The 1949-50 NHL season was the 33rd season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the New York Rangers in seven games for the Stanley Cup. This is the last season that the O'Brien Trophy was awarded as it went into retirement for the second and final time at season's end. The O'Brien Trophy was originally the league championship trophy for the National Hockey Association and then the National Hockey League until it was replaced by the Prince of Wales Trophy for the 1923-24 NHL season. It came out of retirement a few years later and since 1939 it had been awarded to the Stanley Cup runner up.
- 1 Off-season
- 2 Regular Season
- 3 Highlights
- 4 Stanley Cup Playoffs
- 5 Regular Season Attendance
- 6 NHL Awards
- 7 All-Star Teams
- 8 Debuts
- 9 Last Games
- 10 Gallery
- 11 Video
- 12 See Also
- 13 References
In June of 1949, the NHL decided to paint the ice surface white. This was done by adding white paint to the water before freezing. Previously, the ice surface was just frozen water on concrete, which made a dull grey colour. By "whitening" the ice surface, it made seeing and following the puck much easier, especially on the relatively new medium of television.
Detroit, led by the new Production Line of Lindsay, Howe and Abel won the regular season. The Production line led the league in scoring 1-2-3.
With the success of the "Spoked B" jersey worn for their 25th anniversary in the NHL, the Bruins adopted the white jersey for the 1949-50 season, albeit with the "24" and "49" on the horizontal spokes removed. The "Spoked B" became the Bruins logo and would be worn in one form or another every year afterwards. The black jersey with the gold block "B" introduced in the 1948-49 season was also continued but gold shoulder yolks were added and the arm and body stripes were modified
On November 2, 1949 at Chicago Stadium, a rather serious brawl broke out in a game Chicago defeated Montreal 4-1. During the second period, some rinkside fans began to get on Montreal defenceman Ken Reardon, and when one fan grabbed his sweater, Reardon swung his stick and hit one of the rowdies. Leo Gravelle and Billy Reay joined in, and yet another fan climbed over the boards and challenged Reardon, but was forced back to his seat. When the game ended, police arrested Reardon, Reay, and Gravelle. Later, the players were cleared when a judge ruled that the fans were the aggressors and overstepped the prerogatives as fans.
After Chicago defeated Toronto 6-3 on November 27, Conn Smythe told goaltender Turk Broda, "I'm not running a fat man's team!" and said that Broda would not play until he reduced his weight to 190 lbs. At the time, Broda weighed almost 200. Al Rollins was purchased from Cleveland of the AHL and Gil Mayer was brought up for good measure. When he reached 189 pounds, Broda went back into the Toronto net and he gained his 4th shutout of the season December 3 and Maple Leaf fans cheered all of his 22 saves.
After the Red Wings clobbered Chicago 9-2 on February 8, writer Lew Walter tried to interview Chicago coach Charlie Conacher. Conacher exploded in anger, criticized Walter's past stories and punched Walter, knocking him down to the floor. Walter announced that he would seek a warrant for Conacher's arrest. NHL president Clarence Campbell took a dim view of Conacher's actions and fined him $200. Conacher then phoned Walter and apologized, saying he regretted what had taken place.
Montreal fans began to boo Bill Durnan, like they had in 1947-48, despite the fact he was the league's best goalkeeper, and in an interview, he stated he was going to retire at the end of the season. In reality, Durnan had been cut a number of times during the season, and at one point, had to take penicillin. It caused a high fever and he missed some action. Despite this, he recorded eight shutouts and won the Vezina Trophy for the sixth time in his seven-year career.
Ken Reardon got himself into trouble when he made a statement to a magazine suggesting retribution to Cal Gardner, stating: "I'm going to make sure that Gardner gets 14 stitches in his mouth. I may have to wait a long time, but I'll get even." On March 1, 1950, Clarence Campbell made Reardon post a $1,000 bond to make sure he didn't carry out his threat. When the season ended, Reardon was refunded the $1,000, since he did not hurt Gardner as he said he would.
|Detroit Red Wings||70||37||19||14||88||229||164|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||70||31||27||12||74||176||173|
|New York Rangers||70||28||31||11||67||170||189|
|Chicago Black Hawks||70||22||38||10||54||203||244|
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.
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Ted Lindsay||Detroit Red Wings||69||23||55||78||141|
|Sid Abel||Detroit Red Wings||69||34||35||69||46|
|Gordie Howe||Detroit Red Wings||70||35||33||68||69|
|Maurice Richard||Montreal Canadiens||70||43||22||65||114|
|Paul Ronty||Boston Bruins||70||23||36||59||8|
Note: GP = Games played; Mins – Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts
|Bill Durnan||Montreal Canadiens||64||3840||141||2.20||26||21||17||8|
|Harry Lumley||Detroit Red Wings||63||3780||148||2.35||33||16||14||7|
|Turk Broda||Toronto Maple Leafs||68||4040||167||2.48||30||25||12||9|
|Chuck Rayner||New York Rangers||69||4140||181||2.62||28||30||11||6|
|Jack Gelineau||Boston Bruins||67||4020||220||3.28||22||30||15||3|
|Frank Brimsek||Chicago Black Hawks||70||4200||244||3.49||22||38||10||5|
Stanley Cup Playoffs
|1||Detroit Red Wings||4|
|3||Toronto Maple Leafs||3|
|1||Detroit Red Wings||4|
|4||New York Rangers||3|
|4||New York Rangers||4|
New York Rangers 4, Montreal Canadiens 1
Unlike in the previous season, the Montreal Canadiens were favorites as they entered the Semi-finals against the New York Rangers. Right from the start, New York served notice that the series will not be an easy victory. The Rangers win the first two games in Montreal to take a 2-0 series lead. As the series shifted to Madison Square Garden, the Rangers claimed a 4-1 win in the third game to put the Canadiens in a huge hole. To shake up his team, Montreal coach Dick Irvin pulled Bill Durnan from the net after the loss and replaced him with Gerry McNeil. The move worked as the Canadiens won 3-2 win in overtime in the fourth game as Elmer Lach delivered the winning goal. The Rangers completed their upset in five games with a 3-0 victory in the next game. Center Norm Dussault shone in the series with three goals after scoring only 13 during the regular season.
Detroit Red Wings 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 3
Detroit Red Wings 4, New York Rangers 3
The Rangers were forced to use Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, the home ice of the Toronto Maple Leafs, as their "home ice" during the Stanley Cup Finals, as the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus was then at Madison Square Garden. Garden management found that they could make more money having the circus at the Garden instead of the Rangers. Moreover, at the time, arenas could not be configured to host a circus and a hockey game on the same day, thus forcing the shift in venue.
Regular Season Attendance
- Toronto - 476,603
- Chicago - 474,478
- Montreal - 472,097
- Detroit - 442,372
- New York - 437,342
- Boston - 390,377
|First Team||Position||Second Team|
|Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens||G||Chuck Rayner, New York Rangers|
|Gus Mortson, Toronto Maple Leafs||D||Leo Reise, Jr., Detroit Red Wings|
|Ken Reardon, Montreal Canadiens||D||Red Kelly, Detroit Red Wings|
|Sid Abel, Detroit Red Wings||C||Ted Kennedy, Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens||RW||Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings|
|Ted Lindsay, Detroit Red Wings||LW||Tony Leswick, New York Rangers|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1949-50 (listed with their first team, asterisk (*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Jack McIntyre, Boston Bruins
- Red Sullivan, Boston Bruins
- Johnny Wilson, Detroit Red Wings
- Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings
- Marcel Pronovost*, Detroit Red Wings
- Al Rollins, Toronto Maple Leafs
- George Armstrong, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Tim Horton, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1949-50 (listed with their last team):
- Jack Crawford, Boston Bruins
- Bud Poile, Boston Bruins
- Frank Brimsek, Chicago Black Hawks
- Ken Reardon, Montreal Canadiens
- Grant Warwick, Montreal Canadiens
- Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens
- Garth Boesch, Toronto Maple Leafs
A minute worth of video of Game 4 of the 1950 Semi-Finals, won in double overtime 2-1 by the Detroit Red Wings over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Goals by the Leafs Max Bentley, the Wings Marty Pavelich and the OT goal by Leo Reise are shown as are some great saves by Turk Broda.
Over 30 minutes of game footage from the Semi-finals and Finals including the presentation of the Stanley Cup.
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- 3rd National Hockey League All-Star Game
- National Hockey League All-Star Game
- The Official NHL 75th Anniversary Commemorative Book, p.96.
|National Hockey League|
|1949–50 NHL season by team|
|Teams||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto|
|See also||All-Star Game • 1950 Stanley Cup Finals|