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1958–59 NHL season

National Hockey League season

Top 3 1958–59 NHL season related articles

1958–59 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 8, 1958 – April 18, 1959
Number of games70
Number of teams6
Regular season
Season championMontreal Canadiens
Season MVPAndy Bathgate (Rangers)
Top scorerDickie Moore (Canadiens)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsMontreal Canadiens
  Runners-upToronto Maple Leafs
NHL seasons

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.

1958–59 NHL season Intro articles: 4

League business

The NHL and the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) negotiated a new professional-amateur agreement, since the previous deal had expired in 1955, and the groups had operated on a gentleman's agreement.[1] CAHA secretary George Dudley announced that NHL would pay C$40,000 towards developing amateur players, and the agreement set rules for negotiation lists and reserve lists and an earlier deadline to decide which players might be moved from a junior team to a professional team. The CAHA agreed that amateurs aged 17 and older would use same rules as the professionals except for overtime.[2]

1958–59 NHL season League business articles: 4

Regular season

The Toronto Maple Leafs, last-place finishers the previous season, brought up Johnny Bower to share goaltending duties with Ed Chadwick and bolstered the defence by adding Carl Brewer and Allan Stanley to aid Tim Horton and Bobby Baun. Toronto was on its way up.

Ralph Backstrom and Jean Beliveau each had two goals apiece in a 9–1 Montreal win at the Montreal Forum on October 23. Rudy Pilous, coach of the Black Hawks, was far from pleased with his team's performance and fined his team $100 for the poor performance.

Beliveau had the hat trick November 29 as Montreal beat Detroit 6–2 at the Forum. Gordie Howe was injured in a collision with Doug Harvey near the end of the first period and was taken to hospital. There was no serious damage and Howe was given an ovation when he returned in the third period. The next night, Montreal sneeringly pasted the Red Wings 7–0 as Jacques Plante got his third shutout of the season.

On January 3, Harvey was back in the Canadiens lineup and scored two goals in a 5–1 win over the New York Rangers at the Forum. A crowd of 14,711 saw a free-for-all at the end of the game. In the last minute of play, Plante got two penalties, one of them a major that sparked the fight. Jimmy Bartlett had skated right into Plante, and Plante retaliated by punching Bartlett. In no time at all, every player on the ice was involved except Rangers' net minder Gump Worsley, who decided to have none of the nonsense. Referee Dalton McArthur gave Bartlett a double major, one for charging and one for fighting, and a misconduct penalty. Harvey and Lou Fontinato also received major penalties.

On February 1, the Rangers downed the Red Wings 5–4 at Madison Square Garden. Lou Fontinato became incensed when Gordie Howe whacked Eddie Shack over the ear with his stick, and challenged the right wing. Howe terminated the fight with an uppercut that broke Fontinato's nose and left it several degrees off centre. On February 5, the Rangers beat the Wings 5–0 on Worsley's shutout. Detroit coach Sid Abel, formerly Howe's centreman, was furious at his team and fined 14 players $100 each for playing what he described as "the worst game of hockey he had seen in 20 years".

On February 15 at Madison Square Garden, the Gumper had Montreal shut out with ten minutes remaining. Then the Canadiens scored 5 goals to win 5–1. Coach Phil Watson was red-faced and screaming at his Ranger players and ordered every player except Worsley out on the ice for an after-game workout. Watson said Worsley hadn't played so bad. General manager Muzz Patrick said the workout was in lieu of fines.

With five games left in the season, the Rangers had a seven-point lead over Toronto. Then the Rangers went into a fatal tailspin, and the Leafs got hot. The key game was played March 19 between Toronto and the Canadiens. Plante could not play due to a severe case of boils, and so the Canadiens used Claude Pronovost in goal. He was bombed for five goals before coach Toe Blake yanked him in the third period. He was replaced by another goalie, Claude Cyr. It was his first and last NHL game. He gave up only one goal the rest of the way, but the damage was done. Toronto won 6–3. The Canadiens brought up the more capable Charlie Hodge from the Montreal Royals and on March 22, he beat the Rangers 4–2. The Rangers still had a chance to make the playoffs if Detroit beat Toronto. The Red Wings had a 3–0 lead that collapsed, and the Leafs won 6–4 and ousted the Rangers, making the playoffs themselves.

The Montreal Canadiens again won the regular season standings and again their players dominated the All-Star nominations (with six of a possible twelve, the same number as in 1956) and trophies as Jacques Plante won his fourth straight Vezina Trophy, Tom Johnson won the James Norris Memorial Trophy, ending teammate Doug Harvey's four-year monopoly, and Dickie Moore won the Art Ross Trophy, setting a new record for total points in a season: with a 41-goal, 55-assist campaign, "Digger" broke "Mr. Hockey's" record by a single point.

This season marked the final time until 1967 where we would see an active player that had played for a team not in the Original Six. Former Brooklyn Americans player Ken Mosdell suited up for 2 postseason games for the Canadiens that year, and retired after Montreal won the Cup.

Final standings

National Hockey League[3]
1 Montreal Canadiens 70 39 18 13 258 158 +100 91
2 Boston Bruins 70 32 29 9 205 215 −10 73
3 Chicago Black Hawks 70 28 29 13 197 208 −11 69
4 Toronto Maple Leafs 70 27 32 11 189 201 −12 65
5 New York Rangers 70 26 32 12 201 217 −16 64
6 Detroit Red Wings 70 25 37 8 167 218 −51 58

1958–59 NHL season Regular season articles: 45


Playoff bracket

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


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

Montreal won series 4–2

(2) Boston Bruins vs. (4) Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto won series 4–3

Stanley Cup Finals

Montreal won series 4–1

1958–59 NHL season Playoffs articles: 29


1958–59 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Dickie Moore, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Ralph Backstrom, Montreal Canadiens
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Andy Bathgate, New York Rangers
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Tom Johnson, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Alex Delvecchio, Detroit Red Wings
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender of team with the best goals-against average)
Jacques Plante, Montreal Canadiens

All-Star teams

First team   Position   Second team
Jacques Plante, Montreal Canadiens G Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings
Tom Johnson, Montreal Canadiens D Marcel Pronovost, Detroit Red Wings
Bill Gadsby, New York Rangers D Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens
Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens C Henri Richard, Montreal Canadiens
Andy Bathgate, New York Rangers RW Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Dickie Moore, Montreal Canadiens LW Alex Delvecchio, 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
Dickie Moore Montreal Canadiens 70 41 55 96 61
Jean Beliveau Montreal Canadiens 64 45 46 91 67
Andy Bathgate New York Rangers 70 40 48 88 48
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 70 32 46 78 57
Ed Litzenberger Chicago Black Hawks 70 33 44 77 37
Bernie Geoffrion Montreal Canadiens 59 22 44 66 30
George "Red" Sullivan New York Rangers 70 21 42 63 56
Andy Hebenton New York Rangers 70 33 29 62 8
Don McKenney Boston Bruins 70 32 30 62 20
Tod Sloan Chicago Black Hawks 59 27 35 62 79


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
Jacques Plante Montreal Canadiens 67 4000 144 2.15 38 16 13 9
Johnny Bower Toronto Maple Leafs 39 2340 107 2.74 15 17 7 3
Glenn Hall Chicago Black Hawks 70 4200 208 2.97 28 29 13 1
Lorne Worsley New York Rangers 67 4001 199 2.97 26 30 11 2
Ed Chadwick Toronto Maple Leafs 31 1860 92 2.97 12 15 4 3
Terry Sawchuk Detroit Red Wings 67 4020 202 3.01 23 36 8 5
Don Simmons Boston Bruins 58 3480 183 3.16 24 26 8 3

1958–59 NHL season Awards articles: 10



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1958–59 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

1958–59 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 1958–59 (listed with their last team):

1958–59 NHL season Last games articles: 7

See also


  1. ^ Sullivan, Jack (May 21, 1958). "Allan Cup Champions To Defend World Ice Crown". Brandon Daily Sun. Brandon, Manitoba. p. 11.
  2. ^ "Pro-Amateur Agreement Reached". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. January 3, 1959. p. 38.
  3. ^ "1958–1959 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League.
  4. ^ Dinger 2011, p. 149.

External links