The Pittsburgh Professional Hockey Club, also referred to as the Pittsburgh Professionals and Pittsburgh Pros, were a professional ice hockey team that participated in the International Professional Hockey League (IPHL) from 1904 until 1907. The club was made up of players from the various teams of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League (WPHL), which dissolved after the 1904 season. During the 1902–03 WPHL season, the league champion Pittsburgh Bankers competed against the Portage Lakes Hockey Club, which was based in Houghton, Michigan, for the "Pro Championship of the United States". A four-game series was arranged with Portage Lakes and the Bankers, with Portage Lakes winning the four game series 2–1 with a game tied, despite being outscored bt the Bankers, 11–6. In the fall of 1903, James R. Dee of Houghton started discussions with WPHL representatives in Pittsburgh to initiate discussion on the formation of a national hockey association. The next season, Portage Lakes continued to play professional exhibition games, but raided Pittsburgh's teams for top players like Riley Hern and Bruce Stuart. After the 1903–04 WPHL season, the Pittsburgh Victorias were defeated by Portage Lakes in a battle for the "American Championship".
A meeting was held on November 5, 1904 which included prominent business leaders from Pittsburgh, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Northern Michigan. A number of cities were considered for this new professional league, however the league accepted teams from Houghton (Portage Lakes), Pittsburgh (Pros), Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (Canadian Soo), Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (Michigan Soo Indians) and Calumet & Laurium, Michigan (Calumet Miners). Also at this meeting, the representatives of the Canadian Soo suggested a revenue sharing plan that would divide gate receipts in a 60–40 home-visitor split. This revenue sharing plan would make the long journey to Pittsburgh possible, considering the Pros played at the high capacity (5,000 seats) Duquesne Gardens. Although Pittsburgh much larger in size, to the other IPHL markets. However, like the other league markets, its population featured a large percentage of working-class citizens. While civic boosters helped drive the interest in the games in Michigan and Canada, Pittsburgh used its large population base and established hockey tradition to fill its arena. Pittsburgh's local supporters adopted nickname, "Coal Heavers," for their team.