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1936-37 NHL season

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The 1936-37 NHL season was the 20th season of the National Hockey League. Eight teams each played 48 games. The Detroit Red Wings were the Stanley Cup winners as they beat the New York Rangers three games to two in the final series.

League BusinessEdit

Frank Calder had been naming the top rookies commencing with 1932-33. This year, he commenced buying a trophy for the top rookie and Syl Apps was this year's winner.

The Great Depression had been taking its toll on the NHL. At the beginning of the decade, there were ten teams. Since then, two teams folded and it looked like the New York Americans were to become the third team. The NHL, however, was not about to let that happen. So, instead of letting the team fold because of money and ownership problems, the league assumed control of the team for the 1936-37 season. It was then that owner Bill Dwyer sued. A settlement then allowed for Dwyer to own the team, run by the NHL, and that Dwyer would be given a chance to pay back his debts.

The Montreal Maroons, short of money, had to sell their star and team captain Hooley Smith to Boston. It was hoped that Carl Voss of the Eagles would fill in adequately for him, but he came down with influenza and never was much help. But Bob Gracie started scoring and the Maroons almost nipped the Canadiens for first place in the Canadian Division.


Training camps were held in the following locatons:

Regular seasonEdit


The New York Americans had started in first place, but then their players came down with influenza and the team sagged. But the worst blow was when Roy Worters suffered a hernia and had to retire. Alfie Moore and Lorne Chabot were not adequate replacements and the Amerks finished last in the Canadian Division.

The Montreal Canadiens had hit the bottom in 1935-36, and Babe Siebert was obtained to shore up the defence. But the most loved of all movements was buying Howie Morenz back from the Rangers. The Canadiens went from last to first in the Canadian Division. Morenz was just hitting his stride in January of 1937, when tragedy struck. On one of his hurtling rushes, he was being checked by Earl Seibert of Chicago when his left skate got caught in the dasher of the end boards, and Morenz suffered a badly fractured leg. After suffering a nervous breakdown worrying about if he'd be able to come back, more bad luck occurred. On March 8, 1937, X-rays revealed that Howie had blood clots in his healing leg. An operation was scheduled for the next day, but when Howie ate a light supper and told the nurse he wanted to rest, in falling asleep his pallor suddenly changed and the nurse knew something was wrong. A blood clot had stopped his heart, and attempts to revive Howie failed. News of Morenz's death shocked the hockey world, and thousands filed past his bier, many in tears, to pay their last respects to the man who made the NHL a truly major league.

Detroit, led by Vezina Trophy winning Normie Smith, finished first in the American Division. The NHL lost greats in one way or the other this year. Boston's Eddie Shore suffered a broken back, and Toronto favourite King Clancy retired. But Toronto's biggest loss occurred when Charlie Conacher injured his wrist. He was never the same again.

With five games left to play and his team hopelessly in last place, Chicago owner Frederic McLaughlin decided to try an experiment dear to his heart. He dreamed of the day that an all-American team might be able to compete at NHL calibre. He already had Mike Karakas in goal, but added Ernest Klingbeil and Paul Schaefer on defence, and Milt Brink, a fast skating center, between Al Suomi and Bun Laprairie. The first test came on March 11 when the Boston Bruins beat the Black Hawks 6-2. None of the new players scored, but Klingbeil and Schaefer were on defence for all Boston goals. This brought complaints from Jack Adams, Lester Patrick and Art Ross who stated that such experiments should not be conducted when the other clubs were battling for playoff spots. But McLaughlin's kids didn't look bad when the Toronto Maple Leafs were lucky to win 3-2 at Maple Leaf Gardens. Klingbeil was the star of the game with a goal. The rookies checked tenaciously and at times were impressive on the attack. 9,600 fans applauded their effort. Then the Black Hawks beat the New York Rangers 3-2 with the yannigans still in the lineup. Lester Patrick had nothing to say except that the attendance had dropped. The experiment was about finished when the New York Americans walloped the Hawks 9-4, as Sweeney Schriner and Nels Stewart each had hat tricks. In a losing cause, Paul Thompson had a hat trick for Chicago.

Final standingsEdit

Note: GP = Games played, 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

Canadian Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Montreal Canadiens 48 24 18 6 54 115 111 298
Montreal Maroons 48 22 17 9 53 126 110 379
Toronto Maple Leafs 48 22 21 5 49 119 115 371
New York Americans 48 15 29 4 34 122 161 481
American Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Detroit Red Wings 48 25 14 9 59 128 102 244
Boston Bruins 48 23 18 7 53 120 110 303
New York Rangers 48 19 20 9 47 117 106 312
Chicago Black Hawks 48 14 27 7 35 99 131 291

Scoring leadersEdit

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

Sweeney Schriner New York Americans 48 21 25 46 17
Syl Apps Toronto Maple Leafs 48 16 29 45 10
Marty Barry Detroit Red Wings 48 17 27 44 6
Larry Aurie Detroit Red Wings 45 23 20 43 20
Busher Jackson Toronto Maple Leafs 46 21 19 40 12
Johnny Gagnon Montreal Canadiens 48 20 16 36 38
Bob Gracie Montreal Maroons 47 11 25 36 18
Nels Stewart Boston Bruins/New York Americans 43 23 12 35 37
Paul Thompson Chicago Black Hawks 47 17 18 35 28
Bill Cowley Boston Bruins 46 13 22 35 4

Stanley Cup playoffsEdit

see: 1937 Stanley Cup Finals

Playoff bracketEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  C1  Montreal Canadiens 1  
    A1  Detroit Red Wings 3  
    A1  Detroit Red Wings 3
  A2  New York Rangers 2
  C2  Toronto Maple Leafs 1  
A2  New York Rangers 2  
A3  Boston Bruins 0
    A2  New York Rangers 2  
C3  Montreal Maroons 0

<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> Boston Bruins</td> <td align=center style="border:1px solid #aaa;" bgcolor=#f9f9f9>2</td> <td style="border-width:2px 0 0 0; border-style:solid;border-color:black;"> </td></tr>

NHL awardsEdit

O'Brien Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
Prince of Wales Trophy: Detroit Red Wings
Calder Memorial Trophy: Syl Apps, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hart Memorial Trophy: Babe Siebert, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Marty Barry, Detroit Red Wings
Vezina Trophy: Normie Smith, Detroit Red Wings

NHL awardsEdit

O'Brien Trophy: Montreal Maroons
Prince of Wales Trophy: Detroit Red Wings
Calder Memorial Trophy: Mike Karakas, Chicago Black Hawks
Hart Memorial Trophy: Eddie Shore, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Doc Romnes, Chicago Black Hawks
Vezina Trophy: Tiny Thompson, Boston Bruins

All-Star teamsEdit

First Team   Position   Second Team
Normie Smith, Detroit Red Wings G Wilf Cude, Montreal Canadiens
Babe Siebert, Montreal Canadiens D Earl Seibert, Chicago Black Hawks
Ebbie Goodfellow, Detroit Red Wings D Lionel Conacher, Montreal Maroons
Marty Barry, Detroit Red Wings C Art Chapman, New York Americans
Larry Aurie, Detroit Red Wings RW Cecil Dillon, New York Rangers
Busher Jackson, Toronto Maple Leafs LW Sweeney Schriner, New York Americans
Jack Adams, Detroit Red Wings Coach Cecil Hart, Montreal Canadiens


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1936-37 (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 1936-37 (listed with their last team):

See alsoEdit


NHL seasons

1932-33 | 1933-34 | 1934-35 | 1935-36 | 1936-37 | 1937-38 | 1938-39 | 1939-40 | 1940-41

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