1929-30 NHL Season Introducing the Forward Pass

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Canadiens1958, Oct 29, 2013.

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  1. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    1929-30 NHL season saw the introduction of the Forward Pass Rules and other Anti-Defense rules.

    Various newspaper articles will be posted here to present a picture of how the 1929-30 season started and the various rule modifications that were made as it moved along:

    Season Preview

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=uW8tAAAAIBAJ&sjid=KowFAAAAIBAJ&hl=fr&pg=6673,2211972

    Opening Night - The Gazette
    NYR vs MTLM, MTLC vs OTT, CHI vs TOR, BOS vs DET.

    Four games, forward pass seems to be viewed favourably but the anti-defense rules, interference, seem to be causing interpretation and refereeing issues. One of the interesting side effects is that the faster pace required more substitution as the anti-defense rules limited the ability to rest while on the ice. Also teams eem to have taken different approaches to the "new" rules.

    Opening Night - Ottawa Citizen

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=UKguAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kNoFAAAAIBAJ&hl=fr&pg=7016,7445771

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=UKguAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kNoFAAAAIBAJ&hl=fr&pg=7108,7456164

    First weekend - The Gazette pages 18 - 20

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=vW8tAAAAIBAJ&sjid=KowFAAAAIBAJ&hl=fr&pg=6846,3018448

    The "new" rules were the main topic, mentioned regularly in game reports. Bruins lauded for their adaptation to new rules while Maple Leafs are mentioned as having problems with the "anti-defense" rules.

    Ottawa Citizen

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=UqguAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kNoFAAAAIBAJ&hl=fr&pg=6783,7820190
     
  2. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Interesting. That was Art Ross's first full season behind the Bruins bench, two 40+ goal scorers on the team, lost to Montreal in the SC Finals. The Canadiens George Hainsworth over 6 games leading up to & including the SC Finals had an incredible 0.75GAA. Under Cecil Hart the club went 21-14-9 over the season compared to Boston which tore it up going 38-5-1.... in Toronto and as the article states, the Leafs having a bit of a hard time of it adjusting, Conn Smythe Coaching, problems that persisted, he stepping aside making room for Art Duncan after several games had been played the following season of 1930/31.
     
  3. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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  4. invictus

    invictus Registered User

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    I think an NHL without offsides would be interesting.
     
  5. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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  6. MS

    MS 1%er

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    Is there a breakdown anywhere of individual player scoring before and after the mid-season modification?

    Would be interesting to see how many of Weiland's goals, for ie., were scored in the early part of the season vs. the later portion with 'modern' rules.
     
  7. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Breakdowns

    Full summaries for all the games for all the teams are lacking from the era. Also at the time of the change teams had not played a balanced schedule in terms of games. Some had played 13 others only 11.

    Based on standings, before the change Boston had scored 47 goals in 12 games. After the rules were amended the Bruins scored 132 goals in 32 games.

    How teams and individual players adjusted initially, after the amendments or prior to the next season is an interesting question.

    Weiland never came close to replicating his 1929-30 season.
     
  8. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    No, though he did have a respectable total the following year nothing like that one blazing season when he surpassed Morenz's points total record with 73. Played with Dit Clapper who scored 41 goals & Dutch Gainor; The Dynamite Line. Seems Cooney was also like a sort of Assistant to Art Ross, and it appears their relationship soured somewhat which may have been a contributing factor to his ever decreasing points totals amongst other issues of course. Eventually traded or sold around 32 but then reacquired by the Bruins in 35. Apparently quite effective defensively as well and used in that role, as a checking forward.... also very interesting to note that Conn Smythe seemed to have considerable difficulty with these rules changes, in adapting as a Coach, although he did by then have his hands full with plans for Maple Leaf Gardens, a family & business concerns.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  9. overpass

    overpass Registered User

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    This isn't exact, but this article gives NHL scoring leaders as of December 24, 1929 - one week after the rules were changed. Here are the numbers for all players named in the article. (GP listed are their teams' games played.)

    1. Frank Boucher - 14 GP, 9 goals, 15 assists, 24 points
    2. Cooney Weiland - 14 GP, 11 goals, 12 assists, 23 points
    3. Bill Cook - 14 GP, 22 points
    4. Dutch Gainor - 14 GP, 22 points
    5. Hec Kilrea - 14 GP, 14 G, 7 A, 21 points
    6. Nels Stewart - 15 GP, 17 G, 4 A, 21 points
    7. Aurel Joliat - 16 GP, 20 points
    8. King Clancy - 14 GP, 19 points

    Doing the math, over the rest of the season these players scored:

    1. Cooney Weiland - 30 GP, 32 G, 18 A, 50 points
    2. Frank Boucher - 28 GP, 17 G, 21 A, 38 points
    3. Bill Cook - 30 GP, 37 points
    4. Hec Kilrea - 30 GP, 22 G, 15 A, 37 points
    5. Nels Stewart - 29 GP, 22 G, 12 A, 34 points
    6. Dutch Gainor - 28 GP, 27 points
    7. King Clancy - 30 GP, 21 points
    8. Aurel Joliat - 26 GP, 11 points

    All players who weren't listed here finished with 50 or fewer points on the season, with the exception of Dit Clapper who scored 61.

    When you look at the scoring list from the last two-thirds of the season, played entirely with the offside rule in place, Weiland separated himself from the rest of the league in scoring during this time. It appears that the games played without the offside rule had very little to do with Weiland's scoring in this season.

    Edit: Boucher was leading in scoring right up until the end of February. As of February 18 he had 58 points and Weiland had 52. Source. But over the rest of the season Weiland scored 21 points in 9 team games and Boucher scored 4 points in 10 team games. Weiland passed him during the game of Feb 25 when Boston beat Pittsburgh 7-0 and Weiland scored four goals and one assist to reach 61 points to Boucher's 59. Source. Boucher missed the last two games of the season with a broken shoulder blade, and Weiland scored three goals against the weakend Rangers in the final game of the season to put a stamp on his record-setting season. Source.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  10. MS

    MS 1%er

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    Fascinating. Weiland is actually better under modern rules than the brief no-offside period.

    The generally accepted wisdom usually seems to be the Weiland was a guy who just exploited a rule change by goal-sucking to have one ridiculous season.

    Instead, perhaps he is someone who just was smart enough to adapt to changes quicker than anyone else.
     
  11. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Consider Art Ross

    Consider the effect of the coach Art Ross.

    1928-29 the Bruins had the top offense and were able to sustain the offense with the new rules that touched anti-defensive play while introducing the forward pass.

    1943-44 season, Red Line introduced. With a weak team - 5th place, Art Ross builds an offense around Herb Cain - Ross winner and Bill Cowley.

    Art Ross seemed to have a knack for adapting a team's offense to rules.
     
  12. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I think it was C1958 who mentioned it in another thread, but it seems very plausible that Eddie Shore was a big (the biggest?) reason why Boston dominated so much under the new offsides rules at first. With the forward pass allowed in all 3 zones, but no forward passing allowed between zones, having a defenseman who could skate with the puck was extremely important to a team's attack.

    But yes, it is surprising to see that Weiland really dominated the part of the season under the new rules, rather than the brief period of time when there were no offsides rules at all. Likewise, Weiland's linemate Dit Clapper (who was playing RW then) appears to have not done much of anything under the no-offsides rules and then really dominated the new rules.
     
  13. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Data

    One of the difficulties researching the Forward Pass is that newspapers are not readily available - all of December 1929 is missing from The Gazette while the Ottawa Citizen is hit and miss for November and December. Have not had time to check French papers.

    There is a sense that certain teams adapted better, others - Toronto seemed to have problems.

    Also the rules were amended within six weeks, not enough time to get a sense for good or bad offense or defense strategies.
     

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