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The 1946–47 NHL season was the 30th season of the National Hockey League (NHL) which lasted from October 16, 1946 to April 19, 1947.

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens in the 1947 Stanley Cup Final to win their sixth Stanley Cup championship.

League BusinessEdit

Tommy Gorman (who had been associated with the NHL since its inception in 1917), announced his retirement in July 1946 as the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens.

Gorman left behind him seven Stanley Cup champions and a hall of fame career as a coach and general manager. Frank Selke (who was released from the Toronto Maple Leafs) took over as general manager and would build the greatest dynasty hockey ever knew in the late 1950s.

The Canadiens were in financial trouble at this time despite their winning team and Selke would turn things around by buying up talent and keeping the cream of the crop, selling some players to teams that needed talent.

Red Dutton finally got to resign as president of the NHL as [[Clarence Campbell, whom Frank Calder had been grooming as his successor, had come home from Europe. Campbell's experience in law and in hockey made him an ideal choice as president.

Campbell hired Ken McKenzie, who would become the league's first publicity director, in September 1946 as his first hiring. McKenzie would go on to found The Hockey News and other publications, including the annual NHL Guide.

Lorne Chabot, whose outstanding career as goalkeeper brought him two Stanley Cups, a Vezina Trophy and a first all-star selection died October 10, 1946 (five days after his 46th birthday). Chabot had been suffering from kidney disease for some time and had been bedridden with severe arthritis.

ChangesEdit

The league extended the season to 60 games.

Linesmen are to be hired for each game from neutral cities.

The system of hand gestures to symbolize penalties (devised by Bill Chadwick) is adopted officially by the NHL.

The NHL announces that winners of its trophies and members of the All-Star team will each receive $1,000.

Additionally, the league modified the captaincy rule so that captains wore the letter "C" and assistant captains wear the letter "A" on the front of their jerseys.

Regular SeasonEdit

Detroit lost Syd Howe through retirement, but another Howe started his great career as Gordie Howe was Detroit's new rookie.

In one of his first fights, he took care of Montreal's Rocket Richard. Sid Abel then added a taunt that enraged Richard and he broke Abel's nose in three places.

Chicago decided to purchase goaltender Paul Bibeault from Montreal and regretted it. He played badly, one of his losses being an 11–0 whitewashing at the hands of Toronto. Finally, president and general manager Bill Tobin had enough and brought up 20-year-old Emile Francis to replace him.

Francis made his debut on February 9, 1947, in a 6–4 win over Boston. During the season, Maple Leaf Gardens was the first arena in the NHL to have Plexiglas inserted in the end zones of the rink.

A donnybrook took place March 16, 1947 between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens.

Cal Gardner lifted Kenny Reardon's stick so that it clipped him in the mouth and a fight broke out between both teams and the fans. On that same night, Billy Taylor of Detroit set an NHL record with 7 assists in a 10–6 shootout win over the Chicago Black Hawks.

Bill Durnan broke George Hainsworth's record of consecutive Vezina Trophies as he won his fourth in a row, and Montreal again finished first. Max Bentley edged out Rocket Richard by one point and won the scoring championship.

On February 12, 1947, Dit Clapper played his final game with the Boston Bruins. Before the start of the game, Clapper was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was the only active player to be inducted into the Hall. The New York Rangers were the first NHL team to have their home games televised.

AwardsEdit

Award winners
O'Brien Cup:
(Playoff runner-up)
Montreal Canadiens
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Best regular season record)
Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Howie Meeker, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Bobby Bauer, Boston Bruins
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
Ken Reardon, Montreal Canadiens D Jack Stewart, Detroit Red Wings
Emile "Butch" Bouchard, Montreal Canadiens D Bill Quackenbush, Detroit Red Wings
Milt Schmidt, Boston Bruins C Max Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks
Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens RW Bobby Bauer, Boston Bruins
Doug Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks LW Woody Dumart, Boston Bruins

Player StatisticsEdit

Scoring leadersEdit

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

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Max Bentley Chicago Black Hawks 60 29 43 72 12
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens 60 45 26 71 69
Billy Taylor Detroit Red Wings 60 17 46 63 35
Milt Schmidt Boston Bruins 59 27 35 62 40
Ted Kennedy Toronto Maple Leafs 60 28 32 60 27
Doug Bentley Chicago Black Hawks 52 21 34 55 18
Bobby Bauer Boston Bruins 58 30 24 54 4
Roy Conacher Detroit Red Wings 60 30 24 54 6
Bill Mosienko Chicago Black Hawks 59 25 27 52 2
Woody Dumart Boston Bruins 60 24 28 52 12

Leading goaltendersEdit

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

Player Team GP Mins GA GAA W L T SO
Bill Durnan Montreal Canadiens 60 3600 138 2.30 34 16 10 4
Turk Broda Toronto Maple Leafs 60 3600 172 2.87 31 19 10 4
Frank Brimsek Boston Bruins 60 3600 175 2.92 26 23 11 3
Chuck Rayner New York Rangers 58 3480 177 3.05 22 30 6 5
Harry Lumley Detroit Red Wings 52 3120 159 3.06 22 20 10 3
Paul Bibeault Chicago Black Hawks 41 2460 170 4.15 13 25 3 1
Emile Francis Chicago Black Hawks 19 1140 104 5.47 6 12 1 0

DebutsEdit

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1946–47:

Last GamesEdit

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1946–47 (listed with their last team):