The 1921–22 NHL season was the fifth season of the National Hockey League (NHL). Four teams each played 24 games. For the first four seasons of the NHL, the winner of the league playoffs would face the winner of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) for the Stanley Cup. That changed this season with the introduction of another professional hockey league called the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). Now, three leagues were competing for the coveted Stanley Cup.

League BusinessEdit

This was the first season away from the split season used in the first four NHL seasons. Under the old split system, the winner of each half of the season would face each other in the playoffs. If the same team won both halves, then there would be no league playoffs and that team would simply move on to the Stanley Cup finals. For the new system, the top two teams at the end of the season squared off against each other in a two-game total goals series for the chance to move on to the Stanley Cup finals.

Prior to the start of this season, the NHL's first multiple-player trade in its history was made when Billy Coutu and Sprague Cleghorn of the Hamilton Tigers were traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Harry Mummery, Amos Arbour, and Cully Wilson.

Canadiens owner George Kennedy never recovered from the influenza he contracted in 1919,and died on October 19, 1921 at age 39. His widow sold the Canadiens to a unit that would be known affectionately as the Three Musketeers of owners, Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau, and Joseph Cattarinich. Dandurand became manager and coach, and immediately there were problems between him and Newsy Lalonde. At one point, Dandurand accused Lalonde of not trying, and also the fans started to boo their old hero. Finally, Lalonde walked out on the team. NHL president Frank Calder mediated the dispute and Lalonde returned to the team. But his days in Montreal were numbered.

Regular SeasonEdit

After a fairly impressive season for the Toronto St. Patricks, the St. Pats goaltender Jake Forbes refused to play after being denied a raise, and was suspended for the season. John Ross Roach took over in goal.

Punch Broadbent was the star this year, as he scored in 16 consecutive games en route to a 32 goal campaign, and led the league in scoring. His Ottawa team finished first, too.

On February 1st, Sprague Cleghorn almost wiped out the Ottawa team singlehandedly. He cut Eddie Gerard and Cy Denneny and charged Frank Nighbor. All three players missed two games because of injuries and Cleghorn drew a match penalty and a $15 fine. Ottawa police tried to arrest him in wake of his one man war.

Final StandingsEdit

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

National Hockey League GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Ottawa Senators 24 14 8 2 30 106 84 99
Toronto St. Patricks 24 13 10 1 27 98 97 114
Montreal Canadiens 24 12 11 1 25 88 94 174
Hamilton Tigers 24 7 17 0 14 88 105 76

Scoring LeadersEdit

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

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Punch Broadbent Ottawa Senators 24 32 14 46 24
Cy Denneny Ottawa Senators 22 27 12 39 18
Cecil Dye Toronto St. Patricks 24 30 7 37 18
Joe Malone Hamilton Tigers 24 25 7 32 2
Harry Cameron Toronto St. Patricks 24 19 827 18
Corbett Denneny Toronto St. Patricks 24 19 7 26 28
Reg Noble Toronto St. Patricks 24 17 8 25 10
Odie Cleghorn Montreal Canadiens 23 21 3 24 26
Sprague Cleghorn Montreal Canadiens 24 17 7 24 63
Leo Reise Hamilton Tigers 24 9 14 23 8

Leading GoaltendersEdit

Stanley Cup PlayoffsEdit

All dates in 1922

Starting in the Western Canada Hockey League, the Calgary Tigers lost to the Regina Capitals in a match-up to determine second place. The Capitals then went on to beat the first place Edmonton Eskimos in that league's first championship series. Over in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, once again, the Vancouver Millionaires faced the Seattle Metropolitans for their league championship. The Mets had the better regular season record, but the Millionaires won both games of the playoffs by 1–0 scores. The Millionaires were then matched up against the Capitals to see who would go on to play against the winner of the NHL's playoffs. Vancouver beat Regina in the two-game total goals series.

NHL ChampionshipEdit

The Ottawa Senators had won the NHL regular season, but were upset by the second place Toronto St. Patricks in the two-game total goals series for the O'Brien Trophy. This set-up a Vancouver Millionaires vs. Toronto St. Patricks Stanley Cup final. In this series, the St.Pats used the strategy of icing the puck to defend their lead.

Toronto St. Patricks vs. Ottawa Senators

Date Team Score Team Score Notes
March 11Toronto St. Patricks5Ottawa Senators4
March 13Toronto St. Patricks0Ottawa Senators0

Toronto wins total goals series 5 goals to 4


Vancouver Millionaires vs. Toronto St. Patricks
Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 17Vancouver Millionaires4Toronto St. Patricks3
March 20Toronto St. Patricks2Vancouver Millionaires1(OT)
March 23Vancouver Millionaires3Toronto St. Patricks0
March 25Toronto St. Patricks6Vancouver Millionaires0
March 28Toronto St. Patricks5Vancouver Millionaires1

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

NHL Playoff Scoring LeaderEdit

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

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Babe Dye Toronto St. Patricks 7 11 1 12

NHL AwardsEdit

O'Brien Trophy: Toronto St. Patricks


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1921-22 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last GamesEdit

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1921-22 (listed with their last team):

See AlsoEdit


NHL seasons

1917-18 | 1918-19 | 1919-20 | 1920-21 | 1921-22 | 1922-23 | 1923-24 | 1924-25 | 1925-26

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