1965–66 NHL season

1965–66 NHL season

The 1965–66 NHL season was the 49th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Montreal Canadiens won their second consecutive Stanley Cup as they defeated the Detroit Red Wings four games to two in the final series.

League Business

Two new trophies was introduced for this season. Jack Adams won the first Lester Patrick Trophy for his contribution to hockey in the United States. This was also the first season the Conn Smythe Trophy was awarded for the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The only significant rules change for this season was a requirement that teams suit up two goaltenders for each game.

February saw the momentous announcement that six conditional franchises had been awarded to Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, all to begin play in 1967. The St. Louis franchise was surprising, as no formal application from the city had been tendered. It was awarded to fulfill the wishes of James D. Norris and Arthur Wirtz, owners of the Chicago Black Hawks, who also owned the St. Louis Arena which they wanted to sell.

On the debit side, a strong bid from Vancouver was rejected, much to the anger of Canadians and the protest of Prime Minister Lester Pearson, and the rumor was widely spread - fuelled by a corroborating statement from Leafs' general manager Punch Imlach that the Toronto and Montreal owners had vetoed the bid out of a dislike for sharing television money.

Regular season

Among notable players to debut this season was Ed Giacomin for the Rangers, Bill Goldsworthy for the Bruins, Ken Hodge for Chicago and Mike Walton for Toronto. In the meantime, however, the career of future Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay was over, as his request for reinstatement as an active player was vetoed by the Toronto ownership.

Gordie Howe scored his 600th NHL goal in Montreal November 27th in a 3–2 loss to the Canadiens to the cheers of the local fans. Among lesser milestones in the season were Frank Mahovlich's 250th goal and John Bucyk's and Claude Provost's 200th.

In an unusual incident, the Red Wings' jerseys were stolen from the visitors' dressing room in Montreal the night before a January game, and Detroit was compelled to play in the uniforms of their junior farm team in Hamilton, which were express shipped to Montreal in time for the match.

James D. Norris, owner of the Chicago Black Hawks, died of a heart attack in late February.

Bobby Hull set a new record for goals in a season with 54 and a new record for points in a season with 97, earning him the Art Ross Trophy and his second straight Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player. Jacques Laperriere of Montreal won the Norris Trophy as best defenceman. In possibly the weakest Calder choice in history, Brit Selby won the Calder Memorial Trophy as best rookie.

Final standings

"Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes"

All-Star teams


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1965–66 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
*J.P. Parise, Boston Bruins
*Derek Sanderson, Boston Bruins
*Bernie Parent, Boston Bruins
*Barry Ashbee, Boston Bruins
*Pete Mahovlich, Detroit Red Wings
*Danny Grant, Montreal Canadiens
*Ed Giacomin, New York Rangers

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1965–66 (listed with their last team):
*Bill Gadsby, Detroit Red Wings

See also

* List of Stanley Cup champions
* 1965 NHL Amateur Draft
* National Hockey League All-Star Game
* 1965 in sports
* 1966 in sports


* [http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/nhl1927.html Hockey Database]
* [http://nhl.com/ NHL.com]

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