Rickard’s franchise began play in the 1926–27 season. The first team crest was a horse sketched in blue carrying a cowboy waving a hockey stick aloft, before being changed to the familiar R-A-N-G-E-R-S in diagonal. Rickard managed to get future legendary Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe to assemble the team. However, Smythe had a falling-out with Rickard’s hockey man, Col. John S. Hammond, and was fired as manager-coach on the eve of the first season—he was paid a then-hefty $2,500 to leave. Smythe was replaced by Pacific Coast Hockey Association co-founder Lester Patrick. The new team Smythe assembled turned out to be a winner. The Rangers won the American Division title their first year but lost to the Boston Bruins in the playoffs.