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The 1947–48 NHL season was the 31st season of the National Hockey League (NHL) which lasted from October 15, 1947 to April 14, 1948 where six teams each played 60 games.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were the Stanley Cup winners after defeating the Detroit Red Wings four games to none.

This season saw the introduction of a new trophy: the Art Ross Trophy that would be handed out to the player who scored the most points during the regular season.

Regular Season[]

The season saw the return of the National Hockey League All-Star Game, an idea that (although proposed in the previous season) came into fruition this year. However, the all-star game saw a bad ankle injury to Chicago Black Hawks forward Bill Mosienko that nearly ended his career.

Other stars would retire, ending both the Montreal Canadiens' Punch line and the Boston Bruins' Kraut Line. However, this season saw the creation of the Detroit Red Wings' Production Line.

The policy of having players raise their hockey sticks to signify that a goal was scored was also initiated in this season, at the suggestion of Frank Patrick with Habs forward Billy Reay being the first to do on November 13, 1947.

The season also saw Boston's Don Gallinger suspended indefinitely pending an investigation of gambling activities and the New York Rangers' Billy "The Kid" Taylor being expelled for life for gambling.

Seven games into the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Black Hawks made, at that time, the biggest trade in NHL history.

The Maple Leafs sent five players to the Black Hawks in trade for Max Bentley and rookie winger Cy Thomas. Thomas only played eight games that year, but Bentley handed to the Leafs a much-needed offensive boost that helped propel the team to first overall and an eventual Stanley Cup.

The New York Rangers decided to make a trade to improve their fortunes and sent Hal Laycoe, Joe Bell and George Robertson to Montreal in exchange for Buddy O'Connor and defenceman Frank Eddolls.

Montreal missed O'Connor, as their goal-scoring plummeted. Ken Mosdell was out from the start of the season with a broken arm, Rocket Richard had trouble with a bad knee and Murph Chamberlain broke his leg.

In an attempt to boost the goal-scoring, Montreal traded Jimmy Peters and Johnny Quilty to Boston in exchange for Joe Carveth, but the rot continued.

However, the worst occurred on January 11, 1948 when the Canadiens played the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Habs lost more than a game when Bill Juzda checked captain Toe Blake into the boards, breaking Blake's ankle and ending his career.

It was also the end of the famed "Punch Line". (Ironically, that same night, Johnny Quilty's career was ended with a compound fracture of the leg). The Canadiens missed the playoffs for the first time since 1940 and Bill Durnan (for the only time in his career) failed to win the Vezina Trophy.

This season was also the last season in which a goaltender was allowed to be named captain of their team.

Bill Durnan was the last goaltender in NHL history to be captain.

Toronto's Turk Broda won the Vezina this season.


The first round of the playoffs saw third place Boston Bruins matched up with first place Toronto Maple Leafs and fourth place New York Rangers against second place Detroit Red Wings.

Toronto vs. Boston

Toronto defeated Boston four games to one, although Boston kept it closer than the series tally would indicate. Three of the five games were decided by a single goal.

New York Rangers vs. Detroit

It looked initially to be a close series after the Blueshirts lost the first two games, but the Rangers won the next two to tie the series.

Detroit then took the next two to win the series in six games to qualify for the Final. It was Detroit's fourth time in six years.


Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

  • April 7, 1948: 5-3 (Winner: Toronto)
  • April 10, 1948: 4-2 (Winner: Toronto)
  • April 11, 1948: 2-0 (Winner: Toronto)
  • April 14, 1948: 7-2 (Winner: Toronto)

Toronto wins best-of-seven series four games to none.


O'Brien Cup:
(Stanley Cup runner-up)
Detroit Red Wings
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Top regular season record)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Top first-year player)
Jim McFadden, Detroit Red Wings
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Bud O'Connor, New York Rangers
Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Bud O'Connor, New York Rangers
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender of team with lowest GAA)
Turk Broda, Toronto Maple Leafs

All-Star teams[]

First team   Position   Second team
Turk Broda, Toronto Maple Leafs G Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins
Bill Quackenbush, Detroit Red Wings D Ken Reardon, Montreal Canadiens
Jack Stewart, Detroit Red Wings D Neil Colville, New York Rangers
Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens C Buddy O'Connor, New York Rangers
Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens RW Bud Poile, Chicago Black Hawks
Ted Lindsay, Detroit Red Wings LW Gaye Stewart, Chicago Black Hawks

Player Statistics[]

Scoring leaders[]

(GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points)

Player Team GP G A Pts
Elmer Lach Montreal Canadiens 60 30 31 61
Buddy O'Connor New York Rangers 60 24 36 60
Doug Bentley Chicago Black Hawks 60 20 37 57
Gaye Stewart Toronto Maple Leafs / Chicago Black Hawks 61 27 29 56
Max Bentley Black Hawks / Toronto Maple Leafs 59 26 28 54
Bud Poile Toronto Maple Leafs / Chicago Black Hawks 58 25 29 54
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens 53 28 25 53
Syl Apps Toronto Maple Leafs 55 26 27 53
Ted Lindsay Detroit Red Wings 60 33 19 52
Roy Conacher Chicago Black Hawks 52 22 27 49

Leading goaltenders[]

(GP = Games Played, TOI = Time On Ice (minutes), GA = Goals Against, SO = Shutouts, GAA = Goals Against Average)

Player Team GP TOI GA SO GAA
Turk Broda Toronto Maple Leafs 60 3600 143 5 2.38
Harry Lumley Detroit Red Wings 60 3592 147 7 2.46
Bill Durnan Montreal Canadiens 59 3505 162 5 2.77
Frank Brimsek Boston Bruins 60 3600 168 3 2.80
Jim Henry New York Rangers 48 2800 153 2 3.19
Emile Francis Chicago Black Hawks 54 3240 183 1 3.39


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1947–48:

  • Ed Sandford, Boston Bruins
  • Paul Ronty, Boston Bruins
  • Metro Prystai, Chicago Black Hawks
  • Marty Pavelich, Detroit Red Wings
  • Red Kelly, Detroit Red Wings
  • Floyd Curry, Montreal Canadiens
  • Tom Johnson, Montreal Canadiens
  • Gerry McNeil, Montreal Canadiens
  • Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens
  • Ed Kullman, New York Rangers
  • Fleming MacKell, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Tod Sloan, Toronto Maple Leafs

Last Games[]

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1947–48 (listed with their last team):

  • John Quilty, Boston Bruins
  • John Mariucci, Chicago Black Hawks
  • Toe Blake, Montreal Canadiens
  • Bryan Hextall, New York Rangers
  • Phil Watson, New York Rangers
  • Billy Taylor, New York Rangers
  • Syl Apps, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Nick Metz, Toronto Maple Leafs