1965–66 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 23, 1965 – May 5, 1966
Number of games 70
Number of teams 6
Top draft pick Andre Veilleux
Picked by New York Rangers
Regular season
Season champion Montreal Canadiens
Season MVP Bobby Hull (Black Hawks)
Top scorer Bobby Hull (Black Hawks)
Playoffs MVP Roger Crozier (Red Wings)
Stanley Cup
Champions Montreal Canadiens
  Runners-up Detroit Red Wings
NHL seasons

The 1965–66 NHL season was the 49th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Montreal Canadiens won their second consecutive Stanley Cup as they defeated the Detroit Red Wings four games to two in the final series.

League business[edit | edit source]

A new trophy was introduced for this season. Jack Adams won the first Lester Patrick Trophy for his contribution to hockey in the United States.

February saw the momentous announcement that six conditional franchises had been awarded to Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, all to begin play in 1967. The St. Louis franchise was surprising, as no formal application from the city had been tendered. It was awarded to fulfill the wishes of James D. Norris and Arthur Wirtz, owners of the Chicago Black Hawks, who also owned the St. Louis Arena, which they wanted to sell.

On the debit side, a strong bid from Vancouver was rejected, much to the anger of many Canadians and the protest of their Prime Minister Lester Pearson. A rumor was widely spread — fuelled by a corroborating statement from Leafs' general manager Punch Imlach that the Toronto and Montreal owners had vetoed the bid out of a dislike for sharing the proceeds from television broadcasts of the games. Vancouver would eventually get an NHL franchise in 1970.

Rule changes[edit | edit source]

The only significant rule change for this season was a requirement that the teams suit up two goaltenders for each game.[1]

Regular season[edit | edit source]

Among notable players to debut during this season were Ed Giacomin for the Rangers, Bill Goldsworthy for the Bruins, Ken Hodge for Chicago and Mike Walton for Toronto. In the meantime, however, the career of future Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay was over, as his request for reinstatement as an active player was vetoed by the Toronto ownership.

Gordie Howe scored his 600th NHL goal in Montreal on November 27 in a 3–2 loss to the Canadiens to the cheers of the local fans. Among lesser milestones in the season were Frank Mahovlich's 250th goal and Johnny Bucyk's and Claude Provost's 200th.

In an unusual incident, the Red Wings' jerseys were stolen from the visitors' dressing room in Montreal the night before a January game, and Detroit was compelled to play in the uniforms of their junior farm team in Hamilton, which were express shipped to Montreal in time for the match.

James D. Norris, owner of the Chicago Black Hawks, died of a heart attack in late February.

Final standings[edit | edit source]

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

National Hockey League
Montreal Canadiens 70 41 21 8 90 239 173 884
Chicago Black Hawks 70 37 25 8 82 240 187 815
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 34 25 11 79 208 187 811
Detroit Red Wings 70 31 27 12 74 221 194 804
Boston Bruins 70 21 43 6 48 174 275 787
New York Rangers 70 18 41 11 47 195 261 894

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Playoff bracket[edit | edit source]

  Semifinals Finals
1 Montreal 4  
3 Toronto 0  
    1 Montreal 4
  4 Detroit 2
2 Chicago 2
4 Detroit 4  

Semifinals[edit | edit source]

The second game of the semifinal series between Detroit and Chicago on April 10, was nationally televised in the United States.[2]

For the fourth straight year, it was Montreal vs. Toronto and Detroit vs. Chicago in the first round. The Canadiens were victorious over the Leafs in four straight games, while the Wings beat the Hawks in six.

(1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (3) Toronto Maple Leafs[edit | edit source]

Montreal won series 4–0

(2) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (4) Detroit Red Wings[edit | edit source]

Chicago held a record of 11–1–2 versus Detroit in the regular season.

Detroit won series 4–2

Stanley Cup Finals[edit | edit source]

Behind the skilled goaltending of Roger Crozier, who had missed parts of the regular season with illness, the Red Wings won the first two games of the Finals. However, Crozier was injured in the fourth game and the Canadiens won the Cup four games to two. Roger Crozier won the Conn Smythe Trophy as a member of the losing team.

Montreal won series 4–2

Awards[edit | edit source]

Bobby Hull set a new record for goals in a season with 54 and a new record for points in a season with 97, earning him the Art Ross Trophy and his second straight Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player. No left-winger would pace the NHL in points again until Alexander Ovechkin in 2007–08. Jacques Laperriere of Montreal won the Norris Trophy as best defenceman.

1965–66 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Brit Selby, Toronto Maple Leafs
Conn Smythe Trophy:
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
Roger Crozier, Detroit Red Wings
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player, season)
Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Jacques Laperriere, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Alex Delvecchio, Detroit Red Wings
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender(s) of team with the best goals-against average)
Gump Worsley & Charlie Hodge, Montreal Canadiens
Lester Patrick Trophy:
(Outstanding service to U.S. hockey)
J. J. "Jack" Adams

All-Star teams[edit | edit source]

First team   Position   Second team
Glenn Hall, Chicago Black Hawks G Gump Worsley, Montreal Canadiens
Jacques Laperriere, Montreal Canadiens D Allan Stanley, Toronto Maple Leafs
Pierre Pilote, Chicago Black Hawks D Pat Stapleton, Chicago Black Hawks
Stan Mikita, Chicago Black Hawks C Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings RW Bobby Rousseau, Montreal Canadiens
Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks LW Frank Mahovlich, Toronto Maple Leafs

Player statistics[edit | edit source]

Scoring leaders[edit | edit source]

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Bobby Hull Chicago Black Hawks 65 54 43 97 70
Stan Mikita Chicago Black Hawks 68 30 48 78 56
Bobby Rousseau Montreal Canadiens 70 30 48 78 20
Jean Beliveau Montreal Canadiens 67 29 48 77 50
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 70 29 46 75 83
Norm Ullman Detroit Red Wings 70 31 41 72 35
Alex Delvecchio Detroit Red Wings 70 31 38 69 16
Bob Nevin New York Rangers 69 29 33 62 10
Henri Richard Montreal Canadiens 62 22 39 61 47
Murray Oliver Boston Bruins 70 18 42 60 30

Source: NHL.[3]

Leading goaltenders[edit | edit source]

Note: GP = Games played; Min – Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP MIN GA GAA W L T SO
Johnny Bower Toronto Maple Leafs 35 1998 75 2.25 18 10 5 3
Lorne Worsley Montreal Canadiens 51 2899 114 2.36 29 14 6 2
Charlie Hodge Montreal Canadiens 26 1301 56 2.58 12 7 2 1
Glenn Hall Chicago Black Hawks 64 3747 164 2.63 34 21 7 4
Roger Crozier Detroit Red Wings 64 3734 173 2.78 27 24 12 7
Dave Dryden Chicago Black Hawks 11 453 23 3.05 3 4 1 0
Terry Sawchuk Toronto Maple Leafs 27 1521 80 3.16 10 11 3 1
Cesare Maniago N.Y. Rangers 28 1613 94 3.50 9 16 3 2
Ed Giacomin N.Y. Rangers 36 2096 128 3.66 8 19 7 0
Bernie Parent Boston Bruins 39 2083 128 3.69 11 20 3 1
Eddie Johnston Boston Bruins 33 1744 108 3.72 10 19 2 1

Coaches[edit | edit source]

Debuts[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1965–66 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1965–66 (listed with their last team):

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Duplacey 1996, p. 33.
  2. "Red Wings Jar Black Hawks, 7–0." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 1966 Apr 11.
  3. Dinger 2011, p. 150.
NHL Seasons

1961-62 | 1962-63 | 1963-64 | 1964-65 | 1965-66 | 1966-67 | 1967-68 | 1968-69 | 1969-70

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