July 28, 2014

1939-40: Shore Leave

The Three Stars:

Eddie Shore Traded: Four time Hart Trophy winner Eddie Shore and Bruins GM Art Ross are at odds when Shore purchases the Springfield Indians of the International-American League and asks to play for that club. Shore and Ross agree that he will play all of Boston's home and playoff games, but Ross decides, instead, to trade Shore to the New York Americans January 25th for Eddie Wiseman and $5000. The Amerks agree to allow Shore to play for both teams, but Shore leaves the NHL at the end of the season.

All Star Game sweater from 1939 Babe Siebert Memorial Game

Habs Humiliating Season - The season gets off to a tragic start when Babe Siebert - the legendary player turned new Montreal Canadiens coach - drowns in an August accident before he ever coach a game. Replacement Pit Lepine led the Habs to arguably their worst season ever - finishing last place with just 10 wins.

Leafs, Circus Can't Stop NYR - The New York Rangers, with former star Frank Boucher taking over as coach from Lester Patrick, win the Stanley Cup despite being able to host only 2 games in the final. The famous Ringling Brothers Circus had been booked in the Madison Square Gardens, forcing the Rangers to play their "home games" at Maple Leaf Gardens. Bryan Hextall, Phil Watson, Neil Colville and goalie Dave Kerr lead the way.

Season Highlights:
  • Rise of America - Even though the NHL began welcoming American clubs in the mid 1920s, the game's top stars - with the notable exception of Eddie Shore - tended to play in Canada. This season marked the dramatic end to that. Milt Schmidt of Boston won the scoring title while Ebbie Goodfellow of Detroit won the Hart Trophy. Dave Kerr of the New York Rangers won the Vezina trophy while teammate Kilby MacDonald won the Calder.
  • The New York Rangers win 6-2 over Montreal on February 25th, 1940 is the first ever televised broadcast event of a NHL game. New York station WZXBS aired the game live from Madison Square Gardens.
  • We mentioned Milt Schmidt won the scoring title, with 52 points. Linemates Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer, each with 43 points, were next, making for the first time linemates finished 1-2-3 in scoring in NHL history.
  • That trio had been affectionately known as The Kraut Line, but political correctness brought on by the Second World War saw the trio re-dubbed The Kitchener Kids.
  • The New York Americans did not only trade for Eddie Shore, but they traded their popular sniper Sweeney Schriner in exchanged for Busher Jackson, Buzz Boll, Murray Armstrong, Doc Romnes and Jimmy Fowler.
The Kraut Line

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