West Division (NHL)

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West Division
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice Hockey
Founded 1967
Ceased 1974
Replaced by Campbell Conference
Most titles Chicago Black Hawks (3)

The West Division of the National Hockey League existed from 1967 until 1974 when the league realigned into two conferences of two divisions each.

In 1967 the NHL doubled in size, going from six teams to twelve. The Original Six, as the pre-1967 teams became retroactively known, were grouped into the East Division, while the expansion teams were placed into the new West Division. This was done in order to keep teams of similar competitive strength in the same division, regardless of geographic distance,[1] and to ensure playoff revenue for the new franchises.

When the NHL expanded again in 1970, the two new teams, the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres, were placed into the stronger East Division. In an effort to create more balanced competition, the Chicago Black Hawks were transferred into the West Division. When the NHL expanded again in 1972, each division was given one of the expansion clubs, with the New York Islanders joining the East Division and the Atlanta Flames joining the West Division.

By 1974, another two teams (the Washington Capitals and Kansas City Scouts) entered the league, and the league underwent a major overhaul. The East and West Divisions were renamed the Prince of Wales and Clarence Campbell Conferences, respectively, composed of nine teams each. The conferences were further divided into two divisions: the Norris and Adams Divisions for the Wales Conference; the Patrick and Smythe Divisions for the Campbell Conference. Because the Conferences were not composed based on geography, the league opted to name the conferences and divisions after notable persons associated with the NHL.

Division Lineups[edit]

1967–1970[edit]

Changes from the 1966–67 season[edit]

  • The West Division is formed as the result of NHL realignment
  • All teams are added as expansion teams

1970–1972[edit]

  • California Golden Seals
  • Chicago Black Hawks
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • St. Louis Blues

Changes from the 1969–70 season[edit]

  • The Oakland Seals change their name to the California Golden Seals
  • The Chicago Black Hawks come from the East Division

1972–1974[edit]

  • Atlanta Flames
  • California Golden Seals
  • Chicago Black Hawks
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • St. Louis Blues

Changes from the 1971–72 season[edit]

  • The Atlanta Flames are added as an expansion team

After the 1973–74 season[edit]

The league was reformatted into two conferences with two divisions each:

Division Champions[edit]

Season results[edit]

Season 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
1967–68 Philadelphia (73) Los Angeles (72) St. Luois (70) Minnesota (69) Pittsburgh (67) Oakland (47)
1968–69 St. Louis (88) Oakland (69) Philadelphia (61) Los Angeles (58) Pittsburgh (51) Minnesota (51)
1969–70 St. Louis (86) Pittsburgh (64) Minnesota (60) Oakland (58) Philadelphia (58) Los Angeles (38)
1970–71 Chicago (107) St. Louis (87) Philadelphia (73) Minnesota (72) Los Angeles (63) Pittsburgh (62) California (45)
1971–72 Chicago (107) Minnesota (86) St. Louis (67) Pittsburgh (66) Philadelphia (66) California (60) Los Angeles (49)
1972–73 Chicago (93) Philadelphia (85) Minnesota (85) St. Louis (76) Pittsburgh (73) Los Angeles (73) Atlanta (65) California (48)
1973–74 Philadelphia (112) Chicago (105) Los Angeles (78) Atlanta (74) Pittsburgh (65) St. Louis (64) Minnesota (63) California (36)
  • Green background denotes qualified for playoffs

Stanley Cup winners produced[edit]

  1. 1974—Philadelphia Flyers

References[edit]

  1. ^ MacKinnon, John (1996). NHL Hockey: The Official Fans' Guide. Vancouver: Raincoast Book Distribution Ltd. p. 128. 
  2. ^ Named "California Seals" for the first month of the season, after which they were renamed "Oakland Seals"