Thomas Arena became the home of two NAHC clubs in 1912

Albert "Bert" Thomas was a well-known hotelier in Toronto - and the owner of the Federally Aligned Baseball League's Toronto entry, the Wolves. With several hotels and a ballpark in his portfolio, Thomas was "a very interested observer" at the meeting that resulted in the formation of the North American Hockey Confederation in 1909. At that meeting he made his wishes known - he wanted a franchise for Toronto. At the time there was no arena sufficiently large in the city to support an NAHC club and the owners put Thomas off. Undaunted, he went out and purchased a parcel of land and began constructing a state-of-the-art arena with an artificial ice plant that would be the best arena in Canada upon its completion in 1912 (this statement would be amended to the "best in the East" after the Yeadon's ice palace in Vancouver was opened in 1911).

Meanwhile, hockey renegade Jack Connolly, who at one time owned three NAHC franchises, sold off one of them (Quebec), operated another (the Montreal Valiants) and kept a third in reserve and inactive (New Leiskard). The latter club was Connolly's ticket into Toronto, or so he believed. Connolly and Thomas were friendly, and Connolly erroneously believed that Thomas' arena was being built to support his former New Leiskard club's move into Toronto. When word slowly leaked out that Thomas had gone to NAHC league president Percy Hopkins, asked for and received permission to own a club in Toronto, Connolly tamped down his famous temper and approached Thomas about sharing the arena. Thomas accepted (Connolly would be paying rent after all) and so, just like Montreal, Toronto would feature two hockey clubs. But unlike Montreal, it was an open question as to whether Toronto would actually support two clubs.

The NAHC league meetings of 1912 were held as usual in Thomas' Global Grand Hotel in Toronto. As Hopkins prepared to preside over the vote on the admission of Thomas' Toronto club (with Ottawa owner Martin Delaware and Montreal Nationals owner Albert Trautman smirking), Connolly announced that he was reactivating the New Leiskard club but would shift it to Toronto. Both Trautman and Delaware protested, reminding the gathering that Connolly had promised to divest himself of all but one of his clubs. Connolly retorted that he had promised to do so within five years and therefore his time "had not yet expired." Connolly then smiled and said he would accept a postponement on his move until after the vote on Thomas' club had been completed. Hopkins called the vote, and Thomas was admitted unanimously. Thomas, as had been prearranged, then joined with Connolly and Quebec owner Maurice Flaubert in voting to approve the reactivation and relocation of the former New Leiskard franchise. 

Thomas indicated that he would call his club the Wolves, which was also the name of his baseball club. Connolly followed by stating that his club would resume the "Silver Skates" identity. Connolly surprised the gathering by announcing that he had hired former Ottawa star - and Toronto native - Martin Nolan (who was now a referee after losing the use of his left arm in an accident the year before) to be the first coach of the Toronto Silver Skates.

With the NAHC now a six-team circuit an immediate issue was players. While there was no shortage of hockey players in Canada, many of the best - including many NAHC players - had begun heading west to play in the Transcontinental Hockey Association. And despite the "lifetime ban" the NAHC leveled against any defectors the year before, when Gevis Murphy, who had left the Valiants and played in Vancouver in 1911-12, indicated that he wished to return to Montreal, the "ban" was quietly lifted. Still, defections did continue, with the most newsworthy being the loss of Al Fleming (who left Ottawa for Vancouver).

Financial concerns forced some player movement within the NAHC as well. The owners had actually attempted to start abiding by the salary cap the year before, to much howling from the players, and ultimately, the owners (especially Connolly) went back to working around the cap via bonuses. But most clubs had lost significant amounts the previous season, so adjustments were made and fewer owners were willing (or able in some cases) to overspend. With two new clubs joining the fold, many players found themselves in a new sweater (and making less money) in 1912-13. Connolly, who had financial concerns himself, sold several Valiant players to his friend Bert Thomas (who also coaxed Dixie Huard back east from Surrey). Fletcher Troop moved from Ottawa to Quebec, where he would be able to play with his brother Gil who had been signed by the Champlains from the Maritime league.

Out west, the Yeadons had their own league meetings where a plan was put forth to add a fourth club in Seattle. However, like Toronto the year before, this prospective team had no home arena. With Surrey also having arena issues -  the planned arena for the Seals was behind schedule, forcing the club to again play in Vancouver in 1912-13 - Seattle's application to join the TCHA was pushed back to 1913. Ultimately the Yeadons would move forward with the same slate of three clubs. They also planned to petition the Challenge Cup's trustees for the right to play the NAHC champion at season's end, but that request was likely to be refused as the NAHC's owners held great influence over the Cup Trustees.

On the "minor" front (which was not what these leagues were called at the time), the Ontario Industrial League disbanded following the 1911-12 season. Like the NAHC, the OIL had lost too much money trying to keep its players. This left two leagues that while not of the same quality of the NAHC or TCHA were openly professional, though of a lesser quality: the Manitoba-Alberta Hockey Association (MAHA) and the Maritime Provinces Hockey League (MPHL). The MAHA had begun life as the Alberta Hockey Association before accepting a pair of teams in Manitoba for the 1912-13 season. The MPHL formed from the ashes of the old Maritime league that had once contended for the Challenge Cup. There were four clubs in the MPHL and five in the MAHA. Both leagues would provide talent for the bigger leagues over the next decade.