1962-63 NHL Team Leaders

The 1962-63 National Hockey League season had one of the closest finishes of the ‘Original 6’ era, at least for the top four teams. Just five points separated the first place Toronto Maple Leafs from the fourth place Detroit Red Wings. Toronto edged out the Chicago Black Hawks for first place by just one point.

Beyond Detroit, however, the NHL fell into a deep abyss. The New York Rangers finished with 56 points, 21 fewer than the Red Wings. The Boston Bruins finished with just 45, 32 points out of final playoff position.

Detroit Red Wings – Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe led the Red Wings and the entire league with 86 points. Howe received his sixth and final Art Ross Trophy for the effort. Detroit displayed a lack of diversity with Gordie’s point total playing a role in 43% of all team points. Still, the Red Wings defeated the Black Hawks in second place in the first round to earn a shot at the Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup Final.

New York Rangers – Andy Bathgate

For the eighth straight year, Andy Bathgate led the New York Rangers in scoring with 81 points. The team leader since his second year in the league, 1955-56, he would not lead again. The following season, the Rangers traded Bathgate to the Toronto Maple Leafs midway through the season. Andy finished second to Howe in the race for the Art Ross Trophy.

Chicago Blackhawks – Stan Mikita

Bobby Hull’s Art Ross earning 84 points from the previous year was definitely a distant memory as he finished 1962-63 with only 62 points. That paved the way for Stan Mikita to lead the club for the first time with 76 points. He was placed third in the league behind Bathgate and Howe.

Toronto Maple Leaves – Frank Mahovlich

Frank Mahovlich led the Maple Leafs for the second straight season with 73 points, tied for fourth in the NHL with Henri Richard of the Montreal Canadiens. The Maple Leafs were regular season champions and lost just two games in the two series required to win the Stanley Cup. Mahovlich was silenced in the playoffs with just two assists in nine games. The Leafs were led by Dave Keon with 12 points, playing in all ten of Toronto’s games.

Montreal Canadians – Henri Richard

Henri Richard led the third place Canadiens with 73 points. Montreal had the fewest wins of the six teams with just 19. However, the Habs tied 23 of 70 games to lower their point total. Montreal puts Toronto in the first round of the playoffs and lost in five games.

Boston Bruins – Johnny Bucyk

Johnny Bucyk led the hapless Boston Bruins with 66 points, four points more than teammate Murray Oliver. Boston won just 14 games, but it was an improvement from the previous season when they posted their worst winning percentage in team history in a season with 44 games or more. That mark of futility remains today.

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