July 26, 2014

1937-38: Goalie Off The Street Helps Win Stanley Cup For Chicago

The Three Stars:

Hawks Scramble For Goalie, But Win Stanley Cup - The Chicago Black Hawks win the Stanley Cup, but under the most unusual circumstances. When star goalie Mike Karakas can't play due to a broken toe, the Hawks are forced to find a last minute replacement. They find minor league Alfie Moore, though, according to legend, he is found in a bar drinking the day away. Myth or not, Moore wins his only NHL playoff game. The NHL rules him ineligible for the rest of the series, but Karakas returns to finish off the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Coach Bill Stewart with Doc Romnes and Jack Shill

Old Poison Strikes 300 - Thirty-six year old Nels Stewart shows no signs of slowing down. He shared the NHL goal scoring title with 23 goals in 1936-37, the old man follows up with 19 more in '37-38, now with the New York Americans. His goal against the New York Rangers on March 17th sees Stewart become the first player to score 300 career goals. Stewart retires in 1940 with 324 goals, a mark not surpassed until 1952 by Maurice "Rocket" Richard.

Howie Morenz Benefit Game - A total of $20,000 is raised for the family of deceased Montreal Canadiens superstar Howie Morenz on November 2nd, 1937. In what unofficially amounts to the 2nd NHL All Star Game, the NHL All Stars beat the combined Montreal Canadiens/Maroons squad 6-5 at the Montreal Forum.

Season Highlights:
  • The Morenz Memorial Game also marked the final on-ice appearance by King Clancy.
  • Gordie Drillon's 52 points captures the NHL scoring title, the last Toronto Maple Leaf to do so.
  • Toronto's super sophomore Syl Apps finishes 2nd with 50 points, including a league leading 29 assists.
  • Chicago is coached by Bill Stewart, a Major League Baseball umpire. He is the Hawks the 13th coach in 12 years. He wins the Stanley Cup, though is fired 21 games into the following season. He also notably gets into a dust up with Toronto's Baldy Northcott in the Stanley Cup final.
  • The NHL has to take control of the New York Americans, as the bank account of infamous bootlegger Bill Dwyer dries up.
  • After winning the Stanley Cup in the previous two seasons, Detroit drops to the basement after winning just 12 games. Detroit is the only team to miss the playoffs, then win two Stanley Cups, and then miss the playoffs again.

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