1921–22 NHL season

1921–22 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration December 17, 1921 – March 13, 1922
Number of games 24
Number of teams 4
Regular season
Season champions Ottawa Senators
Top scorer Punch Broadbent (Ottawa)
O'Brien Cup
Champions Toronto St. Patricks
  Runners-up Ottawa Senators

The 1921–22 NHL season was the fifth season of the National Hockey League (NHL). Four teams each played 24 games. The league dropped the split season and the two top teams played off for the league championship. The second-place Toronto St. Patricks defeated the first-place Ottawa Senators for the league championship.

For the first four seasons of the NHL, the winner of the league playoffs had faced the winner of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) for the Stanley Cup. That changed this season with the introduction of another professional hockey league called the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). Now, three leagues were competing for the coveted Stanley Cup. The winner of a playoff between the PCHA and the WCHL travelled to Toronto to play off for the Stanley Cup. The St. Patricks defeated the Vancouver Millionaires to win the Stanley Cup.

League business

This was the first season away from the split season used in the NHA and the first four NHL seasons. Under the old split system, the winner of each half of the season would face each other in the playoffs. If the same team won both halves, then there would be no league playoffs and that team would simply move on to the Stanley Cup series. For the new system, the top two teams at the end of the season squared off against each other in a two-game total goals series for the chance to move on to the Stanley Cup series.[1]

Prior to the start of this season, the NHL's first multiple-player trade in its history was made when Billy Coutu and Sprague Cleghorn of the Hamilton Tigers were traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Harry Mummery, Amos Arbour, and Cully Wilson.

Canadiens owner George Kennedy never recovered from the influenza he contracted in 1919,and died on October 19, 1921, at age 39. His widow sold the Canadiens to a unit that would be known affectionately as the Three Musketeers of owners, Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau, and Joseph Cattarinich. Dandurand became manager and coach, and immediately there were problems between him and Newsy Lalonde. At one point, Dandurand accused Lalonde of not trying, and also the fans started to boo their old hero. Finally, Lalonde walked out on the team. NHL president Frank Calder mediated the dispute and Lalonde returned to the team. But his days in Montreal were numbered.

Regular season

After a fairly impressive season for the Toronto St. Patricks, the St. Pats goaltender Jake Forbes refused to play after being denied a raise, and was suspended for the season.[2] John Ross Roach took over in goal.

Punch Broadbent was the star this year, as he scored 27 goals in 16 consecutive games en route [2] to a 32-goal campaign. Broadbent led the league in goals, assists and points.[2] His Ottawa team finished first, too.

On February 1, Sprague Cleghorn almost wiped out the Ottawa team singlehandedly. He cut Eddie Gerard and Cy Denneny and charged Frank Nighbor. All three players missed two games because of injuries and Cleghorn drew a match penalty and a $30 fine. Ottawa police tried to arrest him in wake of his one-man war.[2]

Final standings

National Hockey League
Ottawa Senators 24 14 8 2 30 106 84
Toronto St. Patricks 24 13 10 1 27 98 97
Montreal Canadiens 24 12 11 1 25 88 94
Hamilton Tigers 24 7 17 0 14 88 105

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


All dates in 1922

Starting in the Western Canada Hockey League, the Calgary Tigers lost to the Regina Capitals in a match-up to determine second place. The Capitals then went on to beat the first place Edmonton Eskimos in that league's first championship series. Over in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, once again, the Vancouver Millionaires faced the Seattle Metropolitans for their league championship. The Mets had the better regular season record, but the Millionaires won both games of the playoffs by 1–0 scores. The Millionaires were then matched up against the Capitals to see who would go on to play against the winner of the NHL's playoffs. Vancouver beat Regina in the two-game total goals series.

NHL Championship

The first-place Ottawa Senators played off against the second-place Toronto St. Patricks in a two-game total goals series for the O'Brien Cup. The St. Pats used a strategy of icing the puck to defend their lead.

Toronto St. Patricks vs. Ottawa Senators

Date Home Score Away Score Notes
March 11Toronto St. Patricks5Ottawa Senators4
March 13Ottawa Senators0Toronto St. Patricks0

Toronto wins total goals series five goals to four.

Stanley Cup Finals

All games were played in Toronto.

Vancouver Millionaires vs. Toronto St. Patricks

Date Score Score Notes
March 17Vancouver Millionaires4Toronto St. Patricks3
March 20Vancouver Millionaires1Toronto St. Patricks2(OT)
March 23Vancouver Millionaires3Toronto St. Patricks0
March 25Vancouver Millionaires0Toronto St. Patricks6
March 28Vancouver Millionaires1Toronto St. Patricks5

Toronto wins best-of-five series three games to two for the Stanley Cup

NHL Playoff scoring leader

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

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Babe Dye Toronto St. Patricks 7 11 1 12


O'Brien CupToronto St. Patricks

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

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

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Punch Broadbent Ottawa Senators 24 32 14 46 28
Cy Denneny Ottawa Senators 22 27 12 39 20
Cecil Dye Toronto St. Patricks 24 31 7 38 39
Harry Cameron Toronto St. Patricks 24 18 1735 22
Joe Malone Hamilton Tigers 24 24 7 31 4
Corbett Denneny Toronto St. Patricks 24 19 9 28 28
Reg Noble Toronto St. Patricks 24 17 11 28 19
Sprague Cleghorn Montreal Canadiens 24 17 9 26 80
George Boucher Ottawa Senators 24 13 12 25 12
Odie Cleghorn Montreal Canadiens 23 21 3 24 26

Leading goaltenders

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

Name Team GP Mins W L T GA SO GAA
Ivan Mitchell Toronto St. Patricks 2 120 2 0 0 6 0 3.0
Clint Benedict Ottawa Senators 24 1510 14 8 2 84 2 3.34
Georges Vezina Montreal Canadiens 24 1469 12 11 1 94 0 3.84
John Ross Roach Toronto St. Patricks 22 1340 11 10 1 91 0 4.07
Howie Lockhart Hamilton Tigers 24 1409 6 17 0 103 0 4.39

Source: NHL[4]


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1921–22 (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 1921–22 (listed with their last team):

See also


  1. McFarlane, p. 31.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Dryden 2000, p. 24.
  3. Standings: NHL Public Relations Department (2008). Dave McCarthy; et al., eds. THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Official Guide & Record Book/2009. National Hockey League. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0.
  4. "1921–22 Regular Season – Goalie Season Stats Leaders". NHL. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
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