Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 29, 1951

As is customary at this time of year, newspapers carry stories recapping "the year that was". Such a story appeared on December 29, 1951.

One of the biggest stories of the 1950-51 NHL season, was the sudden passing of Maple Leaf Bill Barilko. The story detailed Barilko's Cup winning goal in the '51 Final against the Montreal Canadiens. Also, it made a very important point looking beyond Barilko's accomplishment against Montreal. It noted that Barilko most likely would have been an anchor on the Leafs defence for years to come.

Much was made of the Detroit Red Wings failure to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs, Expectations were high for the Red Wings as they lead the League in points.

Attendance was down in 3 NHL cities - Boston, Chicago and New York. Contributing factors were the emergence of television and spending restraints initiated by the 3 owners. However, as the article speculated, the primary reason may have been the dismal records of each club, and how that translated into points - Detroit (101), Toronto (95), Montreal (65), Boston (62), New York (61) Chicago (36).

The Trophy winners for 1950-51 were Milt Schmidt (Hart/Boston), Gordie Howe (Art Ross/Detroit), Terry Sawchuk (Calder/Detroit), Al Rollins (Vezina/Toronto), Red Kelly (Lady Byng/Detroit).

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