The New York Americans had been in financial trouble for several years. Rather than let the franchise go out of business, the NHL took it over and operated the team for the season.
Superstar Howie Morenz returned to the Montreal Canadiens after two seasons away. On January 28, 1937, he suffered a severe leg fracture. Six weeks later, he died of a heart attack in the hospital.
The Canadiens managed to win their division, while the Detroit Red Wings topped the American Division. The Red Wings then eliminated Montreal and beat New York Rangers to win the Stanley Cup for the second straight, the first U. S.-based team to do so.