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The 1929-30 NHL season was the thirteenth season of the National Hockey League. Ten teams played 44 games each. The Montreal Canadiens upset the heavily favoured Boston Bruins two games to none in the 1930 Stanley Cup Finals.

Regular Season[]

To combat low scoring, a major rule change was implemented. Players were now allowed forward passing in the offensive zone, instead of only in the defensive and neutral zones. This led to abuse: players sat in front of the opposing net waiting for a pass. The rule was changed again mid-season in December 1929, and players were no longer allowed to enter the offensive zone before the puck. Hence the birth of the modern-day offside rule.

Eddie Shore's wife attends to his wound, November 25, 1929.

The November 23, 1929 game against the Montreal Maroons was particularly violent. Superstar defenseman Eddie Shore battled the Maroons all night, particularly Babe Siebert who suffered a broken toe, bruised rib and black eye. Dave Trottier spat blood after a Shore butt-end. Shore played 58 minutes of the game, despite high sticks from Seibert that resulted in a deep cut over his eye, three teeth knocked out and a concussion. The Bruins won 4-3 with Shore marking two assists. Shore went to hospital after the game and missed the return match against the Maroons on the 26th. Bruins' president Charles Adams presented Shore with a check for $500, purportedly $100 for each facial scar he received at the hands of the Maroons.

Conn Smythe brought up two outstanding forwards, Harvey Jackson and Charlie Conacher, and combined with Joe Primeau, the Kid Line was born. Conacher actually scored on his first shift in the NHL. Jackson got his nickname Busher from Tim Daly, the Toronto trainer, when asked by Daly to assist with some sticks. "I'm a hockey player, not a stickboy," Jackson told Daly, who replied, "Why you fresh young busher!" And it was Busher Jackson from that day on.

The Bruins proposed a rule making it mandatory for all players to wear a helmet. Voted on in late December 1929, all team representatives of the NHL Board of Governors voted it down, with exception of the Bruins and the Leafs who abstained.

Clint Benedict became the first NHL to wear a mask, February 20, 1930.

Eddie Gerard resigned as manager-coach of the Montreal Maroons. He was replaced as manager by team president James Strachan. Dunc Munro was hired as coach and led the team to first place in the Canadian Division.

This was the last NHL season for goalie Clint Benedict. During the January 7, 1930 game against the Montreal Canadiens, a Howie Morenz shot broke Benedict's nose and cheekbone, knocking him unconscious. Benedict returned to the line-up on February 20, 1930, wearing a leather face mask. He held the New York Americans to a 3-3 tie, becoming the first goalie in NHL history to wear facial protection in a game. Benedict played five more games with the mask but again suffered a nose injury, during the 6-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on March 4, 1930. Flat Walsh came on in relief and it was Benedict's last NHL game.

Lionel Hitchman's jaw protector, March 18, 1930.

There was a well-founded rumour that Eddie Gerard would take the coaching reins of Ottawa from Newsy Lalonde when Lalonde was not well. Dave Gill filled in during his absence and the team did much better and made the playoffs. Gerard turned down the coaching job.

During the second period of the March 1, 1930 game versus the Ottawa Senators, the Bruins Lionel Hitchman was hit in the jaw by an Eddie Shore shot, breaking it. Hitchman would return to action in the season finale four games later wearing a jaw protector and play the entire playoffs with the head gear.

Cooney Weiland of the Boston Bruins took advantage of the rule changes and smashed the old NHL scoring record with 73 points. Weiland and Tiny Thompson, who won the Vezina Trophy with a 2.23 goals against average, led the Bruins to a final season standings record of 38 wins, 5 losses, and 1 tie — an .875 winning percentage, an NHL record as of 2020.

Final Standings[]

Canadian Division
Montreal Maroons 44 23 16 5 141 114 51
Montreal Canadiens 44 21 14 9 142 114 51
Ottawa Senators 44 21 15 8 138 118 50
Toronto Maple Leafs 44 17 21 6 116 124 40
New York Americans 44 14 25 5 113 161 33

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 38 5 1 179 98 77
Chicago Black Hawks 44 21 18 5 117 111 47
New York Rangers 44 17 17 10 136 143 44
Detroit Cougars 44 14 24 6 117 133 34
Pittsburgh Pirates 44 5 36 3 102 185 13

Scoring Leaders[]

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Cooney Weiland Boston Bruins 44 43 30 73 27
Frank Boucher New York Rangers 42 26 36 62 16
Dit Clapper Boston Bruins 44 41 20 61 48
Bill Cook New York Rangers 44 29 30 59 56
Hec Kilrea Ottawa Senators 44 36 22 58 23

Leading Goaltenders[]

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

Player Team GP W L T Mins GA SO GAA
Tiny Thompson Boston Bruins 44 38 5 1 2680 98 3 2.19
Flat Walsh Montreal Maroons 30 16 10 4 1897 74 2 2.34
George Hainsworth Montreal Canadiens 42 20 13 9 2680 108 4 2.42
Charlie Gardiner Chicago Black Hawks 44 21 16 9 2750 111 3 2.42
Alex Connell Ottawa Senators 44 21 15 8 2780 118 3 2.55

Stanley Cup Playoffs[]

The Boston Bruins were heavily favored to retain the Stanley Cup, but were shocked in the first game of the best-of-three Finals by the play of the Montreal Canadiens goaltender George Hainsworth, who shut out the Bruins' powerful offense. In the second game, Montreal went out to a three-goal lead until Eddie Shore scored. Howie Morenz responded five minutes later and the Habs led 4-1 going into the third period. Goals by Percy Galbraith and Dit Clapper made it close but Montreal held on for the win. It was the first time all season long the Bruins had lost two games in a row[1], and the stunning defeat of the regular season champions in such a short series spurred the league to change the Cup Finals to a best-of-five series for subsequent years.[2] Clapper led all playoff scorers with 4 goals while Marty Barry and Cooney Weiland tied for the points lead with 6 each.

Playoff Bracket[]

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  C1  Montreal Maroons 1  
    A1  Boston Bruins 3  
    A1  Boston Bruins 0
  C2  Montreal Canadiens 2
  C2  Montreal Canadiens 3G  
A2  Chicago Black Hawks 2G  
C2  Montreal Canadiens 2
    A3  New York Rangers 0  
C3  Ottawa Senators 3G
  A3  New York Rangers 6G  

Boston Bruins 3, Montreal Maroons 1[]

As the American Division champions, Boston enjoyed a first round bye in the playoffs, and faced the Montreal Maroons, the Canadian Division champions, in the semi-finals in a best-of-five series.

The first game of the series was a grueling overtime match in which Bruins' coach Art Ross was noted for ceaseless criticism of the officiating and the ice condition, to the annoyance of the home crowd in Montreal, won on a Harry Oliver overtime goal at the 45 minute mark. The Bruins won the second match handily on two goals from Dit Clapper, partially due to an injury forcing Montreal star Babe Siebert out only a few minutes into the game, but with Siebert's return in the third game the match was much closer. Unusually, Montreal starter Buck Boucher broke a leg 24 minutes into overtime, and his replacement, little-used defenseman Archie Wilcox, scored the game winner at the 26 minute mark. Siebert did not dress for the final game, and the Bruins overwhelmed the Maroons to reach the Cup finals, behind two goals from Marty Barry, earning the Bruins a rest while they waited for their next opponents.[3]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 March 20 Boston Bruins 2–1 (3OT) Montreal Maroons 1–0
2 March 22 Boston Bruins 4–2 Montreal Maroons 2–0
3 March 25 Montreal Maroons 1–0 (2OT) Boston Bruins 1-2
4 March 27 Montreal Maroons 1-5 Boston Bruins 1-3


NHL Awards[]

1929-30 NHL awards
O'Brien Trophy: Montreal Maroons
Prince of Wales Trophy: Boston Bruins
Hart Memorial Trophy: Nels Stewart, Montreal Maroons
Lady Byng Trophy: Frank Boucher, New York Rangers
Vezina Trophy: Tiny Thompson, Boston Bruins


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1929-30 (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 1929-30 (listed with their last team):


See Also[]


  1. Coleman 1969, p. 104.
  2. Coleman 1969, p. 128.
  3. Coleman 1969, p. 100.

NHL Seasons

1925-26 | 1926-27 | 1927-28 | 1928-29 | 1929-30 | 1930-31 | 1931-32 | 1932-33 | 1933-34