1942–43 NHL season

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1942–43 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 31, 1942 - April 8, 1943
Number of games 50
Number of teams 6
Regular season
Season champion Detroit Red Wings
Season MVP Bill Cowley (Boston Bruins)
Top scorer Doug Bentley (Chicago Black Hawks)
Stanley Cup
Champions Detroit Red Wings
  Runners-up Boston Bruins
NHL seasons

The 1942–43 NHL season was the 26th season of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Brooklyn Americans were dropped, leaving six teams to play a schedule of 50 games. This is the first season of the "Original Six" era of the NHL. The league's long-time president Frank Calder died due to heart disease. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup.

League business[edit]

The Brooklyn Americans franchise was dropped, as Madison Square Garden turned down a lease agreement with team owner Red Dutton. Dutton argued that the other teams would be weakened by the war, but the other owners pointed out the number of Americans players serving in the armed forces was such that the Americans could not operate. A despondent Dutton left the league meeting, but was to return to the NHL sooner than he thought.

With the suspension of the Americans, this was the inaugural season of the so-called Original Six era, with the NHL consisting of six teams (the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs). This arrangement would last until the 1966–67 season, after which the league doubled in size.

Death of Frank Calder[edit]

The league's meeting of January 25, 1943 was to have been a non-event. The only news that was supposed to come out of the meeting was that the playoffs would begin on March 20, and that all series would be best-of-seven affairs. This was resolved in the morning session.

The afternoon session had just begun and NHL president Frank Calder had informed Red Dutton of the reserve status of his suspended franchise, when Toronto coach Hap Day noticed that Calder appeared to be in pain. Two league governors came up to his aid, but he assured them he was all right. Then Calder's face contracted as if he were in pain. He took a few steps and exclaimed "My God, there IS something wrong!" He was taken to his hotel room and a doctor diagnosed a heart attack. A specialist convinced him, despite his protests, to check into St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, where he suffered a second heart attack. In a week, Calder felt well enough to return to Montreal and checked into Montreal General Hospital. After eating a light breakfast surrounded by his family and friends, he was looking over the league books when he slipped back on the pillows of his bed and died of a third heart attack. He died on February 4, 1943 at the age of 65 years. Red Dutton was chosen as the new president, on an "interim" basis.[1]

Regular season[edit]

Due to war-time travel restrictions, the NHL ceased playing overtimes to decide tie games partway through the season. The last regular season overtime game was November 10, 1942 between the Chicago Black Hawks and the New York Rangers, won by New York 5–3. Regular season overtime would not be re-introduced until the 1983–84 NHL season.

Highlights[edit]

Detroit finished first, partly due to the six shutouts of goaltender Johnny Mowers, who won the Vezina Trophy. During the season, Jimmy Orlando got into a stick-swinging incident with Toronto rookie Gaye Stewart and came out of it on the short end, badly cut in the face and bleeding profusely. Both players were suspended for the incident.

The Montreal Canadiens were still making progress, and coach Dick Irvin put together the first "Punch Line" of Elmer Lach, Toe Blake and Joe Benoit. Maurice Richard showed promise, but broke his leg, and Canadiens' manager Tommy Gorman began to look at him as brittle. Benoit became the first Canadien to hit the 30 goal plateau since Howie Morenz did it in 1929–30 (40 goals) scoring an even 30. Gordie Drillon also added some scoring power. The Canadiens made the playoffs by one slim point and lost to Boston in the playoffs' first round.

In contrast to the 1941–42 season, the Rangers felt the full impact of World War II and lost Art Coulter, Alex Shibicky, the Colville brothers, and Bill Juzda to the Armed Forces. Only Ott Heller was left of their defence. Babe Pratt was traded to Toronto for Hank Goldup and Dudley "Red" Garrett. Garrett proved to be an excellent replacement for Pratt. However, he only played 21 games, then gave his life in the Armed Forces. Goaltending was the Rangers problem as Steve Buzinski, Jimmy Franks, and old veteran Bill Beveridge all had to face lots of rubber as the Rangers went from first to worst.

Final standings[edit]

National Hockey League[2]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1 Detroit Red Wings 50 25 14 11 169 124 +45 61
2 Boston Bruins 50 24 17 9 195 176 +19 57
3 Toronto Maple Leafs 50 22 19 9 198 159 +39 53
4 Montreal Canadiens 50 19 19 12 181 191 -10 −10 50
5 Chicago Black Hawks 50 17 18 15 179 180 -1 −1 49
6 New York Rangers 50 11 31 8 161 253 -92 −92 30

Playoffs[edit]

see 1943 Stanley Cup Finals

Playoff bracket[edit]

Semi-finals Stanley Cup Final
           
1 Detroit Red Wings 4
3 Toronto Maple Leafs 2
1 Detroit Red Wings 4
2 Boston Bruins 0
2 Boston Bruins 4
4 Montreal Canadiens 1

Awards[edit]

Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Gaye Stewart, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Max Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks
O'Brien Cup:
(Playoff runner-up)
Boston Bruins
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Best regular-season record)
Detroit Red Wings
Vezina Trophy:
(Fewest goals allowed)
Johnny Mowers, Detroit Red Wings

All-Star teams[edit]

First team   Position   Second team
Johnny Mowers, Detroit Red Wings G Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins
Earl Seibert, Chicago Black Hawks D Jack Crawford, Boston Bruins
Jack Stewart, Detroit Red Wings D Flash Hollett, Boston Bruins
Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins C Syl Apps, Toronto Maple Leafs
Lorne Carr, Toronto Maple Leafs RW Bryan Hextall, New York Rangers
Doug Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks LW Lynn Patrick, New York Rangers
Jack Adams, Detroit Red Wings Coach Art Ross, Boston Bruins

Player statistics[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Player Team GP G A PTS PIM
Doug Bentley Chicago Black Hawks 50 33 40 73 18
Bill Cowley Boston Bruins 48 27 45 72 10
Max Bentley Chicago Black Hawks 47 26 44 70 2
Lynn Patrick New York Rangers 50 22 39 61 28
Lorne Carr Toronto Maple Leafs 50 27 33 60 15
Billy Taylor Toronto Maple Leafs 50 18 42 60 2
Bryan Hextall New York Rangers 50 27 32 59 28
Toe Blake Montreal Canadiens 48 23 36 59 26
Elmer Lach Montreal Canadiens 45 18 40 58 14
Buddy O'Connor Montreal Canadiens 50 15 43 58 2

Source: NHL[3]

Leading goaltenders[edit]

Note: GP = Games pPlayed; Mins - Minutes played; GA = Goals against; GAA = Goals against average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP Mins GA W L T SO GAA
Johnny Mowers Detroit Red Wings 50 3010 124 25 14 11 6 2.47
Turk Broda Toronto Maple Leafs 50 3000 159 22 19 9 1 3.18
Frank Brimsek Boston Bruins 50 3000 176 24 17 9 1 3.53
Bert Gardiner Chicago Black Hawks 50 3020 180 17 18 15 1 3.58
Paul Bibeault Montreal Canadiens 50 3010 191 19 19 12 1 3.81
Jimmy Franks New York Rangers 23 1380 103 5 14 4 0 4.48
Bill Beveridge New York Rangers 17 1020 89 4 10 3 1 5.24

Debuts[edit]

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1942–43 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games[edit]

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1942–43 (listed with their last team):

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (1994). Years of glory, 1942-1967: the National Hockey League's official book of the six-team era. Toronto, ON: McClelland and Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-2817-2. 
  • 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. Toronto, ON: 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. Lincolnwood, IL: 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. 
Notes
  1. ^ Diamond(1994), p. 10
  2. ^ "1942–1943 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League. 
  3. ^ Dinger 2011, p. 148.

External links[edit]