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The 1942-43 NHL season was the 26th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams played 50 games each.

League Business

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.

Training Camps

The teams held their pre-season training camps in the following locations:

Red Dutton

Death of Frank Calder

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.

Regular Season


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.

Reg, Max and Doug Bentley formed the first all-brother line to be credited with a goal and both assists, January 3, 1943.

Doug Bentley became the first Chicago Black Hawk to lead the NHL in scoring, as he set team records in goals (33) and points (73). His younger brother Max Bentley set a team record with 44 assists, finished with 70 points and won the Lady Byng Trophy as he was only penalized for 2 penalty minutes for the season. Their brother Reg played 11 games during the season and the three briefly played together on the first all-brother line in NHL history. On January 3, 1943 against the New York Rangers, Reg scored his only NHL goal, assisted by Max and Doug, another NHL first.

1942-43 MVP Bill Cowley sporting the Bruins alternate jersey.

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.

Final Standings

National Hockey League
GP W L T Pts
Detroit Red Wings 50 25 14 11 61
Boston Bruins 50 24 17 9 57
Toronto Maple Leafs 50 22 19 9 53
Montreal Canadiens 50 19 19 12 50
Chicago Black Hawks 50 17 18 15 49
New York Rangers 50 11 31 8 30

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.

Scoring Leaders

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

Player Team GP G A PTS PIM
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

Leading Goaltenders

Note: GP = Games played; Mins – Minutes played; GA = Goals against; GAA = Goals against average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP Mins GA W L T SO GAA
Johnny Mowers Detroit Red Wings 50 3010 124 25 14 11 6 2.47
Turk Broda Toronto Maple Leafs 50 3000 159 22 19 9 1 3.18
Frank Brimsek Boston Bruins 50 3000 176 24 17 9 1 3.53
Bert Gardiner Chicago Black Hawks 50 3020 180 17 18 15 1 3.58
Paul Bibeault Montreal Canadiens 50 3010 191 19 19 12 1 3.81
Jimmy Franks New York Rangers 23 1380 103 5 14 4 0 4.48
Bill Beveridge New York Rangers 17 1020 89 4 10 3 1 5.24

Stanley Cup Playoffs

see 1943 Stanley Cup Finals

Playoff Bracket

Semifinals Finals
1 Detroit Red Wings 4
3 Toronto Maple Leafs 2
1 Detroit Red Wings 4
2 Boston Bruins 0
2 Boston Bruins 4
4 Montreal Canadiens 1

Boston Bruins 4, Montreal Canadiens 1

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.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
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

NHL Awards

O'Brien Trophy: Boston Bruins
Prince of Wales Trophy: Detroit Red Wings
Calder Memorial Trophy: Gaye Stewart, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hart Memorial Trophy: Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Max Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks
Vezina Trophy: Johnny Mowers, Detroit Red Wings

All-Star Teams

First Team   Position   Second Team
Johnny Mowers, Detroit Red Wings G Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins
Earl Seibert, Chicago Black Hawks D Jack Crawford, Boston Bruins
Jack Stewart, Detroit Red Wings D Flash Hollett, Boston Bruins
Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins C Syl Apps, Toronto Maple Leafs
Lorne Carr, Toronto Maple Leafs RW Bryan Hextall, New York Rangers
Doug Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks LW Lynn Patrick, New York Rangers
Jack Adams, Detroit Red Wings Coach Art Ross, Boston Bruins


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):

Last Games

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):


Toronto: 295,064


Bruins #16 Art Jackson scores on Canadiens Paul Bibeault who is wearing a Red Wings jersey, November 17, 1942.

  • 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.



See Also


NHL Seasons

1938-39 | 1939-40 | 1940-41 | 1941-42 | 1942-43 | 1943-44 | 1944-45 | 1945-46 | 1946-47