1962–63 NHL season

The 1962–63 NHL season was the 46th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs won their second Stanley Cup in a row as they defeated the Detroit Red Wings four games to one.

1962–63 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 10, 1962 – April 18, 1963
Number of games70
Number of teams6
Regular season
Season championToronto Maple Leafs
Season MVPGordie Howe (Red Wings)
Top scorerGordie Howe (Red Wings)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsToronto Maple Leafs
  Runners-upDetroit Red Wings

Regular season

Some diversionary news hit the sports pages the day of the All-Star Game when it was reported that Toronto had sold Frank Mahovlich to Chicago for $1 million and James D. Norris produced a cheque for the amount. On the advice of Conn Smythe, Leafs general manager and head coach Punch Imlach declined the deal, saying that a million dollars does not score goals, and Mahovlich would remain a Maple Leaf.

A serious incident took place on October 23 between the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Black Hawks. A vicious stick-swinging duel took place between Gilles Tremblay and Reg Fleming that was said to be the worst since the Bernie Geoffrion-Ron Murphy fight in 1953. Both players received match penalties and $100 fines. Tremblay emerged with a bad cut on his head that required many stitches. Montreal coach Toe Blake had some caustic remarks for Fleming when he was leaving the ice, which almost resulted in another fight. The Canadiens and Black Hawks played to a 4–4 tie. President Clarence Campbell suspended both Tremblay and Fleming for three games.

Glenn Hall's consecutive game streak came to an end on November 8 when he suffered a pinched nerve in his back and he was relieved by Denis DeJordy in the first period of a game in which Hall's Black Hawks tied Boston 3–3. DeJordy played well in the next game as the Black Hawks beat the Canadiens 3–1.

Chicago was improving and moved into a first-place tie with Detroit when they blanked Boston 5–0 on November 29. Stan Mikita scored two goals and Bobby Hull had one. The same night, the Rangers shut out the Red Wings 5–0 as Gump Worsley played a fine game. Worsley was unlucky in his next game, however, as Chicago beat the Rangers 5–1. Worsley badly injured his shoulder and had to be replaced by Marcel Pelletier. Gump went to the hospital where he would have his shoulder in traction for ten days.

Andy Hebenton had the hat trick on December 16 as the Rangers beat Detroit 5–2 at Madison Square Garden. The game was spoiled by a brawl, the chief participants being Dave Balon, Bill Gadsby, Doug Barkley and Terry Sawchuk. All were fined.

Andy Bathgate got both goals when the Rangers tied Montreal 2–2 at the Montreal Forum on January 5. This was the tenth consecutive game in which he had scored. The streak was terminated when Jacques Plante blanked the Rangers 6–0 in New York.

Jean Beliveau scored his 300th NHL goal on January 26 when the Rangers beat the Canadiens 4–2 at the Forum. Goals had not come very fast this year, and he hinted that this might be his last season. The writers did not take him seriously, however. The next night, the Canadiens beat the Black Hawks 3–1 at Chicago Stadium and Beliveau scored a spectacular goal, giving a beautiful exhibition of stick-handling.

Bernie Geoffrion and Don Marshall were back on January 31, but the Canadiens lost 6–3 to Toronto at the Forum. Coach Toe Blake was not pleased with the officiating and was quoted in a French newspaper that referee Eddie Powers handled the game as if he had bet on the outcome. This attracted the attention of NHL president Clarence Campbell, who said the matter would be investigated. Later, Blake was fined $200 by Campbell. Powers considered the fine inadequate and submitted his resignation as a referee. He cited Red Storey when Campbell would not support decisions he made. Powers then sued Blake for libel.

Bobby Hull scored all three goals as Chicago beat Boston 3–1 on February 17. On the same night, Montreal beat Detroit 6–1 and Howie Young established a penalty record when he high-sticked a Canadiens player and then commenced a tantrum, which drew him a minor, a major, a misconduct and a game misconduct totalling 27 minutes. His season total was now 208 minutes in penalties. NHL president Campbell then tacked on a three-game suspension.

Detroit ousted the Rangers from the playoffs on March 3 with a 3–2 win.

Bernie Geoffrion was in trouble for an incident during a game on March 5 in which Montreal beat Detroit 4–3. Referee Vern Buffey had given Jacques Plante a penalty for slashing Howie Young and then a bench penalty when the Canadiens protested. Geoffrion threw his stick at Buffey and his gloves as well. Geoffrion was given a match penalty and President Campbell assessed Geoffrion a five-game suspension.

The career of the Canadiens' Lou Fontinato came to a tragic end on March 9 when he tried to check Vic Hadfield and instead was thrown headlong into the boards by the Ranger player. Fontinato lay motionless on the ice for some time before being carried off the ice on a stretcher and taken to Montreal General Hospital where the diagnosis was a fractured neck, a crushed cervical vertebra. He gradually recovered from his paralyzed condition, but would never play hockey again. Jacques Laperriere replaced Fontinato on the Canadiens defence.

It was quite a race for playoff positions, as five points separated fourth and first. Gordie Howe led the Red Wings and the NHL as he won his sixth and last Art Ross Trophy and Hart Trophy.

Final standings

National Hockey League[1]
1Toronto Maple Leafs70352312221180+4182
2Chicago Black Hawks70322117194178+1681
3Montreal Canadiens70281923225183+4279
4Detroit Red Wings70322513200194+677
5New York Rangers70223612211233−2256
6Boston Bruins70143917198281−8345


Playoff bracket

Semifinals Stanley Cup Finals
1 Toronto 4
3 Montreal 1
1 Toronto 4
4 Detroit 1
2 Chicago 2
4 Detroit 4


(1) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (3) Montreal Canadiens

Toronto won series 4–1

(2) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (4) Detroit Red Wings

Detroit won series 4–2

Stanley Cup Finals

Toronto won series 4–1


1962–63 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Kent Douglas, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hart Memorial Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Pierre Pilote, Chicago Black Hawks
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Dave Keon, Toronto Maple Leafs
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender of team with the best goals-against average)
Glenn Hall, Chicago Black Hawks

All-Star teams

First team  Position  Second team
Glenn Hall, Chicago Black Hawks G Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings
Pierre Pilote, Chicago Black Hawks D Tim Horton, Toronto Maple Leafs
Carl Brewer, Toronto Maple Leafs D Moose Vasko, Chicago Black Hawks
Stan Mikita, Chicago Black Hawks C Henri Richard, Montreal Canadiens
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings RW Andy Bathgate, New York Rangers
Frank Mahovlich, Toronto Maple Leafs LW Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

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

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Gordie HoweDetroit Red Wings70384886100
Andy BathgateNew York Rangers7035468154
Stan MikitaChicago Black Hawks6531457669
Frank MahovlichToronto Maple Leafs6736377356
Henri RichardMontreal Canadiens6723507357
Jean BeliveauMontreal Canadiens6918496768
John BucykBoston Bruins6927396636
Alex DelvecchioDetroit Red Wings702044648
Bobby HullChicago Black Hawks6531316227
Murray OliverBoston Bruins6522406238


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
Jacques PlanteMontreal Canadiens5633201382.492214195
Don SimmonsToronto Maple Leafs281680702.5015851
Glenn HallChicago Black Hawks6639101662.523020155
Terry SawchukDetroit Red Wings4827811172.52211773
Johnny BowerToronto Maple Leafs4225201092.60201571
Hank BassenDetroit Red Wings16960523.256550
Gump WorsleyNew York Rangers6739802173.272234102
Bob PerreaultBoston Bruins221320823.7331271
Eddie JohnstonBoston Bruins5028801934.021127101



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1962–63 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games

The following is a list of players of note who played their last game in the NHL in 1962–63 (listed with their last team):

See also


  • Coleman, Charles L. (1976), Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol III, Sherbrooke, QC: Progressive Publications
  • 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. Kingston, NY: 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.
  • Dowbiggin, Bruce (2008), The Meaning Of Puck: How Hockey Explains Modern Canada, Toronto: Key Porter Books, ISBN 978-1-55470-041-7
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9.
  • Duplacey, James (2008), Hockey's Book of Firsts, North Dighton, MA: JG Press, ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9
  • 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 (1969), 50 Years Of Hockey, Winnipeg, MAN: Greywood Publishing, ASIN B000GW45S0
  • McFarlane, Brian (1973). The Story of the National Hockey League. New York, NY: Pagurian Press. ISBN 0-684-13424-1.
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