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1923-24 NHL season

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The 1923-24 NHL season was the seventh season of the National Hockey League. Four teams each played 24 games. The Stanley Cup winners were the Montreal Canadiens, who defeated the Calgary Tigers of the WCHL and Vancouver Maroons of the PCHA.

League BusinessEdit

This season saw the introduction of two new trophies into the NHL. The Hart Trophy was to be awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team, and with the retirement of the O'Brien Trophy, the Prince of Wales Trophy was to take its place in being given to the NHL champion. This would only last a short time as the O'Brien Trophy came out of retirement for the 1927-28 NHL season when the league once again split into two divisions.

This was the last season that three leagues competed for the Stanley Cup as, after the season, the PCHA folded. Two of its teams, the Vancouver Maroons and Victoria Cougars, joined the WCHL for the 1924-25 WCHL season.

Regular seasonEdit

A newcomer that would become the NHL's first drawing card, Howie Morenz, started his career with the Montreal Canadiens this year. Ottawa had a new arena, the Auditorium, and in an Ottawa win, Morenz scored his first of a career 270 goals in Ottawa's inaugural game at the Auditorium December 27, 1923.

The Hamilton Tigers added Billy Burch and the Green brothers, Shorty and Redvers (nicknamed Red) and now they had a team that could compete nicely with the rest of the league.

On December 28th, Shorty Green scored at 12:22 of overtime to give Hamilton its first ever road victory over the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa.

The NHL held a mid-season meeting to consider Sprague Cleghorn's suspension. Ottawa claimed he was deliberately injuring opponents, citing a spearing incident against Cy Denneny. The league rejected the charges, and in a game against Ottawa shortly thereafter, Cleghorn charged Lionel Hitchman into the boards and earned a one game suspension.

The Ottawa Senators had the best record in the NHL at 16 wins and only 8 losses despite a bizarre incident near the end of the season. Montreal fans hung around Mount Royal Arena for some hours before hearing the news of why the Ottawa Senators were so late. On their way to Montreal for the game with the Canadiens, their train got snowbound near Hawkesbury, Ontario. The team was stuck all night and so Cy Denneny decided to scrounge around for some food, and somehow fell down a well. Fortunately, he escaped injury. The game was postponed until the next night and Georges Vezina shut out the Senators 3-0. The second place Montreal Canadiens would upset them in the playoffs to become the first winner of the new Prince of Wales Trophy. The Hamilton Tigers finished last for the fifth season in a row (counting one season as the Quebec Bulldogs), but underwent some serious rebuilding efforts during the season and their efforts would pay off for the next season, 1924-25, when they would go from worst to first.

Final standingsEdit

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Note: Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold

National Hockey League GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Ottawa Senators 24 16 8 0 32 74 54 154
Montreal Canadiens 24 13 11 0 26 59 48 144
Toronto St. Patricks 24 10 14 0 20 59 85 178
Hamilton Tigers 24 9 15 0 18 63 68 83

Scoring leadersEdit

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Cy Denneny Ottawa Senators 21 22 2 24
Billy Boucher Montreal Canadiens 23 16 6 22
Aurel Joliat Montreal Canadiens 24 15 5 20
Babe Dye Toronto St. Patricks 19 17 2 19
George Boucher Ottawa Senators 21 14 5 19
Billy Burch Hamilton Tigers 24 16 2 18
Jack Adams Toronto St. Patricks 22 13 3 16
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens 24 13 3 16
King Clancy Ottawa Senators 24 8 8 16
Reg Noble Toronto St. Patricks 23 12 3 14

Stanley Cup PlayoffsEdit

The Montreal Canadiens had finished second overall in the NHL regular season standings but in the playoffs, they would have no problem beating the Ottawa Senators, who were first overall during the regular season. The second place Vancouver Maroons of the PCHA once again faced the first place Seattle Metropolitans and once again, Vancouver would come out on top winning the PCHA league championship. Meanwhile, in the Western Canada Hockey League, the Calgary Tigers won the regular season and the playoffs. The Canadiens owner, Leo Dandurand, wanted Calgary and Vancouver to face off against each other and then have the Canadiens play the winner for the Stanley Cup. Frank Patrick, the president of the PCHA, refused to go along with that idea.

NHL ChampionshipEdit

All dates 1924

Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

Date Team Score Team Score Notes
March 8Montreal Canadiens1Ottawa Senators0
March 11Montreal Canadiens4Ottawa Senators2

Montreal wins 2 game total goal series 5 goals to 2

Stanley Cup PlayoffsEdit

Semi-FinalsEdit

Since Leo Dandurand's request to have Vancouver and Calgary face off first was denied, the first round match-up was the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Maroons. This didn't dissuade Montreal at all as the Canadiens swept the best of three series two games to none.

Vancouver Maroons vs. Montreal Canadiens

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 18Vancouver Maroons2Montreal Canadiens3
March 20Vancouver Maroons1Montreal Canadiens2

Montreal wins best-of-three 2 games to none

FinalsEdit

After sweeping Vancouver, Montreal's next opponent was the Calgary Tigers. Montreal swept them too in a best of three series. Howie Morenz was the star, scoring a hat trick in the first game, then another goal in the next game, which was transferred to Ottawa because of the slushy ice at Mount Royal Arena. Morenz was levelled by Cully Wilson of Calgary and suffered a chipped collarbone, but it was all in vain as Montreal won. The Canadiens swept all three teams they faced during the playoffs en route to their first Stanley Cup since their 1916 Cup win as a member of the NHA.

Calgary Tigers vs. Montreal Canadiens

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 22Calgary Tigers1Montreal Canadiens6
March 25Calgary Tigers0Montreal Canadiens3in Ottawa

Montreal wins best-of-three 2 games to none for the Stanley Cup

NHL Playoff Scoring LeaderEdit

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens6 7 3 10

NHL AwardsEdit

1923-24 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
Hart Memorial Trophy: Frank Nighbor, Ottawa Senators

DebutsEdit

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1923-24 (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 1923-24 (listed with their last team):

See alsoEdit


ReferencesEdit

NHL seasons

1920-21 | 1921-22 | 1922-23 | 1923-24 | 1924-25 | 1925-26 | 1926-27 | 1927-28 | 1928-29

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