1924–25 NHL season
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||November 29, 1924 - March 13, 1925|
|Number of games||30|
|Number of teams||6|
|Season champions||Hamilton Tigers|
|Top scorer||Babe Dye (Toronto)|
|O'Brien Cup champions||Montreal Canadiens|
|Runners-up||Toronto St. Patricks|
The 1924–25 NHL season was the eighth season of the National Hockey League. The NHL added two teams this season, a second team in Montreal, the Montreal Maroons and the first U.S. team, the Boston Bruins. Six teams each played 30 games.
The NHL regular-season champion Hamilton Tigers did not participate in the playoffs, as their players demanded to their owner, Percy Thompson, that they would not participate in the NHL championship series unless they received an additional $200 each for the extra six games played that year. Under their contracts, the Tigers players were to receive the same amount of money no matter how many games they played from December 1, 1924 to March 31, 1925 (even though the season started on November 29, 1924). NHL President Frank Calder was not amused, stating that the players would be fined or suspended if they did not play in the final series, but the players stated that they would rather retire than advantage be taken of them. The day of the final game of the Semi-Final, Tiger Shorty Green met with Calder to try to reach an agreement, but to no avail. The players were all suspended and fined $200 each, therefore eliminating themselves from the playoffs.
Because of the suspension, the semi-final playoff series between Montreal and Toronto became the NHL championship series. The Montreal Canadiens won the series and faced off against the Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) for the Stanley Cup. Victoria won the series, the last non-NHL team to win the Cup.
Prior to the start of this hockey season, the Pacific Coast Hockey Association folded and two of its teams, the Vancouver Maroons and Victoria Cougars, joined the Western Canada Hockey League. This meant that after three seasons of having three leagues compete for the Stanley Cup, there were once again only two.
At the November 1924 NHL meeting, the NHL approved two new franchises, including its first franchise in the United States of America. Charles Adam of Boston was granted a franchise. The NHL also granted a second franchise for Montreal to James Strachan and Donat Raymond. Applications from New York City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were shelved.
A new trophy was added for the 1924–25 NHL season. The original Lady Byng Trophy was donated by Lady Byng, wife of Governor General Viscount Byng of Vimy, to be handed out to the player who showed the best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with performance in play. She presented it to Frank Nighbor of the Ottawa Senators.
This was the first season for the Montreal Maroons and Boston Bruins, the Bruins becoming the first American NHL team. It was also the last season for the Hamilton Tigers, who would dissolve at season's end. The number of games per season was also increased from 24 to 30.
A new arena, the Montreal Forum, was built to house the Maroons. However the Montreal Canadiens played in it first. Because the Mount Royal Arena couldn't produce ice, it was decided to move a game against the Toronto St. Patricks to the Forum. The Canadiens beat the St. Patricks 7–1, before 9,000 fans. A NHL attendance record of 11,000 was set on December 27, when the Maroons hosted the Canadiens.
The Maroons leaned on two former Ottawa Senators, Punch Broadbent and Clint Benedict they picked up from Ottawa before the season but still managed only fifth place. Broadbent scored a pair of goals in the Maroon's first ever victory, a 3-1 victory over Ottawa at the Forum in Montreal. Broadbent scored five goals in a game on January 7 as Montreal defeated the Tigers 6–2 in the Abso-Pure rink in Hamilton.
Just before the end of the season, the Bruins, who would finish last, got a winning streak of sorts going. First, they beat the Montreal Canadiens 3–2 March 3. Normand Shay scored the winning goal on a two on one break at 16:39 of the third period as Jimmy Herbert shot and then Shay pounced on the rebound and put it by Georges Vezina. The game was rough and referee Jerry Laflamme meted out quite a few penalties, including four minors to Lionel Hitchman of Boston. Howie Morenz starred in a losing cause with two goals. The Bruins then defeated the league-leading Hamilton Tigers 2-0 in their next game as Doc Stewart played well in goal.
|Toronto St. Patricks||30||19||11||0||90||84||38|
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.
All dates 1925
With an increase in the number of NHL teams, the NHL changed its playoff format by having the second and third place teams play a two game total goals series to see who played the number one seed for the NHL championship. The NHL champion would go on to play the winner of the Western Canada Hockey League for the Stanley Cup. As it happened, the Tigers, the first-place team went on strike, and the winner of the series between the second and third place teams, Montreal, became the NHL champion and played for the Cup.
The third seed Montreal Canadiens played against the second seed Toronto St. Patricks in a total goals series. The winner of that series was to go on and play the first seed team, the Hamilton Tigers. But it was not to happen that way. During the total goals series, the Hamilton players demanded $200 each for the extra six games played during the regular season and the league threatened to suspend the players and the team. Last-ditch efforts to reach a compromise failed and the Tigers were suspended. It was suggested that the Ottawa Senators be included in the playoffs, but Charlie Querrie and Leo Dandurand cited a fourth place finish didn't qualify Ottawa a playoff berth and it was decided that Montreal and Toronto played for the league title. NHL president Frank Calder announced that the Canadiens played home games at the Forum, but Leo Dandurand said that they would be played at Mount Royal Arena unless it were necessary to move to the Forum, citing home games were home games, and the Canadiens played better in front of their own fans. Calder backed down from his stand. Montreal won the series against Toronto and earned the right to play for the Stanley Cup.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto St. Patricks
|March 11||Montreal Canadiens||3||Toronto St. Patricks||2|
|March 13||Montreal Canadiens||2||Toronto St. Patricks||0|
Montreal wins total goals series 5 goals to 2
Stanley Cup Final
Over in the Western Canada Hockey League, the third place Victoria Cougars won their league championship and would face the Montreal Canadiens for the Stanley Cup championship. Victoria easily beat Montreal three games to one out-scoring the Canadiens 16 to 8. This marks the first, and last, time since the inception of the NHL that a non-NHL team won the Stanley Cup. The series was played in Patrick Arena in Victoria, except for game two, which was played at Denman Arena to gather greater fan support and more income.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Victoria Cougars
|March 21||Montreal Canadiens||2||Victoria Cougars||5|
|March 23||Montreal Canadiens||1||Victoria Cougars||3||in Vancouver|
|March 27||Montreal Canadiens||4||Victoria Cougars||2|
|March 30||Montreal Canadiens||1||Victoria Cougars||6|
Victoria Cougars win best-of-five series 3 games to 1 for the Stanley Cup
NHL Playoff scoring leader
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points
|Howie Morenz||Montreal Canadiens||6||7||1||8|
The NHL introduced its second individual award, the Lady Byng Trophy, named after its donor, Lady Byng, wife of Canada's Governor-General. It is awarded to Frank Nighbor for excellence, gentlemanly play and sportsmanship.
|1924–25 NHL awards|
(Most valuable player)
|Billy Burch, Hamilton Tigers|
|Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
|Frank Nighbor, Ottawa Senators|
|Prince of Wales Trophy:
Note: The Prince of Wales Trophy was not in use during this season. The Canadiens were engraved onto the Trophy in 1925-26.
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points
|Babe Dye||Toronto St. Patricks||29||38||6||44|
|Cy Denneny||Ottawa Senators||28||27||15||42|
|Aurel Joliat||Montreal Canadiens||24||29||11||40|
|Howie Morenz||Montreal Canadiens||30||27||7||34|
|Billy Boucher||Montreal Canadiens||30||18||13||31|
|Jack Adams||Toronto St. Patricks||27||21||8||29|
|Billy Burch||Hamilton Tigers||27||20||4||24|
|Red Green||Hamilton Tigers||30||19||4||23|
|Jimmy Herbert||Boston Bruins||30||17||5||22|
|Hap Day||Toronto St. Patricks||26||10||12||22|
|Georges Vezina||Montreal Canadiens||30||56||5||1.9|
|Jake Forbes||Hamilton Tigers||30||60||6||2.0|
|Clint Benedict||Montreal Maroons||30||65||2||2.2|
|Alex Connell||Ottawa Senators||30||66||7||2.2|
|John Ross Roach||Toronto St. Patricks||30||84||1||2.8|
|Charles Stewart||Boston Bruins||21||65||2||3.0|
|Howie Lockhart||Boston Bruins||2||11||0||5.5|
|Norman Fowler||Boston Bruins||7||43||0||6.1|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1924–25 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Alex Connell, Ottawa Senators
- Carson Cooper, Boston Bruins
- Hap Day, Toronto St. Patricks
- Jimmy Herbert, Boston Bruins
- Bert McCaffrey, Toronto St. Patricks
- Alex Smith, Ottawa Senators
- Hooley Smith, Ottawa Senators
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1924–25 (listed with their last team):
- Coleman, Charles L. (1966). The Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol.1 1893–1926 inc. National Hockey League. pp. 465–486.
- Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.
- Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5.
- Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9.
- Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1.
- McFarlane, Brian (1973). The Story of the National Hockey League. New York, NY: Pagurian Press. ISBN 0-684-13424-1.
- McFarlane 1923, p. 35.
- Dryden 2000, p. 27.
- Coleman 1966, pp. 472–473.
- Standings: NHL Public Relations Department (2008). Dave McCarthy et al, ed. THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Official Guide & Record Book/2009. National Hockey League. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0.
- McCarthy, Dave, ed. (2008). The National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2009. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 241. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0.
- Dinger 2011, p. 146.