1930–31 NHL season

The 1930–31 NHL season was the 14th season of the National Hockey League. Ten teams played 44 games each. The Montreal Canadiens beat the Chicago Black Hawks three games to two in a best-of-five Stanley Cup final for their second consecutive Cup win.

1930–31 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationNovember 11, 1930 – April 14, 1931
Number of games44
Number of teams10
Regular season
Season championsBoston Bruins
Season MVPHowie Morenz (Canadiens)
Top scorerHowie Morenz (Canadiens)
Canadian Division championsMontreal Canadiens
American Division championsBoston Bruins
Stanley Cup
ChampionsMontreal Canadiens
  Runners-upChicago Black Hawks

League business

Art Ross bitterly complained about the Stanley Cup final setup. His team had been vanquished in two consecutive games by the Montreal Canadiens in 1929–30. As a result, the Board of Governors decided to make the final a best-of-five series.

The Great Depression was starting to take its toll on the NHL. In attempts to solve financial problems, the Pittsburgh Pirates moved to Philadelphia and became the Philadelphia Quakers, but there was nothing about the team to win games or fans. It was intended that the team stay in Philadelphia only until a new arena was built in Pittsburgh. The arena was never built, and the team folded after only one season in the new city. The state of Pennsylvania would be without an NHL team until the league doubled in size 36 years later.

The Ottawa Senators were in a similar financial boat but instead of relocating, they sold a star asset and future Hall of Famer, King Clancy, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for $35,000 and two players. Even after the sale of Clancy, the Senators' owners put the team up for sale for $200,000, although no bids approached anywhere near that figure. The team would suspend operations before the start of the next season.[1]

The Detroit Cougars changed the team name to the Detroit Falcons.

Regular season

Howie Morenz led the league in scoring.

Dick Irvin started his career in coaching with Chicago and they finished second in the American Division. He resigned at season's end after having taken the Black Hawks to the finals.

Final standings

American Division
Boston Bruins44281061439062
Chicago Black Hawks44241731087851
New York Rangers44191691068747
Detroit Falcons441621710210539
Philadelphia Quakers4443647618412
Canadian Division
Montreal Canadiens44261081298960
Toronto Maple Leafs44221391189953
Montreal Maroons442018610510646
New York Americans44181610767446
Ottawa Senators44103049114224

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.


On March 26, during the second game of the best-of-five series between the Bruins and Canadiens, coach-GM Art Ross of Boston pulled his goalie for an extra attacker while down 1–0 with 40 seconds left in the final period. The attempt was unsuccessful. This marked the first time in Stanley Cup play that a goalie was pulled for an extra attacker.[2]

Playoff bracket

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Stanley Cup Finals
  C1 Mtl Canadiens 3  
    A1 Boston 2  
    C1 Mtl Canadiens 3
  A2 Chicago 2
  C2 Toronto 3G  
A2 Chicago 4G  
A2 Chicago 3G
    A3 NY Rangers 0G  
C3 Mtl Maroons 1G
  A3 NY Rangers 8G  


(C2) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (A2) Chicago Black Hawks

Chicago won series on total goals 4–3

(A3) New York Rangers vs. (C3) Montreal Maroons

New York won series on total goals 8–1


(A1) Boston Bruins vs. (C1) Montreal Canadiens

Montreal won series 3–2

(A2) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (A3) New York Rangers

Chicago won series on total goals 3–0

Stanley Cup Finals

In the final series, the Chicago Black Hawks took an early two games to one lead in the newly expanded best-of-five Stanley Cup finals but the Montreal Canadiens came back and won the series three games to two for their second consecutive Stanley Cup win.

Montreal won series 3–2


Howie Morenz won the Hart Trophy for the second time in his career. Frank Boucher won the Lady Byng for the fourth consecutive year. Roy Worters won the Vezina Trophy for the one and only time in his career.

1930–31 NHL awards
O'Brien Cup:
(Canadian Division champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(American Division champion)
Boston Bruins
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Howie Morenz, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Frank Boucher, New York Rangers
Vezina Trophy:
(Fewest goals allowed)
Roy Worters, New York Americans

All-Star teams

This was the first season that the NHL named its 'all-stars'. Although Roy Worters won the Vezina Trophy for "most valuable goaltender", Charlie Gardiner and Tiny Thompson were named to the all-star teams at the goaltender position.

First Team  Position  Second Team
Charlie Gardiner, Chicago Black Hawks G Tiny Thompson, Boston Bruins
Eddie Shore, Boston Bruins D Sylvio Mantha, Montreal Canadiens
King Clancy, Toronto Maple Leafs D Ching Johnson, New York Rangers
Howie Morenz, Montreal Canadiens C Frank Boucher, New York Rangers
Bill Cook, New York Rangers RW Dit Clapper, Boston Bruins
Aurel Joliat, Montreal Canadiens LW Bun Cook, New York Rangers
Lester Patrick, New York Rangers Coach Dick Irvin, Chicago Black Hawks

Source: NHL.[3]

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties In Minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens3928235149
Ebbie Goodfellow Detroit Falcons4425234832
Charlie Conacher Toronto Maple Leafs3731124378
Bill Cook New York Rangers4330124239
Ace Bailey Toronto Maple Leafs4023194246
Joe Primeau Toronto Maple Leafs389324118
Nels Stewart Montreal Maroons4225143975
Frank Boucher New York Rangers4412273920
Cooney Weiland Boston Bruins4425133814
Bun Cook New York Rangers4418173572
Aurel Joliat Montreal Canadiens4313223573

Source: NHL.[4]

Leading goaltenders

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

Player Team GP W L T Mins GA SO GAA
Roy WortersNew York Americans4418161027607481.61
Charlie GardinerChicago Black Hawks4424173271078121.73
John Ross RoachNew York Rangers441916927608771.89
George HainsworthMontreal Canadiens442610827408981.95
Tiny ThompsonBoston Bruins442810627309031.98
Lorne ChabotToronto Maple Leafs37218823008062.09

Source: NHL.[5]


American Division

Canadian Division


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1930–31 (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 1930–31 (listed with their last team):

See also


  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.
  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2009). NHL Official Guide & Rule Book 2010. NHL.
  • 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.
  • Kitchen, Paul (2008). Win, Tie or Wrangle. Manotick, Ontario: Penumbra Press. ISBN 978-1-897323-46-5.
  • McFarlane, Brian (1989). One hundred years of hockey. Toronto, Ontario: Deneau Publishers. ISBN 0-88879-216-6.
  1. Kitchen(2008), pp. 306–309
  2. McFarlane, p. 28
  3. Diamond 2009, p. 234.
  4. Dinger 2011, p. 146.
  5. "1930–1931 – Regular Season – Goalie – Goalie Season Stats Leaders – Goals Against Average". nhl.com. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
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