1927–28 NHL season

1927–28 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration November 15, 1927 – April 14, 1928
Number of games 44
Number of teams 10
Regular season
Season champions Montreal Canadiens
Season MVP Howie Morenz (Canadiens)
Top scorer Howie Morenz (Canadiens)
Canadian Division champions Montreal Canadiens
American Division champions Boston Bruins
Stanley Cup
Champions New York Rangers
  Runners-up Montreal Maroons
NHL seasons

The 1927–28 NHL season was the 11th season of the National Hockey League. Ten teams played 44 games each. The New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup beating the Montreal Maroons, becoming the first NHL team based in United States to win it.

League business

The O'Brien Cup, which used to go to the National Hockey Association (NHA), later the NHL league champion, would now go to the winner of the Canadian Division. The Prince of Wales Trophy, first awarded to the winner of the first game at Madison Square Garden, and later the NHL league champion, would now go to the winner of the American division.

The Toronto Maple Leafs introduce new sweaters of blue and white, changing from the former green logo on white uniform. They are the first team in the NHL to have a set of white uniforms and a set of dark uniforms.[1][2]

Rule changes

The league changed the rule for substitution, allowing "on the fly" changes, as long as the player going off is on the bench before the substitute goes on.[3]

Regular season

The Chicago Black Hawks fired coach Pete Muldoon before the season, and coaching was split between Hugh Lehman and Barney Stanley. The Black Hawks finished last, recording only seven wins. The firing of Muldoon prompted him to publicly put "a curse" (known as the "curse of the Muldoons") on the Black Hawks, stating that the team would never win the NHL pennant. The Black Hawks would not place first in the NHL until the 1966–67 season.[4]

The Ottawa Senators, the smallest market in the league, were affected by franchises in the U.S. and sold their star right wing Hooley Smith to the Montreal Maroons for $22,500 plus the return of right wing Punch Broadbent, followed by the sale of defenceman Edwin Gorman to Toronto.

Howie Morenz, the NHL's top drawing card, dominated the scoring race and was runaway winner of the Hart Trophy. He scored 33 goals and led the league in assists as well. Despite Ottawa's financial difficulties, Alex Connell, Ottawa goalkeeper, set an all-time record with six consecutive shutouts. His record shutout sequence reached 460 minutes and 59 seconds without being scored on.[5]

Toronto, now the Maple Leafs, showed power early on and it looked like they would make the playoffs. However, injuries to Hap Day and Bill Carson doomed the team, and the Leafs sagged to fourth, out of the playoffs for the third straight year. It would take another 80 years until the Leafs missed the playoffs three straight times again.

Thanks to the great play of Eddie Shore and goaltender Hal Winkler, who tied with Connell for the leader in shutouts with 15, the Boston Bruins finished first for the first time in the American Division, while the Canadiens, who were running away with the Canadian Division at mid-season, slumped after an injury to Pit Lepine but managed to hold onto first place at season's end.

Final standings

Canadian Division
Montreal Canadiens 44 26 11 7 116 48 496 59
Montreal Maroons 44 24 14 6 96 77 549 54
Ottawa Senators 44 20 14 10 78 57 483 50
Toronto Maple Leafs 44 18 18 8 89 88 436 44
New York Americans 44 11 27 6 63 128 563 28
American Division
Boston Bruins 44 20 13 11 77 70 558 51
New York Rangers 44 19 16 9 94 79 462 47
Pittsburgh Pirates 44 19 17 8 67 76 395 46
Detroit Cougars 44 19 19 6 88 79 395 44
Chicago Black Hawks 44 7 34 3 68 134 375 17

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 bold


In the Canadian Division, the Montreal Maroons beat the Ottawa Senators and then went to the limit against the Canadiens before Russell Oatman put the Maroons into the finals with a goal in overtime.

In the American Division, the New York Rangers knocked off the Pittsburgh Pirates in a rough series, and then beat Boston to go to the finals against the Montreal Maroons.

Playoff bracket

Quarterfinals Semifinals Stanley Cup Finals
C1 Mtl Canadiens 2G
C2 Mtl Maroons 3G
C2 Mtl Maroons 3G
C3 Ottawa 1G
C2 Mtl Maroons 2
A2 NY Rangers 3
A1 Boston 2G
A2 NY Rangers 5G
A2 NY Rangers 6G
A3 Pittsburgh 4G


New York won series on total goals 6–4

Montreal won series on total goals 3–1


New York won series on total goals 5–2

Montreal Maroons won series on total goals 3–2

Stanley Cup Finals

The circus knocked the Rangers out of Madison Square Garden, and all games were played in the Montreal Forum, even though Boston offered to host the Rangers. The Maroons won game one 2–0, with Nels Stewart and goaltender Clint Benedict the stars.

Drama took over in game two when Nels Stewart fired a hard shot that struck New York goaltender Lorne Chabot in the eye. He could not continue, and the Rangers needed a goaltender. However, when coach Eddie Gerard refused to let the Rangers use Alex Connell or minor league goaltender Hugh McCormick, Lester Patrick, Ranger coach, in anger, decided to don the pads himself.[5] The Rangers then body-blasted any Maroon who got near Patrick. Bill Cook scored, putting the Rangers ahead 1–0, but Nels Stewart was not to be denied and scored, tying the game. In overtime, Frank Boucher got the winner for the Rangers and they carried Patrick, tears streaming down his eyes, off the ice. Patrick stopped 17 of 18 shots he faced.[5]

Joe "Red Light" Miller, New York Americans goalie, was allowed to take Chabot's place in goal and he played well in a 2–0 loss in game three. However, Frank Boucher starred as the Rangers took the next two games, and the Stanley Cup. Drama almost took place in the final game when Miller was badly cut on a shot, but he was able to continue. The crowd became unruly at times and referee Mike Rodden took abuse for disallowed goals by Maroon players. Even NHL president Frank Calder was a target of some fans for not intervening. The Rangers became the second American team to win the Cup and the first NHL American team to do so. In addition, the Rangers became the first team to win the Stanley Cup at the Montreal Forum which was only repeated in 1989

New York won series 3–2


The terms for awarding the O'Brien Cup and the Prince of Wales Trophy were changed to honour the top finisher in each of the NHL's divisions. Howie Morenz won the Hart Trophy, the first of three times he would be named most valuable player. Frank Boucher won the Lady Byng, the first of seven times he would win the award. George Hainsworth won the Vezina Trophy for the second consecutive year.

1927–28 NHL awards
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Howie Morenz, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Frank Boucher, New York Rangers
O'Brien Cup:
(Canadian Division champions)
Montreal Canadiens
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(American Division champions)
Boston Bruins
Vezina Trophy:
(Fewest goals allowed)
George Hainsworth, Montreal Canadiens

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens 43 33 18 51
Aurel Joliat Montreal Canadiens 44 28 11 39
Frank Boucher New York Rangers 44 23 12 35
George Hay Detroit Cougars 42 22 13 35
Nels Stewart Montreal Maroons 41 27 7 34
Art Gagne Montreal Canadiens 44 20 10 30
Bun Cook New York Rangers 44 14 14 28
Bill Carson Toronto Maple Leafs 32 20 6 26
Frank Finnigan Ottawa Senators 38 20 5 25
Bill Cook New York Rangers 43 18 6 24
Duke Keats Detroit Cougars/Chicago Black Hawks 38 14 10 24

Source: NHL[6]

Leading goaltenders

Note: GP = Games played; Mins = Minutes played; GA = Goals against; SO = Shut outs; GAA = Goals against average

Player Team GP Mins GA SO GAA
George Hainsworth Montreal Canadiens 44 2730 48 13 1.05
Alex Connell Ottawa Senators 44 2760 57 15 1.24
Hal Winkler Boston Bruins 44 2780 70 15 1.51
Roy Worters Pittsburgh Pirates 44 2740 76 11 1.66
Clint Benedict Montreal Maroons 44 2690 76 6 1.70

Source: hockey-reference.com[7]


American Division

Canadian Division


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1927–28 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1927–28 (listed with their last team):* Denotes last game was in the playoffs.

See also


  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.
  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5.CS1 maint: ref duplicates default (link)
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9.CS1 maint: ref duplicates default (link)
  • Duplacey, James (1996). The annotated rules of hockey. New York, NY: Lyons & Burford, Publishers. ISBN 1-55821-466-6.
  • Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1.
  • McFarlane, Brian (1973). The Story of the National Hockey League. New York, NY: Pagurian Press. ISBN 0-684-13424-1.
  1. ^ "1927–28 – The Hockey Uniform Database". nhluniforms.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  2. ^ "Toronto Maple Leafs 2011–12 Media Guide" (PDF). Toronto Maple Leafs. 2011. p. 193.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Duplacey 1996, p. 33.
  4. ^ McFarlane 1973, p. 40.
  5. ^ a b c Dryden 2000, p. 30.
  6. ^ Dinger 2011, p. 146.
  7. ^ "1927–28 NHL Season Goalie Statistics". hockey-reference.com. Retrieved October 25, 2011.

External links