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The 1955–56 NHL season was the 39th season of the National Hockey League (NHL) which lasted from October 6, 1955 to April 10, 1956 where 6 teams each played 70 games.

The Montreal Canadiens were the Stanley Cup champions as they beat the Detroit Red Wings four games to one in the best-of-seven final series.

League BusinessEdit

At a governors' meeting in December, a discussion took place concerning the uniforms worn by officials. It was contended that the present orange and black uniforms were confusing to players and fans, particularly when red uniforms are worn by either of the participating teams.

Furthermore, it was pointed out that the existing uniforms showed up black on television. It was unanimously agreed that officials' uniforms should be changed to black and white vertical stripes. The black and white uniforms were first worn on December 29, 1955.

With Montreal frequently racking up two or three goals on any one power play, NHL President Clarence Campbell said he'd like the penalty rule revised to a penalized player returning to the ice when a power play goal is scored on a minor penalty. The Canadiens were the lone club to vote against the new legislation.

Regular SeasonEdit

The streak of seven straight seasons at the top of the NHL held by the Detroit Red Wings' dynasty came to an end as the Montreal Canadiens were tops. The Canadiens set a new record for wins in a season with 45. The Canadiens had a new coach, their one-time great former All-Star left-winger, Hector "Toe" Blake.

Dick Irvin (formerly the coach in Montreal, whom Habs' GM Frank Selke Sr. found a little truculent) took over as coach in Chicago, but could not get them out of the cellar, though they did improve. It was sort of a homecoming for Irvin as he started his coaching career with Chicago in 1930.

AwardsEdit

Award winners
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Glenn Hall, Detroit Red Wings
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Earl Reibel, Detroit Red Wings
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender of team with the best goals-against average)
Jacques Plante, Montreal Canadiens

All-Star teamsEdit

First team   Position   Second team
Jacques Plante, Montreal Canadiens G Glenn Hall, Detroit Red Wings
Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens D Red Kelly, Detroit Red Wings
Bill Gadsby, New York Rangers D Tom Johnson, Montreal Canadiens
Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens C Tod Sloan, Toronto Maple Leafs
Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens RW Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Ted Lindsay, Detroit Red Wings LW Bert Olmstead, Montreal Canadiens

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
Jean Beliveau Montreal Canadiens 70 47 41 88 143
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 70 38 41 79 100
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens 70 38 33 71 89
Bert Olmstead Montreal Canadiens 70 14 56 70 94
Tod Sloan Toronto Maple Leafs 70 37 29 66 100
Andy Bathgate New York Rangers 70 19 47 66 59
Bernie Geoffrion Montreal Canadiens 59 29 33 62 66
Earl Reibel Detroit Red Wings 68 17 39 56 10
Alex Delvecchio Detroit Red Wings 70 25 36 51 24
Dave Creighton New York Rangers 70 20 31 51 43

Source: NHLTemplate:Sfn

Leading goaltendersEdit

(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 64 3840 119 1.86 42 12 10 7
Glenn Hall Detroit Red Wings 70 4200 147 2.10 30 24 16 12
Terry Sawchuk Boston Bruins 68 4080 177 2.60 22 33 13 9
Harry Lumley Toronto Maple Leafs 59 3527 159 2.70 21 28 10 3
Lorne Worsley New York Rangers 70 4200 199 2.84 32 28 10 4
Al Rollins Chicago Black Hawks 58 3480 172 2.97 17 30 11 3

DebutsEdit

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1955–56:

Last GamesEdit

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1955–56 (listed with their last team):

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