July 12, 2014

1923-24: NHL Gains It's Hart

The Three Stars:

The Hart Trophy Is Introduced - The game's first individual trophy is created when Dr. David Hart, the father of Montreal Canadiens coach Cecil Hart, dedicates the Hart Trophy for the NHL's most valuable player. Though he did not finish in the top ten in scoring Ottawa's Frank Nighbor was the clear choice as the inaugural winner. The trophy remains the highest honour an individual can win in the National Hockey League. You will note that the original trophy, pictured to the right, looks significantly different than today's trophy. The award was redesigned in 1959

Howie Morenz Debuts - Though Joe Malone's scoring exploits were legendary, his NHL career was short and therefore the NHL's first dynamic superstar was Howie Morenz. Montreal signs "The Stratford Streak" and teams him with Billy Boucher and Aurel Joliat on the Speedball Line, the most dangerous offensive trio in the league. The trio, along with Georges Vezina in net, crushed western champs Calgary to win the Stanley Cup.

Denneny Wins Scoring Title - Cy Denneny wins his only NHL scoring title with the worst winning totals in league history. He finishes with 22 goals and 2 assists for a league high 24 points. He is the only player to crack the 20 goal mark and to average more than a point a game. League scoring averages are just half of where they were in their debut season of 1917-18, prompting the NHL to introduce a number of landmark rule changes in the coming seasons ahead.

Season Highlights:
  • Toronto St. Pat's sniper Babe Dye, the NHL's leading scorer in 1922-23, shocks the hockey world by announcing he is retiring to pursue a career in professional baseball. Dye would reach AAA level  before returning to Toronto's lineup in December. He would score 17 goals and finish 6th in the scoring race.
  • The Allan Cup champion Toronto Granites represent Canada at the 1924 Winter Olympics, slaughtering the opposition 110-3 in 5 games!

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