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1924–25 NHL season

1924–25 NHL season

The 1924–25 NHL season was the eighth season of the National Hockey League. The NHL added two teams this season, a second team in Montreal, the Montreal Maroons and the first U.S. team, the Boston Bruins. Six teams each played 30 games.

The NHL regular-season champion Hamilton Tigers did not participate in the playoffs, as their players demanded to their owner, Percy Thompson, that they would not participate in the NHL championship series unless they received an additional $200 each for the extra six games played that year. Under their contracts, the Tigers players were to receive the same amount of money no matter how many games they played from December 1, 1924, to March 31, 1925 (even though the season started on November 29, 1924). NHL President Frank Calder was not amused, stating that the players would be fined or suspended if they did not play in the final series, but the players stated that they would rather retire than advantage be taken of them. The day of the final game of the Semi-Final, Tiger Shorty Green met with Calder to try to reach an agreement, but to no avail. The players were all suspended and fined $200 each, therefore eliminating themselves from the playoffs.

Because of the suspension, the semi-final playoff series between Montreal and Toronto became the NHL championship series. The Montreal Canadiens won the series and faced off against the Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) for the Stanley Cup. Victoria won the series, the last non-NHL team to win the Cup.

1924–25 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationNovember 29, 1924 – March 13, 1925
Number of games30
Number of teams6
Regular season
Season championsHamilton Tigers
Top scorerBabe Dye (St. Patricks)
O'Brien Cup
ChampionsMontreal Canadiens
  Runners-upToronto St. Patricks

League business

Prior to the start of this hockey season, the Pacific Coast Hockey Association folded and two of its teams, the Vancouver Maroons and Victoria Cougars, joined the Western Canada Hockey League. This meant that after three seasons of having three leagues compete for the Stanley Cup, there were once again only two.

At the November 1924 NHL meeting, the NHL approved two new franchises, including its first franchise in the United States of America. Charles Adams of Boston was granted a franchise. The NHL also granted a second franchise for Montreal to James Strachan and Donat Raymond. Applications from New York City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were shelved.[1]

A new trophy was added for the 1924–25 NHL season. The original Lady Byng Trophy was donated by Lady Byng, wife of Governor General Viscount Byng of Vimy, to be handed out to the player who showed the best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with performance in play. She presented it to Frank Nighbor of the Ottawa Senators.

Regular season

This was the first season for the Montreal Maroons and Boston Bruins, the Bruins becoming the first American NHL team. It was also the last season for the Hamilton Tigers, which would dissolve at season's end. The number of games played per team was increased from 24 to 30.

A new arena, the Montreal Forum, was built to house the Maroons. However, the Montreal Canadiens played in it first. Because the Canadiens' home rink, Mount Royal Arena, couldn't produce ice, the November 29th home opener against the Toronto St. Patricks was moved to the Forum. The Canadiens beat the St. Patricks 7–1, before 9,000 fans. A NHL attendance record of 11,000 was set on December 27, when the Maroons hosted the Canadiens.[2]

The Maroons leaned on two former Ottawa Senators, Punch Broadbent and Clint Benedict they picked up from Ottawa before the season but still managed only fifth place. Broadbent scored a pair of goals in the Maroons' first ever victory, a 3–1 victory over Ottawa at the Forum in Montreal. Broadbent scored five goals in a game on January 7 as Montreal defeated the Tigers 6–2 in the Abso-Pure rink in Hamilton.[3]

On December 17, goaltenders Jake Forbes of Hamilton and Alex Connell of Ottawa engaged in the first ever scoreless tie in a regular season game in NHL history.

Just before the end of the season, the Bruins, which finished in last place, had a modest winning streak. First, they beat the Montreal Canadiens 3–2 March 3. Normand Shay scored the winning goal on a two on one break at 16:39 of the third period as Jimmy Herbert shot and then Shay pounced on the rebound and put it by Georges Vezina. The game was rough and referee Jerry Laflamme meted out quite a few penalties, including four minors to Lionel Hitchman of Boston. Howie Morenz starred in a losing cause with two goals. The Bruins then defeated the league-leading Hamilton Tigers 2–0 in their next game as Doc Stewart played well in goal.

Final standings

National Hockey League
Hamilton Tigers3019101906039
Toronto St. Patricks3019110908438
Montreal Canadiens3017112935636
Ottawa Senators3017121836635
Montreal Maroons309192456520
Boston Bruins3062404911912

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points       Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.


With an increase in the number of NHL teams, the NHL changed its playoff format by having the second and third place teams play a two-game total goals series to see who played the number one seed for the NHL championship. The NHL champion would go on to play the winner of the Western Canada Hockey League for the Stanley Cup. As it happened, the Tigers, the first-place team went on strike, and the winner of the series between the second and third place teams, Montreal, became the NHL champion and played for the Cup.

NHL Championship

The third seed Montreal Canadiens played against the second seed Toronto St. Patricks in a total goals series. The winner of that series was to go on and play the first seed team, the Hamilton Tigers. But it was not to happen that way. During the total goals series, the Hamilton players demanded $200 each for the extra six games played during the regular season and the league threatened to suspend the players and the team. Last-ditch efforts to reach a compromise failed and the Tigers were suspended. It was suggested that the Ottawa Senators be included in the playoffs, but Charlie Querrie and Leo Dandurand cited a fourth-place finish didn't qualify Ottawa a playoff berth and it was decided that Montreal and Toronto played for the league title. NHL president Frank Calder announced that the Canadiens played home games at the Forum, but Leo Dandurand said that they would be played at Mount Royal Arena unless it were necessary to move to the Forum, citing home games were home games, and the Canadiens played better in front of their own fans. Calder backed down from his stand. Montreal won the series against Toronto and earned the right to play for the Stanley Cup.

Montreal won the series on total goals 5-2

Stanley Cup Finals

In the Western Canada Hockey League, the third place Victoria Cougars won its league championship faced the Montreal Canadiens for the Stanley Cup. The series was played in Patrick Arena in Victoria, except for game two, which was played at Denman Arena in Vancouver to gather greater fan support and more income. Victoria beat Montreal three games to one, out-scoring the Canadiens 16 to 8. Victoria was the first (and only to date) non-NHL team to win the Stanley Cup since the NHL's founding.

Victoria won the series 3-1

NHL Playoff scoring leader

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Howie MorenzMontreal Canadiens6718


The NHL introduced its second individual award, the Lady Byng Trophy, named after its donor, Lady Byng, wife of Canada's Governor-General. It is awarded to Frank Nighbor for excellence, gentlemanly play and sportsmanship.

1924–25 NHL awards
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Billy Burch, Hamilton Tigers
Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Frank Nighbor, Ottawa Senators
O'Brien Cup:
(League champions)
Montreal Canadiens
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(League champions)
Montreal Canadiens

Note: The Prince of Wales Trophy was not in use during this season. The Canadiens were engraved onto the Trophy in 1925–26.[5]

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Babe DyeToronto St. Patricks2938644
Cy DennenyOttawa Senators28271542
Aurèle JoliatMontreal Canadiens24291140
Howie MorenzMontreal Canadiens3027734
Billy BoucherMontreal Canadiens30181331
Jack AdamsToronto St. Patricks2721829
Billy BurchHamilton Tigers2720424
Red GreenHamilton Tigers3019423
Jimmy HerbertBoston Bruins3017522
Hap DayToronto St. Patricks26101222

Source: NHL.[6]

Leading goaltenders

GP = Games Played, GA = Goals Against, SO = Shutouts, GAA = Goals Against Average

Georges VezinaMontreal Canadiens305651.81
Jake ForbesHamilton Tigers306061.96
Clint BenedictMontreal Maroons306522.12
Alec ConnellOttawa Senators306672.14
John Ross RoachToronto St. Patricks308412.80
Charles StewartBoston Bruins216523.08
Howie LockhartBoston Bruins21105.50
Norman FowlerBoston Bruins74306.16


  • Boston Bruins: Art Ross

  • Hamilton Tigers: Jimmy Gardner

  • Montreal Canadiens: Leo Dandurand

  • Montreal Maroons: Cecil Hart

  • Ottawa Senators: Pete Green

  • Toronto St. Patricks: Eddie Powers


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1924–25 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

  • Alex Connell, Ottawa Senators

  • Carson Cooper, Boston Bruins

  • Hap Day, Toronto St. Patricks

  • Charles Dinsmore, Montreal Maroons

  • Jimmy Herbert, Boston Bruins

  • Bert McCaffrey, Toronto St. Patricks

  • Alex Smith, Ottawa Senators

  • Hooley Smith, Ottawa Senators

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1924–25 (listed with their last team):

Free agency

October 31, 1924Hooley SmithOttawa Senators
November 18, 1924Alex ConnellOttawa Senators
December 9, 1924Hap DayToronto St. Patricks


October 20, 1924To Montreal Maroons
Clint Benedict
Punch Broadbent
To Ottawa Senators
December 8, 1924To Boston Bruins
Ernie Parkes
To Toronto St. Patricks
December 9, 1924To Montreal Maroons
Reg Noble
To Toronto St. Patricks
cash ($8,000)
December 14, 1924To Boston Bruins
Billy Stuart
To Toronto St. Patricks
December 19, 1924To Boston Bruins
George Carroll
To Montreal Maroons
Rights to Ernie Parkes
December 24, 1924To Hamilton Tigers
Rights to Charlie Cotch
To Montreal Canadiens
January 3, 1925To Boston Bruins
Bobby Benson
Bernie Morris
To Montreal Maroons
Alf Skinner
January 10, 1925To Boston Bruins
Lionel Hitchman
To Ottawa Senators

See also

  • List of Stanley Cup champions

  • 1924–25 WCHL season


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