1949–50 NHL season

The 1949–50 NHL season was the 33rd season of the National Hockey League. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the New York Rangers in seven games for the Stanley Cup. It was the Red Wings' fourth championship.

1949–50 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 12, 1949 – April 23, 1950
Number of games70
Number of teams6
Regular season
Season championDetroit Red Wings
Season MVPCharlie Rayner (Rangers)
Top scorerTed Lindsay (Red Wings)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsDetroit Red Wings
  Runners-upNew York Rangers

League business

The NHL decided to increase the number of games played from 60 to 70 games for each team. Each team played every other team 14 times. Goaltenders would no longer have to face a penalty shot if they took a major penalty. A team-mate could serve the penalty in the penalty box.[1]

In June 1949, the NHL decided to henceforth paint the ice surface white. This was done by adding white paint to the water before freezing. Previously, the ice surface was just frozen water on concrete, which made a dull grey colour. By "whitening" the ice surface, it made seeing and following the puck much easier, especially on the relatively new medium of television.

Regular season

Detroit, led by the new Production Line of Lindsay, Abel and Howe won the regular season. The Production line led the league in scoring 1–2–3.


On November 2, 1949, at Chicago Stadium, a rather serious brawl broke out in a game Chicago defeated Montreal 4–1. During the second period, some rinkside fans began to get on Montreal defenceman Ken Reardon, and when one fan grabbed his sweater, Reardon swung his stick and hit one of the rowdies. Leo Gravelle and Billy Reay joined in, and yet another fan climbed over the boards and challenged Reardon, but was forced back to his seat. When the game ended, police arrested Reardon, Reay and Gravelle. Later, the players were cleared when a judge ruled that the fans were the aggressors and overstepped the prerogatives as fans.

After Chicago defeated Toronto 6–3 on November 27, Conn Smythe told goaltender Turk Broda, "I'm not running a fat man's team!" and said that Broda would not play until he reduced his weight to 190 lb. At the time, Broda weighed almost 200. Al Rollins was purchased from Cleveland of the AHL and Gil Mayer was brought up for good measure. When he reached 189 pounds, Broda went back into the Toronto net and he gained his fourth shutout of the season December 3 and Maple Leaf fans cheered all of his 22 saves.

After the Red Wings clobbered Chicago 9–2 on February 8, writer Lew Walter tried to interview Chicago coach Charlie Conacher. Conacher exploded in anger, criticized Walter's past stories and punched Walter, knocking him down to the floor. Walter announced that he would seek a warrant for Conacher's arrest. NHL president Clarence Campbell took a dim view of Conacher's actions and fined him $200. Conacher then phoned Walter and apologized, saying he regretted what had taken place.

Montreal fans began to boo Bill Durnan, like they had in 1947–48, despite the fact he was the league's best goalkeeper, and in an interview, he stated he was going to retire at the end of the season. In reality, Durnan had been cut a number of times during the season, and at one point, had to take penicillin. It caused a high fever and he missed some action. Despite this, he recorded eight shutouts and won the Vezina Trophy for the sixth time in his seven-year career.

Ken Reardon got himself into trouble when he made a statement to a magazine suggesting retribution to Cal Gardner, stating: "I'm going to make sure that Gardner gets 14 stitches in his mouth. I may have to wait a long time, but I'll get even." On March 1, 1950, Clarence Campbell made Reardon post a $1,000 bond to make sure he did not carry out his threat. When the season ended, Reardon was refunded the $1,000, since he did not hurt Gardner as he said he would.

Final standings

National Hockey League[2]
1Detroit Red Wings70371914229164+6588
2Montreal Canadiens70292219172150+2277
3Toronto Maple Leafs70312712176173+374
4New York Rangers70283111170189−1967
5Boston Bruins70223216198228−3060
6Chicago Black Hawks70223810203244−4154


Playoff bracket

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


Detroit defeated Toronto in seven games to advance to the Finals; while New York defeated Montreal in five games to also advance to the Finals.

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (3) Toronto Maple Leafs

Detroit won series 4–3

(2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (4) New York Rangers

New York won series 4–1

Stanley Cup Finals

Two games were played in Toronto, with the rest in Detroit, as the circus had taken over Madison Square Garden in New York.

Detroit won series 4–3


This was the last season that the O'Brien Cup was awarded to the Stanley Cup runner up – in this season, the New York Rangers – as it went into retirement for the second and final time at season's end. (It was not awarded between 1917 and 1921)

O'Brien Cup:
(Stanley Cup runner-up)
New York Rangers
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Top record, regular season)
Detroit Red Wings
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Ted Lindsay, Detroit Red Wings
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Top first year player)
Jack Gelineau, Boston Bruins
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Charlie Rayner, New York Rangers
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Edgar Laprade, New York Rangers
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender of team with best goals against average)
Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens

All-Star teams

First Team  Position  Second Team
Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens G Chuck Rayner, New York Rangers
Gus Mortson, Toronto Maple Leafs D Leo Reise, Detroit Red Wings
Ken Reardon, Montreal Canadiens D Red Kelly, Detroit Red Wings
Sid Abel, Detroit Red Wings C Ted Kennedy, Toronto Maple Leafs
Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens RW Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Ted Lindsay, Detroit Red Wings LW Tony Leswick, New York Rangers

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

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

Ted LindsayDetroit Red Wings69235578141
Sid AbelDetroit Red Wings6934356946
Gordie HoweDetroit Red Wings7035336869
Maurice RichardMontreal Canadiens70432265114
Paul RontyBoston Bruins702336598
Roy ConacherChicago Black Hawks7025315616
Doug BentleyChicago Black Hawks6420335328
Johnny PeirsonBoston Bruins5727255249
Metro PrystaiChicago Black Hawks6529225131
Bep GuidolinChicago Black Hawks7017345142

Source: NHL[3]

Leading goaltenders

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

Player Team GP Mins GA GAA W L T SO
Bill DurnanMontreal Canadiens6438401412.202621178
Harry LumleyDetroit Red Wings6337801482.353316147
Turk BrodaToronto Maple Leafs6840401672.483025129
Chuck RaynerNew York Rangers6941401812.622830116
Jack GelineauBoston Bruins6740202203.282230153
Frank BrimsekChicago Black Hawks7042002443.492238105



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1949–50 (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 1949–50 (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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