The 1952-53 NHL season was the 36th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Montreal Canadiens were the Stanley Cup winners as they beat the Boston Bruins four games to one in the final series.
The NHL almost had a seventh franchise, as the Cleveland Barons applied for a franchise. They were accepted with the proviso that they deposit $425,000 to show good faith, and prove they had sufficient working capital to consort with the other NHL teams. They could not come up with the working capital and transfer of applicants stock to Cleveland residents. As a result, Cleveland was told to apply at a later date.
Sid Abel was signed by Chicago to be player-coach.
James E. Norris, owner of the Detroit Red Wings since 1932 and father of James D. Norris, Chicago owner, died of a heart attack December 4, 1952, and his daughter Marguerite became the first female owner of an NHL franchise since Ida Querrie owned the Toronto St. Patricks in 1923 when her husband Charlie transferred his stock in the team to her to avoid paying Eddie Livingstone any money in Livingstone's lawsuit against him.
For the fifth straight season the Detroit Red Wings lead the league in points. Gordie Howe won the Hart Trophy over Al Rollins, but on the strength of Rollins' goaltending, Chicago made the playoffs for the first time since 1946.
The first NHL game broadcasted in Canada on television occured on 9 October of this year. It was played between the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings with the Canadiens winning 2-1. The French language telecast was produced by 24 year old Gerald Renaud. In April of this same season, Toronto Maple Leafs games started being broadcasted with Foster Hewitt calling the action. Conn Smythe, the Leaf's managing director, sold the Leaf's television rights for a paltry $100 a game. In comparision, Leaf games are currently sold for over $700,000 a game.
Gump Worsley made his NHL debut October 9, 1952 in goal for the New York Rangers at the Detroit Olympia and lost 5-3, as Ted Lindsay scored in a tip-in on the power play for Worsley's first goal against him. The Production line scored 3 goals that night as Alex Delvecchio and Gordie Howe also had goals. Marty Pavelich scored what proved to be the winning goal.
On November 8, 14,562 fans were in attendance at the Montreal Forum when the Canadiens beat Chicago 6-4. Elmer Lach scored his 200th career goal. Fifty seconds later, after Butch Bouchard fed him the puck, Rocket Richard rifled a puck past Al Rollins for his 325th goal, breaking Nels Stewart's unbeatable-record for career goals. "Old Poison" sent the following telegram: "Congratulations on breaking record. Hope you will hold it for many seasons. Best of luck to you and rest of team."
When Terry Sawchuk was injured in practice, the Red Wings brought up Glenn Hall and he made his NHL debut December 27 and played well in a 2-2 tie with Montreal. He then picked up his first career shutout January 7, blanking Boston 4-0.
Red Wings General Manager Jack Adams got into some trouble January 18 when, after a 3-2 loss to Montreal, he entered the officials room and argued with referee Red Storey. Dick Irvin, coach of Montreal, was very upset over this and NHL president Clarence Campbell agreed, fining Adams $500.
The Gumper got his first career shutout January 11 in a rare Ranger pounding of his hometown Habs, 7-zip.
Butch Bouchard Night was held February 28 and he was presented with a car and a TV set. Detroit spoiled the night with a 4-3 victory.
There was consternation in Toronto when Max Bentley suddenly vanished and was reported back at his home in Delisle, Saskatchewan. Conn Smythe convinced him to return and he did, playing the remaining games of the schedule.
Ted Lindsay scored 4 goals March 2 as Detroit pummelled Boston again, 10-2.
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|National Hockey League||GP||W||L||T||Pts||GF||GA||PIM|
|Detroit Red Wings||70||36||16||18||90||222||133||645|
|Chicago Black Hawks||70||27||28||15||69||169||175||736|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||70||27||30||13||67||156||167||812|
|New York Rangers||70||17||37||16||50||152||211||548|
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Gordie Howe||Detroit Red Wings||70||49||46||95||57|
|Ted Lindsay||Detroit Red Wings||70||32||39||71||111|
|Maurice Richard||Montreal Canadiens||70||28||33||61||112|
|Wally Hergesheimer||New York Rangers||70||30||29||59||10|
|Alex Delvecchio||Detroit Red Wings||70||16||43||59||28|
|Paul Ronty||New York Rangers||70||16||38||54||20|
Stanley Cup playoffsEdit
|1||Detroit Red Wings||2|
|4||Chicago Black Hawks||3|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1952-53 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Jerry Toppazzini, Boston Bruins
- Glenn Hall, Detroit Red Wings
- Marcel Bonin, Detroit Red Wings
- Ed Litzenberger, Montreal Canadiens
- Jacques Plante, Montreal Canadiens
- Harry Howell, New York Rangers
- Dean Prentice, New York Rangers
- Gump Worsley, New York Rangers
- Andy Bathgate, New York Rangers
- Ron Murphy, New York Rangers
- Ron Stewart, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1952-53 (listed with their last team):
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- 6th National Hockey League All-Star Game
- National Hockey League All-Star Game
|1952–53 NHL season by team|
|Teams||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto|
|See also||All-Star Game • 1953 Stanley Cup Finals|
|National Hockey League|