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 reintroduced 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 BusinessEdit

Regular seasonEdit

The Ottawa Senators, by far the smallest market in the league, were affected by franchises in the U.S. and, thus, 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 Toronto. Part of the problem was that fans in Ottawa tended to only attend games with Canadian opponents.

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 first for the first time in the American Division, 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 standingsEdit

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

Canadian Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Montreal Canadiens 44 26 11 7 59 116 48 496
Montreal Maroons 44 24 14 6 54 96 77 549
Ottawa Senators 44 20 14 10 50 78 57 483
Toronto Maple Leafs 44 18 18 8 44 89 88 436
New York Americans 44 11 27 6 28 63 128 563
American Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Boston Bruins 44 20 13 11 51 77 70 558
New York Rangers 44 19 16 9 47 94 79 462
Pittsburgh Pirates 44 19 17 8 46 67 76 395
Detroit Cougars 44 19 19 6 44 88 79 395
Chicago Black Hawks 44 7 34 3 17 68 134 375

Scoring leadersEdit

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 GoaltendersEdit

Stanley Cup playoffsEdit

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.

In the American Division, the New York Rangers knocked off the Pittsburgh Pirates in a rough series, and then beat Boston to go to the finals against the Montreal Maroons. The circus knocked the Rangers out of Madison Square Garden, and all games would be played in the Montreal Forum, even though Boston offered to host the Rangers. The Maroons won game one 2-0, with Nels Stewart and goaltender Clint Benedict the stars.

Drama took over in game two when Nels Stewart fired a hard shot that struck New York goaltender Lorne Chabot in the eye. He could not continue, and the Rangers needed a goaltender. However, when coach Eddie Gerard refused to let the Rangers use Alex Connell or minor league goaltender Hugh McCormick, Lester Patrick, Ranger coach, in anger, decided to don the pads himself. The Rangers then body-blasted any Maroon who got near Patrick. Bill Cook scored, putting the Rangers ahead 1-0, but Nels Stewart was not to be denied and scored, tying the game. In overtime, Frank Boucher got the winner for the Rangers and they carried Patrick, tears streaming down his eyes, off the ice. Joe "Red Light" Miller, New York Americans goalie, was allowed to take Chabot's place in goal and he played well in a 2-0 loss in game three. However, Frank Boucher starred as the Rangers took the next two games, and the Stanley Cup. Drama almost took place in the final game when Miller was badly cut on a shot, but he was able to continue. The crowd became unruly at times and referee Mike Rodden took abuse for disallowed goals by Maroon players. Even NHL president Frank Calder was a target of some fans for not intervening. The Rangers became the second American team to win the Cup and the first NHL American team to do so.

Playoff bracketEdit

  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

<tr> <td height="14"> </td> <td align=center bgcolor="#f2f2f2" style="border:1px solid #aaa;"> A3</td> <td style="border:1px solid #aaa;" bgcolor=#f9f9f9> Pittsburgh Pirates</td> <td align=center style="border:1px solid #aaa;" bgcolor=#f9f9f9>4G</td> <td style="border-width:2px 0 0 0; border-style:solid;border-color:black;"> </td></tr>


New York Rangers vs. Montreal Maroons

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 5New York Rangers0Montreal Maroons2
April 7New York Rangers2Montreal Maroons1(OT)
April 10New York Rangers0Montreal Maroons2
April 12New York Rangers1Montreal Maroons0
April 14New York Rangers2Montreal Maroons1

New York wins best-of-five series 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 awardsEdit

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 gamesEdit

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 alsoEdit


NHL seasons

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

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