Following the 1926 Stanley Cup playoffs, during which the Western Hockey League (WHL) was widely reported to be on the verge of folding, the NHL held a meeting on April 17 to consider applications for expansion franchises, at which it was reported that five different groups sought a team for Detroit. During a subsequent meeting on May 15, the league approved a franchise to the Townsend-Seyburn group of Detroit and named Charles A. Hughes as governor. Frank and Lester Patrick, the owners of the WHL, made a deal to sell the league’s players to the NHL and cease league operations. The new Detroit franchise purchased the players of the WHL’s Victoria Cougars, who had won the Stanley Cup in 1925 and had made the Finals the previous winter, to play for the team. The new Detroit franchise also adopted the Cougars’ nickname in honor of the folded franchise.