1936–37 NHL season
|1936–37 NHL season|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||November 5, 1936 – April 15, 1937|
|Number of games||48|
|Number of teams||8|
|Season champions||Detroit Red Wings|
|Season MVP||Babe Siebert (Montreal Canadiens)|
|Top scorer||Sweeney Schriner (New York Americans)|
|Canadian Division champions||Montreal Canadiens|
|American Division champions||Detroit Red Wings|
|Champions||Detroit Red Wings|
|Runners-up||New York Rangers|
The 1936–37 NHL season was the 20th season of the National Hockey League (NHL). Eight teams each played 48 games. The Detroit Red Wings were the Stanley Cup winners as they beat the New York Rangers three games to two in the final series.
The Great Depression had been taking its toll on the NHL. At the beginning of the decade, there were ten teams. Since then, two teams folded and it looked like the New York Americans were to become the third team. The NHL, however, was not about to let that happen. So, instead of letting the team fold because of money and ownership problems, the league assumed control of the team for the 1936–37 season. It was then that owner Bill Dwyer sued. A settlement then allowed for Dwyer to own the team, run by the NHL, and that Dwyer would be given a chance to pay back his debts.
The Montreal Maroons, short of money, had to sell their star and team captain Hooley Smith to Boston. It was hoped that Carl Voss of the former Eagles would fill in adequately for him, but he came down with influenza and never was much help. But Bob Gracie started scoring and the Maroons almost nipped the Canadiens for first place in the Canadian Division.
The New York Americans had started in first place, but then their players came down with influenza and the team went downhill. But the worst blow was when Roy Worters suffered a hernia and had to retire. Alfie Moore and Lorne Chabot were not adequate replacements and the Amerks finished last in the Canadian Division.
On November 16, 1936, Hal Winkler made his NHL debut for the New York Rangers and gained a 1–0 shutout over the Montreal Maroons. He was the first goaltender to have a shutout in his NHL debut. The Montreal Canadiens had hit the bottom in 1935–36, and Babe Siebert was obtained to shore up the defence. But the most loved of all movements was buying Howie Morenz back from the Rangers. The Canadiens went from last to first in the Canadian Division. Morenz was just hitting his stride in January 1937, when tragedy struck. On one of his hurtling rushes, he was being checked by Earl Seibert of Chicago when his left skate got caught in the dasher of the end boards, and Morenz suffered a badly fractured leg. After suffering a nervous breakdown worrying about if he'd be able to come back, more bad luck occurred. On March 8, 1937, X-rays revealed that Howie had blood clots in his healing leg. An operation was scheduled for the next day, but when Howie ate a light supper and told the nurse he wanted to rest, in falling asleep his pallor suddenly changed and the nurse knew something was wrong. A blood clot had stopped his heart, and attempts to revive Howie failed. News of Morenz's death shocked the hockey world, and thousands filed past his bier, many in tears, to pay their last respects.
Beyond Morenz's tragic mishap, it was an injury-filled year for many stars. Already suffering from a bad back, Boston's Eddie Shore suffered a broken vertebra that cost him the remainder of the season. Charlie Conacher of the Maple Leafs repeatedly injured his wrist, costing him much of the season, and was never the same player thereafter. A series of minor injuries precipitated Lionel Conacher's decision to retire at year's end, while Sylvio Mantha and Roy Worters suffered career-ending injuries. Other stars who missed several weeks of time or had season-ending injuries included Red Wings captain Doug Young, Larry Aurie, Russ Blinco, Buzz Boll, Pit Lepine, Dave Trottier, Toe Blake and Art Chapman.
With five games left to play, Chicago owner Frederic McLaughlin, a partisan of American-born players, decided to field an all-American lineup, the first time in major senior hockey that this was done. With incumbent Mike Karakas in goal, the Black Hawks signed Ernest Klingbeil and Paul Schaefer on defense, with a line of Milt Brink centering Al Suomi and Bun Laprairie. The team went 1–3 with the sextet in the lineup.
|Detroit Red Wings||48||25||14||9||128||102||59|
|New York Rangers||48||19||20||9||117||106||47|
|Chicago Black Hawks||48||14||27||7||99||131||35|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||48||22||21||5||119||115||49|
|New York Americans||48||15||29||4||122||161||34|
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.
|Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Stanley Cup Final|
|A1||Detroit Red Wings||3|
|A1||Detroit Red Wings||3|
|A3||New York Rangers||2|
|C3||Toronto Maple Leafs||0|
|A3||New York Rangers||2|
|A3||New York Rangers||2|
The "Rookie of the Year" award now had a trophy, the Calder Trophy, for the first time.
(Best first-year player)
|Syl Apps, Toronto Maple Leafs|
(Most valuable player)
|Babe Siebert, Montreal Canadiens|
|Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
|Marty Barry, Detroit Red Wings|
(Canadian Division champion)
|Prince of Wales Trophy:
(American Division champion)
|Detroit Red Wings|
(Fewest goals allowed)
|Normie Smith, Detroit Red Wings|
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Sweeney Schriner||New York Americans||48||21||25||46||17|
|Syl Apps||Toronto Maple Leafs||48||16||29||45||10|
|Marty Barry||Detroit Red Wings||48||17||27||44||6|
|Larry Aurie||Detroit Red Wings||45||23||20||43||20|
|Busher Jackson||Toronto Maple Leafs||46||21||19||40||12|
|Johnny Gagnon||Montreal Canadiens||48||20||16||36||38|
|Bob Gracie||Montreal Maroons||47||11||25||36||18|
|Nels Stewart||Boston Bruins/New York Americans||43||23||12||35||37|
|Paul Thompson||Chicago Black Hawks||47||17||18||35||28|
|Bill Cowley||Boston Bruins||46||13||22||35||4|
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The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1936–37 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Bobby Bauer, Boston Bruins
- Milt Schmidt, Boston Bruins
- Clint Smith, New York Rangers
- Bryan Hextall, New York Rangers
- Syl Apps, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Gordie Drillon, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Turk Broda, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1936–37 (listed with their last team):
- Bun Cook, Boston Bruins
- Sylvio Mantha, Boston Bruins
- Andy Blair, Chicago Black Hawks
- Wildor Larochelle, Chicago Black Hawks
- Howie Morenz, Montreal Canadiens
- George Hainsworth, Montreal Canadiens
- Lionel Conacher, Montreal Maroons
- Alex Connell, Montreal Maroons
- Baldy Cotton, New York Americans
- Harry Oliver, New York Americans
- Lorne Chabot, New York Americans
- Roy Worters, New York Americans
- Bill Cook, New York Rangers
- Murray Murdoch, New York Rangers
- King Clancy, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Frank Finnigan, Toronto Maple Leafs
- 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. 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. 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.