1940–41 NHL season
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||November 2, 1940 - April 12, 1941|
|Number of games||48|
|Number of teams||7|
|Season champion||Boston Bruins|
|Season MVP||Bill Cowley (Boston Bruins)|
|Top scorer||Bill Cowley (Boston Bruins)|
|Stanley Cup champions||Boston Bruins|
|Runners-up||Detroit Red Wings|
The 1940–41 NHL season was the 24th season of the National Hockey League (NHL). Seven teams each played 48 games. The Boston Bruins were the Stanley Cup winners as they swept the Detroit Red Wings four games to none in the final series.
The Montreal Canadiens had hit the bottom in 1939–40, and were in financial trouble. Frank Patrick decided to become an investor and governor for the team, and Tommy Gorman was hired as general manager. He hired recently released Toronto coach Dick Irvin to run the team. One of the first things Gorman and Irvin did was scout for players, and the Canadiens came up with Johnny Quilty, Joe Benoit, Elmer Lach and defenceman Ken Reardon. Bert Gardiner would be used in goal, replacing Claude Bourque and Wilf Cude. Murph Chamberlain was bought from Toronto to bolster the offence.
Quilty and Benoit came through, as did Toe Blake, but the Habs had a long way to go, finishing sixth. Quilty won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie. In fact, before the season started, Coach Irvin handed a sealed envelope to a reporter of his guess who would win the Calder Trophy, and when the season ended, the reporter opened the envelope: Johnny Quilty was the choice Irvin made.
The Boston Bruins set a record 23 straight unbeaten games en route to a strong first place finish at the end of the schedule. The Rangers, stunningly, finished fourth after the previous year's Stanley Cup win and Dave Kerr wasn't up to his usual form in goal.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||48||28||14||6||62||145||99|
|Detroit Red Wings||48||21||16||11||53||112||102|
|New York Rangers||48||21||19||8||50||143||125|
|Chicago Black Hawks||48||16||25||7||39||112||139|
|New York Americans||48||8||29||11||27||99||186|
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.
|Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Stanley Cup Final|
|2||Toronto Maple Leafs||3|
|3||Detroit Red Wings||0|
|3||Detroit Red Wings||2|
|4||New York Rangers||1|
|3||Detroit Red Wings||2|
|5||Chicago Black Hawks||0|
|5||Chicago Black Hawks||2|
(Best first-year player)
|Johnny Quilty, Montreal Canadiens|
(Most valuable player)
|Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins|
|Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
|Bobby Bauer, Boston Bruins|
|Detroit Red Wings|
|Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Top regular season record)
(Fewest goals allowed)
|Turk Broda, Toronto Maple Leafs|
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Bill Cowley||Boston Bruins||46||17||45||62||16|
|Bryan Hextall||New York Rangers||48||26||18||44||16|
|Gordie Drillon||Toronto Maple Leafs||42||23||21||44||2|
|Syl Apps||Toronto Maple Leafs||41||20||24||44||6|
|Syd Howe||Detroit Red Wings||48||20||24||44||8|
|Lynn Patrick||New York Rangers||48||20||24||44||12|
|Neil Colville||New York Rangers||48||14||28||42||28|
|Eddie Wiseman||Boston Bruins||47||16||24||40||10|
|Bobby Bauer||Boston Bruins||48||17||22||39||2|
|Roy Conacher||Boston Bruins||41||24||14||38||7|
Note: GP = Games played; Min - Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts
|Turk Broda||Toronto Maple Leafs||48||2970||99||2.00||28||14||6||5|
|Frank Brimsek||Boston Bruins||48||3040||102||2.01||27||8||13||6|
|Johnny Mowers||Detroit Red Wings||48||3040||102||2.01||21||16||11||4|
|Dave Kerr||New York Rangers||48||3010||125||2.49||21||19||8||2|
|Paul Goodman||Chicago Black Hawks||21||1320||55||2.50||7||10||4||2|
|Bert Gardiner||Montreal Canadiens||42||2600||119||2.75||13||23||6||2|
|Sam LoPresti||Chicago Black Hawks||27||1670||84||3.02||9||15||3||1|
|Chuck Rayner||N.Y. Americans||12||773||44||3.42||2||7||3||0|
|Earl Robertson||N.Y. Americans||36||2260||142||3.77||6||22||8||1|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1940–41 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Max Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks
- John Mariucci, Chicago Black Hawks
- Joe Carveth, Detroit Red Wings
- Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens
- Ken Reardon, Montreal Canadiens
- John Quilty, Montreal Canadiens
- Chuck Rayner, New York Americans
- Bill Juzda, New York Rangers
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1940–41 (listed with their last team):
- Paul Haynes, Montreal Canadiens
- Georges Mantha, Montreal Canadiens
- Hooley Smith, New York Americans
- Charlie Conacher, New York Americans
- Dave Kerr, New York Rangers
- 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.