The 1959-60 NHL season was the 43rd season of the National Hockey League. The Montreal Canadiens were the Stanley Cup winners as they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs four games to none for their fifth straight Stanley Cup.

Regular season Edit

The year was marked by important changes in the NHL. Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante, like Clint Benedict before him, began to wear a mask in hockey games. Plante, who had asthma-related problems throughout his career, began wearing a mask in practice shortly after a sinus operation in 1957. His first appearance with a mask in a game was on November 1, 1959, against the New York Rangers. Although many in the NHL disapproved of Plante's decision, due to traditions of the NHL at the time, many followed suit after Plante went undefeated in ten games with the mask on.

Phil Watson suffered an ulcer and was quietly dismissed as Ranger coach and replaced by Alf Pike. Gump Worsley was demoted to Springfield of the AHL and Worsley screamed he was finished with hockey. But he reported to Springfield anyway. Eddie Shore, known for his criticism of his players, gave Worsley a surprise vote of confidence. Gump played well for the Indians.

There was trouble brewing for Rangers right-winger sniper Andy Bathgate, who'd ripped open Plante's nose on the night of the goalie mask's official NHL debut, when, in an article in True Magazine, ghosted by Dave Anderson, he listed the names of players whom he considered guilty of the dangerous act of spearing. This was brought to the attention of NHL President Clarence Campbell, who then fined Bathgate $500 and Ranger general manager Muzz Patrick $100 on the grounds the article was prejudicial to and against the welfare of the league.

Gump Worsley, demoted to Springfield of the AHL, was brought back up as Marcel Paille was even worse in goal. Gump and the Rangers beat the Canadiens 8-3 in his first game back. Then a week later, Gump got bombed 11-2. Nothing had changed. Later against Chicago, Worsley suffered an injury that finished him for the season. Hawks' winger Bobby Hull skated over his catching glove and severed two tendons in his fingers. Al Rollins was called up to replace him. Later, Olympic hero Jack McCartan played a few games for the Rangers and played very well.

This regular season, like the two preceding it and the two following it, belonged to the Montreal Canadiens as they were in the midst of five straight first overall finishes and at the tail end of five straight Stanley Cup victories. The Detroit Red Wings, who were dead last and missed the playoffs the previous season, squeaked into the playoffs riding a Hart Memorial Trophy performance by their ageless star right-winger Gordie Howe.

This season marked the first season of the Original Six era during which every active player had played for Original Six teams only. Ken Mosdell, the last player to play for another team, retired the previous season.

Final standingsEdit

National Hockey League GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Montreal Canadiens 70 40 18 12 92 255 178 756
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 35 26 9 79 199 195 859
Chicago Black Hawks 70 28 29 1369 191 180 970
Detroit Red Wings 70 26 29 15 67186 197 538
Boston Bruins 70 28 34 8 64 220 241 932
New York Rangers 70 17 38 15 49 187 247 850

Scoring leadersEdit

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Bobby Hull Chicago Black Hawks 70 39 42 81
Bronco Horvath Boston Bruins 68 39 41 80
Jean Beliveau Montreal Canadiens 60 34 40 74
Andy Bathgate New York Rangers 70 26 48 74
Henri Richard Montreal Canadiens 70 30 43 73
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 70 28 45 73
Bernie Geoffrion Montreal Canadiens 59 30 41 71
Don McKenney Boston Bruins 70 20 49 69
Vic Stasiuk Boston Bruins 69 29 39 68
Dean Prentice New York Rangers 70 32 34 66

Leading goaltendersEdit

Note: GP = Games played; MIN = Minutes played; GA = Goals against; SO = Shut outs; AVG = Goals against average

Jacques Plante Montreal Canadiens 69 4140 175 3 2.54
Glenn Hall Chicago Black Hawks 70 4200 179 6 2.56
Terry Sawchuk Detroit Red Wings 58 3480 155 5 2.67
Johnny Bower Toronto Maple Leafs 66 3960 177 5 2.68
Don Simmons Boston Bruins 28 1680 91 2 3.25
Harry Lumley Boston Bruin 42 2520 146 2 3.48
Gump Worsley New York Rangers 39 2301 135 0 3.52

Stanley Cup playoffs Edit

All dates in 1960

The momentum did not stop for the Habs as they played the minimum number of games to win the Stanley Cup. Montreal, in the process, became the last Cup winners in NHL history to go undefeated in the playoffs to date. After winning the Stanley Cup, Maurice Richard retired from the NHL as a champion.

Playoff bracketEdit

  Semifinals Finals
1 Montreal Canadiens 4  
3 Chicago Black Hawks 0  
    1 Montreal Canadiens 4
  2 Toronto Maple Leafs 0
2 Toronto Maple Leafs 4
4 Detroit Red Wings 2  

Semifinals Edit

Bobby Hull of the Chicago Black Hawks had lead the league in scoring, but the well-oiled machine called the Montreal Canadiens managed to hold him to only one goal as the Canadiens swept the Black Hawks in four. The Toronto Maple Leafs, though, had a slightly tougher time against the Gordie Howe led Detroit Red Wings as it took the Leafs 6 games, including one in triple overtime, to win the series.

Chicago Black Hawks vs. Montreal Canadiens

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 24Chicago Black Hawks3Montreal Canadiens4
March 26Chicago Black Hawks3Montreal Canadiens4 (OT)
March 29Montreal Canadiens4Chicago Black Hawks0
March 31Montreal Canadiens2Chicago Black Hawks0

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

Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 23Detroit Red Wings2Toronto Maple Leafs1
March 26Detroit Red Wings2Toronto Maple Leafs4
March 27Toronto Maple Leafs5Detroit Red Wings4 (3OT)
March 29Toronto Maple Leafs1Detroit Red Wings2 (OT)
April 2Detroit Red Wings4Toronto Maple Leafs5
April 3Toronto Maple Leafs4Detroit Red Wings2

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

Finals Edit

see 1960 Stanley Cup Finals

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 7Toronto Maple Leafs2Montreal Canadiens4
April 9Toronto Maple Leafs1Montreal Canadiens2
April 12Montreal Canadiens5Toronto Maple Leafs2
April 14Montreal Canadiens4Toronto Maple Leafs0

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

Playoff leading scorersEdit

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Henri Richard Montreal Canadiens 8 3 9 12
Bernie Geoffrion Montreal Canadiens 8 2 10 12
Leonard "Red" Kelly Toronto Maple Leafs 10 3 8 11
Dickie Moore Montreal Canadiens 8 6 410
Alex Delvecchio Detroit Red Wings 6 2 6 8
Jean Beliveau Montreal Canadiens 85 2 7
Bert Olmstead Toronto Maple Leafs 10 3 4 7

NHL awardsEdit

1959-60 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
Art Ross Memorial Trophy: Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks
Calder Memorial Trophy: Bill Hay, Chicago Black Hawks
Hart Memorial Trophy: Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
James Norris Memorial Trophy Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Don McKenney, Boston Bruins
Vezina Trophy: Jacques Plante, Montreal Canadiens

All-Star teamsEdit

First Team   Position   Second Team
Glenn Hall, Chicago Blackhawks G Jacques Plante, Montreal Canadiens
Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens D Allan Stanley, Toronto Maple Leafs
Marcel Pronovost, Detroit Red Wings D Pierre Pilote, Chicago Blackhawks
Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens C Bronco Horvath, Boston Bruins
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings RW Bernie Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens
Bobby Hull, Chicago Blackhawks LW Dean Prentice, New York Rangers


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1959-60 (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 1959-60 (listed with their last team):

See also Edit


NHL seasons

1955-56 | 1956-57 | 1957-58 | 1958-59 | 1959-60 | 1960-61 | 1961-62 | 1962-63 | 1963-64

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.