1964–65 NHL season
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 12, 1964 - May 1, 1965|
|Number of games||70|
|Number of teams||6|
|Season champion||Detroit Red Wings|
|Season MVP||Bobby Hull (Chicago Black Hawks)|
|Top scorer||Stan Mikita (Chicago Black Hawks)|
|Playoffs MVP||Jean Beliveau (Montreal Canadiens)|
|Stanley Cup champions||Montreal Canadiens|
|Runners-up||Chicago Black Hawks|
The 1964–65 NHL season was the 48th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. Jean Beliveau was the winner of the newly introduced Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during the playoffs. The Montreal Canadiens won their first Stanley Cup since 1960 as they were victorious over the Chicago Black Hawks in a seven game final series.
Regular season 
Frank Selke had retired as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, and a man who was showing all the signs of being more capable than Selke, Sam Pollock, took over as general manager. Pollock had been doing an outstanding job as director of the Canadiens farm system the past few seasons and the Habs were deep in talent.
Ted Lindsay decided to make a comeback with Detroit and though Toronto beat Detroit in the opener 5–3, the Olympia fans gave him an ovation.
Muzz Patrick resigned as general manager of the New York Rangers and Emile Francis, assistant general manager, took his place. On January 27, 1965, Ulf Sterner, the first European trained player, made his debut in the National Hockey League for the New York Rangers in a game versus the Boston Bruins.
Ron Ellis was proving to be a find and he scored two goals when the Leafs downed Chicago 5–1 on October 31.
Frank Mahovlich entered a hospital for psychiatric treatment under great stress from fans and his manager Punch Imlach who expected more of him than he was delivering. He could not stand the pressure of playing.
After stopping a shot with his foot, Marcel Pronovost missed a few games and Detroit sorely missed him, as on December 5, Toronto clobbered the Red Wings 10–2. Bob Pulford was clipped by Gordie Howe's club when it was knocked upward and it hit Pulford in the eye.
Frank Mahovlich was back on December 9 when Montreal downed Toronto 3–2. Three nights later, he had two goals and two assists when Toronto beat Boston 6–3.
On December 26, Bill Thoms, who played 12 years with Toronto and Chicago, died of a heart attack, aged 54.
Toronto's Punch Imlach ruled with an iron hand and was really upset with the Leafs play. Wholesale demotions were threatened if the team's play didn't improve. Toronto snapped out of its decline when they beat Detroit 3–1 on January 2. Tim Horton scored two goals playing as a forward instead of his usual defence position. Roger Crozier was struck in the eye by Jim Pappin's stick late in the game and was replaced by Carl Wetzel in goal. Ted Lindsay got into a heated argument with referee Vern Buffey over whether a penalty should be called against Pappin and received a ten minute misconduct penalty and a game misconduct. Lindsay stated to the press after the game that his advice to coach Sid Abel was not to pay the fines and that he would not sit still for NHL president Clarence Campbell's kangaroo court. All this was reported to Campbell who said Lindsay would pay the fines or not play. In due course, an appropriate signed apology and a cheque in the amount of the fines were handed over by Lindsay and he was reinstated January 6.
Bill Hicke, who had been traded to the Rangers by the Canadiens, turned on his ex-teammates with a hat trick at the Forum on January 9 as the Rangers won 6–5. However, the Rangers lost defenceman Jim Neilson with a shoulder separation. The Rangers got walloped by the Leafs 6–0 the next night as Tim Horton had two goals. Despite the win, the fans were still chanting "We want Shack!" (meaning Eddie Shack).
George Hayes, who had been an official in the NHL for 19 years, was suspended for refusing to take an eye test. Later, he had his contract terminated when he still refused. Referee-in-chief Carl Voss announced his intention to resign at the end of the season, and Hayes and ex-referee Eddie Powers greeted this with approval.
Chicago moved into first place with a 4–1 win on February 3 over the New York Rangers right at Madison Square Garden. Bobby Hull didn't score, but the highlight of the game was his fight with Bob Plager.
Chicago beat Toronto 6–3 on February 6 and Bobby Hull's chances of reaching 50 goals was in trouble when he was checked heavily by Bobby Baun, and he limped from the ice with strained knee ligaments. On the same weekend, Detroit moved into first place, beating Montreal twice.
The Leafs pulled into a tie with Montreal for second place when they pasted Montreal 6–2 in Toronto on February 10. This was the fifth straight loss for the Habs. Referee Bill Friday had a busy time with a bench-clearing brawl that delayed the game for 20 minutes. The trouble began when John Ferguson hooked Frank Mahovlich. Terry Harper, Ted Harris, Pete Stemkowski and Kent Douglas moved in and then the benches emptied. Referee Friday assessed 66 minutes in penalties, including ten minute misconducts to Mahovlich and Ted Harris. President Campbell later assessed $925 in fines. Ten Leafs were fined $50 each and six Canadiens players were fined $50.
Red Kelly had the hat trick on March 21 when Toronto pummeled the Rangers 10–1.
The Rangers beat the Black Hawks on March 23 3–2. A great many fans were upset at plans for a closed circuit telecast of Chicago games and during the game there were shouts of "Norris is a fink!" (referring to James D. Norris, part owner of the Black Hawks).
Final standings 
|1||Detroit Red Wings||70||40||23||7||224||175||+49||87|
|3||Chicago Black Hawks||70||34||28||8||224||176||+48||76|
|4||Toronto Maple Leafs||70||30||26||14||204||173||+31||74|
|5||New York Rangers||70||20||38||12||179||246||−67||52|
In the 1964 playoffs, Detroit had been forced to use Bob Champoux, a rookie goaltender when regular goalie Terry Sawchuk was injured. For the 1965 playoffs, the NHL required all teams to carry two goaltenders.
For the third straight playoffs, it was Montreal vs. Toronto and Detroit vs. Chicago in the first round. The Canadiens came out on top over the defending champion Leafs in six games, while the Hawks beat the Wings in seven.
In the final, the Canadiens defeated the Black Hawks in seven games.
Playoff bracket 
|Semi-finals||Stanley Cup Final|
|1||Detroit Red Wings||3|
|3||Chicago Black Hawks||4|
|3||Chicago Black Hawks||3|
|4||Toronto Maple Leafs||2|
The NHL changed its criteria for the Vezina Trophy, allowing multiple goaltenders to be named the winner of the trophy. Johnny Bower and Terry Sawchuk of the Maple Leafs were named the winners. Neither made the all-star team. Pierre Pilote won the Norris Trophy for the third consecutive year. Stan Mikita won the scoring championship and the Art Ross trophy for the second consecutive year. Bobby Hull won the Hart Trophy as most valuable player for the first time, and the Lady Byng. Roger Crozier won the Calder for best first-year player, and was named the First All-Star team goaltender.
|1964–65 NHL awards|
|Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
|Detroit Red Wings|
|Art Ross Trophy:
|Stan Mikita, Chicago Black Hawks|
|Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
|Roger Crozier, Detroit Red Wings|
|Conn Smythe Trophy:
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
|Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens|
(Most valuable player, season)
|Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks|
|James Norris Memorial Trophy:
|Pierre Pilote, Chicago Black Hawks|
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
|Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks|
(Goaltender(s) of team with the best goals-against average)
|Johnny Bower & Terry Sawchuk, Toronto Maple Leafs|
All-Star teams 
|First team||Position||Second team|
|Roger Crozier, Detroit Red Wings||G||Charlie Hodge, Montreal Canadiens|
|Pierre Pilote, Chicago Black Hawks||D||Bill Gadsby, Detroit Red Wings|
|Jacques Laperriere, Montreal Canadiens||D||Carl Brewer, Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Norm Ullman, Detroit Red Wings||C||Stan Mikita, Chicago Black Hawks|
|Claude Provost, Montreal Canadiens||RW||Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings|
|Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks||LW||Frank Mahovlich, Toronto Maple Leafs|
Player statistics 
Scoring leaders 
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Stan Mikita||Chicago Black Hawks||70||28||59||87||154|
|Norm Ullman||Detroit Red Wings||70||42||41||83||70|
|Gordie Howe||Detroit Red Wings||70||29||47||76||104|
|Bobby Hull||Chicago Black Hawks||61||39||32||71||32|
|Alex Delvecchio||Detroit Red Wings||68||25||42||67||16|
|Claude Provost||Montreal Canadiens||70||27||37||64||28|
|Rod Gilbert||New York Rangers||70||25||36||61||52|
|Pierre Pilote||Chicago Black Hawks||68||14||45||59||162|
|John Bucyk||Boston Bruins||68||26||29||55||24|
|Ralph Backstrom||Montreal Canadiens||70||25||30||55||28|
|Phil Esposito||Chicago Black Hawks||70||23||32||55||44|
Leading goaltenders 
Note: GP = Games played; Min - Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts
|Johnny Bower||Toronto Maple Leafs||34||2040||81||2.38||13||13||8||3|
|Roger Crozier||Detroit Red Wings||70||4168||168||2.42||40||22||7||6|
|Glenn Hall||Chicago Black Hawks||41||2440||99||2.43||18||17||5||4|
|Denis DeJordy||Chicago Black Hawks||30||1760||74||2.52||16||11||3||3|
|Terry Sawchuk||Toronto Maple Leafs||36||2160||92||2.56||17||13||6||1|
|Charlie Hodge||Montreal Canadiens||53||3120||135||2.60||26||16||10||3|
|Jacques Plante||N.Y. Rangers||33||1938||109||3.37||10||17||5||2|
|Eddie Johnston||Boston Bruins||47||2820||163||3.47||11||32||4||3|
|Marcel Paille||N.Y. Rangers||39||2262||135||3.58||10||21||7||0|
|Jack Norris||Boston Bruins||23||1380||85||3.70||10||11||2||1|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1964–65 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Joe Watson, Boston Bruins
- Bill Goldsworthy, Boston Bruins
- Wayne Cashman, Boston Bruins
- Dennis Hull, Chicago Black Hawks
- Ken Hodge, Chicago Black Hawks
- Brit Selby, Toronto Maple Leafs
Last games 
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1964–65 (listed with their last team):
See also 
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- 1964 NHL Amateur Draft
- National Hockey League All-Star Game
- 1964 in sports
- 1965 in sports
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- Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9.
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- "1964–1965 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League.
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