Wilfred Thomas "Shorty" Green (July 17, 1896 – April 19, 1960) was a Canadian Professional Ice Hockey forward who played four seasons in the National Hockey League / NHL for the Hamilton Tigers and New York Americans - A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Green played senior Hockey in his hometown and was a member of the team that won the Northern Ontario senior championship in 1915. He joined the Canadian military in 1916, serving and playing with the 227th Battalion in the Ontario Hockey Association senior division in 1916–17. He scored 17 goals in eight games as a member of the 227th Battalion Hockey team - Deployed overseas in 1917, he was in a machine gun company at the Western Front. He was Mentioned in Dispatches in the Third Battle of Ypres and was a gas casualty at the Battle of Passchendaele but survived, and then discharged from the military in December, 1918 - Green returned to Canada and the game of Hockey. He joined the Hamilton Tigers senior team and led them to the 1919 Allan Cup championship before returning home to play four seasons with the Sudbury Wolves of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association. He moved back to Hamilton in 1923 and began his professional career. He played on a line with his brother, "Red" Green, and Billy Burch for the last place Tigers. Green was unanimously voted as team captain prior to the start of the 1924–25 NHL season and his skill and physical style in spite of his small stature made him a fan favourite. The Tigers flourished on the ice, finishing as the top team in the NHL, and qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history - When the players learned that team owners were making large profits on the Tigers despite ownership's claims the team was "suffering" financially', Green and Burch led a player's strike against management, demanding a C$200 bonus each or the players would not participate in the playoffs. Team management refused while NHL president Frank Calder warned that if the players did not relent, he would suspend the team and award the fourth-place Ottawa Senators Hamilton's place in the NHL final. The players held fast, and on March 13, 1925, the NHL suspended the entire Tigers' roster. The Montreal Canadiens, who defeated Toronto in the semifinals, were declared NHL champions, but lost the Stanley Cup Final to Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League. Calder also suspended every Tigers player and excluded the team from the playoffs and fined each player $200. Many Tigers' players swore they would never again play for the Hamilton ownership. It was the first player's strike in NHL history. Soon after, a New York bootlegger, Big Bill Dwyer, decided to buy the Tigers. Working with organized crime figures based in Hamilton, Dwyer used armored speedboats to import illegal liquor across Lake Ontario. A small portion of those profits covered the $80,000 price tag for the rights to the players.
Dwyer renamed the team the Americans, and with the help of W. J. Macbeth, a Canadian-born sportswriter for The New York Herald-Tribune, persuaded Tex Rickard to install cooling pipes for an ice rink in the floor of the new Madison Square Garden that Rickard was building. They wanted hockey to join boxing and the circus as the Garden’s main attractions.
Calder allowed the Green brothers and the rest of the suspended players to attend the Americans’ training camp in Niagara Falls, Ontario, but only after receiving a written apology from each one. They wore colorful star-spangled uniforms based on the American flag, but some bore an extra “HT,” for Hamilton Tigers - Many of the players received significant raises following the transfer to New York, including Green who saw his salary rise from $3,000 per season to $5,000 - The New York Americans — or Amerks, as tabloid headline writers called them — lasted from 1925 to 1942. They came to New York, becoming the N.H.L.’s second franchise based in the United States. They preceded the Rangers by a year, and their box-office success as the old Garden’s marquee tenant gave the Garden Corporation the idea for having a profitable team of its own, The New York Rangers. The 1st NHL Ice Hockey game at Madison Square Gardens was on December 15, 1925 before a capacity crowd of 17,000 at the grand opening of Madison Square Garden. Regimental bands and the Montreal Canadiens were on the ice for the first N.H.L. game in the city, and hundreds of New York’s society elite in tuxedos and gowns filled the most expensive seats. Mayor John F. Hylan dropped the ceremonial first puck, and the mayor-elect, Jimmy Walker, declared via megaphone that a new prize, the Prince of Wales Trophy, would go to the winner of the game. The N.H.L. still awards the trophy to the Eastern Conference champion. The game was a benefit for the Neurological Institute and would be followed by a ball at the Biltmore Hotel given by the Canadian Club of New York. The Times published two full columns of nothing but society names in attendance: Astors, Tiffanys, Paynes, Whitneys, Twomblys, Biddles, Tweeds and “Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt.” Calder was there, too.
Shorty Green scored the first N.H.L. goal in New York at 11 minutes 55 seconds of the first period, after he “coaxed the puck down along the field” and “climaxed his performance with a true shot,” as The New York Evening Post put it. But the Canadiens replied with goals from Battleship Leduc, Billy Boucher and Howie Morenz and won, 3-1 - Late in his second season with the Americans, Green suffered a dislocated kidney during a game and was sent to hospital in critical condition. He recovered, but the injury ended his playing career - The Americans named Green their head coach for the 1927–28 NHL season, and finished the season outside of the playoffs with a record of 11–27–6. He left the NHL to coach the Duluth Hornets of the American Hockey Association for three seasons between 1928 and 1931, appearing in three games, and with the Tulsa Oilers in 1931–32 - He coached the Hamilton Tigers' senior team for one season in 1932–33 - Shorty Green was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1963