The 1947-48 NHL season was the 31st season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 60 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs were the Stanley Cup winners. They defeated the Detroit Red Wings four games to none. This season the award of the Art Ross Trophy changed from the league's most outstanding player to the player who scored the most points during the regular season.
The season saw the 1st National Hockey League All-Star Game, an idea that, although proposed in the previous season, came into fruition this year. On October 13, 1947 at Maple Leaf Gardens, a team of All-stars played the Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs. The game was very rough with fights, hard checking and a bad ankle injury to Chicago Black Hawks forward Bill Mosienko that nearly ended his career. The All Stars prevailed 4-3.
Other stars would retire, ending both the Montreal Canadiens' Punch Line and the Boston Bruins' Kraut Line. However, this season saw the creation of the Detroit Red Wings' Production Line. The policy of having players raise their hockey sticks to signify that a goal was scored was also initiated in this season, at the suggestion of Frank Patrick, with Habs forward Billy Reay being the first to do on November 13, 1947.
Seven games into the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Black Hawks made, at that time, the biggest trade in NHL history. The Maple Leafs sent five players to the Black Hawks in trade for Max Bentley and rookie winger Cy Thomas. Thomas only played eight games that year but Bentley handed to the Leafs a much-needed offensive boost that helped propel the team to first overall and an eventual Stanley Cup.
The New York Rangers decided to make a trade to improve their fortunes and sent Hal Laycoe, Joe Bell, and George Robertson to Montreal in exchange for Buddy O'Connor and defenceman Frank Eddolls. Montreal missed O'Connor, as their goal-scoring plummeted. Ken Mosdell was out from the start of the season with a broken arm, Rocket Richard had trouble with a bad knee and Murph Chamberlain broke his leg. In an attempt to boost the goal-scoring, Montreal traded Jimmy Peters and Johnny Quilty to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Joe Carveth, but the rot continued. However, the worst occurred on January 11, 1948 when the Canadiens played the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Habs lost more than a game when Bill Juzda checked captain Toe Blake into the boards, breaking Blake's ankle and ending his career. It was also the end of the famed "Punch Line". (Ironically, that same night, Johnny Quilty's career was ended with a compound fracture of the leg). The Canadiens missed the playoffs for the first time since 1940, and Bill Durnan, for the first and only time in his career, failed to win the Vezina Trophy. This season was also the last season in which a goaltender was allowed to be named captain of their team. Bill Durnan was the last goaltender in NHL history to be captain. Toronto's Turk Broda won the Vezina this season.
The Bruins traded Joe Carveth for Billy Taylor which would result in one of the darkest chapters in Bruins and NHL history. Coming from the Detroit Red Wings, Taylor had been betting against his own team through a felon, James Tamer, and providing inside information on the team. Don Gallinger had been betting for the Bruins since his rookie season in 1942-43 but Taylor, who lived in the same boarding house as Gallinger, convinced him to bet against them to make more money. Bruins management began to suspect Taylor's activities and he was traded to the New York Rangers on February 6, 1948.
Detroit police wire-tapped Tamer's phone and recorded a conversation providing information on an injury to Bruins star Milt Schmidt and that Jack Crawford's daughter had just died. The caller also mentioned he wouldn't be playing well and bet $500 against the Bruins. The game referred to was on February 18, 1948 against the Chicago Black Hawks which ironically, the Bruins won 4-2 (Gallinger had no points in the game). Illegally obtained, the police couldn't use it to prosecute but passed the tape to NHL president Clarence Campbell.
Confronted in private by Art Ross, Gallinger denied the allegations, continuing to do so when the story broke in the press on March 3, 1948. The league launched an investigation and on March 7, 1948, Gallinger played his last game in the NHL and scored the third goal in a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. On March 8, 1948, Taylor was suspended for life from the NHL while Gallinger was suspended indefinitely. Only 23 years old and having led the Bruins in scoring two years before, Gallinger's career was over. He made several attempts to have the ban lifted which the league would finally grant in 1970.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||60||32||15||13||77||182||143|
|Detroit Red Wings||60||30||18||12||72||187||148|
|New York Rangers||60||21||26||13||55||176||201|
|Chicago Black Hawks||60||20||34||6||46||195||225|
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.
|Elmer Lach||Montreal Canadiens||60||30||31||61|
|Buddy O'Connor||New York Rangers||60||24||36||60|
|Doug Bentley||Chicago Black Hawks||60||20||37||57|
|Gaye Stewart||Toronto Maple Leafs / Chicago Black Hawks||61||27||29||56|
|Max Bentley||Chicago Black Hawks / Toronto Maple Leafs||59||26||28||54|
|Bud Poile||Toronto Maple Leafs / Chicago Black Hawks||58||25||29||54|
|Maurice Richard||Montreal Canadiens||53||28||25||53|
|Syl Apps||Toronto Maple Leafs||55||26||27||53|
|Ted Lindsay||Detroit Red Wings||60||33||19||52|
|Roy Conacher||Chicago Black Hawks||52||22||27||49|
|Turk Broda||Toronto Maple Leafs||60||3600||143||5||2.38|
|Harry Lumley||Detroit Red Wings||60||3592||147||7||2.46|
|Bill Durnan||Montreal Canadiens||59||3505||162||5||2.77|
|Frank Brimsek||Boston Bruins||60||3600||168||3||2.80|
|Jim Henry||New York Rangers||48||2800||153||2||3.19|
|Emile Francis||Chicago Black Hawks||54||3240||183||1||3.39|
Stanley Cup Playoffs
|1||Toronto Maple Leafs||4|
|1||Toronto Maple Leafs||4|
|2||Detroit Red Wings||0|
|2||Detroit Red Wings||4|
|4||New York Rangers||2|
Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Boston Bruins 1
Having last met in the 1941 Stanley Cup Semi-finals where the Bruins defeated the Leafs 4 games to 3 on their way to their third Stanley Cup, the Leafs defeated the Bruins in a tight five game series where three games were decided by one goal, including an overtime game. Six goals by Ted Kennedy led the Leafs.
Game 1 at Maple Leaf Gardens was a cleanly played game in which the teams constantly traded goals. The Bruins Murray Henderson scored early in the first period but the Leafs Bill Ezinicki tied it up. In the second, Ed Harrison put the Bruins up 2-1 but Max Bentley evened the score. In the third period, Jimmy Peters blocked a Gus Mortson point shot, passed to Milt Schmidt who fed Pat Egan for a one-timer that made it 3-2 Bruins. Syl Apps evened the score and at 8:38, Kenny Smith put the Bruins ahead. A point shot by Jimmy Thomson at 15:34 sent the game into overtime. Late in the first OT, Nick Metz potted the winner from the edge of the crease and the Leafs took a 1-0 series lead.
Game 2 in Toronto was decided by power plays and the Leafs Ted Kennedy. An early penalty to the Bruins Fern Flaman saw Kennedy score his first on a backhand from in front of the net on the PP. A slash by the Leafs Howie Meeker resulted in the Bruins Johnny Peirson scoring his first career playoff goal on the PP to tie it up. At 18:24, the Bruins Clare Martin took a tripping penalty and Kennedy scored his second on the PP. A minute into the second period, Meeker took another slashing penalty and Pete Babando tied it at 2-2 on the PP. Showing he didn't need a man advantage to score, Kennedy potted his third and then fourth goal of the game and the Leafs took a 4-2 lead into the third. Max Bentley put the Leafs up 5-2 before Milt Schmidt made it 5-3. The Leafs headed to Boston up 2-0 in the series.
Game 3 at the Boston Garden saw the Leafs dominate the Bruins throughout the game. By the end of the second period, the Bruins had only 5 shots on goal. Leafs goals by Meeker, Bill Barilko and Kennedy was responded to by Milt Schmidt on a rebound and the Leafs led 3-1. The third period got out of hand once Garth Boesch added another goal for the Leafs and a scrap broke out. A late goal by Nick Metz had the hometown crowd fuming and a fight occurred between Bruin fans and the Leafs Wally Stanowski. Stanowski's teammates came to his aid and the Leafs beat a hasty retreat to their dressing room with a 5-1 win and 3-0 stranglehold on the series.
Game 4 at Boston saw nearly 70 policemen posted to prevent a re-occurrence of Game 3's altercation with the fans. The game was cleanly played with the Bruins Ed Sandford scoring the only goal of the first period. Bill Ezinicki tied it up in the second before Johnny Peirson put the Bruins ahead again. At 13:24 of the third, Peirson scored again which would hold up as the winner when Apps scored with 4:52 left. The Leafs held a 3-1 series lead.
Game 5 in Toronto was a tight checking affair with the Bruins Jimmy Peters opening the scoring on the power play 5:20 into the game. Leafs third liners Vic Lynn and Murray Costello responded and the Leafs led 2-1 at the end of the first period. The Bruins Kenny Smith tied the game at 12:08 of the second. Both teams attempts to break the deadlock were stunted by Turk Broda and Frank Brimsek until Kennedy took a Meeker pass and picked the top corner over Brimsek's shoulder at 5:52 of the third. The Bruins couldn't counter and the Leafs took the series 4-1.
|1||March 24||Boston Bruins||4-5 (OT)||Toronto Maple Leafs||0-1|
|2||March 27||Boston Bruins||3-5||Toronto Maple Leafs||0-2|
|3||March 30||Toronto Maple Leafs||5-1||Boston Bruins||3-0|
|4||April 1||Toronto Maple Leafs||2-3||Boston Bruins||3-1|
|5||April 3||Boston Bruins||2-3||Toronto Maple Leafs||1-4|
Detroit Red Wings 4, New York Rangers 2
Motown got their team pursuing Lord Stanley's Mug for the fourth time in six years.
|March 24||New York Rangers||1||Detroit Red Wings||2|
|March 26||New York Rangers||2||Detroit Red Wings||5|
|March 28||Detroit Red Wings||2||New York Rangers||3|
|March 30||Detroit Red Wings||1||New York Rangers||3|
|April 1||New York Rangers||1||Detroit Red Wings||3|
|April 4||Detroit Red Wings||4||New York Rangers||2|
Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Detroit Red Wings 0
- Gordie Howe, and the last for Toronto's Syl Apps who retired after the series. This was the debut series for Detroit's
Playoff Scoring Leaders
|Ted Kennedy||Toronto Maple Leafs||9||8||6||14|
|First Team||Position||Second Team|
|Turk Broda, Toronto Maple Leafs||G||Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins|
|Bill Quackenbush, Detroit Red Wings||D||Ken Reardon, Montreal Canadiens|
|Jack Stewart, Detroit Red Wings||D||Neil Colville, New York Rangers|
|Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens||C||Buddy O'Connor, New York Rangers|
|Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens||RW||Bud Poile, Chicago Black Hawks|
|Ted Lindsay, Detroit Red Wings||LW||Gaye Stewart, Chicago Black Hawks|
Regular Season Attendance
- Chicago: 491,345
- New York: 467,054
- Toronto: 418,856
- Boston: 412,943
- Detroit: 394,199
- Montreal: 333,645
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1947-48 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Ed Sandford, Boston Bruins
- Paul Ronty, Boston Bruins
- Metro Prystai, Chicago Black Hawks
- Marty Pavelich, Detroit Red Wings
- Red Kelly, Detroit Red Wings
- Floyd Curry, Detroit Red Wings
- Tom Johnson, Montreal Canadiens
- Gerry McNeil, Montreal Canadiens
- Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens
- Fleming MacKell, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Tod Sloan, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1947-48 (listed with their last team):
- John Quilty, Boston Bruins
- John Mariucci, Chicago Black Hawks
- Toe Blake, Montreal Canadiens
- Bryan Hextall, New York Rangers
- Phil Watson, New York Rangers
- Billy Taylor, New York Rangers
- Syl Apps, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Nick Metz, Toronto Maple Leafs
Over 14 minutes of clips (in reverse image) from the December 27, 1947 Bruins-Leafs game won 2-1 by Toronto. The first 2 minutes are in colour. Goals by Sid Smith, Vic Lynn and Pete Babando are shown.
Highlights of the February 28, 1948 game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Black Hawks at Maple Leaf Gardens. Goals by Gus Bodnar on Turk Broda as well as Max Bentley and Joe Klukay on Emile Francis are shown in the Leafs 4-3 victory.
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- 1st National Hockey League All-Star Game
- National Hockey League All-Star Game
- Ice hockey at the 1948 Winter Olympics
|National Hockey League|
|Structure||Playoffs (Streaks • Droughts • All-time playoff series) • Conference Finals • Finals|
|Annual events||Seasons • Stanley Cup (Champions • Winning players • Traditions and anecdotes) • Presidents' Trophy • All-Star Game • Draft • Awards • All-Star Teams|
|Players||List of players • Association • Retired jersey numbers • Captains|
|History||Lore • Organizational changes :: • Defunct teams • NHA • Original Six • 1967 Expansion • WHA Merger • Lockouts|
|Others||Outdoor games (Winter Classic • Heritage Classic • Stadium Series) • Potential expansion • Hall of Fame (Members) • Rivalries • Arenas • Rules • Fighting • Violence : International games • Kraft Hockeyville • Collective bargaining agreement • Television and radio coverage|
|Category • 2020–21 Season • 2021–22 Season • 2022–23 Season|
|1947–48 NHL season by team|
|Teams||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto|
|See also||All-Star Game • 1948 Stanley Cup Finals|