The 1926-27 NHL season was the tenth season of the National Hockey League. Ten teams played 44 games each. The success of the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Pirates led the NHL to further expand to the United States. On May 4, 1926, the Western Hockey League, unable to match the higher salaries being offered by the NHL, folded, with many of its assets sold to the NHL. In particular, the NHL Board of Governors had purchased the contracts of every player in the WHL for $258,000. The entire rosters of two WHL teams, the Portland Rosebuds and Victoria Cougars, were bought, respectively, by the expansion Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars. The league also added the New York Rangers to the fold. This left the NHL in sole possession of hockey's greatest players, as well as sole control of hockey's greatest trophy, the Stanley Cup, which was won by the Ottawa Senators.
A new trophy in memory of Georges Vezina, the Vezina Trophy, was donated this year by Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau and Joseph Cattarinich for the first time to the goaltender who had the best goals against average in the league.
At the September 25, 1926 NHL meeting, Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars were added to the league. Chicago would buy out the players of the WHL's Portland Rosebuds, and Detroit bought the players of the Victoria Cougars. Frederic McLaughlin was the new governor for Chicago, and Charles A. Hughes for Detroit.
Toronto bought the players of the Saskatoon franchise; and Montreal claimed George Hainsworth. The rest of the WHL players would be distributed by a committee of Frank Calder, Leo Dandurand and James Strachan.
A special meeting was held on October 26 at which the NHL was split into the Canadian and American divisions (although the New York Americans were placed in the Canadian Division), along with an altered playoff format: the top team from each division would meet the winner of a total-goals series between the second and third place teams from their divisions. The winners of those total-goals series would meet in a best-of-five Stanley Cup Finals.
The blue lines moved to sixty feet from the goal line from twenty feet from the centre red line to increase the size of the neutral zone.
The Montreal Canadiens, last place finishers in 1925-26, solved their goaltending woes by signing George Hainsworth, whom Georges Vezina had designated to be his successor. They further strengthened their team by signing Herb Gardiner for defence. The Canadiens finished second in the Canadian Division to powerful Ottawa, who was the league's best team.
Dave Gill, secretary-treasurer (general manager), decided to take over as coach of the Ottawa Senators. He would be assisted by Frank Shaughnessy, a former coach of the old NHA Senators, to assist him with the strategy used in games. Ottawa finished first atop the Canadian Division as a result.
During the season, the Toronto St. Patricks were bought by Conn Smythe and renamed the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, the team was under contract to use the name St.Patricks for the 1926-27 season, and the league ruled that the team had to fulfill its contract. They became the Maple Leafs the following season.
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF= Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Note: Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold
|New York Americans||44||17||25||2||36||82||91||349|
|Toronto St. Patricks||44||15||24||5||35||79||94||546|
|New York Rangers||44||25||13||6||56||95||72||385|
|Chicago Black Hawks||44||19||22||3||41||115||116||448|
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points
|Bill Cook||New York Rangers||44||33||4||37|
|Dick Irvin||Chicago Black Hawks||43||18||18||36|
|Howie Morenz||Montreal Canadiens||44||25||7||32|
|Frank Fredrickson||Detroit Cougars / Boston Bruins||44||18||13||31|
|Babe Dye||Chicago Black Hawks||41||25||5||30|
|Ace Bailey||Toronto St. Patricks||42||15||13||28|
|Frank Boucher||New York Rangers||44||13||15||28|
|Billy Burch||New York Americans||43||19||8||27|
|Harry Oliver||Boston Bruins||42||18||6||24|
|Duke Keats||Boston / Detroit Cougars||42||16||8||24|
Note: GP = Games played; MIN = Minutes played; GA = Goals against; SO = Shut outs; AVG = Goals against average
|Clint Benedict||Montreal Maroons||43||2748||65||13||1.42|
|Lorne Chabot||New York Rangers||36||2307||56||10||1.46|
|George Hainsworth||Montreal Canadiens||44||2732||67||14||1.47|
|Alex Connell||Ottawa Senators||44||2782||69||13||1.49|
|Hal Winkler||New York Rangers / Boston Bruins||31||1959||56||6||1.72|
|Jake Forbes||New York Americans||44||2715||91||8||2.01|
|John Ross Roach||Toronto St. Patricks||44||2764||94||4||2.04|
|Hap Holmes||Detroit Cougars||41||2685||100||6||2.23|
|Roy Worters||Pittsburgh Pirates||44||2711||108||4||2.39|
|Hugh Lehman||Chicago Black Hawks||44||2797||116||5||2.49|
With the collapse of the Western Hockey League, the Stanley Cup became the new NHL champion trophy. The NHL teams now battled out amongst themselves for the coveted Cup. The new division alignment and the new playoff format also meant that an American team was guaranteed to be the first American NHL team to make the Cup Finals.
|A1||New York Rangers||1G|
All dates in 1927
Montreal Canadiens vs. Montreal Maroons
|March 29||Montreal Canadiens||1||Montreal Maroons||1|
|March 31||Montreal Maroons||0||Montreal Canadiens||1||(OT)|
Montreal Canadiens win total-goals series 2-1
Boston Bruins vs. Chicago Black Hawks
|March 29||Boston Bruins||6||Chicago Black Hawks||1||Played in New York|
|March 31||Chicago Black Hawks||4||Boston Bruins||4|
Boston wins total-goals series 10 goals to 5
Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens
|April 2||Ottawa Senators||4||Montreal Canadiens||0|
|April 4||Montreal Canadiens||1||Ottawa Senators||1|
Ottawa wins total-goals series 5-1
New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins
|April 2||New York Rangers||0||Boston Bruins||0|
|April 4||Boston Bruins||3||New York Rangers||1|
Boston wins total-goals series 3-1
Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators
|April 7||Ottawa Senators||0||Boston Bruins||0||(OT)|
|April 9||Ottawa Senators||3||Boston Bruins||1|
|April 11||Boston Bruins||1||Ottawa Senators||1||(OT)|
|April 13||Boston Bruins||1||Ottawa Senators||3|
Ottawa wins best-of-five series 2-0-2
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points
|Harry Oliver||Boston Bruins||8||4||2||6|
|Percy Galbraith||Boston Bruins||8||3||3||6|
|1926-27 NHL awards|
|Prince of Wales Trophy:||Ottawa Senators|
|Hart Memorial Trophy:||Herb Gardiner, Montreal Canadiens|
|Lady Byng Trophy:||Billy Burch, New York Americans|
|Vezina Trophy:||George Hainsworth, Montreal Canadiens|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1926-27 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1926-27 (listed with their last team):
|National Hockey League (2007-08)|
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|New Jersey Devils||Boston Bruins||Atlanta Thrashers||Chicago Blackhawks||Calgary Flames||Anaheim Ducks|
|New York Islanders||Buffalo Sabres||Carolina Hurricanes||Columbus Blue Jackets||Colorado Avalanche||Dallas Stars|
|New York Rangers||Montreal Canadiens||Florida Panthers||Detroit Red Wings||Edmonton Oilers||Los Angeles Kings|
|Philadelphia Flyers||Ottawa Senators||Tampa Bay Lightning||Nashville Predators||Minnesota Wild||Phoenix Coyotes|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||Toronto Maple Leafs||Washington Capitals||St. Louis Blues||Vancouver Canucks||San Jose Sharks|
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