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The 1961 Stanley Cup Finals was contested by the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Black Hawks. Chicago was making its first Finals appearance since 1944, and Detroit its first appearance since 1956; both had lost to the Montreal Canadiens in those previous appearances. The Blackhawks would win the best-of-seven series four games to two to win their third Stanley Cup, their first since 1938. However, this proved to be the last time Chicago won the Cup until 2010, a 49-year drought. This was the only title not won by the Canadiens, Red Wings or Toronto Maple Leafs during the Original Six era.

1961 Stanley Cup Finals
123456 Total
Chicago Black Hawks 313165 4
Detroit Red Wings 231231 2
Location(s)Chicago: Chicago Stadium (1, 3, 5)
Detroit: Olympia Stadium (2, 4, 6)
CoachesChicago: Rudy Pilous
Detroit: Sid Abel
CaptainsChicago: Ed Litzenberger
Detroit: Gordie Howe
DatesApril 6 to April 16, 1961
Series-winning goalAb McDonald (18:49, second, G6)


Paths to the FinalsEdit

Detroit defeated Toronto in five games and Chicago upset Montreal, the record five-time defending champion, in six, setting up the first all-American-team Finals since 1950, when the Wings beat the New York Rangers in a seven-game series.

Game summariesEdit

Two future Hockey Hall of Fame members, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, made their first Stanley Cup appearances. Hull scored two goals in the first game, including the winner, and Mikita scored the winner in game five.[1]

This was the only Stanley Cup championship in the 1960s not to be won by either the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Montreal Canadiens[1] or feature either team.

Chicago won series 4–2

Chicago Black Hawks 1961 Stanley Cup ChampionsEdit



Coaching and administrative staff

† Left off the cup, but included on the team picture.

Stanley Cup engraving

  • Allan Roy Edwards was engraved as Allan R. Edwards. He never played for Chicago. Roy Edwards first NHL game was during the 1967–68 season with Detroit.
  • Denis DeJordy first NHL game was during the 1962–63 season, when he replaced Glenn Hall. This ended Hall's record of 502 consecutive complete games.
  • Ronald Robert Murphy was engraved as Robert Murphy.
  • Tod Aloysius Martin Sloan was engraved as Martin A. Sloan. He was engraved on the cup was Tod Sloan in 1951 with Toronto.
  • Stan Mikita was born in Slovakia, but moved to Canada as young child. He was the first Slovakia born player to win the Stanley Cup.
  • Wayne Hillman and Wayne Hicks both played in the last game of the Stanley Cup Finals game 6^. So they qualifying to be on the Stanley Cup. It was only game they played for Chicago that season. They spend the rest of the season in the minors.
  • Ed Litzenberger (Captain) missed games 1 & 2 injured, so Ronald Chico Maki was dressed in his place. However, when the NHL released an update the game stats for all NHL games in 2017. Maki was no longer listed as playing an NHL game that season. Maki name was included on the Stanley Cup for dressing for 2 games in the finals. Maki played his first NHL game next season.


The 1961 Stanley Cup Finals were almost not televised in Canada at all. At that time, the CBC only had rights to the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs' games; home games only during the season and all games in the playoffs. However, with both the Canadiens and Maple Leafs eliminated in the semi-finals, the CBC's worst nightmare became reality. The CBC had to conceive a way to carry the Finals between the Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Red Wings or face public revolt. According to lore, the CBC found a way to link their Windsor viewers as having a vested interest in the Finals with the across the river Red Wings. Thus, CBC was able to carry the series after inking special contracts with the Red Wings and Black Hawks as a service to the Windsor market. From Windsor, CBC linked the signal to Toronto and they relayed the coverage Dominion-wide. From there, Canadians were able to see the Finals with nary a glitch in the coverage.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Cole, Stephen (2004). The Best of Hockey Night in Canada. Toronto: McArthur & Company. p. 52. ISBN 1-55278-408-8.


Preceded by
Montreal Canadiens
Chicago Black Hawks
Stanley Cup Champions

Succeeded by
Toronto Maple Leafs