1921–22 NHL season
|1921–22 NHL season|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||December 17, 1921 – March 13, 1922|
|Number of games||24|
|Number of teams||4|
|Season champions||Ottawa Senators|
|Top scorer||Punch Broadbent (Senators)|
|Champions||Toronto St. Patricks|
The 1921–22 NHL season was the fifth season of the National Hockey League (NHL). Four teams each played 24 games. The league dropped the split season and the two top teams played off for the league championship. The second-place Toronto St. Patricks defeated the first-place Ottawa Senators for the league championship.
For the first four seasons of the NHL, the winner of the league playoffs had faced the winner of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) for the Stanley Cup. That changed this season with the introduction of another professional hockey league called the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). Now, three leagues were competing for the coveted Stanley Cup. The winner of a playoff between the PCHA and the WCHL travelled to Toronto to play off for the Stanley Cup. The St. Patricks defeated the Vancouver Millionaires to win the Stanley Cup.
This was the first season away from the split season used in the NHA and the first four NHL seasons. Under the old split system, the winner of each half of the season would face each other in the playoffs. If the same team won both halves, then there would be no league playoffs and that team would simply move on to the Stanley Cup series. For the new system, the top two teams at the end of the season squared off against each other in a two-game total goals series for the chance to move on to the Stanley Cup series.
Prior to the start of this season, the NHL's first multiple-player trade in its history was made when Billy Coutu and Sprague Cleghorn of the Hamilton Tigers were traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Harry Mummery, Amos Arbour, and Cully Wilson.
Canadiens owner George Kennedy never recovered from the influenza he contracted in 1919,and died on October 19, 1921, at age 39. His widow sold the Canadiens to a unit that would be known affectionately as the Three Musketeers of owners, Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau, and Joseph Cattarinich. Dandurand became manager and coach, and immediately there were problems between him and Newsy Lalonde. At one point, Dandurand accused Lalonde of not trying, and also the fans started to boo their old hero. Finally, Lalonde walked out on the team. NHL president Frank Calder mediated the dispute and Lalonde returned to the team. But his days in Montreal were numbered.
After a fairly impressive season for the Toronto St. Patricks, the St. Pats goaltender Jake Forbes refused to play after being denied a raise, and was suspended for the season. John Ross Roach took over in goal.
Punch Broadbent was the star this year, as he scored 27 goals in 16 consecutive games en route  to a 32-goal campaign. Broadbent led the league in goals, assists and points. His Ottawa team finished first, too.
On February 1, Sprague Cleghorn almost wiped out the Ottawa team singlehandedly. He cut Eddie Gerard and Cy Denneny and charged Frank Nighbor. All three players missed two games because of injuries and Cleghorn drew a match penalty and a $30 fine. Ottawa police tried to arrest him in wake of his one-man war.
|Toronto St. Patricks||24||13||10||1||27||98||97|
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.
Starting in the Western Canada Hockey League, the Calgary Tigers lost to the Regina Capitals in a match-up to determine second place. The Capitals then went on to beat the first place Edmonton Eskimos in that league's first championship series. Over in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, once again, the Vancouver Millionaires faced the Seattle Metropolitans for their league championship. The Mets had the better regular season record, but the Millionaires won both games of the playoffs by 1–0 scores. The Millionaires were then matched up against the Capitals to see who would go on to play against the winner of the NHL's playoffs. Vancouver beat Regina in the two-game total goals series.
The first-place Ottawa Senators played off against the second-place Toronto St. Patricks in a two-game total goals series for the O'Brien Cup. The St. Pats used a strategy of icing the puck to defend their lead.
Toronto St. Patricks vs. Ottawa Senators
|March 11||Toronto St. Patricks||5||Ottawa Senators||4|
|March 13||Ottawa Senators||0||Toronto St. Patricks||0|
Toronto wins total goals series five goals to four.
Stanley Cup Finals
All games were played in Toronto.
Vancouver Millionaires vs. Toronto St. Patricks
|March 17||Vancouver Millionaires||4||Toronto St. Patricks||3|
|March 20||Vancouver Millionaires||1||Toronto St. Patricks||2||(OT)|
|March 23||Vancouver Millionaires||3||Toronto St. Patricks||0|
|March 25||Vancouver Millionaires||0||Toronto St. Patricks||6|
|March 28||Vancouver Millionaires||1||Toronto St. Patricks||5|
Toronto wins best-of-five series three games to two for the Stanley Cup
NHL Playoff scoring leader
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points
|Babe Dye||Toronto St. Patricks||7||11||1||12|
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points
|Punch Broadbent||Ottawa Senators||24||32||14||46||28|
|Cy Denneny||Ottawa Senators||22||27||12||39||20|
|Cecil Dye||Toronto St. Patricks||24||31||7||38||39|
|Harry Cameron||Toronto St. Patricks||24||18||17||35||22|
|Joe Malone||Hamilton Tigers||24||24||7||31||4|
|Corbett Denneny||Toronto St. Patricks||24||19||9||28||28|
|Reg Noble||Toronto St. Patricks||24||17||11||28||19|
|Sprague Cleghorn||Montreal Canadiens||24||17||9||26||80|
|George Boucher||Ottawa Senators||23||13||12||25||12|
|Odie Cleghorn||Montreal Canadiens||23||21||3||24||26|
|Ivan Mitchell||Toronto St. Patricks||2||120||2||0||0||6||0||3.00|
|Clint Benedict||Ottawa Senators||24||1510||14||8||2||84||2||3.34|
|Georges Vezina||Montreal Canadiens||24||1469||12||11||1||94||0||3.84|
|John Ross Roach||Toronto St. Patricks||22||1340||11||10||1||91||0||4.07|
|Howie Lockhart||Hamilton Tigers||24||1409||6||17||0||103||0||4.39|
- Hamilton Tigers: Percy Thompson
- Montreal Canadiens: Newsy Lalonde
- Ottawa Senators: Pete Green
- Toronto St. Patricks: George O'Donoghue
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1921–22 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Billy Boucher, Montreal Canadiens
- Frank Boucher, Ottawa Senators
- King Clancy, Ottawa Senators
- John Ross Roach, Toronto St. Patricks
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1921–22 (listed with their last team):
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- Pacific Coast Hockey Association
- Western Canada Hockey League
- List of pre-NHL seasons
- 1921 in sports
- 1922 in sports
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