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The 1964–65 NHL season was the 48th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. Jean Beliveau was the winner of the newly introduced Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during the playoffs. The Montreal Canadiens won their first Stanley Cup since 1960 as they were victorious over the Chicago Black Hawks in a seven game final series.

Regular season

Important new additions by Chicago were Bobby Hull's brother Dennis Hull and defenceman Doug Jarrett, and they traded Reg Fleming, Ab McDonald and Murray Balfour to Boston in exchange for Doug Mohns.

Frank Selke had retired as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, and a man who was showing all the signs of being more capable than Selke, Sam Pollock, took over as general manager. Pollock had been doing an outstanding job as director of the Canadiens farm system the past few seasons and the Habs were deep in talent.

Ted Lindsay decided to make a comeback with Detroit and though Toronto beat Detroit in the opener 5–3, the Olympia fans gave him an ovation.

Muzz Patrick resigned as general manager of the New York Rangers and Emile Francis, assistant general manager, took his place. On January 27, 1965, Ulf Sterner, the first European trained player, made his debut in the National Hockey League for the New York Rangers in a game versus the Boston Bruins.

Ron Ellis was proving to be a find and he scored two goals when the Leafs downed Chicago 5–1 on October 31.

Frank Mahovlich entered a hospital for psychiatric treatment under great stress from fans and his manager Punch Imlach who expected more of him than he was delivering. He could not stand the pressure of playing.

After stopping a shot with his foot, Marcel Pronovost missed a few games and Detroit sorely missed him, as on December 5, Toronto clobbered the Red Wings 10–2. Bob Pulford was clipped by Gordie Howe's club when it was knocked upward and it hit Pulford in the eye.

Frank Mahovlich was back on December 9 when Montreal downed Toronto 3–2. Three nights later, he had two goals and two assists when Toronto beat Boston 6–3.

Chicago defeated Boston 7–5 on December 16 and Bobby Hull got two goals. He now had 25 goals in 26 games. The Black Hawks were now alternating Glenn Hall and Denis DeJordy in goal.

A trade took place between Montreal and the New York Rangers as the Canadiens sent Bill Hicke and Guy Morisette to the Rangers for Dick Duff and a player named McComb.

Bill Thoms, who played 12 years with Toronto and Chicago, died of a heart attack on December 26 at the age of 54.

Toronto's Punch Imlach ruled with an iron hand and was really upset with the Leafs play. Wholesale demotions were threatened if the team's play didn't improve. Toronto snapped out of its decline when they beat Detroit 3–1 on January 2. Tim Horton scored two goals playing as a forward instead of his usual defence position. Roger Crozier was struck in the eye by Jim Pappin's stick late in the game and was replaced by Carl Wetzel in goal. Ted Lindsay got into a heated argument with referee Vern Buffey over whether a penalty should be called against Pappin and received a ten minute misconduct penalty and a game misconduct. Lindsay stated to the press after the game that his advice to coach Sid Abel was not to pay the fines and that he would not sit still for NHL president Clarence Campbell's kangaroo court. All this was reported to Campbell who said Lindsay would pay the fines or not play. In due course, an appropriate signed apology and a cheque in the amount of the fines were handed over by Lindsay and he was reinstated January 6.

Bill Hicke, who had been traded to the Rangers by the Canadiens, turned on his ex-teammates with a hat trick at the Forum on January 9 as the Rangers won 6–5. However, the Rangers lost defenceman Jim Neilson with a shoulder separation. The Rangers got walloped by the Leafs 6–0 the next night as Tim Horton had two goals. Despite the win, the fans were still chanting "We want Shack!" (meaning Eddie Shack).

George Hayes, who had been an official in the NHL for 19 years, was suspended for refusing to take an eye test. Later, he had his contract terminated when he still refused. Referee-in-chief Carl Voss announced his intention to resign at the end of the season, and Hayes and ex-referee Eddie Powers greeted this with approval.

Chicago moved into first place with a 4–1 win on February 3 over the New York Rangers right at Madison Square Garden. Bobby Hull didn't scored, but the highlight of the game was his fight with Bob Plager.

Chicago beat Toronto 6–3 on February 6 and Bobby Hull's chances of reaching 50 goals was in trouble when he was checked heavily by Bobby Baun, and he limped from the ice with strained knee ligaments. On the same weekend, Detroit moved into first place, beating Montreal twice.

The Leafs pulled into a tie with Montreal for second place when they pasted Montreal 6–2 in Toronto on February 10. This was the fifth straight loss for the Habs. Referee Bill Friday had a busy time with a bench-clearing brawl that delayed the game for 20 minutes. The trouble began when John Ferguson hooked Frank Mahovlich. Terry Harper, Ted Harris, Pete Stemkowski and Kent Douglas moved in and then the benches emptied. Referee Friday assessed 66 minutes in penalties, including ten minute misconducts to Mahovlich and Ted Harris. President Campbell later assessed $925 in fines. Ten Leafs were fined $50 each and six Canadiens players were fined $50.

Red Kelly had the hat trick on March 21 when Toronto pummeled the Rangers 10–1.

The Rangers beat the Black Hawks on March 23 3–2. A great many fans were upset at plans for a closed circuit telecast of Chicago games and during the game there were shouts of "Norris is a fink!" (referring to James D. Norris, part owner of the Black Hawks).

Ulf Sterner of Swedenmarker became the first European trained player to suit up for an NHL team when he suited up for the New York Rangers for 4 games.

Detroit finished first for the first time since 1956–57 when they beat the Rangers 7–4 on March 25. Alex Delvecchio had the hat trick and Norm Ullman scored two goals.

Final standings

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Player Team GP G A PTS PIM
Stan Mikita Chicago Black Hawks 70 28 59 87 154
Norm Ullman Detroit Red Wings 70 42 41 83 70
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 70 29 47 76 104
Bobby Hull Chicago Black Hawks 61 39 32 71 32
Alex Delvecchio Detroit Red Wings 68 25 42 67 16
Claude Provost Montreal Canadiens 70 27 37 64 28
Rod Gilbert New York Rangers 70 25 36 61 52
Pierre Pilote Chicago Black Hawks 68 14 45 59 162
John Bucyk Boston Bruins 68 26 29 55 24
Ralph Backstrom Montreal Canadiens 70 25 30 55 28


For the third straight playoffs, it was Montreal vs. Toronto and Detroit vs. Chicago in the first round. The Canadiens came out on top over the Leafs in six games, while the Hawks beat the Wings in seven.

Playoff bracket

NHL awards

1964–65 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy: Detroit Red Wings
Art Ross Trophy: Stan Mikita, Chicago Black Hawks
Calder Memorial Trophy: Roger Crozier, Detroit Red Wings
Conn Smythe Trophy: Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
Hart Memorial Trophy: Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks
James Norris Memorial Trophy: Pierre Pilote, Chicago Black Hawks
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks
Vezina Trophy: Johnny Bower & Terry Sawchuk, Toronto Maple Leafs

All-Star teams

First team   Position   Second team
Roger Crozier, Detroit Red Wings G Charlie Hodge, Montreal Canadiens
Pierre Pilote, Chicago Black Hawks D Bill Gadsby, Detroit Red Wings
Jacques Laperriere, Montreal Canadiens D Carl Brewer, Toronto Maple Leafs
Norm Ullman, Detroit Red Wings C Stan Mikita, Chicago Black Hawks
Claude Provost, Montreal Canadiens RW Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks LW Frank Mahovlich, Toronto Maple Leafs


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1964–65 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1964–65 (listed with their last team):

See also


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