At the Habs' training camp in 1943, Canadiens manager Tommy Gorman settled on Durnan as his goalie. Durnan stated that he was happy as an amateur and happy with less money if it meant avoiding the stress of the professional game. On opening night, Durnan was not yet signed. Ten minutes before the first faceoff, he spoke with Gorman and reached a deal. Durnan signed the contract and played in the game. The result was a 2-2 draw with the Boston Bruins. The rookie netminder was a few months shy of his 27th birthday.
Some of Durnan’s teammates included the Punch Line of Elmer Lach, Rocket Richard and Toe Blake. Durnan was a key element that took Montreal back to the Stanley Cup after 13 years of frustration. Durnan led the league in games played, wins and goals-against average in the regular season.
In the Stanley Cup playoffs, Durnan allowed only 1.53 goals per game as the Canadiens skated to the title. At season’s end, Durnan was awarded the Vezina Trophy, the first rookie to win the award, and was selected to the league's First All-Star Team.
Rocket Richard scored seven goals in the series, including all five for Montreal in game two. After giving up the first game at home to Toronto, Montreal took over, winning the next four, finishing the series with an 11–0 shellacking in game five.
Maurice 'Rocket' Richard made his Stanley Cup debut with a five goal performance in the series, including a hat-trick in game two. The Punch Line of Richard, Elmer Lach and Toe Blake scored 10 of the Canadiens 16 goals. Blake scored the Cup winner in overtime. In the same overtime, Bill Durnan stopped the first penalty shot awarded in the finals, awarded to Virgil Johnson.
Trainer Ernie Cook and Hector Dubois were included on the team picture in 1944, 1946. However, their names were not engraved on the Cup. When the Stanley Cup was redesigned during the 1957–58 season Cook was added to cup in 1944, but not to 1946 team. Dubois would later have his name on the Stanley Cup 6 times 1953–56–57–58–59–60.
In 1944 Tommy Gorman became the only Manager to win 4 Stanley Cup with 4 different teams. 1920–21–23 Ottawa Senators, 1934 Chicago Black Hawks, 1935 Montreal Maroons and 1944 Montreal Canadiens. He would retire as a champion, after winning one more cup with the Canadiens in 1946.
Bill Durnan's name was misspelled as BILL DURMAN. The first "N" was engraved as a "M". The mistake was corrected in 1992–93 when the Replica Cup was created.
Gerald "Gerry" Heffernan won only 1 Stanley Cup in his career in 1944. However, his name is spelled differently on each of the rings that included the 1944 Montreal Canadiens.
On the original ring in 1944 as GERALD HEFFERNAN
On the Redesigned ring created during 1957–58 season as JERRY HEFFERNAN
On the Replica ring created in 1992–93 as GERRY HEFFERNAN