The Brooklyn Americans franchise was dropped, as Madison Square Garden turned down a lease agreement with team owner Red Dutton. Dutton argued that the other teams would be weakened by the war, but the other owners pointed out the number of Americans players that were in the armed forces was such that the Americans could not operate. Despondent, Dutton left the league meeting. But he was to be back in the NHL sooner than he thought. This was the beginning of the "Original Six" era, which would last until the 1967-68 season.
NHL President Frank Calder announces that overtime play in regular season games is suspended. This wouldn't be re-instated until the 1983-84 NHL season. The regular season increased from 48 to 50 games and all playoffs series would be best of 7.
The teams held their pre-season training camps in the following locations:
- Boston Bruins: Montreal & Cornwall
- Chicago Black Hawks: Hibbing
- Detroit Red Wings: Detroit
- Montreal Canadiens: Montreal
- New York Rangers: Winnipeg
- Toronto Maple Leafs: St. Catharines
Death of Frank CalderEdit
The league's meeting of January 25th, 1943 was supposed to have been a non-event. The only news that was supposed to come out of the meeting was that the playoffs would begin on March 20th, and that all series would be best of seven affairs. This was resolved in the morning meeting. The afternoon session had just begun and NHL president Frank Calder had informed Red Dutton the reserve status of his suspended franchise, when Toronto coach Hap Day noticed that Calder appeared to be in pain. Two league governors came up to his aid, but he assured them he was all right. Then Calder's face contracted as if he were in pain. He took a few steps and exclaimed "My God, there IS something wrong!" He was taken to his hotel room and a doctor diagnosed a heart attack. A specialist convinced him, despite his protests, to check into St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, where he suffered a second heart attack. In a week, Calder felt well enough to return to Montreal and checked into Montreal General Hospital. After eating a light breakfast surrounded by his family and friends,he was looking over the league books when he slipped back on the pillows of his bed and died. He was 65 years old. Red Dutton had been chosen to fill in for him, and now it was a permanent arrangement.
The Montreal Canadiens were still making progress, and Dick Irvin put together the first "Punch Line" of Elmer Lach, Toe Blake, and Joe Benoit. Maurice Richard showed promise, but broke his leg, and Tommy Gorman began to look at him as brittle. Benoit became the first Canadien to hit the 30 goal plateau since Howie Morenz did it in 1929-30 (40 goals) as he had an even 30. Gordie Drillon also added some scoring power. But the Canadiens only made the playoffs by one slim point. Boston then beat them in the playoffs.
Detroit was the team this year. They finished first and Johnny Mowers won the Vezina Trophy. During the season, Jimmy Orlando got into a stick-swinging incident with Toronto rookie Gaye Stewart and came out of it on the short end, badly cut in the face and bleeding profusely. Both players were suspended for the incident. Gaye Stewart won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the top rookie.
In contrast to 1941-42 season, the New York Rangers felt the full impact of World War II and lost Art Coulter, Alex Shibicky, the Colville brothers, and Bill Juzda to the Armed Forces. Only Ott Heller was left of their defence. Babe Pratt was traded to Toronto for Hank Goldup and Dudley "Red" Garrett. Garrett proved to be an excellent replacement for Pratt. However, he only played 21 games, then gave his life in the Armed Forces. Goaltending was the Rangers problem as Steve Buzinski, Jimmy Franks, and the old veteran Bill Beveridge all had to face lots of rubber as the Rangers went from first to worst.
The Bruins and the New York Rangers were the hardest hit teams by the loss of players to the Armed Forces. Both lost 16 players by November 1942. The Kraut Line was lost to war service in February 1942. Good players were so hard to find that the Bruins played the November 1, 1942 game versus the Detroit Red Wings with only 12 players, 3 under the league rules. As a result, on November 12, 1942, Bep Guidolin, at 16 years old, became the youngest player in NHL history when he's called up to play for the Bruins. Guidolin's linemantes were 17 year old Don Gallinger and 19 year old Bill Shill.
Bill Cowley led the Bruins in scoring, having done so for 5 of the previous 7 seasons. He finished second in league scoring by 1 point, was voted a First Team All-Star and won the Hart Memorial Trophy as League MVP. The Bruins defense was superb with Jack Crawford, Flash Hollett and goalie Frank Brimsek being voted to the Second All-Star Team along with coach Art Ross.
Note: GP = Games played, 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
|National Hockey League||GP||W||L||T||Pts||GF||GA||PIM|
|Detroit Red Wings||50||25||14||11||61||169||124||371|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||50||22||19||9||53||198||159||431|
|Chicago Black Hawks||50||17||18||15||49||179||180||361|
|New York Rangers||50||11||31||8||30||161||253||352|
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Doug Bentley||Chicago Black Hawks||50||33||40||73||18|
|Bill Cowley||Boston Bruins||48||27||45||72||10|
|Max Bentley||Chicago Black Hawks||47||26||44||70||2|
|Lynn Patrick||New York Rangers||50||22||39||61||28|
|Lorne Carr||Toronto Maple Leafs||50||27||33||60||15|
|Billy Taylor||Toronto Maple Leafs||50||18||42||60||2|
Stanley Cup PlayoffsEdit
|1||Detroit Red Wings||4|
|3||Toronto Maple Leafs||2|
|1||Detroit Red Wings||4|
Boston Bruins 4, Montreal Canadiens 1 Edit
In their fourth playoff meeting and first since 1930-31, the Bruins defeated the Habs in a tight series in which three games went to overtime. It would be another 45 years before the Bruins beat Montreal in a playoff series.
Game 1 saw the Habs take a 3-0 lead in the second period. Goals by Don Gallinger and a power play goal by Art Jackson cut the lead to 3-2 heading into the third. Dutch Hiller put Montreal up 4-2 but goals by Oscar Aubuchon (the only playoff goal of his career) and the indomitable Bill Cowley sent the game into overtime with a power play goal with 4 minutes left in regulation. Gallinger's second goal of the game 12:30 into the first OT was a wraparound that beat Paul Bibeault and sent the crowd home happy as the Bruins took a 1-0 lead in the series.
Game 2 was the reverse of game 1 in that the Bruins held a 4-0 lead in the third period on goals by Gallinger, Ab DeMarco, Jackson and Herb Cain. With a little less than 6 minutes remaining in the game, Jack Crawford took a minor penalty and Montreal mounted a furious comeback, scoring 3 power play goals in less than 2 minutes, two by Gordie Drillon and one by Toe Blake (NHL game sheets and newspaper accounts confirm this but it isn't noted in some other sources). But Jackson's second of the game with little over a minute remaining gave the Bruins a 5-3 win and a 2-0 lead in the series.
Game 3 saw the series switch to the Montreal Forum where encouraged by the home crowd, Elmer Lach and Drillon's third of the series spotted the Habs a 2-0 lead in the second period. Herb Cain cut the lead in half and Dit Clapper scored the tying goal in the last minute of the third period. Flash Hollett took a penalty 1:30 into the first overtime but veteran Busher Jackson was not deterred. While killing the penalty, he grabbed the puck at center ice, crossed the blue line and threw a shot which Bibeault couldn't control. Jackson pounced on the rebound and scored a shorthanded goal, giving the Bruins a 3-2 win and a 3-0 stranglehold on the series.
Game 4 would be the Habs only victory of the series. With Bruins all-star defenseman Jack Crawford out due to injury and Bill "Red" Anderson playing the only game of his NHL career subbing for Crawford, the Habs won handily 4-0 on goals by Jack Portland, Toe Blake (his 4th of the series), Buddy O'Connor and Joe Benoit. Paul Bibeault earned the shutout and the Bruins led the series 3-1.
Game 5 saw the series back in the Boston Garden where the teams traded goals. Montreal held a 4-3 lead going into the third period on goals by Elmer Lach, two by O'Connor and one by Drillon. Dit Clapper, Murph Chamberlain (assisted by Flash Hollett, his 8th assist of the series) and Cain's third of the series were Boston's counters. Cain scored his fourth at 9:49 of the third to tie the game and send it into overtime. 3:41 in the first OT, Ab Demarco scored his second of the series to win it for the Bruins.
|1||March 21||Montreal Canadiens||4-5 (OT)||Boston Bruins||0-1|
|2||March 23||Montreal Canadiens||3-5||Boston Bruins||0-2|
|3||March 25||Boston Bruins||3-2 (OT)||Montreal Canadiens||3-0|
|4||March 27||Boston Bruins||0-4||Montreal Canadiens||3-1|
|5||March 30||Montreal Canadiens||4-5 (OT)||Boston Bruins||1-4|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1942-43 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Bep Guidolin, Boston Bruins
- Glen Harmon, Montreal Canadiens
- Ted Kennedy, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Joe Klukay*, Toroto Maple Leafs
- Bobby Lee, Montreal Canadiens
- Bud Poile, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Bill Quackenbush, Detroit Red Wings
- Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1942-43 (listed with their last team):
- After the November 15, 1942 game at Detroit, it was discovered that the jersey of Tony Graboski of the Montreal Canadiens was missing. With no extra jerseys and an impending game at the Boston Garden, the Canadiens borrowed the #16 jersey from the Red Wings which goalie Paul Bibeault wore for the November 17, 1942 game against the Boston Bruins. Graboski wore Bibeault's #1 jersey for the game.
|National Hockey League|
|1942–43 NHL season by team|
|Teams||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto|
|See also||1943 Stanley Cup Finals|