The schedule was increased from 50 to 60 games. New rules allowed goaltenders to play with a broken stick or play with one from a teammate.
Tommy Gorman, who had been associated with the National Hockey League since its inception in 1917, announced his retirement in July of 1946 as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. He left behind him seven Stanley Cup champions and a hall of fame career as a coach and general manager. Frank Selke, released from the Toronto Maple Leafs, took over as general manager and would build the greatest dynasty hockey ever knew in the late 1950s. The Canadiens were in financial trouble at this time, despite their winning team and Selke would turn things around by buying up talent and keeping the cream of the crop, selling some players to teams that needed talent.
Red Dutton finally got to resign as president of the NHL, as Clarence Campbell, whom Frank Calder had been grooming as his successor, had come home from Europe. Campbell's experience in law and in hockey made him the perfect choice as president.
Lorne Chabot, whose outstanding career as goalkeeper brought him two Stanley Cups, a Vezina Trophy and a first all-star selection, died October 10th, five days after his 46th birthday. He had been suffering from kidney disease for some time and had been bedridden with severe arthritis.
Detroit lost Syd Howe through retirement, but another Howe started his great career as Gordie Howe was Detroit's new rookie. In one of his first fights, he took care of Montreal's Rocket Richard. Sid Abel then added a taunt that enraged Richard and he broke Abel's nose in three places.
Chicago decided to purchase goaltender Paul Bibeault from Montreal and regretted it. He played badly, one of his losses being an 11-0 whitewashing at the hands of Toronto. Finally, president and general manager Bill Tobin had enough and brought up 20 year old Emile Francis to replace him. He made his debut on February 9th, 1947 in a 6-4 win over Boston.
A donnybrook took place March 16th, 1947 between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens. Cal Gardner lifted Kenny Reardon's stick so that it clipped him in the mouth and a fight broke out between both teams and the fans. On that same night, Billy Taylor of Detroit set an NHL record with 7 assists in a 10-6 shootout win over the Chicago Black Hawks.
Max Bentley edged out Rocket Richard by one point and won the scoring championship.
GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties In Minutes
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold
|National Hockey League||GP||W||L||T||Pts||GF||GA||PIM|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||60||31||19||10||72||209||172||669|
|Detroit Red Wings||60||22||27||11||55||190||193||535|
|New York Rangers||60||22||32||6||50||167||186||426|
|Chicago Black Hawks||60||19||37||4||42||193||274||467|
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Max Bentley||Chicago Black Hawks||60||29||43||72||12|
|Maurice Richard||Montreal Canadiens||60||45||26||71||69|
|Billy Taylor||Detroit Red Wings||60||17||46||63||35|
|Milt Schmidt||Boston Bruins||59||27||35||62||40|
|Ted Kennedy||Toronto Maple Leafs||60||28||32||60||27|
Stanley Cup PlayoffsEdit
|2||Toronto Maple Leafs||4|
|2||Toronto Maple Leafs||4|
|4||Detroit Red Wings||1|
Montreal Canadiens 4, Boston Bruins 1Edit
Having met the year before in the 1946 Stanley Cup Finals where the Habs defeated the Bruins 4 games to 1, the Canadiens would repeat the victory in 5 games, though two games were decided in overtime.
Game 1 at the Montreal Forum saw the Bruins jump out to an early lead on a goal by Ken Smith. Bill Durnan would not allow another and goals by Toe Blake, Jimmy Peters and Johnny Quilty secured a 3-1 win for the Habs.
Game 2 in Montreal was a tight checking affair with a scoreless first period. Bobby Bauer scored for the Bruins at 3:02 of the second period which held up until Ken Reardon tied it with less than a minute left in the game. Montreal's Ken Mosdell was the OT hero 5:38 in and the Habs took a 2-0 series lead to Boston. Bruins All-Star defenseman Jack Crawford was lost to injury for the remainder of the series.
Game 3 at the Boston Garden was a rough affair with several brawls. Maurice Richard opened the scoring :38 seconds in which Ken Mosdell extended five minutes later. At the 14:38 minute mark, Woody Dumart and Richard got into a scrap, resulting in a major penalty to Richard. The second period saw 4 majors handed out and Richard receive a game misconduct. Energized, the Bruins struck for 3 goals by Milt Schmidt, Joe Carveth and Schmidt again and led 3-2 at the end of the second period. Ken Reardon was knocked out of the series after receiving a check from Bep Guidolin and breaking his toe after hitting the boards. Deflated, the Habs didn't counter and Dumart's first of the playoffs 14:48 into the third period led the Bruins to a 4-2 win.
Game 4 in Boston saw Eddie Shore honored with entry into the Hockey Hall of Fame and his #2 jersey retired. Playing without defensemen Crawford and Murray Henderson, Montreal's Billy Reay ruined the celebration with a 4 goal performance as the Habs took a 3-1 stranglehold on the series.
Game 5 in Montreal saw the Bruins Pentti Lund play his first ever game in place of Jack McGill. After a scoreless first period, Toe Blake scored 45 seconds into the second but the Bruins Carveth and Schmidt scored within 20 seconds of each other to make it 2-1 Bruins at the end of the period. Richard tied it up at 7:43 of the third but Ken Smith put the Bruins up 3-2 at 11:40. With time running out, Richard scored again with a little over 3 minutes remaining and the game headed to overtime. The Bruins had a scary moment when Fern Flaman took a penalty 15:25 into the first OT, but managed to kill it off. Late in the second OT, a shot by Murph Chamberlain hit the post and dropped for Johnny Quilty who rapped in the winner. Montreal won the series 4 games to 1.
|1||March 25||Boston Bruins||1-3||Montreal Canadiens||0-1|
|2||March 27||Boston Bruins||1-2 (OT)||Montreal Canadiens||0-2|
|3||March 29||Montreal Canadiens||2-4||Boston Bruins||1-2|
|4||April 1||Montreal Canadiens||1-5||Boston Bruins||3-1|
|5||April 3||Boston Bruins||3-4 (2OT)||Montreal Canadiens||1-4|
Regular Season AttendanceEdit
- Chicago: 500,081
- New York: 428,822
- Toronto: 410,107
- Boston: 392,798
- Detroit: 337,669
- Montreal: 332,033
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1946-47 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Johnny Peirson, Boston Bruins
- Pentti Lund*, Boston Bruins
- Bill Gadsby, Chicago Black Hawks
- Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
- Jim McFadden*, Detroit Red Wings
- Bill Barilko, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Garth Boesch, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Gus Mortson, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Howie Meeker, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Sid Smith, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1946-47 (listed with their last team):
- Don Grosso, Boston Bruins
- Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins
- Dit Clapper, Boston Bruins
- Babe Pratt, Boston Bruins
- Clint Smith, Chicago Black Hawks
- Johnny Mowers, Chicago Black Hawks
- Joe Benoit, Montreal Canadiens
|National Hockey League|
|1946–47 NHL season by team|
|Teams||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto|
|See also||1947 Stanley Cup Finals|