Rocket Richard joined the Montreal Canadiens in training camp, briefly putting to rest rumors that he would retire. But, on September 15, he announced that he was indeed hanging up his skates. He retired with an NHL record 544 goals, plus 82 in the playoffs.
Despite his retirement, he was very much in the hockey news during the season. Richard had scored 50 goals in 1944-45 and no one else had done it since then, even though the season had expanded from 50 games to 70. Suddenly, it looked as if two players might score 50 or more: Frank Mahovlich of Toronto and Bernie 'Boom Boom' Geoffrion of Montreal.
Mahovlich went into a late-season slump and got stuck at 48 goals, but Geoffrion did get 50, and he added 45 assists to lead the league in scoring, while his teammate, Jean Beliveau, was the assists leader with 58. Geoffrion won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player.
All that regular-season scoring meant nothing in the playoffs, though. In the semifinals, the Red Wings beat Mahovlich's Maple Leafs and the Black Hawks eliminated the Canadiens.
It was the first Stanley Cup final between U. S.-based teams since 1950. The teams split the first four games, but Chicago won the next two easily, 6-3 and 5-1, to take the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1938.