The 1925-26 NHL season was the ninth season of the National Hockey League. Seven teams each played 36 games. The Stanley Cup winners were the Montreal Maroons who defeated the Victoria Cougars of the newly renamed Western Hockey League 3 games to 1 in a best of 5 series.

League BusinessEdit

The league added two new expansion franchises, in Pittsburgh and New York, the second and third United States based teams in the NHL.

The Pirates were formed because former Toronto NHA owner Eddie Livingstone had been again threatening to form a rival league and mentioned Pittsburgh as one of the possible franchise locations. Frank Calder and the governors quickly agreed to grant the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets organization an NHL franchise, known as the the Pittsburgh Pirates, like the baseball club.

The New York franchise was known as the New York Americans, a franchise having been granted to "Big Bill" Dwyer, an infamous bootlegger from New York City, to play in New York's Madison Square Garden. He purchased the suspended Hamilton Tigers players for his new New York Americans club.

Tommy Gorman and Ted Dey sold their interests in the Ottawa Senators to T. Franklin Ahearn. Ahearn then hired a successful junior executive, Dave Gill, to be secretary-treasurer (general manager) of the team and Gill hired Alex Curry, a former Senators player in the old NHA, to coach the team.

Regular seasonEdit

The Hamilton Tigers had spent their first five seasons in the NHL in last place until last season where they went from worst to first. The success enjoyed by the Tigers players was not carried over to New York, though, as the Americans finished fifth overall with a record of 12-20-4.

Eddie Gerard improved the Montreal Maroons by signing Nels Stewart and Babe Siebert and signing former olympian Dunc Munro for defense. The Maroons were on their way to glory. Nels Stewart not only set a record for goals by a rookie, but became the first rookie to win the scoring title.

From the start of the NHL, Georges Vezina had been the Montreal Canadiens goaltender, and had led them to the Cup in 1924. In the first game of this season, he collapsed on the ice as the second period got underway. It was found he had tuberculosis, and he died in March of 1926.

Ottawa's coach Curry was quite successful, as he took a team that had gone from fourth overall to first with an impressive record of 24-8-4, and the expansion Pittsburgh Pirates, with a strong cast of ex-amateurs led by future Hall of Famers Roy Worters and Lionel Conacher, finished third.

Final standingsEdit

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, 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 36 24 8 4 52 77 42 341
Montreal Maroons 36 20 11 5 45 91 73 554
Pittsburgh Pirates 36 19 16 1 39 82 70 264
Boston Bruins 36 17 15 4 38 92 85 279
New York Americans 36 12 20 4 28 68 89 361
Toronto St. Patricks 36 12 21 3 27 92 114 325
Montreal Canadiens 36 11 24 1 23 79 108 458

Scoring leadersEdit

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Nels Stewart Montreal Maroons 36 34 8 42
Cy Denneny Ottawa Senators 36 24 12 36
Carson Cooper Boston Bruins 36 28 3 31
Jimmy Herberts Boston Bruins 36 26 5 31
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens 31 23 3 26
Jack Adams Toronto St. Patricks 36 21 5 26
Aurel Joliat Montreal Canadiens 35 17 9 26
Billy Burch New York Americans 36 22 3 25
Hooley Smith Ottawa Senators 28 16 9 25
Frank Nighbor Ottawa Senators 35 12 13 25

Stanley Cup playoffsEdit

This is the last season that saw challengers from outside of the NHL compete for the Stanley Cup. At the beginning of the season, the Western Canada Hockey League renamed itself the Western Hockey League because one of its teams, the Regina Capitals, had moved to the States to play in Portland, Oregon. They were renamed the Portland Rosebuds.

Once again, the Victoria Cougars finished third in their league but once again won their league championship and the right to play for the Stanley Cup. The previous season, the Cougars beat the Montreal Canadiens for the Stanley Cup with that being the only time in NHL history in which a non-NHL team won the Cup. After the 1926 playoffs, the Western Hockey League would fold leaving the Stanley Cup entirely to the NHL. The Cup would never again be challenged by a non-NHL team, despite efforts to Free Stanley during the 2004-05 NHL lockout season of 2004-2005.This was also the only season that more teams missed the playoffs than made the playoffs .

All dates 1926

NHL ChampionshipEdit

The second seed Montreal Maroons beat the third seed Pittsburgh Pirates and then went on to beat first place Ottawa Senators 2 goals to 1 in a two game total goals series, thus capturing the Prince of Wales Trophy and the right to play the Victoria Cougars for the Stanley Cup.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Montreal Maroons

Date Team Score Team Score Notes
March 8 Pittsburgh Pirates1Montreal Maroons3
March 11 Pittsburgh Pirates3Montreal Maroons3

Montreal wins total goals series 6 goals to 4

Montreal Maroons vs. Ottawa Senators

Date Team Score Team Score Notes
March 25 Montreal Maroons1Ottawa Senators1
March 27 Montreal Maroons1Ottawa Senators0

Montreal wins total goals series 2 goals to 1


Nels Stewart was "Old Poison" to the Victoria Cougars, as he scored 6 goals in the 4 games and goaltender Clint Benedict shut out the westerners three times.

Victoria Cougars vs. Montreal Maroons

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 30 Victoria Cougars0Montreal Maroons3
April 1 Victoria Cougars0Montreal Maroons3
April 3 Victoria Cougars3Montreal Maroons2
April 6 Victoria Cougars0Montreal Maroons2

Montreal Maroons win best-of-five series 3 games to 1 for the Stanley Cup

NHL Playoff leading scorerEdit

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Nels Stewart Montreal Maroons 8 6 3 9

NHL awardsEdit

Prince of Wales Trophy: Montreal Maroons
Hart Memorial Trophy: Nels Stewart, Montreal Maroons
Lady Byng Trophy: Frank Nighbor, Ottawa Senators


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1925-26 (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 1925-26 (listed with their last team):

See alsoEdit


NHL seasons

1921-22 | 1922-23 | 1923-24 | 1924-25 | 1925-26 | 1926-27 | 1927-28 | 1928-29 | 1929-30

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