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August 05, 2014

1947-48: Toronto Gets Max Return In Trade

Doug and Max Bentley
The Three Stars:

Bentley Break-Up: Max Bentley Traded To Toronto: It was rightfully called the biggest trade in hockey history at the time, and remains one of the most important ever. The Leafs dealt five players - Bob Goldham, Gaye Stewart, Bud Poile, Gus Bodnar and Ernie Dickens to Chicago in exchange for two time NHL scoring champ Max Bentley as well as throw in Cy Thomas. With Bentley joining Syl Apps and Teeder Kennedy at center, Toronto successfully defends it's Stanley Cup title. The trade breaks up the long time successful Chicago brother act as Doug Bentley remained with the Hawks.

Gambling Scandal Rocks NHL: After a lengthy investigation NHL president Clarence Campbell announces that Boston's Don Gallinger and New York's Billy Taylor are suspended indefinitely for "knowingly associating and communicating with James Tamer, a known criminal and gambler of Detroit." The NHL strongly insisted that no other players were involved and there was no attempt to fix any games. Gallinger acknowledges the relationship but said he had no idea about the man's background.

The Hockey News Is Born. Today it is called the Bible of Hockey and has remained as the ultimate weekly print source of hockey information for many decades. The Hockey News debuted it's first edition on October 1st, 1947. A 30 issue, year long subscription cost $2.00 in Canada and Newfoundland, $3 for America.

Season Highlights:

  • In the first official All Star Game, 14138 fans fill Maple Leaf Garden to watch the Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs lose 4-3 to the NHL All Stars. Unfortunately Chicago's Bill Mosienko suffers a badly broken ankle when checked by Toronto's Jim Thomson.
  • The Art Ross Trophy is introduced and given to the NHL's scoring leader. Elmer Lach wins the inaugural award, scoring 61 points. Lach's former teammate Buddy O'Connor of the Rangers is right behind at 60.
  • The Habs probably regretted trading away O'Connor. He teamed with Phil Watson and Bryan Hextall for a combined 115 points. While O'Connor narrowly missed the scoring title he was named the winner of the Hart and Lady Byng trophies. 
  • Ted Lindsay leads the league in goals with 33. He stars on Detroit's new top line with Sid Abel and Gordie Howe - "The Production Line."
  • Rocket Richard proves to mercurial yet again. Three seasons ago he scored an unthinkable 50 goals in 50 games, only to follow that up with "only" 27 the next year. Last season Richard returned with 45 goals, but this season he again dipped to 28. 
  • Perhaps some of Richard's troubles were due to the absence of linemate Toe Blake. Blake broke his ankle in January and ended his career. 
  • The RCAF Flyers win the Olympic gold medal for Canada at the 1948 Olympics.
  • The Michigan Wolverines win the first ever NCAA hockey title.

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