1940–41 NHL season

The 1940–41 NHL season was the 24th season of the National Hockey League (NHL). Seven teams each played 48 games. The Boston Bruins were the Stanley Cup winners as they swept the Detroit Red Wings four games to none in the final series.

1940–41 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationNovember 2, 1940 – April 12, 1941
Number of games48
Number of teams7
Regular season
Season championBoston Bruins
Season MVPBill Cowley (Bruins)
Top scorerBill Cowley (Bruins)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsBoston Bruins
  Runners-upDetroit Red Wings

Regular season

The Montreal Canadiens had hit the bottom in 1939–40, and were in financial trouble. Frank Patrick decided to become an investor and governor for the team, and Tommy Gorman was hired as general manager. He hired recently released Toronto coach Dick Irvin to run the team. One of the first things Gorman and Irvin did was scout for players, and the Canadiens came up with Johnny Quilty, Joe Benoit, Elmer Lach and defenceman Ken Reardon. Bert Gardiner would be used in goal, replacing Claude Bourque and Wilf Cude. Murph Chamberlain was bought from Toronto to bolster the offence.

Quilty and Benoit came through, as did Toe Blake, but the Habs had a long way to go, finishing sixth. Quilty won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie. In fact, before the season started, Coach Irvin handed a sealed envelope to a reporter of his guess who would win the Calder Trophy, and when the season ended, the reporter opened the envelope: Johnny Quilty was the choice Irvin made.

The Boston Bruins set a record 23 straight unbeaten games en route to a strong first place finish at the end of the schedule. The Rangers, finished fourth after the previous year's Stanley Cup win and Dave Kerr was not up to his usual form in goal.

Final standings

National Hockey League
Boston Bruins482781367168102
Toronto Maple Leafs48281466214599
Detroit Red Wings4821161153112102
New York Rangers482119850143125
Chicago Black Hawks481625739112139
Montreal Canadiens481626638121147
New York Americans48829112799186


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.


Playoff bracket

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Stanley Cup Finals
  1 Boston 4  
    2 Toronto 3  
    1 Boston 4
  3 Detroit 0
  3 Detroit 2  
4 NY Rangers 1  
3 Detroit 2
    5 Chicago 0  
5 Chicago 2
  6 Montreal 1  


(3) Detroit Red Wings vs. (4) New York Rangers

Detroit won series 2–1

(5) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (6) Montreal Canadiens

Chicago won series 2–1


(1) Boston Bruins vs. (2) Toronto Maple Leafs

Boston won series 4–3

(3) Detroit Red Wings vs. (5) Chicago Black Hawks

Detroit won series 2–0

Stanley Cup Finals

Boston won series 4–0


Calder Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Johnny Quilty, Montreal Canadiens
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Bobby Bauer, Boston Bruins
O'Brien Cup:
(Stanley Cup runners-up)
Detroit Red Wings
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Top regular season record)
Boston Bruins
Vezina Trophy:
(Fewest goals allowed)
Turk Broda, Toronto Maple Leafs

All-Star teams

First Team  Position  Second Team
Turk Broda, Toronto Maple Leafs G Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins
Dit Clapper, Boston Bruins D Earl Seibert, Chicago Black Hawks
Wally Stanowski, Toronto Maple Leafs D Ott Heller, New York Rangers
Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins C Syl Apps, Toronto Maple Leafs
Bryan Hextall, New York Rangers RW Bobby Bauer, Boston Bruins
Sweeney Schriner, Toronto Maple Leafs LW Woody Dumart, Boston Bruins
Cooney Weiland, Boston Bruins Coach Dick Irvin, Montreal Canadiens

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Bill CowleyBoston Bruins4617456216
Bryan HextallNew York Rangers4826184416
Gordie DrillonToronto Maple Leafs422321442
Syl AppsToronto Maple Leafs412024446
Syd HoweDetroit Red Wings482024448
Lynn PatrickNew York Rangers4820244412
Neil ColvilleNew York Rangers4814284228
Eddie WisemanBoston Bruins4716244010
Bobby BauerBoston Bruins481722392
Roy ConacherBoston Bruins412414387

Source: NHL[2]

Leading goaltenders

Note: GP = Games played; Min – Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP MIN GA GAA W L T SO
Turk BrodaToronto Maple Leafs482970992.00281465
Frank BrimsekBoston Bruins4830401022.01278136
Johnny MowersDetroit Red Wings4830401022.012116114
Dave KerrNew York Rangers4830101252.49211982
Paul GoodmanChicago Black Hawks211320552.5071042
Bert GardinerMontreal Canadiens4226001192.75132362
Sam LoPrestiChicago Black Hawks271670843.0291531
Chuck RaynerN.Y. Americans12773443.422730
Earl RobertsonN.Y. Americans3622601423.7762281



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1940–41 (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 1940–41 (listed with their last team):

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.
  • 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. Standings: NHL Public Relations Department (2008). Dave McCarthy; et al. (eds.). THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Official Guide & Record Book/2009. National Hockey League. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0.
  2. Dinger 2011, p. 148.
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