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The 1927-28 NHL season was the eleventh season of the National Hockey League. Ten teams played 44 games each. The New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup beating the Montreal Maroons becoming the first United States based team since the formation of the NHL to win it and first since the Seattle Metropolitans won in 1917. This season saw the reintroduction of the O'Brien Trophy, which used to go to the NHL league champion. It was originally retired in favour of the Prince of Wales Trophy. The O'Brien Trophy went to the winner of the Canadian Division while the Prince of Wales Trophy went to the winner of the American division.

League Business[]

Regular Season[]

The Ottawa Senators, by far the smallest market in the league, were affected by franchises in the U.S., escalating salaries, and were in financial trouble as a result and requested a bigger road receipt from the other teams. They also sold their star right wing Hooley Smith to the Montreal Maroons for $22,500 plus the return of right wing Punch Broadbent, followed by the sale of defenceman Edwin Gorman to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Part of the problem was that fans in Ottawa tended to only attend games with Canadian opponents.

During the December 3, 1927 New York Americans-Montreal Canadiens game, goalie Joe Miller was injured with the Canadiens ahead 4-0. Miller was replaced for the last 19 minutes by forward Normie Himes who held the Habs scoreless.

Hal Winkler's 15 shutouts in 1927-28 is still a Bruins team record.

Howie Morenz, the NHL's top drawing card, dominated the scoring race and was runaway winner of the Hart Trophy. He scored 33 goals and led the league in assists as well. Despite Ottawa's financial difficulties, Alex Connell, Ottawa goalkeeper, set an all-time record with six consecutive shutouts or a period of 460 minutes and 59 seconds without being scored on.

Toronto, now the Maple Leafs, showed power early on and it looked like they would make the playoffs. However, injuries to Hap Day and Bill Carson doomed the team, and the Leafs sagged to fourth, out of the playoffs.

Thanks to the great play of Eddie Shore and goaltender Hal Winkler, who tied with Connell for the leader in shutouts with 15, the Boston Bruins finished won the American Division for the first time, while the Canadiens, who were running away with the Canadian Division at mid-season, slumped after an injury to Pit Lepine but managed to hold onto first place at season's end.

Final Standings[]

Canadian Division
Montreal Canadiens 44 26 11 7 116 48 59
Montreal Maroons 44 24 14 6 96 77 54
Ottawa Senators 44 20 14 10 78 57 50
Toronto Maple Leafs 44 18 18 8 89 88 44
New York Americans 44 11 27 6 63 128 28

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
Boston Bruins 44 20 13 11 77 70 51
New York Rangers 44 19 16 9 94 79 47
Pittsburgh Pirates 44 19 17 8 67 76 46
Detroit Cougars 44 19 19 6 88 79 44
Chicago Black Hawks 44 7 34 3 68 134 17

Scoring Leaders[]

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens 43 33 18 51
Aurel Joliat Montreal Canadiens 44 28 11 39
Frank Boucher New York Rangers 44 23 12 35
George Hay Detroit Cougars 42 22 13 35
Nels Stewart Montreal Maroons 41 27 7 34
Art Gagne Montreal Canadiens 44 20 10 30
Bun Cook New York Rangers 44 14 14 28
Bill Carson Toronto Maple Leafs 32 20 6 26
Frank Finnigan Ottawa Senators 38 20 5 25
Bill Cook New York Rangers 43 18 6 24
Duke Keats Detroit Cougars/Chicago Black Hawks 38 14 10 24

Leading Goaltenders[]

Note: GP = Games played; Mins = Minutes played; GA = Goals against; SO = Shut outs; GAA = Goals against average

Player Team GP Mins GA SO GAA
George Hainsworth Montreal Canadiens 44 2730 48 13 1.05
Alex Connell Ottawa Senators 44 2760 57 15 1.24
Hal Winkler Boston Bruins 44 2780 70 15 1.51
Roy Worters Pittsburgh Pirates 44 2740 76 11 1.66
Clint Benedict Montreal Maroons 44 2690 76 6 1.70

Stanley Cup Playoffs[]

Playoff Bracket[]

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  C1  Montreal Canadiens 2G  
Canadian Division
    C2  Montreal Maroons 3G  
C2  Montreal Maroons 3G
  C3  Ottawa Senators 1G  
    C2  Montreal Maroons 2
  A2  New York Rangers 3
A1  Boston Bruins 2G
American Division
    A2  New York Rangers 5G  
A2  New York Rangers 6G
  A3  Pittsburgh Pirates 4G  

In the Canadian Division, the Montreal Maroons beat the Ottawa Senators and then went to the limit against the Canadiens before Russell Oatman put the Maroons into the finals with a goal in overtime.

New York Rangers 5 Goals, Boston Bruins 2 Goals[]

The Bruins gained a first-round bye by virtue of winning the division, and played the New York Rangers in the second round in a two-game, total goal series. Their scoring problems of the regular season continued, exacerbated by a flu bug going through the dressing room and various minor injuries. Eddie Shore, Dit Clapper, Dutch Gainor and Harry Connor were particularly affected.[1]

Boston tied the first game 1-1 in New York, the Rangers' final home game of the playoffs - this was the first of perennial disruptions to the Rangers' playoff schedule due to Madison Square Garden hosting the circus in the spring. The Bruins lost the second match in Boston 4-1, on three Ranger third-period goals as the weakened Brown-and-Gold folded at last, to drop the total-goal series five goals to two. Harry Oliver, who scored a goal in each game, was the sole offensive threat.[2]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 March 31 Boston Bruins 1-1 New York Rangers 1-1
2 April 3 New York Rangers 4-1 Boston Bruins 5-2


# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 5 New York Rangers 0-2 Montreal Maroons 0-1
2 April 7 New York Rangers 2-1 (OT) Montreal Maroons 1-1
3 April 10 New York Rangers 0-2 Montreal Maroons 1-2
4 April 12 New York Rangers 1-0 Montreal Maroons 2-2
5 April 14 New York Rangers 2-1 Montreal Maroons 3-2


  1. Montreal Canadiens: 219,000
  2. Montreal Maroons: 192,000
  3. New York Rangers: 163,000
  4. Boston Bruins: 149,000
  5. Detroit Falcons: 142,000
  6. New York Americans: 125,000
  7. Toronto Maple Leafs: 101,000
  8. Ottawa Senators: 99,000
  9. Chicago Blackhawks: 73,000
  10. Pittsburgh Pirates: 40,000

NHL Awards[]

1927-28 NHL Awards
O'Brien Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
Prince of Wales Trophy: Boston Bruins
Hart Memorial Trophy: Howie Morenz, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Trophy: Frank Boucher, New York Rangers
Vezina Trophy: George Hainsworth, Montreal Canadiens


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1927-28 (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 1927-28 (listed with their last team):

See Also[]


NHL Seasons

1923-24 | 1924-25 | 1925-26 | 1926-27 | 1927-28 | 1928-29 | 1929-30 | 1930-31 | 1931-32