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1942–43_NHL_season

1942–43 NHL season

The 1942–43 NHL season was the 26th season of the National Hockey League NHL). Six teams played 50 games each. 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.

League business

The Brooklyn Americans franchise was dropped, as Madison Square Garden turned down a lease agreement with team owner Red Dutton. Dutton argued that the other teams would be weakened by the war, but the other owners pointed out the number of Americans players serving in the armed forces was such that the Americans could not operate. A despondent Dutton left the league meeting, but was to return to the NHL sooner than he thought.

With the suspension of the Americans, this was the inaugural season of the so-called Original Six era, with the NHL consisting of six teams (the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. This arrangement would last until the 1966-67 season, after which the league doubled in size.

Death of Frank Calder

The league's meeting of January 25, 1943 was to have been a non-event. The only news that was supposed to come out of the meeting was that the playoffs would begin on March 20, and that all series would be best-of-seven affairs. This was resolved in the morning session.

The afternoon session had just begun and NHL president Frank Calder had informed Red Dutton of the reserve status of his suspended franchise, when Toronto coach Hap Day noticed that Calder appeared to be in pain. Two league governors came up to his aid, but he assured them he was all right. Then Calder's face contracted as if he were in pain. He took a few steps and exclaimed "My God, there IS something wrong!" He was taken to his hotel room and a doctor diagnosed a heart attack. A specialist convinced him, despite his protests, to check into St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, where he suffered a second heart attack. In a week, Calder felt well enough to return to Montreal and checked into Montreal General Hospital. After eating a light breakfast surrounded by his family and friends, he was looking over the league books when he slipped back on the pillows of his bed and died of a third heart attack. He was 65 years old. Red Dutton had been chosen to fill in for him, and now it was a permanent arrangement.

Regular season

Highlights

The Montreal Canadiens were still making progress, and Dick Irvin put together the first "Punch Line" of Elmer Lach, Toe Blake, and Joe Benoit. Maurice Richard showed promise, but broke his leg, and Tommy Gorman began to look at him as brittle. Benoit became the first Canadien to hit the 30 goal plateau since Howie Morenz did it in 1929–30 (40 goals) as he had an even 30. Gordie Drillon also added some scoring power. But the Canadiens only made the playoffs by one slim point. Boston then beat them in the playoffs.

Detroit was the team this year. They finished first and Johnny Mowers won the Vezina Trophy. During the season, Jimmy Orlando got into a stick-swinging incident with Toronto rookie Gaye Stewart and came out of it on the short end, badly cut in the face and bleeding profusely. Both players were suspended for the incident.

In contrast to 1941–42 season, the Rangers felt the full impact of World War II and lost Art Coulter, Alex Shibicky, the Colville brothers, and Bill Juzda to the Armed Forces. Only Ott Heller was left of their defence. Babe Pratt was traded to Toronto for Hank Goldup and Dudley "Red" Garrett. Garrett proved to be an excellent replacement for Pratt. However, he only played 21 games, then gave his life in the Armed Forces. Goaltending was the Rangers problem as Steve Buzinski, Jimmy Franks, and the old veteran Bill Beveridge all had to face lots of rubber as the Rangers went from first to worst.

Gaye Stewart won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie.

Final standings

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Note: Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold
National Hockey League GP W L T Pts
Detroit Red Wings 14 11 1 2 24
Montreal Canadiens 14 9 4 1 19
New York Rangers 14 8 5 1 17
Boston Bruins 14 5 6 3 13
Toronto Maple Leafs 14 2 10 2 6
Chicago Black Hawks 14 2 11 1 5

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Player Team GP G A PTS PIM
Doug Bentley Chicago Black Hawks 50 33 40 73 18
Bill Cowley Boston Bruins 48 27 45 72 10
Max Bentley Chicago Black Hawks 47 26 44 70 2
Lynn Patrick New York Rangers 50 22 39 61 28
Lorne Carr Toronto Maple Leafs 50 27 33 60 15
Billy Taylor Toronto Maple Leafs 50 18 42 60 2

Stanley Cup playoffs

see 1943 Stanley Cup Finals

Playoff bracket

The Mini Cup finals featured the Detroit Red Wings beating the New York Rangers

NHL awards

Calder Memorial Trophy: Gaye Stewart, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hart Memorial Trophy: Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Max Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks
O'Brien Cup: Boston Bruins
Prince of Wales Trophy: Detroit Red Wings
Vezina Trophy: Johnny Mowers, Detroit Red Wings

All-Star teams

First team   Position   Second team
Johnny Mowers, Detroit Red Wings G Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins
Earl Seibert, Chicago Black Hawks D Jack Crawford, Boston Bruins
Jack Stewart, Detroit Red Wings D Flash Hollett, Boston Bruins
Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins C Syl Apps, Toronto Maple Leafs
Lorne Carr, Toronto Maple Leafs RW Bryan Hextall, New York Rangers
Doug Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks LW Lynn Patrick, New York Rangers
Jack Adams, Detroit Red Wings Coach Art Ross, Boston Bruins

Debuts

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1942–43 (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 1942–43 (listed with their last team):

See also

References

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