy Kearns, NYS 46 20 18 8 9 2.28



McDaniels Trophy - Wilbur Chandler, BOS

McLeod Trophy - Edgar Mount, DET

Yeadon Trophy - Waldemar Rupp, BOS

Juneau Trophy - George Dinsmore, DET