1963–64 NHL season: Wikis


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The 1963–64 NHL season was the 47th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs won their third consecutive Stanley Cup by defeating the Detroit Red Wings four games to three in the final series.

A big trade took place in June with the New York Rangers trading Gump Worsley, Dave Balon, Len Ronson and Leon Rochefort to the Montreal Canadiens for Jacques Plante, Don Marshall and Phil Goyette.

The governors noted with profound regret the death of William Northey, who died on August 9 at 92. It was decided to establish a memorial for his favorite charity, Montreal Children's Hospital.

It was announced that Ron Andrews would replace Ken McKenzie as the NHL's director of publicity.


Regular season

Jacques Plante made his debut as a Ranger on October 9 in Chicago and it was a rough game for him, losing 3–1 and being cut by an elbow of Johnny McKenzie.

Gordie Howe scored two goals in Detroit's opener as the Red Wings beat Chicago 5–3. Howe was now only two goals shy of Maurice Richard's all-time career goal scoring record.

Montreal handed the Rangers a 6–2 pasting in their opener at the Forum. The fans both cheered and jeered Jacques Plante, now a Ranger.

Montreal defeated Detroit 6–4 in Detroit, but the highlight of the game was Gordie Howe scoring his 544th goal to tie Maurice Richard and he drew a five minute ovation. Worsley was the victim of the goal.

Toronto defeated Montreal 6–3 at the Forum on October 30 in a penalty-filled game. The main event was put on by Terry Harper and Bob Pulford who drew majors. Gump Worsley badly pulled his hamstring and would be replaced by Charlie Hodge for the season. On November 8, 1963, Maple Leaf Gardens would be the first arena in the NHL to have separate penalty boxes. [1]

The Detroit Red Wings blanked the Montreal Canadiens 3–0 on November 10. While the Wings were a man short, Gordie Howe scored on Charlie Hodge for his 545th career goal, breaking Maurice Richard's record. Yet another record was tied by Terry Sawchuk when he recorded his 94th career NHL shutout, tying him with George Hainsworth as the all-time NHL shutout leader.

Chicago defeated Toronto 2–0 on November 28, and Johnny McKenzie was severely injured when sandwiched by Bobby Baun and Carl Brewer. He was taken to hospital and an operation was performed on his spleen.

There was a lengthy delay in the start of a game between Detroit and Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens on November 30, while the ice surface was repaired. A rodeo had been held and the cleaning job took longer than expected. Despite a terrible ice surface, a ragged game was played that ended in a 1–1 tie. Roger Crozier was hit with a slap shot by Frank Mahovlich but returned after a ten minute rest. The plucky goalkeeper had sustained a double fracture of the cheekbone and was unable to play the next night. The game was delayed for 20 minutes while Hank Bassen was located to replace Crozier. Toronto won the game 4–1.

Toronto blanked Chicago 3–0 on December 7 in a wild brawl. Three minutes before the end of the game, Reg Fleming speared Eddie Shack, and after the Chicago player entered the penalty box, Bobby Baun decided to drag him out. Both benches emptied and a free-for-all started, and seven major penalties, six misconducts, three game misconducts and $25 fines were assessed against 22 players who left the benches. The game was completed with each team two men short. NHL president Clarence Campbell fined coaches Billy Reay and Punch Imlach $1000 for allowing their players to fight. Fleming was fined $200, Baun $150, Larry Hillman $150, Murray Balfour $100, and Carl Brewer $50. The 22 players that left the bench were fined $100 each.

Johnny Bower got his third consecutive shutout on January 4, with a 3–0 win over Chicago. Mahovlich scored two goals in the win. During the game, the Black Hawks got a bench penalty and Reg Fleming was chosen to serve it. Fleming mocked referee Vern Buffey by applauding which led to a misconduct penalty, after which Fleming bumped Buffey and was given a game misconduct.

On January 18, Terry Sawchuk broke George Hainsworth's record of career NHL shutouts with his 95th in a 2–0 win over Montreal. Hainsworth still held the major league record with 104, 10 in the Western Hockey League. That same night, Boston, the laughing stock of the league, had some laughs of their own when they walked right into Toronto and clobbered the Leafs 11–0, Andy Hebenton and Dean Prentice each scoring hat tricks. Next, the Bruins walked right into the Forum in Montreal on January 25 and whitewashed the Canadiens 6–0, and then shut out Toronto 2–0 the next night.

On February 1, Bobby Rousseau joined the elite who have scored five goals in a game when he scored five against Detroit in a 9–3 trouncing of Detroit.

On February 5, the Rangers had a 2–1 lead late in the third period when Andy Hebenton and Orland Kurtenbach scored 27 seconds of each other to give the Bruins a 3–2 win.

A trade that was rumoured most of the season finally took place when the New York Rangers traded Andy Bathgate and Don McKenney to Toronto in exchange for Dick Duff, Bob Nevin, Arnie Brown, Bill Collins and Rod Seiling. Ranger fans did not like the deal and in the next game chants of "Muzz must go!" were heard (referring to Muzz Patrick, Rangers' general manager).

Wildor Larochelle, a former Canadiens player of the early 1930s, died on March 23 at age 58.


Final standings

National Hockey League
Montreal Canadiens 70 36 21 13 209 167 982 85
Chicago Black Hawks 70 36 22 12 218 169 1116 84
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 33 25 12 192 172 928 78
Detroit Red Wings 70 30 29 11 191 204 771 71
New York Rangers 70 22 38 10 186 242 715 54
Boston Bruins 70 18 40 12 170 212 858 48


Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Teams that qualified for playoffs are highlighted 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
Stan Mikita Chicago Black Hawks 70 39 50 89 146
Bobby Hull Chicago Black Hawks 70 43 44 87 50
Jean Beliveau Montreal Canadiens 68 28 50 78 42
Andy Bathgate New York Rangers / Toronto Maple Leafs 71 19 58 77 34
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 69 26 47 73 70
Ken Wharram Chicago Black Hawks 70 39 32 71 18
Murray Oliver Boston Bruins 70 24 44 68 41
Phil Goyette New York Rangers 67 24 41 65 15
Rod Gilbert New York Rangers 70 24 40 64 62
Dave Keon Toronto Maple Leafs 70 23 37 60 6

Leading goaltenders


This playoffs saw the exact same match-ups as the previous season with the two Canadian teams, Toronto and Montreal, and the two American teams, Detroit and Chicago, matching up. As with last season, the Maple Leafs ousted the Canadiens, but it was the Red Wings over the Black Hawks this time. For the first time since the league began using the best-of-seven playoff format in 1939, all three series went the full seven games.

Playoff bracket

  Semi-finals Stanley Cup Final
1  Montreal Canadiens 3  
3  Toronto Maple Leafs 4  
    3  Toronto Maple Leafs 4
  4  Detroit Red Wings 3
2  Chicago Black Hawks 3
4  Detroit Red Wings 4  

Stanley Cup finals

The 1964 Stanley Cup finals between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings were an exciting series -- probably one of the most exciting and memorable ones ever. Toronto won the first game by one goal, 3–2, and the second game was won by Detroit by one goal in overtime. The third game saw Detroit win, again by one goal, and take a two games to one series lead. The Leafs came back in game four with a 4–2 victory to tie the series. But game five was won, again by one goal, by Detroit giving the Wings a three games to two lead. Game six saw the second overtime of the series, but before the game went into overtime, Toronto defenceman Bobby Baun stopped a hard shot and was taken off the ice with a broken ankle. He later returned to the game in overtime, with the broken ankle, and scored the game winning goal. After six close games, game seven was anticlimactic as Toronto handily won 4–0 for the Stanley Cup, their third in a row.

NHL awards

1963–64 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
Art Ross Trophy: Stan Mikita
Calder Memorial Trophy: Jacques Laperriere
Hart Memorial Trophy: Jean Beliveau
James Norris Memorial Trophy: Pierre Pilote
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Ken Wharram
Vezina Trophy: Charlie Hodge

All-Star teams

First team   Position   Second team
Glenn Hall, Chicago Black Hawks G Charlie Hodge, Montreal Canadiens
Pierre Pilote, Chicago Black Hawks D Moose Vasko, Chicago Black Hawks
Tim Horton, Toronto Maple Leafs D Jacques Laperriere, Montreal Canadiens
Stan Mikita, Chicago Black Hawks C Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
Kenny Wharram, Chicago Black Hawks RW Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks LW Frank Mahovlich, Toronto Maple Leafs


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1963–64 (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 1963–64 (listed with their last team):

See also


  1. ^ Hockey’s Book of Firsts, p.72, James Duplacey, JG Press, ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9
  2. ^ National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p.161, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5


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