1957–58 NHL season: Wikis


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The 1957–58 NHL season was the 41st season of the National Hockey League. Six teams played 70 games apiece. The Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Boston Bruins four games to two in the best-of-seven final series.


League business

It was announced in September that Senator Hartland Molson had purchased 60% stock from the Canadian Arena Company and the Montreal Canadiens from Senator Donat Raymond.

Organization of Players' Association

Doug Harvey and Ted Lindsay formed the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), a players' labour association, and sued the NHL over the issue of player pensions. Lindsay lost his captaincy of the Detroit Red Wings and was traded to Chicago because of his efforts.

After the NHL declined to negotiate with the players over benefits and would not open the books on the pension plan, the player's association filed an anti-trust lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged the monopolization of the professional hockey industry since 1926. At this time, the Toronto Maple Leafs players voted unanimuously to certify the union.

The NHL started to fight back. First, they traded Lindsay to Chicago to separate him from the Red Wings, who the NHLPA had targeted for a union vote. Next, Jack Adams spread false stories in the press alleging various slanders had been made by Lindsay against the Red Wings players, and produced a fake contract to the press showing an over-inflated salary value for Lindsay, greater than Gordie Howe. The ruse worked and the Red Wings players voted to dis-associate themselves from the organizing.[1]

Despite this, the anti-trust lawsuit placed the NHLPA in a strong position. In an out-of-court settlement on February 5, 1958, the NHL promised:[2]

  • a $7000 minimum wage,
  • an increase in pension benefits,
  • increased hospitalization benefits,
  • a limit on the number of exhibition games,
  • the player shall be the sole judge of his physical fitness to play after injury.

Regular season

This season saw the Montreal Canadiens regain first place overall, while the previous season's leader, the Detroit Red Wings, slipped to third. Montreal's Maurice "Rocket" Richard became the first NHL player to score 500 career goals, Jacques Plante won his third straight Vezina Trophy, and Doug Harvey his fourth straight Norris Trophy.

Glenn Hall, after two playoff years in which the Wings were eliminated, was traded along with Ted Lindsay to the sad-sack Chicago Black Hawks and Terry Sawchuk was brought back to Detroit in a very bad deal that saw Larry Hillman and Johnny Bucyk go to Boston. Chicago almost made the playoffs, and Hall's great goaltending, including 7 shutouts, one of which was in his debut with the Hawks, made him a contender for the Hart Memorial Trophy.

On October 19, 1957, Rocket Richard did what no other player had ever done before as yet. In a 3–1 win over Chicago, Richard scored his 500th career goal, against Glenn Hall. He immediately dedicated it to his old coach Dick Irvin. Irvin had died on May 15, 1957, after a long bout with bone cancer.

When Marcel Paille was brought up to the Rangers from Providence of the AHL for the ailing Gump Worsley, he sparkled, and Worsley was sent down to Providence. Then Paille went sour and Worsley was recalled. Worsley got hot and the Rangers started winning. Worsley had his finest campaign up to this point with a 2.32 goals-against average and 4 shutouts and the Rangers finished second — their highest finish since 1941–42.

Two contenders for the Calder Memorial Trophy, Chicago's Bobby Hull and the Toronto Maple Leafs' Frank Mahovlich, battled all season for rookie honours. Mahovlich prevailed and won the trophy, although the Maple Leafs finished last in the NHL.

This season also saw the first player of African descent play in the league. Willie O'Ree suited up with the Boston Bruins on January 18, 1958, in a game against the Canadiens in Montreal.

Final standings

National Hockey League
Montreal Canadiens 70 43 17 10 96 250 158
New York Rangers 70 32 25 13 77 195 188
Detroit Red Wings 70 29 29 12 70 176 207
Boston Bruins 70 27 28 15 69 199 194
Chicago Black Hawks 70 24 39 7 55 163 202
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 21 38 11 53 192 226


Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
Teams that qualify for the playoffs are indicated in bold.

Scoring leaders

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

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Dickie Moore Montreal Canadiens 70 36 48 84 65
Henri Richard Montreal Canadiens 67 28 52 80 56
Andy Bathgate New York Rangers 65 30 48 78 42
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 64 33 44 77 40
Bronco Horvath Boston Bruins 67 30 36 66 71
Ed Litzenberger Chicago Black Hawks 70 32 30 62 63
Fleming Mackell Boston Bruins 70 20 40 60 72
Jean Beliveau Montreal Canadiens 55 27 32 59 93
Alex Delvecchio Detroit Red Wings 70 21 38 59 22
Don McKenney Boston Bruins 70 28 30 58 22


Playoff bracket

  Semi-finals Stanley Cup Final
1  Montreal Canadiens 4  
3  Detroit Red Wings 0  
    1  Montreal Canadiens 4
  4  Boston Bruins 2
2  New York Rangers 2
4  Boston Bruins 4  


see 1958 Stanley Cup Finals

NHL awards

1957–58 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
Art Ross Trophy: Dickie Moore, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy: Frank Mahovlich, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hart Memorial Trophy: Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
James Norris Memorial Trophy: Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Camille Henry, New York Rangers
Vezina Trophy: Jacques Plante, Montreal Canadiens

All-Star teams

First team   Position   Second team
Glenn Hall, Chicago Black Hawks G Jacques Plante, Montreal Canadiens
Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens D Fern Flaman, Boston Bruins
Bill Gadsby, New York Rangers D Marcel Pronovost, Detroit Red Wings
Henri Richard, Montreal Canadiens C Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings RW Andy Bathgate, New York Rangers
Dickie Moore, Montreal Canadiens LW Camille Henry, New York Rangers


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1957–58 (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 1957–58 (listed with their last team):

See also


  1. ^ Cruise, pp. 78–112.
  2. ^ Coleman, pp. 334–335.
  3. ^ Standings: NHL Public Relations Department (2008). Dave McCarthy et al. ed. THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Official Guide & Record Book/2009. National Hockey League. p. 149. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0.  
  • Coleman, Charles (1969). Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol 2., 1947–1967.  
  • Cruise, David (1991). Net Worth: Exploding the Myths of Pro Hockey.  
  • Hockey Database
  • NHL.com

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