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The 1920-21 NHL season was the fourth season of the National Hockey League (NHL). Four teams each played 24 games in a split season. The NHL's Ottawa Senators won the Stanley Cup by defeating the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association three games to two in a best-of-five series. This would be the last split season before the NHL changed its regular season and playoff formats.

League Business[]

Eddie Livingstone was again talking of creating a rival league and mentioned Hamilton as a city in his league. To head this off, league president Frank Calder got the owners of the league to admit a Hamilton franchise. As Abso-Pure had built an arena, all owners agreed that it would be wise to have a franchise in Hamilton. Because Quebec had done so badly the previous season, Calder said that Quebec's players would be given to Hamilton. Although Mike Quinn was non-commital at first, he finally sold the team to Hamilton and it became the Hamilton Tigers.

Regular Season[]

Joe Malone sports the Tigers 1920-21 jersey.

The Tigers had some trouble signing Joe Malone from the Quebec days, but he finally did sign.

The Tigers stung the Canadiens 5-0 in its first game with Babe Dye starring. The Toronto St. Patricks lost Corbett Denneny to injuries and recalled Dye from Hamilton, giving them Mickey Roach in his place.

Corbett Denneny scored six goals in a game January 26th as the Toronto St. Patricks walloped the Hamilton Tigers 10-3.

Cy Denneny wasn't about to let his brother steal the thunder and he scored six goals himself in a March 7th game as the Ottawa Senators hammered the Hamilton Tigers 12-5. For the first time, a brother combination had scored six goals in a game in the same season.

The Ottawa Senators won the first half of the split season while the Toronto St. Patricks won the second half.

Final Standings[]

First Half
Ottawa Senators 10 8 2 0 16 49 23
Toronto St. Patricks 10 5 5 0 10 39 47
Montreal Canadiens 10 4 6 0 8 37 51
Hamilton Tigers 10 3 7 0 6 34 38
Second Half
Toronto St. Patricks 14 10 4 0 20 66 53
Montreal Canadiens 14 9 5 0 18 75 48
Ottawa Senators 14 6 8 0 12 48 52
Hamilton Tigers 14 3 11 0 6 58 94

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF= Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
Note: Teams that qualified for playoffs highlighted in bold.

Scoring Leaders[]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Newsy Lalonde Montreal Canadiens 24 33 10 43
Cecil "Babe" Dye Hamilton Tigers / Toronto St. Pats 24 35 5 40
Cy Denneny Ottawa Senators 24 34 5 39
Joe Malone Hamilton Tigers 20 28 9 37
Frank Nighbor Ottawa Senators 24 19 10 29
Reg Noble Toronto St. Patricks 24 19 8 27
Harry Cameron Toronto St. Patricks 24 18 9 27
George "Goldie" Prodgers Hamilton Tigers 24 18 9 27
Corbett Denneny Toronto St. Patricks 20 19 7 26
Jack Darragh Ottawa Senators 24 11 15 26

Stanley Cup Playoffs[]

All dates 1921

NHL Championship[]

After the regular season, Toronto and Ottawa played in a total goals series to see who would win the O'Brien Trophy and go on to compete for the Stanley Cup. Ottawa easily won by shutting out the St. Pats in both games. Ottawa's George Boucher became the first defenseman in NHL playoff history to score a Hat trick, doing so in the 5-0 win in Game 1. It took 49 years until the feat was repeated, by Bobby Orr in the 1971 Quarter-finals. Ottawa then went onto play the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHA.

Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto St. Patricks

Date Team Score Team Score Notes
March 10 Ottawa Senators 5 Toronto St. Patricks 0
March 14 Ottawa Senators 2 Toronto St. Patricks 0

Ottawa wins total goals series 7 goals to 0


Ottawa Senators vs. Vancouver Millionaires
Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 21 Ottawa Senators 1 Vancouver Millionaires 2
March 24 Vancouver Millionaires 3 Ottawa Senators 4
March 28 Vancouver Millionaires 2 Ottawa Senators 3
March 31 Ottawa Senators 2 Vancouver Millionaires 3
April 4 Vancouver Millionaires 1 Ottawa Senators 2

Ottawa wins best-of-five series 3 games to 2 for the Stanley Cup

NHL Playoff Scoring Leader[]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Cy Denneny Ottawa Senators 7 4 2 6

NHL Awards[]


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1920-21 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last Games[]

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1920-21 (listed with their last team):



NHL Seasons

1916-17 | 1917-18 | 1918-19 | 1919-20 | 1920-21 | 1921-22 | 1922-23 | 1923-24 | 1924-25