The 1930-31 NHL season was the fourteenth season of the National Hockey League. Ten teams played 44 games each. The Montreal Canadiens beat the Chicago Black Hawks three games to two in a best-of-five Stanley Cup final for their second consecutive Cup win.

Art Ross bitterly complained about the Stanley Cup final setup. His team had been vanquished in two consecutive games by the Montreal Canadiens in 1929-30. As a result, the Board of Governors decided to make the final a best of five series.

Regular seasonEdit

The Great Depression was starting to take its toll on the NHL. In attempts to solve financial problems, the Pittsburgh Pirates moved to Philadelphia and became the Philadelphia Quakers, but there was nothing about the team to win games or fans. It was intended that the team stay in Philadelphia only until a new arena was built in Pittsburgh. The arena was never built, and the team folded after only one season in the new city. The Ottawa Senators were in a similar financial boat but instead of relocating, they sold their star asset and future Hall of Famer, King Clancy, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for $35,000 and two players. It hurt the team, and attendance declined all the more. However, after a very poor turnout to watch the Philadelphia Quakers,over 10,000 fans came to see the Montreal Canadiens beat Ottawa. Obviously the fans in Ottawa were being selective of who they came to see.

Howie Morenz led the league in scoring and kept the turnstiles clicking at NHL rinks, despite the Depression.

Dick Irvin started his career in coaching with Chicago and they finished second in the American Division. He resigned at season's end after having taken the Black Hawks to the finals.

This season also saw the Detroit Cougars re-name themselves the Detroit Falcons.

Final standingsEdit

GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties In Minutes
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold

Canadian Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Montreal Canadiens 44 26 10 8 60 129 89 602
Toronto Maple Leafs 44 22 13 9 53 118 99 540
Montreal Maroons 44 20 18 6 46 105 106 568
New York Americans 44 18 16 10 46 76 74 495
Ottawa Senators 44 10 30 4 24 91 142 486
American Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Boston Bruins 44 28 10 6 62 143 90 403
Chicago Black Hawks 44 24 17 3 51 108 78 416
New York Rangers 44 19 16 9 47 106 87 514
Detroit Falcons 44 16 21 7 39 102 105 429
Philadelphia Quakers 44 4 36 4 12 76 184 477

Scoring leadersEdit

GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties In Minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens 39 28 23 51 49
Ebbie Goodfellow Detroit Red Wings 44 25 23 48 32
Charlie Conacher Toronto Maple Leafs 37 31 12 43 78
Bill Cook New York Rangers 43 30 12 42 39
Ace Bailey Toronto Maple Leafs 40 23 19 42 46
Joe Primeau Toronto Maple Leafs 38 9 32 41 18
Nels Stewart Montreal Maroons 42 25 14 39 75
Frank Boucher New York Rangers 44 12 27 39 20
Cooney Weiland Boston Bruins 44 25 13 38 14
Bun Cook New York Rangers 44 18 17 35 72
Aurel Joliat Montreal Canadiens 43 13 22 35 73

Stanley Cup playoffsEdit

On 26 March, during the second game of the best-of-five series between the Bruins and Canadiens, coach-GM Art Ross of Boston pulled his goalie for an extra attacker while down 1-0 with 40 seconds left in the final period. This marked the first time in NHL history that a goalie was pulled for an extra attacker.

In the finals, the Chicago Black Hawks took an early two games to one lead in the newly expanded best-of-five Stanley Cup finals but the Montreal Canadiens came back and won the series three games to two for their second consecutive Stanley Cup win.

Playoff bracketEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  C1  Montreal Canadiens 3  
    A1  Boston Bruins 2  
    C1  Montreal Canadiens 3
  A2  Chicago Black Hawks 2
  C2  Toronto Maple Leafs 3G  
A2  Chicago Black Hawks 4G  
A2  Chicago Black Hawks 3G
    A3  New York Rangers 0G  
C3  Montreal Maroons 1G

<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> New York Rangers</td> <td align=center style="border:1px solid #aaa;" bgcolor=#f9f9f9>8G</td> <td style="border-width:2px 0 0 0; border-style:solid;border-color:black;"> </td></tr>


Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 3Montreal Canadiens2Chicago Blackhawks1
April 5Montreal Canadiens1Chicago Blackhawks2 2OT
April 9Chicago Blackhawks3Montreal Canadiens2 3OT
April 11Chicago Blackhawks1Montreal Canadiens2
April 14Chicago Blackhawks1Montreal Canadiens2

Montreal wins best-of-five series 3-2.

NHL awardsEdit

1930-31 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: Roy Worters, New York Americans

All-Star teamsEdit

First Team   Position   Second Team
Charlie Gardiner, Chicago Black Hawks G Tiny Thompson, Boston Bruins
Eddie Shore, Boston Bruins D Sylvio Mantha, Montreal Canadiens
King Clancy, Toronto Maple Leafs D Ching Johnson, New York Rangers
Howie Morenz, Montreal Canadiens C Frank Boucher, New York Rangers
Bill Cook, New York Rangers RW Dit Clapper, Boston Bruins
Aurel Joliat, Montreal Canadiens LW Bun Cook, New York Rangers
Lester Patrick, New York Rangers Coach Dick Irvin, Chicago Black Hawks

First All-Star Team


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1930-31 (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 1930-31 (listed with their last team):

See alsoEdit


NHL seasons

1926-27 | 1927-28 | 1928-29 | 1929-30 | 1930-31 | 1931-32 | 1932-33 | 1933-34 | 1934-35

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