1961-62 - Leafs Back On Top
The Three Stars:
Leafs End 11 Year Stanley Cup Drought - The leafs win their first Stanley Cup championship since 1951 by defeating Chicago in the Final. Back-up goalie Don Simmons is the hero as number one goalie Johnny Bower has to exit with a groin injury.
Hull Scores 50, Wins Art Ross - Chicago's Bobby Hull scores his 50th goal of the season in the final game, making him just the third man in history to score 50 goals. He actually ends up tied with the Rangers Andy Bathgate in the overall scoring lead with 84 points. The NHL decides the tiebreaker will be goals scored, giving Hull his first Art Ross Trophy.
Harvey Traded To Rangers - The Montreal Canadiens surprise many when they trade 6 time Norris Trophy winning defenseman Doug Harvey to the New York Rangers for tough dman Louie Fontinato. Harvey is named as the player/coach of the Rangers and wins the Norris again.
- Montreal's Jacques Plante not only wins his sixth Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie, but he wins his only Hart Trophy as league MVP.
- Toronto's Red Kelly scores 22 goals as a forward, and serves in the Canadian Parliament as an elected member.
- Gordie Howe joins Rocket Richard as the only career 500 goal scorers in hockey history.
- The Hockey Hall of Fame officially opens its doors on August 21st, 1961 at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto.
- Seven weeks after winning the Stanley Cup the wreckage of Bill Barilko's airplane is finally found. Barilko was a 24 year old defenseman who spectacularly scored the Stanley Cup winning goal in 1951, only to disappear in a 2-man plane crash weeks later.