1928–29 NHL season
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||November 15, 1928 - March 29, 1929|
|Number of games||44|
|Number of teams||10|
|Season champions||Montreal Canadiens|
|Season MVP||Roy Worters (New York Americans)|
|Top scorer||Ace Bailey (Toronto)|
|Canadian Division champions||Montreal Canadiens|
|American Division champions||Boston Bruins|
|Stanley Cup champions||Boston Bruins|
|Runners-up||New York Rangers|
The 1928–29 NHL season was the 12th season of the National Hockey League. Ten teams played 44 games each. This was the first Stanley Cup final that saw two United States-based teams compete for the cup. The Boston Bruins defeated the New York Rangers two games to none in the best-of-three final.
Notable rule changes
Forward passing was permitted from the neutral zone across the blue line into the attacking zone, as long as no offensive player preceded the puck into the attacking zone; forward passing within the attacking zone was still forbidden. Regular season overtime was changed to a 10–minute, non-sudden-death format, to be played in its entirety.
The playoff format was revised to match the divisional first-place teams in a best-of-five semi-final. The divisional second-place teams and third-place teams played off in a two-game total-goals series to determine the participants for the other best-of-three semi-final. The semi-final winners then played off in a best-of-three series for the Cup.
Ottawa continued in financial trouble and sold Punch Broadbent to the New York Americans. They continued to erode, and at one point, rumour had it that they would be sold to a Chicago group. Frank Ahearn, the Senators owner, denied this, but admitted that the team was for sale to the highest bidder.
The New York Americans, last place finishers in 1927–28, surprised everyone by occupying first place for much of the season in the Canadian Division. They were held up by the great play of defenceman Lionel Conacher and goaltender Roy Worters. However, the Montreal Canadiens dislodged the Americans and finished first. Boston, led by rookie Tiny Thompson in goal, led the American Division.
Bruins' player George Owen was the first NHL player to regularly wear headgear for protective purposes. Prior to this, the only time protective headgear was worn was to temporarly protect injuries. Fifty-one years later the NHL would mandate the use of helmets. Craig MacTavish was the last NHL player to not wear a helmet, retiring in 1997.
The Chicago Black Hawks set records for goal scoring futility, scoring on average less than one goal per game (33), while giving up a league worst 85 goals against. In one stretch from February 7 through February 28, the Hawks were shut out in eight consecutive games. Forward Vic Ripley was the Hawks' leading goal scorer with only 11 goals and 2 assists for 13 points for the entire 44-game season.
The season produced a record 120 shutouts in the 220 games played. George Hainsworth, Canadiens goaltender, set an NHL record that remained unmatched through the 2010-11 season of 22 shutouts and a 0.92 goals against average. Seven other goaltenders hit double digits in shutouts.
|New York Americans||44||19||13||12||53||53||486||50|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||44||21||18||5||85||69||541||47|
|New York Rangers||44||21||13||10||72||65||384||52|
|Chicago Black Hawks||44||7||29||8||33||85||363||22|
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
The playoffs were now between division finishers of each division, rather than a division champion from each division.The Boston Bruins knocked off the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Rangers beat the New York Americans,and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Cougars. The Rangers defeated Toronto to advance to the final against Boston.
The Bruins won their first Stanley Cup defeating the Rangers. In the process, Boston became one of the few Cup winners in history to not lose a single game in the playoffs, and the last team until 1952 to go undefeated in the playoffs.
|Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Stanley Cup Final|
|A2||New York Rangers||0|
|C2||New York Americans||0G|
|A2||New York Rangers||1G|
|A2||New York Rangers||2|
|C3||Toronto Maple Leafs||0|
|C3||Toronto Maple Leafs||7G|
|1928–29 NHL awards|
(Canadian Division champion)
|Prince of Wales Trophy:
(American Division champion)
(Most valuable player)
|Roy Worters, New York Americans|
|Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
|Frank Boucher, New York Rangers|
(Fewest goals allowed)
|George Hainsworth, Montreal Canadiens|
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Ace Bailey||Toronto Maple Leafs||44||22||10||32||78|
|Nels Stewart||Montreal Maroons||44||21||8||29||74|
|Carson Cooper||Detroit Cougars||43||18||9||27||14|
|Howie Morenz||Montreal Canadiens||42||17||10||27||47|
|Andy Blair||Toronto Maple Leafs||44||12||15||27||41|
|Frank Boucher||New York Rangers||44||10||16||26||8|
|Harry Oliver||Boston Bruins||43||17||6||23||24|
|Bill Cook||New York Rangers||43||15||8||23||41|
|Jimmy Ward||Montreal Maroons||44||14||8||22||46|
|Frank Finnigan||Ottawa Senators||44||15||4||19||71|
|George Hainsworth||Montreal Canadiens||44||22||7||15||2800||43||22||0.92|
|Tiny Thompson||Boston Bruins||44||26||13||5||2710||52||12||1.15|
|Roy Worters||New York Americans||44||16||12||10||2390||46||13||1.15|
|Dolly Dolson||Detroit Cougars||38||19||16||9||2750||63||10||1.37|
|John Ross Roach||New York Rangers||44||21||13||10||2760||65||13||1.41|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1928–29 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Tiny Thompson, Boston Bruins
- Cooney Weiland, Boston Bruins
- George Owen, Boston Bruins
- Johnny Gottselig, Chicago Black Hawks
- Mush March, Chicago Black Hawks
- Herbie Lewis, Detroit Cougars
- Georges Mantha, Montreal Canadiens
- Armand Mondou, Montreal Canadiens
- Baldy Northcott, Montreal Maroons
- Dave Trottier, Montreal Maroons
- Earl Robinson, Montreal Maroons
- Red Horner, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Andy Blair, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1928–29 (listed with their last team):
- Cy Denneny, Boston Bruins
- Duke Keats, Chicago Black Hawks
- Dick Irvin, Chicago Black Hawks
- Red Green, Detroit Cougars
- Herb Gardiner, Montreal Canadiens
- Punch Broadbent, New York Americans
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- 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.