The first official NHL games were played on this day in 1917!
There were two games on the night which represented all four teams in the league. The Toronto Arenas took on the Montreal Wanderers and the Ottawa Senators battled the legendary Montreal Canadiens.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 19, 2017
The wikipedia article says this about the first games.
“(…)the NHL began play three weeks after it was created, with the first games held on December 19 in Ottawa and Montreal. A French language newspaper ad discovered in 2017 established that the Montreal game started at 8:15 pm, ahead of the Ottawa match scheduled to begin at 8:30 pm and delayed a short time by a contract dispute, making the Montreal Wanderers 10-9 defeat of the Toronto Arenas at the Montreal Arena the league’s first game, with Montreal’s Dave Ritchie scoring the new league’s first goal and goalie Bert Lindsay earning the first win.”
Kind of a interesting thing to have the Montreal Canadiens here in Vancouver on the anniversary of the first ever Montreal Canadiens National Hockey League game!