1945–46 NHL season

Last updated
1945–46 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
DurationOctober 24, 1945 – April 9, 1946
Number of games50
Number of teams6
Regular season
Season champion Montreal Canadiens
Season MVP Max Bentley (Black Hawks)
Top scorerMax Bentley (Black Hawks)
Stanley Cup
Champions Montreal Canadiens
  Runners-up Boston Bruins
NHL seasons

The 1945–46 NHL season was the 29th season of the National Hockey League. The Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Boston Bruins for the team's sixth championship.

Contents

League business

Since World War II had ended, the NHL and the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) reverted to the pre-war agreement not to sign any junior ice hockey players without permission. CAHA secretary George Dudley stated that tryout contracts must be honoured, and junior-aged players on NHL reserve lists must be reinstated as amateurs to return to the CAHA. The wartime practice of the NHL borrowing amateur players for three games or less was discontinued. [1] The NHL and the CAHA discussed updates the financial terms of the agreement. The NHL offered a flat payment of $20,000 to signing amateurs, which Dudley felt it was too low. [2] The CAHA ultimately accepted the lump sum payment, preferring not to break its alliance with the NHL. [3] [4]

Synchronized red lights to signal goals were made obligatory for all NHL rinks.[ citation needed ]

It was rumoured in the press that Lester Patrick planned to retire as general manager of the New York Rangers. On February 22, 1946, he announced his retirement from the general manager position, however he would stay on as vice president of Madison Square Garden.[ citation needed ]

The NHL and the International Ice Hockey Association agreed to mutually enforce suspensions for players not fulfilling a tryout contract. [5]

Regular season

Veterans came back to their teams this year, as World War II ended, but many found they could not regain their form. One who did regain his form was the man formerly known as "Mr. Zero"—Boston Bruins' goaltender Frank Brimsek. He was shelled in an 8–3 contest with Chicago, but got better game by game. The Bruins had first place at one point, then finished second. Brimsek made the Second All-Star Team as a result.

Max Bentley of Chicago led the league in scoring, and, because of the "Pony Line" including him, his brother Doug and Bill Mosienko, the Black Hawks were in first place at one point. But misfortune hit the Hawks when Doug Bentley injured his knee in a January 23 game and the team sagged.

Frank Patrick, former Pacific Coast Hockey Association president and former managing director for the NHL, suffered a heart attack and was not released from the hospital for several weeks.

A bombshell exploded on January 30, 1946, when defenceman Babe Pratt was expelled from the NHL for betting on games. However, he only bet on his own team and appealed his expulsion. On his promise he would not bet on any more games, he was reinstated. Pratt missed 9 games during his suspension.

Maple Leaf Gaye Stewart led the league in goals with 37, but Toronto finished fifth and missed the playoffs for the first time since playing at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Bill Durnan equalled George Hainsworth's record of three consecutive Vezina Trophies and led the league in shutouts with 4.

Final standings

National Hockey League [6]
GPWLTGFGADIFFPts
1 Montreal Canadiens 5028175172134+3861
2 Boston Bruins 5024188167156+1156
3 Chicago Black Hawks 5023207200178+2253
4 Detroit Red Wings 50202010146159−1350
5 Toronto Maple Leafs 5019247174185−1145
6 New York Rangers 5013289144191−4735

Playoffs

Playoff bracket

Semifinals Stanley Cup Finals
      
1Montreal4
3 Chicago 0
1Montreal4
2 Boston 1
2Boston4
4 Detroit 1

Semifinals

(1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (3) Chicago Black Hawks

The Montreal Canadiens finished first in the league with 61 points. The Chicago Blackhawks finished third with 53 points. This was the seventh playoff meeting between these two teams with the teams splitting the six previous series. They last met in the 1944 Stanley Cup Finals where Montreal won in four games. Montreal won this year's ten game regular season series earning eleven of twenty points.

March 19Chicago Black Hawks2–6Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
George Gee (1) – pp – 17:25First period08:33 – Dutch Hiller (1)
No scoringSecond period08:32 – Elmer Lach (1)
16:29 – ppBilly Reay (1)
16:48 – pp – Dutch Hiller (2)
Bill Mosienko (1) – pp – 12:22Third period10:29 – Toe Blake (1)
14:40 – Maurice Richard (1)
Mike Karakas Goalie stats Bill Durnan
March 21Chicago Black Hawks1–5Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
Clint Smith (1) – 19:13First period06:40 – Bob Fillion (1)
09:14 – Jimmy Peters (1)
09:45 – Maurice Richard (2)
No scoringSecond period10:02 – Ken Mosdell (1)
No scoringThird period14:45 – Jimmy Peters (2)
Mike Karakas Goalie stats Bill Durnan
March 24Montreal Canadiens8–2Chicago Black Hawks Chicago Stadium Recap  
Toe Blake (2) – 12:42
Buddy O'Connor (1) – pp – 14:07
First period15:06 – Max Bentley (1)
18:17 – ppClint Smith (2)
Buddy O'Connor (2) – 04:09
Ken Mosdell (2) – 09:31
Murph Chamberlain (1) – 15:36
Second periodNo scoring
Toe Blake (3) – 09:40
Maurice Richard (3) – 10:36
Bob Fillion (2) – 14:34
Third periodNo scoring
Bill Durnan Goalie stats Mike Karakas
March 26Montreal Canadiens7–2Chicago Black Hawks Chicago Stadium Recap  
Toe Blake (4) – pp – 06:04
Maurice Richard (4) – pp – 12:01
First period11:26 – Bill Mosienko (2)
Toe Blake (5) – 10:54
Murph Chamberlain (2) – sh – 18:05
Second period10:27 – Red Hamill (1)
Elmer Lach (2) – 09:55
Toe Blake (6) – pp – 17:33
Ken Reardon (1) – 18:42
Third periodNo scoring
Bill Durnan Goalie stats Mike Karakas
Montreal wins 4–0

(2) Boston Bruins vs. (4) Detroit Red Wings

The Boston Bruins finished second in the league with 56 points. The Detroit Red Wings finished fourth with 50 points. This was the fifth playoff meeting between these two teams with Detroit winning the three of the four previous series. They last met in the previous year's Stanley Cup Semifinals where the Red Wings won in seven games. Boston won this year's ten game regular season series earning eleven of twenty points.

March 19Detroit Red Wings1–3Boston Bruins Boston Garden Recap  
No scoringFirst period03:11 – shPat Egan (1)
19:05 – Bill Shill (1)
Harry Watson (1) – 07:51Second periodNo scoring
No scoringThird period11:43 – Bep Guidolin (1)
Harry Lumley Goalie stats Frank Brimsek
March 21Detroit Red Wings3–0Boston Bruins Boston Garden Recap  
Pat Lundy (1) – 07:32
Jim Conacher (1) – 12:58
First periodNo scoring
No scoringSecond periodNo scoring
Harry Watson (2) – 19:22Third periodNo scoring
Harry Lumley Goalie stats Frank Brimsek
March 24Boston Bruins5–2Detroit Red Wings Olympia Stadium Recap  
Milt Schmidt (1) – 02:50First periodNo scoring
Woody Dumart (1) – 04:51Second periodNo scoring
Pat Egan (2) – 00:25
Milt Schmidt (2) – 01:51
Woody Dumart (2) – 11:10
Third period12:42 – Fern Gauthier (1)
13:25 – Carl Liscombe (1)
Frank Brimsek Goalie stats Harry Lumley
March 26Boston Bruins4–1Detroit Red Wings Olympia Stadium Recap  
Bobby Bauer (1) – 02:08
Woody Dumart (3) – 14:54
First periodNo scoring
No scoringSecond periodNo scoring
Bep Guidolin (2) – 04:08
Terry Reardon (1) – 11:30
Third period11:00 – Fern Gauthier (2)
Frank Brimsek Goalie stats Harry Lumley
March 28Detroit Red Wings3–4OTBoston Bruins Boston Garden Recap  
No scoringFirst period07:04 – Bep Guidolin (3)
14:03 – ppBobby Bauer (2)
Fern Gauthier (3) – 11:00Second periodNo scoring
Adam Brown (1) – 12:55
Eddie Bruneteau (1) – 19:13
Third period04:24 – Terry Reardon (2)
No scoringFirst overtime period09:51 – Don Gallinger (1)
Harry Lumley Goalie stats Frank Brimsek
Boston won series 4–1

Stanley Cup Finals

This was the fifth playoff meeting between these two teams with the teams splitting the four previous series. They last met in the 1943 Stanley Cup Semifinals where Boston won in five games. Montreal won this year's ten game regular season series earning eleven of twenty points.

March 30Boston Bruins3–4OTMontreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
No scoringFirst periodNo scoring
Bep Guidolin (4) – 05:09
Woody Dumart (4) – 08:02
Second period00:21 – ppButch Bouchard (1)
03:19 – Bob Fillion (3)
Jack Crawford (1) – 14:04Third period16:23 – Murph Chamberlain (3)
No scoringFirst overtime period09:08 – Maurice Richard (5)
Frank Brimsek Goalie stats Bill Durnan
April 2Boston Bruins2–3OTMontreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
Pat Egan (3) – 10:55First period01:06 – Elmer Lach (3)
Bobby Bauer (3) – 03:04Second periodNo scoring
No scoringThird period10:10 – Butch Bouchard (2)
No scoringFirst overtime period16:55 – Jimmy Peters (3)
Frank Brimsek Goalie stats Bill Durnan
April 4Montreal Canadiens4–2Boston Bruins Boston Garden Recap  
Elmer Lach (4) – 10:14
Glen Harmon (1) – pp – 14:13
First period11:01 – Bep Guidolin (5)
No scoringSecond period18:41 – Terry Reardon (3)
Ken Mosdell (3) – 02:45
Dutch Hiller (3) – 05:18
Third periodNo scoring
Bill Durnan Goalie stats Frank Brimsek
April 7Montreal Canadiens2–3OTBoston Bruins Boston Garden Recap  
No scoringFirst periodNo scoring
Maurice Richard (6) – 13:46Second period08:05 – Murray Henderson (1)
Maurice Richard (7) – 04:04Third period03:01 – Don Gallinger (2)
No scoringFirst overtime period15:13 – Terry Reardon (4)
Bill Durnan Goalie stats Frank Brimsek
April 9Boston Bruins3–6Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
Bill Cowley (1) – p – 05:42
Bobby Bauer (4) – 14:01
First period09:55 – Bob Fillion (4)
15:51 – Elmer Lach (5)
18:28 – Ken Mosdell (4)
Milt Schmidt (3) – 07:15Second periodNo scoring
No scoringThird period11:06 – Toe Blake (7)
14:05 – Murph Chamberlain (4)
17:13 – Dutch Hiller (4)
Frank Brimsek Goalie stats Bill Durnan
Montreal won series 4–1

Awards

The NHL changed the criteria for the Vezina Trophy to award it to the goaltender who plays the most games for the team which gives up the fewest goals in the season.

Award winners
O'Brien Cup:
(Stanley Cup runner-up)
Boston Bruins
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Edgar Laprade, New York Rangers
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Max Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks
Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Toe Blake, Montreal Canadiens
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender of team with lowest GAA)
Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens
All-Star teams
First team  Position  Second team
Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens G Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins
Jack Crawford, Boston Bruins D Ken Reardon, Montreal Canadiens
Emile "Butch" Bouchard, Montreal Canadiens D Jack Stewart, Detroit Red Wings
Max Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks C Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens
Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens RW Bill Mosienko, Chicago Black Hawks
Gaye Stewart, Toronto Maple Leafs LW Toe Blake, Montreal Canadiens
Dick Irvin, Montreal Canadiens Coach Johnny Gottselig, Chicago Black Hawks

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes

PlayerTeamGPGAPtsPIM
Max Bentley Chicago Black Hawks473130616
Gaye Stewart Toronto Maple Leafs503715528
Toe Blake Montreal Canadiens502921502
Clint Smith Chicago Black Hawks502624502
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens5027224950
Bill Mosienko Chicago Black Hawks4018304812
Ab DeMarco New York Rangers5020274720
Elmer Lach Montreal Canadiens5013344734
Alex Kaleta Chicago Black Hawks4919274617
Billy Taylor Toronto Maple Leafs4823184114

Source: NHL [7]

Leading goaltenders

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

PlayerTeamGPMINGAGAAWLTSO
Bill Durnan Montreal Canadiens4024001042.60241154
Harry Lumley Detroit Red Wings5030001593.182020102
Frank Brimsek Boston Bruins3420401113.26161442
Mike Karakas Chicago Black Hawks4828801663.46221971
Turk Broda Toronto Maple Leafs15900533.536630
Frank McCool Toronto Maple Leafs221320813.6810930
Chuck Rayner New York Rangers4023771493.76122171
Jim Henry New York Rangers11623424.041721

Coaches

Debuts

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1945–46 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1945–46 (listed with their last team):

See also

Related Research Articles

The 1947–48 NHL season was the 31st season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 60 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs were the Stanley Cup winners. They defeated the Detroit Red Wings four games to none. This season saw the introduction of a new trophy – Art Ross Trophy – that would be handed out to the player who scored the most points during the regular season.

The 1939–40 NHL season was the 23rd season for the National Hockey League. Of the league's seven teams, the Boston Bruins were the best in the 48-game regular season, but the Stanley Cup winners were the New York Rangers, who defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in the best-of-seven final series 4–2 for their third Stanley Cup in 14 seasons of existence. It would be another 54 years before their fourth.

The 1943–44 NHL season was the 27th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams played 50 games each. The Montreal Canadiens were the top team of the regular season and followed it up with the team's fifth Stanley Cup championship.

The 1944–45 NHL season was the 28th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 50 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in seven games versus the Detroit Red Wings.

The 1946–47 NHL season was the 30th season of the National Hockey League. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens in the 1947 Stanley Cup Final to win their sixth Stanley Cup championship.

The 1941–42 NHL season was the 25th season of the National Hockey League. Seven teams played 48 games each. The Toronto Maple Leafs would win the Stanley Cup defeating the Detroit Red Wings winning four straight after losing the first three in a best-of-seven series, a feat only repeated three times in NHL history and once in Major League Baseball (2004) as of 2017.

The 1966–67 NHL season was the 50th season of the National Hockey League. This was the last season of only six teams in the NHL, as six more teams were added for the 1967–68 season. This season saw the debut of one of the greatest players in hockey history, defenceman Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens four games to two in the 1967 Stanley Cup Finals to win their thirteenth Stanley Cup in franchise history; to date this was the Leafs' last Stanley Cup victory.

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 Stanley Cup Finals 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.

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.

The 1965–66 NHL season was the 49th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Montreal Canadiens won their second consecutive Stanley Cup as they defeated the Detroit Red Wings four games to two in the final series.

The 1952–53 NHL season was the 36th season of the National Hockey League. The Montreal Canadiens were the Stanley Cup winners as they beat the Boston Bruins four games to one in the final series.

The 1953–54 NHL season was the 37th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Montreal Canadiens in the final to win the team's sixth championship.

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.

The 1958–59 NHL season was the 42nd season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Montreal Canadiens were the Stanley Cup champions as they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs four games to one in the best-of-seven final series. This marked the fourth consecutive Stanley Cup win for the Canadiens as they became the first team to win four in a row.

The 1935–36 NHL season was the 19th season of the National Hockey League (NHL). The St. Louis Eagles dropped out of the league, leaving eight teams. The Detroit Red Wings were the Stanley Cup winners as they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs three games to one in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The 1938–39 NHL season was the 22nd season of the National Hockey League (NHL). Seven teams each played 48 games. The Boston Bruins were the Stanley Cup winners as they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs four games to one in the final series.

The 1977–78 NHL season was the 61st season of the National Hockey League. The Montreal Canadiens won their third Stanley Cup in a row, defeating the Boston Bruins four games to two in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The East Division of the National Hockey League existed from 1967 until 1974 when the league realigned into two conferences of two divisions each. The division was reformed for the 2020–21 NHL season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 1937–38 NHL season was the 21st season of the National Hockey League (NHL). Eight teams each played 48 games. The Chicago Black Hawks were the Stanley Cup winners as they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs three games to one in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The 1942–43 NHL season was the 26th season of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Brooklyn Americans were dropped, leaving six teams to play a schedule of 50 games. This is the first season of the "Original Six" era of the NHL. The league's long-time president Frank Calder died due to heart disease. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup.

References

Notes
  1. "Pros Agree Not To Sign Juniors". Medicine Hat Daily News. Medicine Hat, Alberta. September 19, 1945. p. 5. Lock-green.svg
  2. "C.A.H.A. Wants Best Deal Possible". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. May 17, 1946. p. 11. Lock-green.svg
  3. "C.A.H.A. and N.H.L. Reach Hockey Player Agreement". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. June 20, 1946. p. 16. Lock-green.svg
  4. "C.A.H.A. Not Satisfied". Winnipeg Tribune. Winnipeg, Manitoba. December 30, 1946. p. 20. Lock-green.svg
  5. "Allan Cup Finals Awarded To West". Winnipeg Tribune. Winnipeg, Manitoba. January 2, 1946. p. 11. Lock-green.svg
  6. "1945–1946 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League.
  7. Dinger 2011, p. 148.