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.
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.
In contrast to 1941-42 season, the 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.
Gaye Stewart won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie.
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|
The Stanley Cup finals featured the Detroit Red Wings beating the 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):
- 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):
|National Hockey League|
|1942–43 NHL season by team|
|Teams||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto|
|See also||1943 Stanley Cup Finals|