The Montreal Nationals (Le National de Montreal) were an amateur, later professional, and then amateur again men's senior-level ice hockey team. They are notable in that they were the first team to represent French Canada and were the first ice hockey team composed of francophone players. In 1910 during the first season of the National Hockey Association (the forerunner to the National Hockey League), they were offered a chance to replace the brand new Montreal Canadiens being as they were the established French Canadian club, but would refuse and return to their amateur roots playing in various amateur senior leagues.
The Nationals organization was established in 1894. They iced their first team in 1895, being the first club composed of francophone players. After a few years of independent play against other established clubs, they briefly played in the Intermediate Canadian Amateur Hockey League (I-CAHL) in 1901. They then entered the Federal Amateur Hockey League (FAHL) in 1904 when Le National and the Montreal Montagnards fielded a joint team for that season. The following season, the agreement with Le Montagnard fell apart after Didier Pitre and Jack Laviolette left to play professional hockey in Michigan with the American Soo, so the Nationals joined the Canadian Amateur Hockey League (CAHL) in 1905. After flirting with these organized leagues (the Nationals more often than not preferred to play challenge games as an independent), they joined the brand new Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) in 1909–10 as a professional entity.
After the CHA essentially merged with the National Hockey Association, the Nationals were offered a chance to join the NHA replacing the newly established Montreal Canadiens as the French-Canadian entity in that league, but opted not to. The club then returned to their amateur roots by joining the Montreal City Hockey League (MCHL) in 1910–11 and briefly played in the rival Montreal Hockey League (MHL) as well as the Interprovincial Amateur Hockey Union (IPAHU), before returning to the MCHL in 1919. They stayed with that league through its various name changes (the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey League in 1923 and the Senior Group Hockey League in 1925). For their final season in 1926–27, the Montreal Nationals merged with the intermediate Montreal St. Francois Xavier Hockey Club to form the Montreal/St. Francois Nationals. After that one season, the club finally folded.