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The 1931-32 NHL season was the fifteenth season of the National Hockey League. Eight teams played 48 games each. The Toronto Maple Leafs swept the New York Rangers in three games for the Stanley Cup.

League Business

Due to financial reasons, the Philadelphia Quakers and Ottawa Senators franchises were suspended for the season, bringing the total number of teams in the NHL down from ten to eight. (The Quakers would not return) The players went to other teams, but their contracts were intended to revert to the original clubs. The Detroit Falcons were bankrupt and went into receivership.

Meanwhile, the American Hockey Association, which had become the AHL in 1930-31 and declared itself a major league, was condemned as an outlaw league by NHL president Frank Calder. Among the reasons Calder cited for his actions was that the AHL had put a franchise in Chicago, which had an NHL franchise, and a franchise in Buffalo where the NHL had a minor league affiliate. However, the Buffalo team collapsed and Calder entered into negotiations to merge the Chicago Shamrocks, owned by James E. Norris, with the Detroit Falcons, now bankrupt.

Regular Season

The Canadiens 1931-32 special jersey.

The Canadiens wore an arm patch during the 1931-32 season to celebrate winning the Stanley Cup two years in a row. The jersey was worn for special occasions only.

Howie Morenz was as effective as ever for the Montreal Canadiens and won the Hart Trophy again, as the Habs once again finished first. The Rangers finished first in the American Division. But it was to be the year of Toronto, with the NHL's leading scorer Harvey "Busher" Jackson leading the way. Maple Leaf Gardens opened, and its story was harrowing. At one point, the whole project was near collapse, but when Conn Smythe and Frank Selke convinced the unions to accept stock in the Gardens as partial payment of wages, Maple Leaf Gardens was built. Chicago spoiled the home opener with a 3-1 win and it was the Black Hawks Mush March who scored the Gardens first goal.

The Montreal Maroons were very interested in obtaining Eddie Shore from Boston. James Strachan, president of the Maroons, said he was willing to pay up to $40,000 for his contract. However, there was no deal. As Boston had fallen to the bottom of the league, it was doubtful that the Bruins would part with their ace defenceman.

Final Standings

Canadian Division
Montreal Canadiens 48 25 16 7 128 111 57
Toronto Maple Leafs 48 23 18 7 155 127 53
Montreal Maroons 48 19 22 7 142 139 45
New York Americans 48 16 24 8 95 142 40

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
New York Rangers 48 23 17 8 134 112 54
Chicago Black Hawks 48 18 19 11 86 101 47
Detroit Falcons 48 18 20 10 95 108 46
Boston Bruins 48 15 21 12 122 117 42

Leading Scorers

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

Busher Jackson Toronto Maple Leafs 48 28 25 53 63
Joe Primeau Toronto Maple Leafs 46 13 37 50 25
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens 48 24 25 49 46
Charlie Conacher Toronto Maple Leafs 44 34 14 48 66
Bill Cook New York Rangers 48 33 14 47 33

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
Charlie Gardiner Chicago Black Hawks 48 18 19 11 2989 92 4 1.85
Alec Connell Detroit Falcons 48 18 20 10 3050 108 6 2.12
George Hainsworth Montreal Canadiens 48 25 16 7 2998 110 6 2.20
John Ross Roach New York Rangers 48 23 17 8 3020 112 9 2.23
Tiny Thompson Boston Bruins 43 13 19 11 2698 103 9 2.29
Lorne Chabot Toronto Maple Leafs 44 22 16 6 2698 106 4 2.36

Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Montreal Canadiens were favored for a third straight Cup, but injuries to Pit Lepine and Aurel Joliat dashed that dream. With Joliat half throttle and Lepine out, the Canadiens were no match for the speedy Rangers. Toronto broke through Chuck Gardiner's goaltending to polish Chicago off, then they beat the Montreal Maroons.


The Toronto Maple Leafs swept the best-of-five series against the New York Rangers three games to none. The first two games were to be played in New York City but because the circus was in town, the second game was played in Boston. The third and final game was played in Toronto. It was called the "Tennis Series", because the Leafs scored 6 goals in each game. The Rangers scored 4 times in their own building, twice at Boston Garden, and four more in Toronto.

Playoff Bracket

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  C1  Montreal Canadiens 1  
    A1  New York Rangers 3  
    A1  New York Rangers 0
  C2  Toronto Maple Leafs 3
  C2  Toronto Maple Leafs 6G  
A2  Chicago Black Hawks 2G  
C2  Toronto Maple Leafs 4G
    C3  Montreal Maroons 3G  
C3  Montreal Maroons 3G
  A3  Detroit Falcons 1G  


  1. Boston Bruins: 295,598
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs: 249,000
  3. Montreal Canadiens: 229,325
  4. New York Rangers: 213,241
  5. Montreal Maroons: 201,485
  6. Chicago Black Hawks: 168,192
  7. New York Americans: 139,804
  8. Detroit Falcons: 130,207

NHL Awards

1931-32 NHL Awards
O'Brien Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
Prince of Wales Trophy: New York Rangers
Hart Memorial Trophy: Howie Morenz, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Trophy: Joe Primeau, Toronto Maple Leafs
Vezina Trophy: Chuck Gardiner, Chicago Black Hawks

All-Star Teams

First Team   Position   Second Team
Charlie Gardiner, Chicago Black Hawks G Roy Worters, New York Americans
Eddie Shore, Boston Bruins D Sylvio Mantha, Montreal Canadiens
Ching Johnson, New York Rangers D King Clancy, Toronto Maple Leafs
Howie Morenz, Montreal Canadiens C Hooley Smith, Montreal Maroons
Bill Cook, New York Rangers RW Charlie Conacher, Toronto Maple Leafs
Aurel Joliat, Montreal Canadiens LW Bun Cook, New York Rangers
Lester Patrick, New York Rangers Coach Dick Irvin, Toronto Maple Leafs


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1931-32 (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 1931-32 (listed with their last team):



Action from Game 4 of the Rangers-Canadiens Semi-final series on March 27, 1932 featuring the game's only goal by Ott Heller.

See Also


NHL Seasons

1927-28 | 1928-29 | 1929-30 | 1930-31 | 1931-32 | 1932-33 | 1933-34 | 1934-35 | 1935-36

1931-32 NHL season by team
Canadian Montreal CanadiensMontreal MaroonsNY AmericansToronto
American BostonChicagoDetroitNY Rangers
See also 1932 Stanley Cup Finals