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The 1957-58 NHL season was the 41st season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Montreal Canadiens were the Stanley Cup champions, defeating the Boston Bruins four games to two in the best-of-seven final series.
After the NHL declined to negotiate with the players over benefits and would not open the books on the pension plan, the player's association filed an anti-trust lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged the monopolization of the professional hockey industry since 1926. At this time, the Toronto Maple Leafs players voted unanimuously to certify the union.
The NHL started to fight back. First, they traded Lindsay to Chicago to separate him from the Red Wings, who the NHLPA targeted for a union vote. Next, Jack Adams spread false stories in the press alleging various slanders had been made by Lindsay against the Red Wings players, and produced a fake contract to the press showing an over-inflated salary value for Lindsay, greater than Gordie Howe. The ruse worked and the Red Wings players voted to dis-associate themselves from the organizing.
Despite this, the anti-trust lawsuit placed the NHLPA in a strong position. In an out-of-court settlement on February 5, 1958, the NHL promised:
- a $7000 minimum wage,
- an increase in pension benefits,
- increased hospitalization benefits,
- a limit on the number of exhibition games,
- the player shall be the sole judge of his physical fitness to play after injury.
This season saw the Montreal Canadiens regain first place overall, while the previous season's leader, the Detroit Red Wings, slipped to third. Montreal's Maurice "Rocket" Richard became the first NHL player to score 500 career goals, Jacques Plante won his third straight Vezina Trophy, and Doug Harvey his fourth straight Norris Trophy.
Glenn Hall, after two playoff years in which the Wings were eliminated, was traded along with Ted Lindsay to the sad-sack Chicago Black Hawks and Terry Sawchuk was brought back to Detroit in a very bad deal that saw Larry Hillman and Johnny Bucyk go to Boston. Chicago almost made the playoffs, and Hall's great goaltending, including 7 shutouts, one of which was in his debut with the Hawks, made him a contender for the Hart Memorial Trophy.
On October 19th, 1957, Rocket Richard did what no other player had ever done before as yet. In a 3-1 win over Chicago, he scored his 500th career goal on Glenn Hall. He immediately dedicated it to his old coach Dick Irvin. Irvin had died on May 15, 1957 after a long bout with bone cancer.
When Marcel Paille was brought up to the Rangers from Providence of the AHL for the ailing Gump Worsley, he sparkled, and Worsley was sent down to Providence. Then Paille went sour and the Gumper was recalled. Worsley got hot and the Rangers started winning. Worsley had his finest campaign up to this point with a 2.32 goals-against average and 4 shutouts and the Rangers finished second — their highest finish since 1941-42.
Two contenders for the Calder Memorial Trophy, Chicago's Bobby Hull and the Toronto Maple Leafs' Frank Mahovlich, battled all season for rookie honours. Mahovlich prevailed and won the trophy, although the Maple Leafs finished last in the NHL.
This season also saw the first black man play in the league. Willie O'Ree suited up with the Boston Bruins on January 18, 1958 in a game against the Canadiens in Montreal.
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|
|New York Rangers||70||32||25||13||77||195||188||781|
|Detroit Red Wings||70||29||29||12||70||176||207||758|
|Chicago Black Hawks||70||24||39||7||55||163||202||906|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||70||21||38||11||53||192||226||861|
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Dickie Moore||Montreal Canadiens||70||36||48||84||65|
|Henri Richard||Montreal Canadiens||67||28||52||80||56|
|Andy Bathgate||New York Rangers||65||30||48||78||42|
|Gordie Howe||Detroit Red Wings||64||33||44||77||40|
|Bronco Horvath||Boston Bruins||67||30||36||66||71|
Stanley Cup playoffsEdit
|3||Detroit Red Wings||0|
|2||New York Rangers||2|
First Half All-Star TeamsEdit
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1957-58 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Willie O'Ree, Boston Bruins
- Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks
- Murray Oliver, Detroit Red Wings
- Ab McDonald*, Montreal Canadiens
- Carl Brewer, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Bob Nevin, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1957-58 (listed with their last team):
- Johnny Peirson, Boston Bruins
- Jimmy Thomson, Chicago Black Hawks
- Tony Leswick, Detroit Red Wings
- Metro Prystai, Detroit Red Wings
- Floyd Curry, Montreal Canadiens
- Sid Smith, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Coleman, Charles (1969). Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol 2., 1947-1967.
- Cruise, David (1991). Net Worth: Exploding the Myths of Pro Hockey.
|1957–58 NHL season by team|
|Teams||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto|
|See also||All-Star Game • 1958 Stanley Cup Finals|
|National Hockey League|