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1965–66 NHL season

1965–66 NHL season

The 1965–66 NHL season was the 49th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Montreal Canadiens won their second consecutive Stanley Cup as they defeated the Detroit Red Wings four games to two in the final series.

1965–66 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 23, 1965 – May 5, 1966
Number of games70
Number of teams6
Top draft pickAndre Veilleux
Picked byNew York Rangers
Regular season
Season championMontreal Canadiens
Season MVPBobby Hull (Black Hawks)
Top scorerBobby Hull (Black Hawks)
Playoffs MVPRoger Crozier (Red Wings)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsMontreal Canadiens
  Runners-upDetroit Red Wings

League business

A new trophy was introduced for this season. Jack Adams won the first Lester Patrick Trophy for his contribution to hockey in the United States.

February saw the momentous announcement that six conditional franchises had been awarded to Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, all to begin play in 1967. The St. Louis franchise was surprising, as no formal application from the city had been tendered. It was awarded to fulfill the wishes of James D. Norris and Arthur Wirtz, owners of the Chicago Black Hawks, who also owned the St. Louis Arena, which they wanted to sell.

On the debit side, a strong bid from Vancouver was rejected, much to the anger of many Canadians and the protest of their Prime Minister Lester Pearson. A rumor was widely spread — fuelled by a corroborating statement from Leafs' general manager Punch Imlach that the Toronto and Montreal owners had vetoed the bid out of a dislike for sharing the proceeds from television broadcasts of the games. Vancouver would eventually get an NHL franchise in 1970.

Rule changes

The only significant rule change for this season was a requirement that the teams suit up two goaltenders for each game.[1]

Regular season

Among notable players to debut during this season were Ed Giacomin for the Rangers, Bill Goldsworthy for the Bruins, Ken Hodge for Chicago and Mike Walton for Toronto. In the meantime, however, the career of future Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay was over, as his request for reinstatement as an active player was vetoed by the Toronto ownership.

Gordie Howe scored his 600th NHL goal in Montreal on November 27 in a 3–2 loss to the Canadiens to the cheers of the local fans. Among lesser milestones in the season were Frank Mahovlich's 250th goal and Johnny Bucyk's and Claude Provost's 200th.

In an unusual incident, the Red Wings' jerseys were stolen from the visitors' dressing room in Montreal the night before a January game, and Detroit was compelled to play in the uniforms of their junior farm team in Hamilton, which were express shipped to Montreal in time for the match.

James D. Norris, owner of the Chicago Black Hawks, died of a heart attack in late February.

Final standings

National Hockey League[[CITE|2|http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?season=19651966&type=DIV]]
1Montreal Canadiens7041218239173+6690
2Chicago Black Hawks7037258240187+5382
3Toronto Maple Leafs70342511208187+2179
4Detroit Red Wings70312712221194+2774
5Boston Bruins7021436174275−10148
6New York Rangers70184111195261−6647


Playoff bracket

SemifinalsStanley Cup Finals


The second game of the semifinal series between Detroit and Chicago on April 10, was nationally televised in the United States.[3]

For the fourth straight year, it was Montreal vs. Toronto and Detroit vs. Chicago in the first round. The Canadiens were victorious over the Leafs in four straight games, while the Wings beat the Hawks in six.

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

Montreal won series 4–0

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

Chicago held a record of 11–1–2 versus Detroit in the regular season.

Detroit won series 4–2

Stanley Cup Finals

Behind the skilled goaltending of Roger Crozier, who had missed parts of the regular season with illness, the Red Wings won the first two games of the Finals. However, Crozier was injured in the fourth game and the Canadiens won the Cup four games to two. Roger Crozier won the Conn Smythe Trophy as a member of the losing team.

Montreal won series 4–2


Bobby Hull set a new record for goals in a season with 54 and a new record for points in a season with 97, earning him the Art Ross Trophy and his second straight Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player. No left-winger would pace the NHL in points again until Alexander Ovechkin in 2007–08. Jacques Laperrière of Montreal won the Norris Trophy as best defenceman.

1965–66 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Brit Selby, Toronto Maple Leafs
Conn Smythe Trophy:
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
Roger Crozier, Detroit Red Wings
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player, season)
Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Jacques Laperriere, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Alex Delvecchio, Detroit Red Wings
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender(s) of team with the best goals-against average)
Gump Worsley & Charlie Hodge, Montreal Canadiens
Lester Patrick Trophy:
(Outstanding service to U.S. hockey)
J. J. "Jack" Adams

All-Star teams

First team  Position  Second team
Glenn Hall, Chicago Black HawksGGump Worsley, Montreal Canadiens
Jacques Laperriere, Montreal CanadiensDAllan Stanley, Toronto Maple Leafs
Pierre Pilote, Chicago Black HawksDPat Stapleton, Chicago Black Hawks
Stan Mikita, Chicago Black HawksCJean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red WingsRWBobby Rousseau, Montreal Canadiens
Bobby Hull, Chicago Black HawksLWFrank Mahovlich, Toronto Maple Leafs

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

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

Bobby HullChicago Black Hawks6554439770
Stan MikitaChicago Black Hawks6830487856
Bobby RousseauMontreal Canadiens7030487820
Jean BeliveauMontreal Canadiens6729487750
Gordie HoweDetroit Red Wings7029467583
Norm UllmanDetroit Red Wings7031417235
Alex DelvecchioDetroit Red Wings7031386916
Bob NevinNew York Rangers6929336210
Henri RichardMontreal Canadiens6222396147
Murray OliverBoston Bruins7018426030

Source: NHL.[4]

Leading goaltenders

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

Johnny BowerToronto Maple Leafs351998752.25181053
Lorne WorsleyMontreal Canadiens5128991142.36291462
Charlie HodgeMontreal Canadiens261301562.5812721
Glenn HallChicago Black Hawks6437471642.63342174
Roger CrozierDetroit Red Wings6437341732.782724127
Dave DrydenChicago Black Hawks11453233.053410
Terry SawchukToronto Maple Leafs271521803.16101131
Cesare ManiagoN.Y. Rangers281613943.5091632
Ed GiacominN.Y. Rangers3620961283.6681970
Bernie ParentBoston Bruins3920831283.69112031
Eddie JohnstonBoston Bruins3317441083.72101921


  • Boston Bruins: Milt Schmidt

  • Chicago Black Hawks: Billy Reay

  • Detroit Red Wings: Sid Abel

  • Montreal Canadiens: Toe Blake

  • New York Rangers: Emile Francis

  • Toronto Maple Leafs: Punch Imlach


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1965–66 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

  • J. P. Parise, Boston Bruins

  • Derek Sanderson, Boston Bruins

  • Bernie Parent, Boston Bruins

  • Barry Ashbee, Boston Bruins

  • Pete Mahovlich, Detroit Red Wings

  • Danny Grant, Montreal Canadiens

  • Ed Giacomin, New York Rangers

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1965–66 (listed with their last team):

  • Bill Gadsby, Detroit Red Wings

See also

  • List of Stanley Cup champions

  • 1965 NHL Amateur Draft

  • National Hockey League All-Star Game

  • 1965 in sports

  • 1966 in sports


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