1923–24 NHL season

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1923–24 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration December 15, 1923 – March 11, 1924
Number of games 24
Number of teams 4
Regular season
Season champions Ottawa Senators
Season MVP Frank Nighbor (Senators)
Top scorer Cy Denneny (Senators)
O'Brien Cup
Champions Montreal Canadiens
  Runners-up Ottawa Senators
NHL seasons

The 1923–24 NHL season was the seventh season of the National Hockey League. Four teams each played 24 games. The league champions were the Montreal Canadiens, who defeated the first-place Ottawa Senators in the league playoff. The Canadiens then defeated the Calgary Tigers of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) and Vancouver Maroons of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) to win their second Stanley Cup championship.

League business[edit]

At the NHL meeting of February 9, 1924, the NHL discussed plans for expansion into the United States.[1] The same meeting saw the introduction of the new Hart Trophy, to be awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team.[2]

After the suspensions of their own players by the Canadiens, in 1922–23. the NHL decided to take a further role in discipline, as it redefined match fouls, changed fines and adds presidential review for possible further punishment.[3]

Regular season[edit]

A newcomer that would become the NHL's first drawing card, Howie Morenz, started his career with the Montreal Canadiens this year. Morenz scored the first goal of his career on December 27, 1923, in the inaugural NHL game at the new Ottawa Auditorium. It was the first of a career 270 goals.

The Hamilton Tigers added Billy Burch and the Green brothers, Shorty and Redvers (nicknamed Red) and now they had a team that could compete nicely with the rest of the league. On December 28, Shorty Green scored at 12:22 of overtime to give Hamilton its first ever road victory over the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa. However, the changes did not pay off this season. The Hamilton Tigers finished last for the fifth season in a row (counting one season as the Quebec Athletics).

The NHL held a mid-season meeting to consider Sprague Cleghorn's suspension. Ottawa claimed he was deliberately injuring opponents, citing a spearing incident against Cy Denneny. The league rejected the charges, and in a game against Ottawa shortly thereafter, Cleghorn charged Lionel Hitchman into the boards and earned a one-game suspension.[4]

A game between Ottawa and the Canadiens was postponed due to a bizarre incident near the end of the season. On their way to Montreal, the Ottawa's train got snowbound near Hawkesbury, Ontario. The team was stuck all night and so Cy Denneny decided to scrounge around for some food, and somehow fell down a well. He was not injured. The game was postponed until the next night and Georges Vezina shut out the Senators 3–0.

Final standings[edit]

National Hockey League
Ottawa Senators 24 16 8 0 32 74 54
Montreal Canadiens 24 13 11 0 26 59 48
Toronto St. Patricks 24 10 14 0 20 59 85
Hamilton Tigers 24 9 15 0 18 63 68

[5] 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.


This was the last season that three leagues competed for the Stanley Cup as, after the season, the PCHA folded. Two of its teams, the Vancouver Maroons and Victoria Cougars, joined the WCHL for the 1924–25 WCHL season.

NHL Championship[edit]

The Montreal Canadiens had finished second overall in the NHL regular season standings but in the playoffs, they would upset the first-place Ottawa Senators.

Montreal won the series on total goals 5-2

Stanley Cup playoffs[edit]

The second place Vancouver Maroons of the PCHA once again faced the first place Seattle Metropolitans and once again, Vancouver would come out on top winning the PCHA league championship. Meanwhile, in the Western Canada Hockey League, the Calgary Tigers won the regular season and the playoffs. The Canadiens owner, Leo Dandurand, wanted Calgary and Vancouver to face off against each other and then have the Canadiens play the winner for the Stanley Cup. Frank Patrick, the president of the PCHA, refused to go along with that idea.


Since Leo Dandurand's request to have Vancouver and Calgary face off first was denied, the first round match-up was the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Maroons. The Canadiens swept the best-of-three series two games to none. Game one was played under eastern rules. Game two was played under western rules.

Montreal won the series 2-0


After sweeping Vancouver, Montreal's next opponent was the Calgary Tigers. Montreal swept them too in a best-of-three series. Howie Morenz scored a hat trick in game one and another goal in the game two, which was transferred to Ottawa because of the slushy ice at Mount Royal Arena. Morenz was body-checked by Cully Wilson of Calgary and suffered a chipped collarbone. The Canadiens swept all three teams they faced during the playoffs en route to their first Stanley Cup since their 1916 Cup win as a member of the NHA.

Montreal won the series 2-0

Playoff scoring leader[edit]

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens 6 7 3 10


The league introduced its first individual award, the Hart Trophy, to the player judged to be "the most valuable player" to their team.[3]

1923–24 NHL awards
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Frank Nighbor, Ottawa Senators
O'Brien Cup:
(League champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(League champion)
Montreal Canadiens

Note: The Prince of Wales Trophy was not in existence yet in 1924. The 1923–24 Canadiens were engraved onto the trophy in 1925–26.[6]

Player statistics[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Cy Denneny Ottawa Senators 21 22 2 24
Billy Boucher Montreal Canadiens 23 16 6 22
Aurel Joliat Montreal Canadiens 24 15 5 20
Babe Dye Toronto St. Patricks 19 17 2 19
George Boucher Ottawa Senators 21 14 5 19
Billy Burch Hamilton Tigers 24 16 2 18
Jack Adams Toronto St. Patricks 22 13 3 16
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens 24 13 3 16
King Clancy Ottawa Senators 24 8 8 16
Reg Noble Toronto St. Patricks 23 12 3 14

Source: NHL.[7]

Leading goaltenders[edit]

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

Name Team GP Mins W L T GA SO GAA
Georges Vezina Montreal Canadiens 24 1459 13 11 0 48 3 1.97
Clint Benedict Ottawa Senators 22 1356 15 7 0 45 3 1.99
Jake Forbes Hamilton Tigers 24 1483 9 15 0 68 1 2.75
John Ross Roach Toronto St. Patricks 23 1380 10 13 0 80 1 3.48
Sammy Hebert Ottawa Senators 2 120 1 1 0 9 0 4.50

Source: NHL[8]



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1923–24 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games[edit]

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1923–24 (listed with their last team):

See also[edit]


  • Coleman, Charles L. (1966). The Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol.1 1893–1926 inc. National Hockey League. pp. 441–464.
  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.
  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5.
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9.
  • Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1.
  • McFarlane, Brian (1973). The Story of the National Hockey League. New York, NY: Pagurian Press. ISBN 0-684-13424-1.
  1. ^ McFarlane 1973, p. 34.
  2. ^ Coleman 1966, pp. 443–444.
  3. ^ a b Fischler 2003, p. 54.
  4. ^ Fischler 2003, p. 55.
  5. ^ Standings: NHL Public Relations Department (2008). Dave McCarthy; et al., eds. THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Official Guide & Record Book/2009. National Hockey League. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0.
  6. ^ McCarthy, Dave, ed. (2008). The National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2009. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 241. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0.
  7. ^ Dinger 2011, p. 146.
  8. ^ "1923–24 Regular Season – Goalie Season Stats Leaders". NHL. Retrieved December 4, 2011.

External links[edit]