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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 the best-of-five 1931 Stanley Cup Finals 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.


Seven members of the Montreal AAA 1930 Allan Cup champions joined the 1930-31 Maroons.

GM James Strachan took the Montreal Maroons through the most significant overhaul in the franchise's history, replacing half the team.

Red Dutton, a reliable defenseman with four seasons service with the Maroons, was sold to the New York Americans along with three other players. Dutton was replaced with Lionel Conacher.

With the retirement of goalie Clint Benedict, the Maroons signed Dave Kerr while Flat Walsh became the starter. Kerr was one of multiple players signed from the Montreal AAA team that won the 1930 Allan Cup. These included Des Roche and his brother Earl Roche, John Gallagher, Paul Haynes, Al Huggins and Glenn Brydson.

Regular Season[]

Roy Worters stops Babe Siebert, November 16, 1930.

Opening night for the Montreal Maroons on November 11, 1930 saw five of the seven signed from the Montreal AAA team in the line-up in addition to Jack McVicar. Goalie Dave Kerr and Glenn Brydson didn't play as the Maroons lost 2-0 to the Ottawa Senators. The losing and scoreless streak continued for the next two games but the final straw was a 7-1 humiliation at the hands of the cross-town Montreal Canadiens on November 20, 1930. Down 6-1 after two periods, goalie Dave Kerr made his NHL debut and allowed one goal.

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

Henry "Buddy" Maracle with the Springfield Indians.

Henry "Buddy" Maracle became the first Canadian aboriginal player in the NHL when he was recalled from the Springfield Indians and suited up for the New York Rangers for the February 12, 1931 game versus the Detroit Falcons. On February 22, 1931, Maracle recorded his first points, a goal and an assist, as the Rangers defeated the Philadelphia Quakers 6-1. Maracle played the rest of the regular season, finishing with 1 goal and 3 assists, and had no points in 4 post season matches.

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.

Final Standings[]

Canadian Division
Montreal Canadiens 44 26 10 8 129 89 60
Toronto Maple Leafs 44 22 13 9 118 99 53
Montreal Maroons 44 20 18 6 105 106 46
New York Americans 44 18 16 10 76 74 46
Ottawa Senators 44 10 30 4 91 142 24

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 28 10 6 143 90 62
Chicago Black Hawks 44 24 17 3 108 78 51
New York Rangers 44 19 16 9 106 87 47
Detroit Falcons 44 16 21 7 102 105 39
Philadelphia Quakers 44 4 36 4 76 184 12

Scoring Leaders[]

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

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
Roy Worters New York Americans 44 18 16 10 2760 74 8 1.61
Charlie Gardiner Chicago Black Hawks 44 24 17 3 2710 78 12 1.73
John Ross Roach New York Rangers 44 19 16 9 2760 87 7 1.89
George Hainsworth Montreal Canadiens 44 26 10 8 2740 89 8 1.95
Tiny Thompson Boston Bruins 44 28 10 6 2730 90 3 1.98
Lorne Chabot Toronto Maple Leafs 37 21 8 8 2300 80 6 2.09

Stanley Cup Playoffs[]

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 Bracket[]

  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
  A3  New York Rangers 8G  

New York Rangers 8 Goals, Montreal Maroons 1 Goal[]

Hampered by the loss of star forward Hooley Smith at the end of the regular season, the Montreal Maroons were thoroughly outplayed by the New York Rangers. Rangers Bill Cook and Paul Thompson each scored three goals in the two game, total goals series.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 March 20 Montreal Maroons 1-5 New York Rangers 1-5
2 March 22 New York Rangers 3-0 Montreal Maroons 8-1

Montreal Canadiens 3, Boston Bruins 2[]

The league's two best teams met in the second round of the playoffs, both teams having received byes in the first round. The series was extremely close with three of the five games being decided in overtime.

Game 1 in Boston saw the Bruins behind 4-1 entering the third period. A three goal comeback sent the game into overtime where Cooney Weiland scored his second goal of the game to win it for the Bruins.

Game 2 in Boston was a close checking affair with the only goal scored by Georges Mantha in the first period. Early in the third period, Habs goalie George Hainsworth was cut on the forehead with a skate, stopping the game for 8 minutes while he was tended to in the locker room. With 4 minutes left in the game, George Owen was given a major penalty for an infraction against Howie Morenz. This resulted in a shower of debris being thrown on the ice, stopping the game for 15 minutes while it was cleaned up. With a minute to go, for the first time in NHL history, coach Art Ross pulled goalie Tiny Thompson in a failed attempt to tie the game.

Game 3 saw the series shift to Montreal for the remainder of the games played. Down 3-1 entering the third period, the Bruins again mounted a third period comeback to tie it up on goals by Cooney Weiland and Marty Barry. However, Georges Mantha scored the winner in overtime.

Game 4 saw the Bruins build a three goal lead entering the third period including Weiland's fourth goal of the series. A goal by the Canadiens' Nick Wasnie wasn't enough as the Bruins tied the series.

Game 5 followed the pattern of game 1 and 3 in which the Bruins fell behind entering the third period. Two goals from series scoring leader Weiland tied the game up but Wildor Larochelle scored at 19:00 of the first OT and the Habs took the series 3-2. Cooney Weiland led all playoff scorers with 9 points.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 March 24 Montreal Canadiens 4-5 (OT) Boston Bruins 0-1
2 March 26 Montreal Canadiens 1-0 Boston Bruins 1-1
3 March 28 Boston Bruins 3-4 (OT) Montreal Canadiens 1-2
4 March 30 Boston Bruins 3-1 Montreal Canadiens 2-2
5 April 1 Boston Bruins 2-3 (OT) Montreal Canadiens 2-3


Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Black Hawks
Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 3 Montreal Canadiens 2 Chicago Black Hawks 1
April 5 Montreal Canadiens 1 Chicago Black Hawks 2 2OT
April 9 Chicago Black Hawks 3 Montreal Canadiens 2 3OT
April 11 Chicago Black Hawks 1 Montreal Canadiens 2
April 14 Chicago Black Hawks 1 Montreal Canadiens 2

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

NHL Awards[]

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 Teams[]

First All-Star Team

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


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 Games[]

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 Also[]


NHL Seasons

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