1954–55 NHL season
|1954–55 NHL season|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 7, 1954 – April 14, 1955|
|Number of games||70|
|Number of teams||6|
|Season champion||Detroit Red Wings|
|Season MVP||Ted Kennedy (Toronto Maple Leafs)|
|Top scorer||Bernie Geoffrion (Montreal Canadiens)|
|Champions||Detroit Red Wings|
The 1954–55 NHL season was the 38th season of the National Hockey League. The Detroit Red Wings were the Stanley Cup champions as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens four games to three in the best-of-seven final series. The Canadiens were without star forward Maurice 'Rocket' Richard who had been suspended for the playoffs, a suspension which led to the March 17, 1955 "Richard Riot" in Montreal.
Art Ross announced at the league governors meeting that his connection with Boston would terminate at the end of September. As this would be his last appearance at a league meeting, he took the opportunity to thank the governors and others associated with the league during the 30 years of his being officer of the Boston club for the kindness, courtesy and cooperation he had received, and extended his good wishes for the continued success of the league. Conn Smythe and Frank Selke voiced the good wishes of all present to Ross on his retirement.
Prior to the season, Red Wings head coach Tommy Ivan left Detroit to become general manager of the Chicago Black Hawks, and Jimmy Skinner replaced him behind the bench in the Motor City. One of the first things Ivan did at Chicago was to establish an extensive farm system, something the Black Hawks never had.
On December 18, Maurice Richard scored his 400th career goal against Chicago netminder Al Rollins in a 4–1 Canadiens victory over the Black Hawks. Montreal and Toronto played to a 1–1 tie on December 29, at Maple Leaf Gardens. Maurice Richard got a standing ovation when he scored his 401st goal late in the first period.
In a scoreless tie at the Montreal Forum on March 10, a new ice cleaner and resurfacer called a Zamboni was used for the first time. The fans were not appreciative of Toronto's defensive style in this game and threw garbage, including pig's feet, on the ice.
The Richard Riot took place on March 17, 1955. Maurice Richard had been suspended by league president Clarence Campbell after an incident in a game against Boston where Richard punched the referee. Richard was suspended for the rest of the season and the playoffs. Campbell's subsequent appearance at a Canadiens' game at the Montreal Forum incited a group of protesters and led to violence in the Forum and in downtown Montreal.
|1||Detroit Red Wings||70||42||17||11||204||134||+70||95|
|3||Toronto Maple Leafs||70||24||24||22||147||135||+12||70|
|5||New York Rangers||70||17||35||18||150||210||−60||52|
|6||Chicago Black Hawks||70||13||40||17||161||235||−74||43|
|Semi-finals||Stanley Cup Final|
|1||Detroit Red Wings||4|
|3||Toronto Maple Leafs||0|
|1||Detroit Red Wings||4|
|Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
|Detroit Red Wings|
|Art Ross Trophy:
|Bernie Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens|
|Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
|Ed Litzenberger, Chicago Black Hawks|
(Most valuable player)
|Ted Kennedy, Toronto Maple Leafs|
|James Norris Memorial Trophy:
|Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens|
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
|Sid Smith, Toronto Maple Leafs|
(Goaltender of team with the best goals-against average)
|Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings|
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Bernie Geoffrion||Montreal Canadiens||70||38||37||75||57|
|Maurice Richard||Montreal Canadiens||67||38||36||74||125|
|Jean Beliveau||Montreal Canadiens||70||37||36||73||58|
|Earl Reibel||Detroit Red Wings||70||25||41||66||15|
|Gordie Howe||Detroit Red Wings||64||29||33||62||68|
|George Sullivan||Chicago Black Hawks||69||19||42||61||51|
|Bert Olmstead||Montreal Canadiens||70||10||48||58||103|
|Sid Smith||Toronto Maple Leafs||70||33||21||54||14|
|Ken Mosdell||Montreal Canadiens||70||22||32||54||82|
|Danny Lewicki||New York Rangers||70||29||24||53||8|
Note: GP = Games played; Min – Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts
|Harry Lumley||Toronto Maple Leafs||69||4140||133||1.93||23||24||22||8|
|Terry Sawchuk||Detroit Red Wings||68||4080||132||1.94||40||17||11||12|
|Jacques Plante||Montreal Canadiens||52||3120||109||2.10||31||13||7||5|
|Charlie Hodge||Montreal Canadiens||14||820||31||2.27||7||3||4||1|
|John Henderson||Boston Bruins||45||2652||109||2.47||15||14||15||5|
|Lorne Worsley||New York Rangers||65||3900||195||3.00||15||33||17||4|
|Jim Henry||Boston Bruins||27||1548||79||3.06||8||12||6||1|
|Hank Bassen||Chicago Black Hawks||21||1260||63||3.00||4||9||8||0|
|Al Rollins||Chicago Black Hawks||44||2640||149||3.39||9||27||8||0|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1954–55 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Don McKenney, Boston Bruins
- Don Cherry*, Boston Bruins (only NHL game of career)
- Charlie Hodge, Montreal Canadiens
- Jean-Guy Talbot, Montreal Canadiens
- Lou Fontinato, New York Rangers
- Dick Duff, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1954–55 (listed with their last team):
- Gus Bodnar, Boston Bruins
- Milt Schmidt, Boston Bruins
- Jim Henry, Boston Bruins
- Bill Mosienko, Chicago Black Hawks
- Paul Ronty, Montreal Canadiens
- Edgar Laprade, New York Rangers
- Bill Ezinicki, New York Rangers
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- 8th National Hockey League All-Star Game
- National Hockey League All-Star Game
- 1954 in sports
- 1955 in sports
- Coleman, Charles L. (1976), Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol III, Sherbrooke, QC: Progressive Publications
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- 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.
- "1954–1955 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League.
- Dinger 2011, p. 149.