Ice Hockey Wiki

The 1926-27 NHL season was the tenth season of the National Hockey League. Ten teams played 44 games each. The success of the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Pirates led the NHL to further expand to the United States. On May 4, 1926, the Western Hockey League, unable to match the higher salaries being offered by the NHL, folded, with many of its assets sold to the NHL. In particular, the NHL Board of Governors had purchased the contracts of every player in the WHL for $258,000. The entire rosters of two WHL teams, the Portland Rosebuds and Victoria Cougars, were bought, respectively, by the expansion Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars. The league also added the New York Rangers to the fold. This left the NHL in sole possession of hockey's greatest players, as well as sole control of hockey's greatest trophy, the Stanley Cup, which was won by the Ottawa Senators.

A new trophy in memory of Georges Vezina, the Vezina Trophy, was donated this year by Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau and Joseph Cattarinich for the first time to the goaltender who had the best goals against average in the league.

League Business

At the September 25, 1926 NHL meeting, Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars were added to the league. Chicago would buy out the players of the WHL's Portland Rosebuds, and Detroit bought the players of the Victoria Cougars. Frederic McLaughlin was the new governor for Chicago, and Charles A. Hughes for Detroit.

Toronto bought the players of the Saskatoon franchise; and Montreal claimed George Hainsworth. The rest of the WHL players would be distributed by a committee of Frank Calder, Leo Dandurand and James Strachan.

A special meeting was held on October 26 at which the NHL was split into the Canadian and American divisions (although the New York Americans were placed in the Canadian Division), along with an altered playoff format: the top team from each division would meet the winner of a total-goals series between the second and third place teams from their divisions. The winners of those total-goals series would meet in a best-of-five Stanley Cup Finals.

Rules Changes

The blue lines moved to sixty feet from the goal line from twenty feet from the centre red line to increase the size of the neutral zone.

Regular Season

The Montreal Canadiens, last place finishers in 1925-26, solved their goaltending woes by signing George Hainsworth, whom Georges Vezina had designated to be his successor. They further strengthened their team by signing Herb Gardiner for defence. The Canadiens finished second in the Canadian Division to powerful Ottawa, who was the league's best team.

Dave Gill, secretary-treasurer (general manager), decided to take over as coach of the Ottawa Senators. He would be assisted by Frank Shaughnessy, a former coach of the old NHA Senators, to assist him with the strategy used in games. Ottawa finished first atop the Canadian Division as a result.

During the season, the Toronto St. Patricks were bought by Conn Smythe and renamed the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, the team was under contract to use the name St. Patricks for the 1926-27 season, and the league ruled that the team had to fulfill its contract. They became the Maple Leafs the following season.

Lester Patrick played one game for the New York Rangers during the season, on March 20, 1927 as the Rangers beat the New York Americans 2-1. Patrick was 43 years old and took a penalty during the game.

Final Standings

Canadian Division
Ottawa Senators 44 30 10 4 86 69 64
Montreal Canadiens 44 28 14 2 99 67 58
Montreal Maroons 44 20 20 4 71 68 44
New York Americans 44 17 25 2 82 91 36
Toronto St. Patricks 44 15 24 5 79 94 35

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

American Division
New York Rangers 44 25 13 6 95 72 56
Boston Bruins 44 21 20 3 97 89 45
Chicago Black Hawks 44 19 22 3 115 116 41
Pittsburgh Pirates 44 15 26 3 79 108 33
Detroit Cougars 44 12 28 4 76 105 28

Scoring Leaders

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Bill Cook New York Rangers 44 33 4 37
Dick Irvin Chicago Black Hawks 43 18 18 36
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens 44 25 7 32
Frank Fredrickson Detroit Cougars / Boston Bruins 44 18 13 31
Babe Dye Chicago Black Hawks 41 25 5 30
Ace Bailey Toronto St. Patricks 42 15 13 28
Frank Boucher New York Rangers 44 13 15 28
Billy Burch New York Americans 43 19 8 27
Harry Oliver Boston Bruins 42 18 6 24
Duke Keats Boston / Detroit Cougars 42 16 8 24

Leading Goaltenders

Note: GP = Games played; MIN = Minutes played; GA = Goals against; SO = Shut outs; AVG = Goals against average

Clint Benedict Montreal Maroons 43 2748 65 13 1.42
Lorne Chabot New York Rangers 36 2307 56 10 1.46
George Hainsworth Montreal Canadiens 44 2732 67 14 1.47
Alex Connell Ottawa Senators 44 2782 69 13 1.49
Hal Winkler New York Rangers / Boston Bruins 31 1959 56 6 1.72
Jake Forbes New York Americans 44 2715 91 8 2.01
John Ross Roach Toronto St. Patricks 44 2764 94 4 2.04
Hap Holmes Detroit Cougars 41 2685 100 6 2.23
Roy Worters Pittsburgh Pirates 44 2711 108 4 2.39
Hugh Lehman Chicago Black Hawks 44 2797 116 5 2.49

Stanley Cup Playoffs

With the collapse of the Western Hockey League, the Stanley Cup became the new NHL champion trophy. The NHL teams now battled out amongst themselves for the coveted Cup. The new division alignment and the new playoff format also meant that an American team was guaranteed to be the first American NHL team to make the Cup Finals.

Playoff Bracket

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  C1  Ottawa Senators 5G  
Canadian Division
    C2  Montreal Canadiens 1G  
C2  Montreal Canadiens 2G
  C3  Montreal Maroons 1G  
    C1  Ottawa Senators 2
  A2  Boston Bruins 0
A1  New York Rangers 1G
American Division
    A2  Boston Bruins 3G  
A2  Boston Bruins 10G
  A3  Chicago Blackhawks 5G  

All dates in 1927


Montreal Canadiens vs. Montreal Maroons

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 29 Montreal Canadiens 1 Montreal Maroons 1
March 31 Montreal Maroons 0 Montreal Canadiens 1 (OT)

Montreal Canadiens win total-goals series 2-1

Boston Bruins vs. Chicago Black Hawks

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 29 Boston Bruins 6 Chicago Black Hawks 1 Played in New York
March 31 Chicago Black Hawks 4 Boston Bruins 4

Boston wins total-goals series 10 goals to 5


Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 2 Ottawa Senators 4 Montreal Canadiens 0
April 4 Montreal Canadiens 1 Ottawa Senators 1

Ottawa wins total-goals series 5-1

New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 2 New York Rangers 0 Boston Bruins 0
April 4 Boston Bruins 3 New York Rangers 1

Boston wins total-goals series 3-1


Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators
Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 7 Ottawa Senators 0 Boston Bruins 0 (OT)
April 9 Ottawa Senators 3 Boston Bruins 1
April 11 Boston Bruins 1 Ottawa Senators 1 (OT)
April 13 Boston Bruins 1 Ottawa Senators 3

Ottawa wins best-of-five series 2-0-2

Playoff Scoring Leaders

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Harry Oliver Boston Bruins 8 4 2 6
Percy Galbraith Boston Bruins 8 3 3 6

NHL Awards

1926-27 NHL Awards
Prince of Wales Trophy: Ottawa Senators
Hart Memorial Trophy: Herb Gardiner, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Trophy: Billy Burch, New York Americans
Vezina Trophy: George Hainsworth, Montreal Canadiens


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1926-27 (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 1926-27 (listed with their last team):


  1. Montreal Canadiens: 182,741
  2. Montreal Maroons: 175,048
  3. New York Rangers: 156,661
  4. Boston Bruins: 133,578
  5. New York Americans: 123,185
  6. Toronto Maple Leafs: 103,000

See Also


NHL Seasons

1922-23 | 1923-24 | 1924-25 | 1925-26 | 1926-27 | 1927-28 | 1928-29 | 1929-30 | 1930-31