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The 1949-50 NHL season was the 33rd season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the New York Rangers in seven games for the Stanley Cup. This is the last season that the O'Brien Trophy was awarded as it went into retirement for the second and final time at season's end. The O'Brien Trophy was originally the league championship trophy for the National Hockey Association and then the National Hockey League until it was replaced by the Prince of Wales Trophy for the 1923-24 NHL season. It came out of retirement a few years later and since 1939 it had been awarded to the Stanley Cup runner up.
In June of 1949, the NHL decided to paint the ice surface white. This was done by adding white paint to the water before freezing. Previously, the ice surface was just frozen water on concrete, which made a dull grey colour. By "whitening" the ice surface, it made seeing and following the puck much easier, especially on the relatively new medium of television.
Detroit, led by the new Production Line of Lindsay, Howe and Abel won the regular season. The Production line led the league in scoring 1-2-3.
On November 2, 1949 at Chicago Stadium, a rather serious brawl broke out in a game Chicago defeated Montreal 4-1. During the second period, some rinkside fans began to get on Montreal defenceman Ken Reardon, and when one fan grabbed his sweater, Reardon swung his stick and hit one of the rowdies. Leo Gravelle and Billy Reay joined in, and yet another fan climbed over the boards and challenged Reardon, but was forced back to his seat. When the game ended, police arrested Reardon, Reay, and Gravelle. Later, the players were cleared when a judge ruled that the fans were the aggressors and overstepped the prerogatives as fans.
After Chicago defeated Toronto 6-3 on November 27, Conn Smythe told goaltender Turk Broda, "I'm not running a fat man's team!" and said that Broda would not play until he reduced his weight to 190 lb. At the time, Broda weighed almost 200. Al Rollins was purchased from Cleveland of the AHL and Gil Mayer was brought up for good measure. When he reached 189 pounds, Broda went back into the Toronto net and he gained his 4th shutout of the season December 3 and Maple Leaf fans cheered all of his 22 saves.
After the Red Wings clobbered Chicago 9-2 on February 8, writer Lew Walter tried to interview Chicago coach Charlie Conacher. Conacher exploded in anger, criticized Walter's past stories and punched Walter, knocking him down to the floor. Walter announced that he would seek a warrant for Conacher's arrest. NHL president Clarence Campbell took a dim view of Conacher's actions and fined him $200. Conacher then phoned Walter and apologized, saying he regretted what had taken place.
Montreal fans began to boo Bill Durnan, like they had in 1947-48, despite the fact he was the league's best goalkeeper, and in an interview, he stated he was going to retire at the end of the season. In reality, Durnan had been cut a number of times during the season, and at one point, had to take penicillin. It caused a high fever and he missed some action. Despite this, he recorded eight shutouts and won the Vezina Trophy for the sixth time in his seven-year career.
Ken Reardon got himself into trouble when he made a statement to a magazine suggesting retribution to Cal Gardner, stating: "I'm going to make sure that Gardner gets 14 stitches in his mouth. I may have to wait a long time, but I'll get even." On March 1, 1950, Clarence Campbell made Reardon post a $1,000 bond to make sure he didn't carry out his threat. When the season ended, Reardon was refunded the $1,000, since he did not hurt Gardner as he said he would.
|National Hockey league||GP||W||L||T||Pts||GF||GA||PIM|
|Detroit Red Wings||70||37||19||14||88||229||164||736|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||70||31||27||12||74||176||173||804|
|New York Rangers||70||28||31||11||67||170||189||639|
|Chicago Black Hawks||70||22||38||10||54||203||244||620|
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Ted Lindsay||Detroit Red Wings||69||23||55||78||141|
|Sid Abel||Detroit Red Wings||69||34||35||69||46|
|Gordie Howe||Detroit Red Wings||70||35||33||68||69|
|Maurice Richard||Montreal Canadiens||70||43||22||65||114|
|Paul Ronty||Boston Bruins||70||23||36||59||8|
Stanley Cup playoffsEdit
|1||Detroit Red Wings||4|
|3||Toronto Maple Leafs||3|
|1||Detroit Red Wings||4|
|4||New York Rangers||3|
|4||New York Rangers||4|
Regular Season AttendanceEdit
- Toronto - 476,603
- Chicago - 474,478
- Montreal - 472,097
- Detroit - 442,372
- New York - 437,342
- Boston - 390,377
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1949-50 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Jack McIntyre, Boston Bruins
- Red Sullivan, Boston Bruins
- Johnny Wilson, Detroit Red Wings
- Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings
- Marcel Pronovost*, Detroit Red Wings
- Al Rollins, Toronto Maple Leafs
- George Armstrong, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Tim Horton, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1949-50 (listed with their last team):
- Jack Crawford, Boston Bruins
- Bud Poile, Boston Bruins
- Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins
- Ken Reardon, Montreal Canadiens
- Grant Warwick, Montreal Canadiens
- Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens
- Garth Boesch, Toronto Maple Leafs
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- 3rd National Hockey League All-Star Game
- National Hockey League All-Star Game
|National Hockey League|
|1949–50 NHL season by team|
|Teams||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto|
|See also||All-Star Game • 1950 Stanley Cup Finals|