Due to financial reasons, the Philadelphia Quakers and Ottawa Senators franchises were suspended for the season, bringing the total number of teams in the NHL down from ten to eight. (The Quakers would not return) The players went to other teams, but their contracts were intended to revert to the original clubs. The Detroit Falcons were bankrupt and went into receivership.
Meanwhile, the American Hockey Association, which had become the AHL in 1930-31 and declared itself a major league, was condemned as an outlaw league by NHL president Frank Calder. Among the reasons Calder cited for his actions was that the AHL had put a franchise in Chicago, which had an NHL franchise, and a franchise in Buffalo where the NHL had a minor league affiliate. However, the Buffalo team collapsed and Calder entered into negotiations to merge the Chicago Shamrocks, owned by James E. Norris, with the Detroit Falcons, now bankrupt.
Howie Morenz was as effective as ever for the Montreal Canadiens and won the Hart Trophy again, as the Habs once again finished first. The Rangers finished first in the American Division. But it was to be the year of Toronto, with the NHL's leading scorer Harvey "Busher" Jackson leading the way. Maple Leaf Gardens opened, and its story was harrowing. At one point, the whole project was near collapse, but when Conn Smythe and Frank Selke convinced the unions to accept stock in the Gardens as partial payment of wages, Maple Leaf Gardens was built. Chicago spoiled the home opener with a 3-1 win and it was the Black Hawks Mush March who scored the Gardens first goal.
The Montreal Maroons were very interested in obtaining Eddie Shore from Boston. James Strachan, president of the Maroons, said he was willing to pay up to $40,000 for his contract. However, there was no deal. As Boston had fallen to the bottom of the league, it was doubtful that the Bruins would part with their ace defenceman.
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 green.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||48||23||18||7||53||155||127||625|
|New York Americans||48||16||24||8||40||95||142||596|
|New York Rangers||48||23||17||8||54||134||112||511|
|Chicago Black Hawks||48||18||19||11||47||86||101||464|
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Busher Jackson||Toronto Maple Leafs||48||28||25||53||63|
|Joe Primeau||Toronto Maple Leafs||46||13||37||50||25|
|Howie Morenz||Montreal Canadiens||48||24||25||49||46|
|Charlie Conacher||Toronto Maple Leafs||44||34||14||48||66|
|Bill Cook||New York Rangers||48||33||14||47||33|
Stanley Cup playoffsEdit
The Montreal Canadiens were favored for a third straight Cup, but injuries to Pit Lepine and Aurel Joliat dashed that dream. With Joliat half throttle and Lepine out, the Canadiens were no match for the speedy Rangers. Toronto broke through Chuck Gardiner's goaltending to polish Chicago off, then they beat the Montreal Maroons.
The Toronto Maple Leafs swept the best-of-five series against the New York Rangers three games to none. The first two games were to be played in New York City but because the circus was in town, the second game was played in Boston. The third and final game was played in Toronto. It was called the "Tennis Series", because the Leafs scored 6 goals in each game. The Rangers scored 4 times in their own building, twice at Boston Garden, and four more in Toronto.
|A1||New York Rangers||3|
|A1||New York Rangers||0|
|C2||Toronto Maple Leafs||3|
|C2||Toronto Maple Leafs||6G|
|A2||Chicago Black Hawks||2G|
|C2||Toronto Maple Leafs||4G|
<tr> <td height="14"> </td> <td align=center bgcolor="#f2f2f2" style="border:1px solid #aaa;"> A3</td> <td style="border:1px solid #aaa;" bgcolor=#f9f9f9> Detroit Falcons</td> <td align=center style="border:1px solid #aaa;" bgcolor=#f9f9f9>1G</td> <td style="border-width:2px 0 0 0; border-style:solid;border-color:black;"> </td></tr>
- Boston Bruins: 295,598
- Toronto Maple Leafs: 249,000
- Montreal Canadiens: 229,325
- New York Rangers: 213,241
- Montreal Maroons: 201,485
- Chicago Blackhawks: 168,192
- New York Americans: 139,804
- Detroit Falcons: 130,207
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1931-32 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1931-32 (listed with their last team):
|National Hockey League|
|1931-32 NHL season by team|
|Canadian||Montreal Canadiens • Montreal Maroons • NY Americans • Toronto|
|American||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • NY Rangers|
|See also||1932 Stanley Cup Finals|