1921–22 NHL season

The 1921–22 NHL season was the fifth season of the National Hockey League (NHL). Four teams each played 24 games. The league dropped the split season and the two top teams played off for the league championship. The second-place Toronto St. Patricks defeated the first-place Ottawa Senators for the league championship.

1921–22 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationDecember 17, 1921 – March 13, 1922
Number of games24
Number of teams4
Regular season
Season championsOttawa Senators
Top scorerPunch Broadbent (Senators)
O'Brien Cup
ChampionsToronto St. Patricks
  Runners-upOttawa Senators

For the first four seasons of the NHL, the winner of the league playoffs had faced the winner of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) for the Stanley Cup. That changed this season with the introduction of another professional hockey league called the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). Now, three leagues were competing for the coveted Stanley Cup. The winner of a playoff between the PCHA and the WCHL travelled to Toronto to play off for the Stanley Cup. The St. Patricks defeated the Vancouver Millionaires to win the Stanley Cup.

League business

This was the first season away from the split season used in the NHA and the first four NHL seasons. Under the old split system, the winner of each half of the season would face each other in the playoffs. If the same team won both halves, then there would be no league playoffs and that team would simply move on to the Stanley Cup series. For the new system, the top two teams at the end of the season squared off against each other in a two-game total goals series for the chance to move on to the Stanley Cup series.[1]

Prior to the start of this season, the NHL's first multiple-player trade in its history was made when Billy Coutu and Sprague Cleghorn of the Hamilton Tigers were traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Harry Mummery, Amos Arbour, and Cully Wilson.

Canadiens owner George Kennedy never recovered from the influenza he contracted in 1919, and died on October 19, 1921, at age 39. His widow sold the Canadiens to a unit that would be known affectionately as the Three Musketeers of owners, Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau, and Joseph Cattarinich. Dandurand became manager and coach, and immediately there were problems between him and Newsy Lalonde. At one point, Dandurand accused Lalonde of not trying, and also the fans started to boo their old hero. Finally, Lalonde walked out on the team. NHL president Frank Calder mediated the dispute and Lalonde returned to the team. But his days in Montreal were numbered.

Regular season

After a fairly impressive season for the Toronto St. Patricks, the St. Pats goaltender Jake Forbes refused to play after being denied a raise, and was suspended for the season.[2] John Ross Roach took over in goal.

Punch Broadbent was the star this year, as he scored 27 goals in 16 consecutive games en route [2] to a 32-goal campaign. Broadbent led the league in goals, assists and points.[2] His Ottawa team finished first, too.

On February 1, Sprague Cleghorn almost wiped out the Ottawa team singlehandedly. He cut Eddie Gerard and Cy Denneny and charged Frank Nighbor. All three players missed two games because of injuries and Cleghorn drew a match penalty and a $30 fine. Ottawa police tried to arrest him in wake of his one-man war.[2]

Final standings

National Hockey League
Ottawa Senators2414823010684
Toronto St. Patricks2413101279897
Montreal Canadiens2412111258894
Hamilton Tigers2471701488105

[3] Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
         Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.


Starting in the Western Canada Hockey League, the Calgary Tigers lost to the Regina Capitals in a match-up to determine second place. The Capitals then went on to beat the first place Edmonton Eskimos in that league's first championship series. Over in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, once again, the Vancouver Millionaires faced the Seattle Metropolitans for their league championship. The Mets had the better regular season record, but the Millionaires won both games of the playoffs by 1–0 scores. The Millionaires were then matched up against the Capitals to see who would go on to play against the winner of the NHL's playoffs. Vancouver beat Regina in the two-game total goals series.

NHL Championship

The first-place Ottawa Senators played off against the second-place Toronto St. Patricks in a two-game total goals series for the O'Brien Cup. The St. Pats used a strategy of icing the puck to defend their lead.

Toronto St. Patricks vs. Ottawa Senators

Date Home Score Away Score Notes
March 11Toronto St. Patricks5Ottawa Senators4
March 13Ottawa Senators0Toronto St. Patricks0

Toronto wins total goals series five goals to four.

Stanley Cup Finals

All games were played in Toronto.

Vancouver Millionaires vs. Toronto St. Patricks

Date Score Score Notes
March 17Vancouver Millionaires4Toronto St. Patricks3
March 20Vancouver Millionaires1Toronto St. Patricks2(OT)
March 23Vancouver Millionaires3Toronto St. Patricks0
March 25Vancouver Millionaires0Toronto St. Patricks6
March 28Vancouver Millionaires1Toronto St. Patricks5

Toronto wins best-of-five series three games to two for the Stanley Cup

NHL Playoff scoring leader

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

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Babe DyeToronto St. Patricks711112


O'Brien CupToronto St. Patricks

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

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

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Punch BroadbentOttawa Senators2432144628
Cy DennenyOttawa Senators2227123920
Cecil DyeToronto St. Patricks243173839
Harry CameronToronto St. Patricks2418173522
Joe MaloneHamilton Tigers24247314
Corbett DennenyToronto St. Patricks241992828
Reg NobleToronto St. Patricks2417112819
Sprague CleghornMontreal Canadiens241792680
George BoucherOttawa Senators2313122512
Odie CleghornMontreal Canadiens232132426

Leading goaltenders

GP = Games Played, GA = Goals Against, SO = Shutouts, GAA = Goals Against Average

Name Team GP Mins W L T GA SO GAA
Ivan Mitchell Toronto St. Patricks2120200603.00
Clint Benedict Ottawa Senators24151014828423.34
Georges Vezina Montreal Canadiens241469121119403.84
John Ross Roach Toronto St. Patricks221340111019104.07
Howie Lockhart Hamilton Tigers241409617010304.39

Source: NHL[4]



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1921–22 (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 1921–22 (listed with their last team):

Free agency

December 5, 1921John Ross RoachToronto St. Patricks
December 13, 1921Billy BoucherMontreal Canadiens
December 14, 1921King ClancyOttawa Senators


November 9, 1921 To Hamilton Tigers
Cully Wilson
To Toronto St. Patricks
Ed Carpenter
November 26, 1921 To Hamilton Tigers
Amos Arbour
Harry Mummery
To Montreal Canadiens
Sprague Cleghorn

See also


  • Coleman, Charles (1966). The Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol. 1, 1893–1926 inc.
  • 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.
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9.
  • 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. McFarlane, p. 31.
  2. Dryden 2000, p. 24.
  3. Standings: NHL Public Relations Department (2008). Dave McCarthy; et al. (eds.). THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Official Guide & Record Book/2009. National Hockey League. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0.
  4. "1921–22 Regular Season – Goalie Season Stats Leaders". NHL. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
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