1960–61 NHL season

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1960–61 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 5, 1960 - April 16, 1961
Number of games 70
Number of teams 6
Regular season
Season champion Montreal Canadiens
Season MVP Bernie Geoffrion (Montreal Canadiens)
Top scorer Bernie Geoffrion (Montreal Canadiens)
Stanley Cup
Champions Chicago Black Hawks
  Runners-up Detroit Red Wings
NHL seasons

The 1960–61 NHL season was the 44th season of the National Hockey League. The Chicago Black Hawks defeated the Detroit Red Wings in the 1961 Stanley Cup Final four games to two to win the Stanley Cup. It was the first series since 1950 with two American-based teams. It was Chicago's first Cup win since 1938; they would not win another until 2010.

Gordie Howe of the Red Wings became the first player in NHL history to achieve the career mark of 1000 regular-season points. It would be seven more seasons before the Montreal Canadiens' Jean Béliveau would match the feat.

League business[edit]

The original Hart Trophy was retired, as all its plaques were filled and its general condition had deteriorated. It was decided to donate the Hart Memorial Trophy in its place.

Off-season[edit]

On September 15, 1960, Maurice "Rocket" Richard announced his retirement from hockey. During his career, he had led all scorers with a record 544 goals plus 82 for the playoffs. Despite the league expanding the number of games in a season to 70 games from 50 since Richard's famous 50 goals in 50 games, Richard remained the only player to score 50 goals in a season, until this season.

Regular season[edit]

By this season, the Chicago Black Hawks were a strong team. They had an especially powerful defence, which had Pierre Pilote, Al Arbour, Jack Evans, and Elmer Vasko. Up front, youngsters Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita led the offence, and goaltender Glenn Hall was the Hawks' steady presence between the pipes.

It was reported that Eddie Shore, the great Boston Bruins defenceman and four-time league MVP from the 1930s, had been stricken with a heart attack, but was resting comfortably in a Springfield, Massachusetts hospital.

On October 13, the Canadiens routed the Rangers 8–4, with Bernie Geoffrion and Dickie Moore each scoring hat tricks.

Jack McCartan got his only NHL shutout for the New York Rangers by blanking the Black Hawks 2–0 on October 19. Chicago's Reg Fleming set a record with 37 penalty minutes in this game. They included three major penalties for battles with Dean Prentice, Eddie Shack, and John Hanna, a misconduct, and a game misconduct.

On December 1, the Canadiens, who had traded André Pronovost to Boston for Jean-Guy Gendron, defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6–3 at the Montreal Forum. Gendron had a goal, but the main feature was the 21 penalties referee Frank Udvari had to call, including several majors in the third period. Henri Richard took on Frank Mahovlich, Dickie Moore squared off with Bob Pulford, and Marcel Bonin scrapped with Bobby Baun. Toronto general manager and head coach George "Punch" Imlach was in a bad mood following the game and said to the press among other things that Udvari and linesmen Loring Doolittle and George Hayes should have been picked as the three stars for the help they gave to Montreal. Imlach's comments were brought to the attention of NHL president Clarence Campbell, who fined the Leafs bench boss $200.

In the new year, Stan Mikita helped to spark Chicago. He scored two goals in a 3–2 win over the Rangers on January 4 and scored the winner when the Black Hawks beat Boston 4–3 the following night.

Former Canadiens defenceman Leo Lamoureux died in Indianapolis on January 11 at age 45.

Chicago defeated the Rangers 4–3 on March 8. New York goalie Gump Worsley pulled a hamstring muscle and Joe Shaefer replaced him with the score 1–1. The next night, the Rangers were eliminated from the playoffs as Bernie Geoffrion potted a hat trick in a 6–1 pasting by the Canadiens.

Toronto's Johnny Bower, who appeared on his way to winning the Vezina Trophy, strained a leg muscle and would have to take a rest. Cesare Maniago played in goal for the Leafs on March 16 and lost 5–2. It looked like two players, Toronto's Frank Mahovlich and Montreal's Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, were going to hit 50 goals, but Mahovlich ended up slumping near the end of the season and missed 50 by two goals. Geoffrion scored his 50th goal that night and got a wild ovation. He also added 45 assists and led the league in scoring.

Toronto played a 2–2 tie with the Rangers in their final game of the season and Bobby Baun was a victim of his own hard hitting. Camille Henry of the Rangers ran into Baun and Henry's skate cut Baun in the neck. Baun returned for the third period, but after the game, while boarding the team bus, he began to gasp desperately. He groped for attention and waved his arms, and his teammates finally realized he was in trouble and rushed him to the hospital where an emergency operation was performed to permit breathing. Baun missed some action in the playoffs as the result of the injury.

Final standings[edit]

National Hockey League[1]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1 Montreal Canadiens 70 41 19 10 254 188 +66 92
2 Toronto Maple Leafs 70 39 19 12 234 176 +58 90
3 Chicago Black Hawks 70 29 24 17 198 180 +18 75
4 Detroit Red Wings 70 25 29 16 195 215 -20 −20 66
5 New York Rangers 70 22 38 10 204 248 -44 −44 54
6 Boston Bruins 70 15 42 13 176 254 -78 −78 43


Playoffs[edit]

For the Montreal Canadiens, two streaks came to an end. The Canadiens' streak of ten consecutive Finals appearances and five consecutive Finals wins came to an end with a defeat to eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Black Hawks in the first round. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in the other semi-final to set up an all-American final between Chicago and Detroit.

Playoff bracket[edit]

Semi-finals Stanley Cup Final
           
1 Montreal Canadiens 2
3 Chicago Black Hawks 4
3 Chicago Black Hawks 4
4 Detroit Red Wings 2
2 Toronto Maple Leafs 1
4 Detroit Red Wings 4

Semifinals[edit]

(1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (3) Chicago Black Hawks[edit]

Chicago won series 4-2


(2) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (4) Detroit Red Wings[edit]

Detroit won series 4-1


Stanley Cup Final[edit]

Chicago defeated the Red Wings in six games to win their first Cup since 1938, and their last until 2010.


Chicago won series 4-2


Awards[edit]

1960–61 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Bernie Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Dave Keon, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hart Memorial Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Bernie Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Red Kelly, Toronto Maple Leafs
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender of team with the best goals-against average)
Johnny Bower, Toronto Maple Leafs

All-Star teams[edit]

First team   Position   Second team
Johnny Bower, Toronto Maple Leafs G Glenn Hall, Chicago Black Hawks
Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens D Allan Stanley, Toronto Maple Leafs
Marcel Pronovost, Detroit Red Wings D Pierre Pilote, Chicago Black Hawks
Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens C Henri Richard, Montreal Canadiens
Bernie Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens RW Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Frank Mahovlich, Toronto Maple Leafs LW Dickie Moore, Montreal Canadiens

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
Bernie Geoffrion Montreal Canadiens 64 50 45 95 29
Jean Beliveau Montreal Canadiens 69 32 58 90 57
Frank Mahovlich Toronto Maple Leafs 70 48 36 84 131
Andy Bathgate New York Rangers 70 29 48 77 22
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 64 23 49 72 30
Norm Ullman Detroit Red Wings 70 28 42 70 24
Red Kelly Toronto Maple Leafs 64 20 50 70 12
Dickie Moore Montreal Canadiens 57 35 34 69 62
Henri Richard Montreal Canadiens 70 24 44 68 91
Alex Delvecchio Detroit Red Wings 70 27 35 62 26

[2]

Leading goaltenders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; Min - Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP MIN GA GAA W L T SO
Charlie Hodge Montreal Canadiens 30 1800 74 2.47 19 8 3 4
Johnny Bower Toronto Maple Leafs 58 3480 145 2.50 33 15 10 2
Glenn Hall Chicago Black Hawks 70 4200 176 2.51 29 24 17 6
Hank Bassen Detroit Red Wings 34 2120 98 2.77 13 12 9 0
Jacques Plante Montreal Canadiens 40 2400 112 2.80 22 11 7 2
Terry Sawchuk Detroit Red Wings 38 2080 112 3.23 12 17 7 2
Don Simmons Boston Bruins 18 1080 58 3.23 3 9 6 1
Lorne Worsley New York Rangers 59 3473 191 3.30 20 29 8 1
Bruce Gamble Boston Bruins 52 3120 193 3.71 12 33 7 0

Debuts[edit]

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1960–61 (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 1960–61 (listed with their last team):

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Coleman, Charles L. (1976), Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol III, Sherbrooke, QC: Progressive Publications 
  • 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. Kingston, NY: 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. 
  • Dowbiggin, Bruce (2008), The Meaning Of Puck: How Hockey Explains Modern Canada, Toronto: Key Porter Books, ISBN 978-1-55470-041-7 
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9. 
  • Duplacey, James (2008), Hockey’s Book of Firsts, North Dighton, MA: JG Press, ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9 
  • 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 (1969), 50 Years Of Hockey, Winnipeg, MAN: Greywood Publishing, ISBN B000GW45S0 
  • McFarlane, Brian (1973). The Story of the National Hockey League. New York, NY: Pagurian Press. ISBN 0-684-13424-1. 
Notes

External links[edit]