1927–28 NHL season
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||November 15, 1927 - April 14, 1928|
|Number of games||44|
|Number of teams||10|
|Season champions||Montreal Canadiens|
|Top scorer||Howie Morenz (Montreal Canadiens)|
|Canadian Division champions||Montreal Canadiens|
|American Division champions||Boston Bruins|
|Stanley Cup champions||New York Rangers|
The 1927–28 NHL season was the 11th season of the National Hockey League. Ten teams played 44 games each. The New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup beating the Montreal Maroons becoming the first United States-based team since the formation of the NHL to win it and first since the Seattle Metropolitans won in 1917.
The O'Brien Cup, which used to go to the National Hockey Association (NHA), later the NHL league champion, would now go to the winner of the Canadian Division. The Prince of Wales Trophy, first awarded to the winner of the first game at Madison Square Garden, and later the NHL league champion, would now go to the winner of the American division.
The Toronto Maple Leafs introduce new sweaters of blue and white, changing from the former green logo on white uniform. They are the first team in the NHL to have a set of white uniforms and a set of dark uniforms.
The league changed the rule for substitution, allowing "on the fly" changes, as long as the player going off is on the bench before the substitute goes on.
The Chicago Black Hawks fired coach Pete Muldoon before the season, and coaching was split between Hugh Lehman and Barney Stanley. The Black Hawks finished last, recording only seven wins. The firing of Muldoon prompted him to publicly put "a curse" (known as the "curse of the Muldoons") on the Black Hawks, stating that the team would never win the NHL pennant. The Black Hawks would not place first in the NHL until the 1966–67 season.
The Ottawa Senators, by far the smallest market in the league, were affected by franchises in the U.S. and, thus, escalating salaries, and were in financial trouble as a result and requested a bigger road receipt from the other teams. They also sold their star right wing Hooley Smith to the Montreal Maroons for $22,500 plus the return of right wing Punch Broadbent, followed by the sale of defenceman Edwin Gorman to Toronto. Part of the problem was that fans in Ottawa tended to only attend games with Canadian opponents.
Howie Morenz, the NHL's top drawing card, dominated the scoring race and was runaway winner of the Hart Trophy. He scored 33 goals and led the league in assists as well. Despite Ottawa's financial difficulties, Alex Connell, Ottawa goalkeeper, set an all-time record with six consecutive shutouts. His record shutout sequence reached 460 minutes and 59 seconds without being scored on.
Toronto, now the Maple Leafs, showed power early on and it looked like they would make the playoffs. However, injuries to Hap Day and Bill Carson doomed the team, and the Leafs sagged to fourth, out of the playoffs for the third straight year. It would take another 80 years until the Leafs missed the playoffs three straight times again.
Thanks to the great play of Eddie Shore and goaltender Hal Winkler, who tied with Connell for the leader in shutouts with 15, the Boston Bruins finished first for the first time in the American Division, while the Canadiens, who were running away with the Canadian Division at mid-season, slumped after an injury to Pit Lepine but managed to hold onto first place at season's end.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||44||18||18||8||89||88||436||44|
|New York Americans||44||11||27||6||63||128||563||28|
|New York Rangers||44||19||16||9||94||79||462||47|
|Chicago Black Hawks||44||7||34||3||68||134||375||17|
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF= Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Note: Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold
In the Canadian Division, the Montreal Maroons beat the Ottawa Senators and then went to the limit against the Canadiens before Russell Oatman put the Maroons into the finals with a goal in overtime.
In the American Division, the New York Rangers knocked off the Pittsburgh Pirates in a rough series, and then beat Boston to go to the finals against the Montreal Maroons.
The circus knocked the Rangers out of Madison Square Garden, and all games would be played in the Montreal Forum, even though Boston offered to host the Rangers. The Maroons won game one 2–0, with Nels Stewart and goaltender Clint Benedict the stars.
Drama took over in game two when Nels Stewart fired a hard shot that struck New York goaltender Lorne Chabot in the eye. He could not continue, and the Rangers needed a goaltender. However, when coach Eddie Gerard refused to let the Rangers use Alex Connell or minor league goaltender Hugh McCormick, Lester Patrick, Ranger coach, in anger, decided to don the pads himself. The Rangers then body-blasted any Maroon who got near Patrick. Bill Cook scored, putting the Rangers ahead 1–0, but Nels Stewart was not to be denied and scored, tying the game. In overtime, Frank Boucher got the winner for the Rangers and they carried Patrick, tears streaming down his eyes, off the ice. Patrick stopped 17 of 18 shots he faced.
Joe "Red Light" Miller, New York Americans goalie, was allowed to take Chabot's place in goal and he played well in a 2–0 loss in game three. However, Frank Boucher starred as the Rangers took the next two games, and the Stanley Cup. Drama almost took place in the final game when Miller was badly cut on a shot, but he was able to continue. The crowd became unruly at times and referee Mike Rodden took abuse for disallowed goals by Maroon players. Even NHL president Frank Calder was a target of some fans for not intervening. The Rangers became the second American team to win the Cup and the first NHL American team to do so.
New York Rangers vs. Montreal Maroons
|April 5||New York Rangers||0||Montreal Maroons||2|
|April 7||New York Rangers||2||Montreal Maroons||1||(OT)|
|April 10||New York Rangers||0||Montreal Maroons||2|
|April 12||New York Rangers||1||Montreal Maroons||0|
|April 14||New York Rangers||2||Montreal Maroons||1|
New York wins best-of-five series 3–2
|Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Stanley Cup Final|
|A2||New York Rangers||3|
|A2||New York Rangers||5G|
|A2||New York Rangers||6G|
The terms for awarding the O'Brien Cup and the Prince of Wales Trophy were changed to honour the top finisher in each of the NHL's divisions. Howie Morenz won the Hart Trophy, the first of three times he would be named most valuable player. Frank Boucher won the Lady Byng, the first of seven times he would win the award. George Hainsworth won the Vezina Trophy for the second consecutive year.
|1927–28 NHL awards|
(Most valuable player)
|Howie Morenz, Montreal Canadiens|
|Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
|Frank Boucher, New York Rangers|
(Canadian Division champions)
|Prince of Wales Trophy:
(American Division champions)
(Fewest goals allowed)
|George Hainsworth, Montreal Canadiens|
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points
|Howie Morenz||Montreal Canadiens||43||33||18||51|
|Aurel Joliat||Montreal Canadiens||44||28||11||39|
|Frank Boucher||New York Rangers||44||23||12||35|
|George Hay||Detroit Cougars||42||22||13||35|
|Nels Stewart||Montreal Maroons||41||27||7||34|
|Art Gagne||Montreal Canadiens||44||20||10||30|
|Bun Cook||New York Rangers||44||14||14||28|
|Bill Carson||Toronto Maple Leafs||32||20||6||26|
|Frank Finnigan||Ottawa Senators||38||20||5||25|
|Bill Cook||New York Rangers||43||18||6||24|
|Duke Keats||Detroit Cougars/Chicago Black Hawks||38||14||10||24|
Note: GP = Games played; Mins = Minutes played; GA = Goals against; SO = Shut outs; GAA = Goals against average
|George Hainsworth||Montreal Canadiens||44||2730||48||13||1.05|
|Alex Connell||Ottawa Senators||44||2760||57||15||1.24|
|Hal Winkler||Boston Bruins||44||2780||70||15||1.51|
|Roy Worters||Pittsburgh Pirates||44||2740||76||11||1.66|
|Clint Benedict||Montreal Maroons||44||2690||76||6||1.70|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1927–28 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Dit Clapper, Boston Bruins
- Norman Gainor, Boston Bruins
- Cy Wentworth, Chicago Black Hawks
- Charlie Gardiner, Chicago Black Hawks
- Larry Aurie, Detroit Cougars
- Marty Burke, Montreal Canadiens
- Jimmy Ward, Montreal Maroons
- Joe Lamb, Montreal Maroons
- Marty Barry, New York Americans
- Allan Shields, Ottawa Senators
- Joe Primeau, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1927–28 (listed with their last team):
- Sprague Cleghorn, Boston Bruins
- Corb Denneny, Chicago Black Hawks
- Frank Foyston, Detroit Cougars
- Jack Walker, Detroit Cougars
- Billy Boucher, New York Americans
- Odie Cleghorn, Pittsburgh Pirates
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- Ice hockey at the 1928 Winter Olympics
- Prairie Hockey League
- List of pre-NHL seasons
- 1927 in sports
- 1928 in sports
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- Duplacey 1996, p. 33.
- McFarlane, p. 40.
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- "1927-28 NHL Season Goalie Statistics". hockey-reference.com. Retrieved October 25, 2011.