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 saw the introduction of a new trophy – Art Ross Trophy – that would be handed out to the player who scored the most points during the regular season.

Regular seasonEdit

The season saw the return of the National Hockey League All-Star Game, an idea that, although proposed in the previous season, came into fruition this year. The all-star 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.

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. The season also saw Boston's Don Gallinger suspended indefinitely pending an investigation of gambling activities and the New York Rangers' Billy Taylor being expelled for life for gambling.

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 Boston 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.

Final standingsEdit

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 32 15 13 77 182 143 758
Detroit Red Wings 60 30 18 12 72 187 148 593
Boston Bruins 60 23 24 13 59 167 168 515
New York Rangers 60 21 26 13 55 176 201 480
Montreal Canadiens 60 20 29 11 51 147 169 724
Chicago Black Hawks 60 20 34 6 46 195 225 572

Scoring leadersEdit

GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties In Minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
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 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

Leading goaltendersEdit

GP = Games Played, TOI = Time On Ice (minutes), GA = Goals Against, SO = Shutouts, GAA = Goals Against Average

Player Team GP TOI GA SO GAA
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 PlayoffsEdit

All dates in 1948

Playoff bracketEdit

  Semifinals Finals
1 Toronto Maple Leafs 4  
3 Boston Bruins 1  
    1 Toronto Maple Leafs 4
  2 Detroit Red Wings 0
2 Detroit Red Wings 4
4 New York Rangers 2  


The first round of the playoffs saw third seed Boston Bruins matched up with first seed Toronto Maple Leafs and fourth seed New York Rangers against second seed Detroit Red Wings.

Toronto vs. BostonEdit

Toronto beat Boston 4 games to 1. Still, the Bears kept the series pretty darn close — even the powerful Leafs couldn't deny it. Three of the five games were decided by one goal.

Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 24Boston Bruins4Toronto Maple Leafs5(OT)
March 27Boston Bruins3Toronto Maple Leafs5
March 30Toronto Maple Leafs5Boston Bruins1
April 1Toronto Maple Leafs2Boston Bruins3
April 3Boston Bruins2Toronto Maple Leafs3

Toronto wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 1

NY Rangers vs. DetroitEdit

It looked initially to be a really close series as, after the Blueshirts lost the first two games, the Wings got their Production Line lazy. But as its wingers, Ted Lindsay and Gordie Howe, chose to keep up their rigid scoring as well as follow Lindsay's recent quote —

In this game, you have to be mean, or you're going to get pushed around.

(Glenn Liebman, Hockey Shorts: 1,001 of the Game's Funniest One Liners" (Contemporary Books, 1996) ) —

Motown got their team pursuing Lord Stanley's Mug for the fourth time in six years.

New York Rangers vs. Detroit Red Wings

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 24New York Rangers1Detroit Red Wings2
March 26New York Rangers2Detroit Red Wings5
March 28Detroit Red Wings2New York Rangers3
March 30Detroit Red Wings1New York Rangers3
April 1New York Rangers1Detroit Red Wings3
April 4Detroit Red Wings4New York Rangers2

Detroit wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 2


Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 7Detroit 3Toronto 5
April 10Detroit 2Toronto 4
April 11Toronto 2Detroit 0
April 14Toronto 7Detroit 2

Toronto wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 0

Playoff scoring leadersEdit

GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Ted Kennedy Toronto Maple Leafs 9 8 6 14

NHL awardsEdit

O'Brien Trophy: Detroit Red Wings
Prince of Wales Trophy: Toronto Maple Leafs
Art Ross Memorial Trophy: Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy: Jim McFadden, Detroit Red Wings
Hart Memorial Trophy: Bud O'Connor, New York Rangers
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Bud O'Connor, New York Rangers
Vezina Trophy: Turk Broda, Toronto Maple Leafs

All-Star teamsEdit

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 AttendanceEdit

Chicago: 491,345
New York: 467,054
Toronto: 418,856
Boston: 412,943
Detroit: 394,199
Montreal: 333,645

Total: 2,518,042


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):

Last gamesEdit

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):



Highlights of the October 13, 1947 All-Star game which including a fight, Bill Mosienko's injury and goals by Max Bentley and the winner for the All-Stars by Doug Bentley.

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.

See alsoEdit


NHL seasons

1943-44 | 1944-45 | 1945-46 | 1946-47 | 1947-48 | 1948-49 | 1949-50 | 1950-51 | 1951-52

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