1947–48 NHL season

The 1947–48 NHL season was the 31st season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 60 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs were the Stanley Cup winners. They defeated the Detroit Red Wings four games to none. This season saw the introduction of a new trophy – Art Ross Trophy – that would be handed out to the player who scored the most points during the regular season.

1947–48 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 15, 1947 – April 14, 1948
Number of games60
Number of teams6
Regular season
Season championToronto Maple Leafs
Season MVPBud O'Connor (Rangers)
Top scorerElmer Lach (Canadiens)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsToronto Maple Leafs
  Runners-upDetroit Red Wings

Regular season

The season saw the return of the National Hockey League All-Star Game, an idea that, although proposed in the previous season, came into fruition this year. The all-star game, however, saw a bad ankle injury to Chicago Black Hawks forward Bill Mosienko that nearly ended his career. Other stars would retire, ending both the Montreal Canadiens' Punch line and the Boston Bruins' Kraut line. However, this season saw the creation of the Detroit Red Wings' Production Line. The policy of having players raise their hockey sticks to signify that a goal was scored was also initiated in this season, at the suggestion of Frank Patrick, with Habs forward Billy Reay being the first to do on November 13, 1947. The season also saw Boston's Don Gallinger suspended indefinitely pending an investigation of gambling activities and the New York Rangers' Billy "The Kid" Taylor being expelled for life for gambling.

Seven games into the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Black Hawks made, at that time, the biggest trade in NHL history. The Maple Leafs sent five players to the Black Hawks in trade for Max Bentley and rookie winger Cy Thomas. Thomas only played eight games that year but Bentley handed to the Leafs a much-needed offensive boost that helped propel the team to first overall and an eventual Stanley Cup.

The New York Rangers decided to make a trade to improve their fortunes and sent Hal Laycoe, Joe Bell, and George Robertson to Montreal in exchange for Buddy O'Connor and defenceman Frank Eddolls. Montreal missed O'Connor, as their goal-scoring plummeted. Ken Mosdell was out from the start of the season with a broken arm, Rocket Richard had trouble with a bad knee and Murph Chamberlain broke his leg. In an attempt to boost the goal-scoring, Montreal traded Jimmy Peters and Johnny Quilty to Boston in exchange for Joe Carveth, but the rot continued. However, the worst occurred on January 11, 1948, when the Canadiens played the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Habs lost more than a game when Bill Juzda checked captain Toe Blake into the boards, breaking Blake's ankle and ending his career. It was also the end of the famed "Punch Line". (Ironically, that same night, Johnny Quilty's career was ended with a compound fracture of the leg). The Canadiens missed the playoffs for the first time since 1940, and Bill Durnan, for the only time in his career, failed to win the Vezina Trophy. This season was also the last season in which a goaltender was allowed to be named captain of their team. Bill Durnan was the last goaltender in NHL history to be captain. Toronto's Turk Broda won the Vezina this season.

Final standings

National Hockey League[1]
1Toronto Maple Leafs60321513182143+3977
2Detroit Red Wings60301812187148+3972
3Boston Bruins60232413167168−159
4New York Rangers60212613176201−2555
5Montreal Canadiens60202911147169−2251
6Chicago Black Hawks6020346195225−3046


Playoff bracket

Semifinals Stanley Cup Finals
1 Toronto 4
3 Boston 1
1 Toronto 4
2 Detroit 0
2 Detroit 4
4 New York 2


(1) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (3) Boston Bruins

Toronto defeated Boston four games to one, although Boston kept it closer than the series tally would indicate. Three of the five games were decided by a single goal.

Toronto won series 4–1

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

It looked initially to be a close series as, after the Blueshirts lost the first two games, the Rangers won the next two to tie the series. Detroit then took the next two to win the series in six games to qualify for the Finals.

Detroit won series 4–2

Stanley Cup Finals

Toronto won series 4–0


O'Brien Cup:
(Stanley Cup runner-up)
Detroit Red Wings
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Top regular season record)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Top first-year player)
Jim McFadden, Detroit Red Wings
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Bud O'Connor, New York Rangers
Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Bud O'Connor, New York Rangers
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender of team with lowest GAA)
Turk Broda, Toronto Maple Leafs

All-Star teams

First team  Position  Second team
Turk Broda, Toronto Maple Leafs G Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins
Bill Quackenbush, Detroit Red Wings D Ken Reardon, Montreal Canadiens
Jack Stewart, Detroit Red Wings D Neil Colville, New York Rangers
Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens C Buddy O'Connor, New York Rangers
Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens RW Bud Poile, Chicago Black Hawks
Ted Lindsay, Detroit Red Wings LW Gaye Stewart, Chicago Black Hawks

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Elmer Lach Montreal Canadiens60303161
Buddy O'Connor New York Rangers60243660
Doug Bentley Chicago Black Hawks60203757
Gaye Stewart Toronto Maple Leafs / Chicago Black Hawks61272956
Max Bentley Black Hawks / Toronto Maple Leafs59262854
Bud Poile Toronto Maple Leafs / Chicago Black Hawks58252954
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens53282553
Syl Apps Toronto Maple Leafs55262753
Ted Lindsay Detroit Red Wings60331952
Roy Conacher Chicago Black Hawks52222749

Source: NHL[2]

Leading goaltenders

GP = Games Played, TOI = Time On Ice (minutes), GA = Goals Against, SO = Shutouts, GAA = Goals Against Average

Player Team GP TOI GA SO GAA
Turk Broda Toronto Maple Leafs60360014352.38
Harry Lumley Detroit Red Wings60359214772.46
Bill Durnan Montreal Canadiens59350516252.77
Frank Brimsek Boston Bruins60360016832.80
Jim Henry New York Rangers48280015323.19
Emile Francis Chicago Black Hawks54324018313.39



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1947–48 (listed with their first team):

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1947–48 (listed with their last team):

See also


  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (1994). Years of glory, 1942–1967: the National Hockey League's official book of the six-team era. Toronto, ON: McClelland and Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-2817-2.
  • 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. Toronto, ON: 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. Lincolnwood, IL: 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.
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