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1944–45 NHL season

National Hockey League season

Top 3 1944–45 NHL season related articles

1944–45 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 28, 1944 – April 22, 1945
Number of games50
Number of teams6
Regular season
Season championMontreal Canadiens
Season MVPElmer Lach (Canadiens)
Top scorerElmer Lach (Canadiens)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsToronto Maple Leafs
  Runners-upDetroit Red Wings
NHL seasons

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.

1944–45 NHL season Intro articles: 3

League business

In October 1944, Lester Patrick sponsored W. G. Hardy to become NHL president, replacing Red Dutton who wanted to step down. Patrick credited Hardy for being largely responsible for the current professional-amateur agreement between the NHL and the amateur associations in the International Ice Hockey Association, and said he was "temperamentally suited and has an excellent record as an executive of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association".[1]

Dutton offered to resign because of business concerns, but the league's board of governors dissuaded him. Conn Smythe, at one point, was offered the presidency, but turned it down. Dutton then stayed on.

1944–45 NHL season League business articles: 6

Regular season

It was the year of the "Punch Line" as Rocket Richard scored 50 goals in 50 games, breaking Joe Malone's record of 44 goals, and when Richard scored his 45th, Malone was on hand to present him with the record-breaking puck. Richard had a five-goal, three-assist night against Detroit at the Montreal Forum on December 28, 1944. His centreman, Elmer Lach, though, won the scoring race with 26 goals and 80 points. Toe Blake finished third with 29 goals, 38 assists, and for the second time, an entire line finished first, second, third scoring. The previous time had been in 1939–40, when the Boston Bruins' Kraut Line of Milt Schmidt, Bobby Bauer and Woody Dumart accomplished the feat. Schmidt finished with 52 points in 48 games that year, and Bauer and Dumart 43 apiece.

Montreal dared not loan Paul Bibeault to Toronto again with his fine year the previous season and loaned him instead to Boston. But the Maple Leafs came up with a fine rookie named Frank McCool who won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's top rookie. For the first time, a team produced three consecutive top rookies. McCool and Chicago netminder Mike Karakas tied for the league lead in shutouts with four each.

Bill Durnan won his second consecutive Vezina Trophy with Montreal. Flash Hollett became the first defenceman to score twenty goals in one season.[2] The record would stand until Bobby Orr broke it several decades later.

A major trade that occurred this year was Chicago trading their great defenceman Earl Seibert to Detroit for Don Grosso, Cully Simon and Byron "Butch" McDonald. After team owner Frederic McLaughlin died, it was just a matter of time before Bill Tobin would trade Seibert, as the two did not get along.

Final standings

National Hockey League[3]
1 Montreal Canadiens 50 38 8 4 228 121 +107 80
2 Detroit Red Wings 50 31 14 5 218 161 +57 67
3 Toronto Maple Leafs 50 24 22 4 183 161 +22 52
4 Boston Bruins 50 16 30 4 179 219 −40 36
5 Chicago Black Hawks 50 13 30 7 141 194 −53 33
6 New York Rangers 50 11 29 10 154 247 −93 32

1944–45 NHL season Regular season articles: 30


Playoff bracket

Semifinals Stanley Cup Finals
1 Montreal 2
3 Toronto 4
3 Toronto 4
2 Detroit 3
2 Detroit 4
4 Boston 3


(1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (3) Toronto Maple Leafs

The Montreal Canadiens finished first in the league with 80 points. The Toronto Maple Leafs finished third with 52 points. This was the fourth playoff meeting between these two teams with Montreal winning the two of the three previous series. They last met in previous year's Stanley Cup Semifinals where the Canadiens won in five games. Toronto won this season's ten-game regular-season series earning eleven of twenty points.

Toronto won series 4–2

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

The Detroit Red Wings finished second in the league with 67 points. The Boston Bruins finished fourth with 36 points. This was the fourth playoff meeting between these two teams with Detroit winning the two of the three previous series. They last met in the 1943 Stanley Cup Finals where the Red Wings won in four games. Detroit won this season's ten-game regular-season series earning nineteen of twenty points.

Detroit won series 4–3

Stanley Cup Finals

This was the eighth playoff meeting between these two teams with Toronto winning four of the seven previous series. They last met in the 1943 Stanley Cup Semifinals where Detroit won in six games. Detroit won this season's ten-game regular-season series earning seventeen of twenty points.

Toronto won series 4–3

1944–45 NHL season Playoffs articles: 42


Award winners
O'Brien Cup:
(Stanley Cup runner-up)
Detroit Red Wings
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Frank McCool, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Bill Mosienko, Chicago Black Hawks
Vezina Trophy:
(Fewest goals allowed)
Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens
All-Star teams
First team   Position   Second team
Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens G Mike Karakas, Chicago Black Hawks
Émile Bouchard, Montreal Canadiens D Glen Harmon, Montreal Canadiens
Flash Hollett, Detroit Red Wings D Babe Pratt, Toronto Maple Leafs
Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens C Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins
Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens RW Bill Mosienko, Chicago Black Hawks
Toe Blake, Montreal Canadiens LW Syd Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Dick Irvin, Montreal Canadiens Coach Jack Adams, Detroit Red Wings

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

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

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Elmer Lach Montreal Canadiens 50 26 54 80 37
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens 50 50 23 73 46
Toe Blake Montreal Canadiens 49 29 38 67 35
Bill Cowley Boston Bruins 49 25 40 65 12
Ted Kennedy Toronto Maple Leafs 49 29 25 54 14
Bill Mosienko Chicago Black Hawks 50 28 26 54 0
Joe Carveth Detroit Red Wings 50 26 28 54 6
Ab DeMarco New York Rangers 50 24 30 54 10
Clint Smith Chicago Black Hawks 50 23 31 54 0
Syd Howe Detroit Red Wings 46 17 36 53 6

Source: NHL[4]

Leading goaltenders

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

Player Team GP MIN GA GAA W L T SO
Bill Durnan Montreal Canadiens 50 3000 121 2.42 38 8 4 1
Frank McCool Toronto Maple Leafs 50 3000 161 3.22 24 22 4 4
Harry Lumley Detroit Red Wings 37 2220 119 3.22 24 10 3 1
Connie Dion Detroit Red Wings 12 720 39 3.25 6 4 2 0
Mike Karakas Chicago Black Hawks 48 2880 187 3.90 12 29 7 4
Harvey Bennett Boston Bruins 24 1470 103 4.20 10 12 2 0
Paul Bibeault Boston Bruins 26 1530 116 4.55 6 18 2 0
Ken McAuley New York Rangers 46 2760 227 4.93 11 25 10 1

1944–45 NHL season Awards articles: 8



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1944–45 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

1944–45 NHL season Coaches articles: 4

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1944–45 (listed with their last team):

1944–45 NHL season Last games articles: 6

See also


  1. ^ "Patrick Sponsorshing Hardy As N.H.L. Chief". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. October 18, 1944. p. 23.
  2. ^ Hockey's Book of Firsts, p.23, James Duplacey, JG Press, ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9
  3. ^ "1944–1945 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League.
  4. ^ Dinger 2011, p. 148.

External links