12 teams in the 1968-69 NHL season The 1968–69 NHL season was the National Hockey League's 52nd season. Each of the twelve teams played 76 games (two more than in 1967-68). The Montreal Canadiens met the St. Louis Blues for the second game in a row. This time, however, the Habs won both games by a score of 6-4 and 9-5 to sweep their opponents out of the playoffs.
The Chicago Black Hawks finished with the best record in the league on the strength of their powerful offense led by future Hall of Famers Bobby Hull and Fred "Sudden Sam" Wise. The Hawks defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 in overtime of the final regular season game to claim first place in the NHL's Western Division and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Chicago went on to defeat the Minnesota North Stars four games to two in the opening round before being eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings in five games in the next round. The Red Wings would go on to lose to the Montreal Canadians in seven games in the Finals.
The Philadelphia Flyers made their debut in 1968-69 after spending most of its previous season as an expansion team. The Flyers were one of three new teams in the NHL that year along with the Colorado Rockies and California Seals. Philadelphia acquired star players like Bob Clarke and Rod Gilbert from other teams in exchange for future Hall of Fame defenseman Norm Ullman.
There are six teams. The 1954–55 NHL season was the National Hockey League's 38th season. Each of the six teams played 70 games. The Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in the best-of-seven final series four games to three. This was the first time that Detroit had won the Cup since 1939.
The New York Rangers left the league after one season to join the American Hockey League (AHL). The Hartford Whalers moved to Boston after one season and became the Bruins. The Cleveland Barons relocated to Dallas and were renamed Stars. And finally, the Chicago Black Hawks retired Bernie "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion's number 9 in honor of their late captain who had died earlier that season.
NHL team numbers have changed over the years. In 1917, the Ottawa Senators joined the NHL as its sixth team. However, they only lasted one season before moving to Victoria, British Columbia to become the Victoria Cougars. In 1920, the Montreal Maroons joined the NHL as an original member team. However, they only lasted one season before moving to Cleveland, Ohio to become the Buckeyes. In 1924, the Pittsburgh Pirates joined the NHL as an original member team. However, they only lasted one season before moving to Philadelphia to become the Flyers. In 1926, the New York Americans joined the NHL as an original member team.
Each of the twelve teams played 74 games. The Montreal Canadiens would defeat the new St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup finals. The NHL expanded from the "Original Six" clubs to include six additional franchises this season. The Minnesota North Stars were joined by the Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Montreal Canadiens were one of six new teams added to the National Hockey League this season. They started out with a record of 5-7-0 but finished the season strong going 30-22-10 for 89 points and first place in the Metropolitan Division. Jacques Lemaire was named the MVP of the playoffs as he helped lead the Canadiens to their second consecutive Stanley Cup title.
Lemaire had 11 goals and 47 assists for 58 points during the regular season. He also had three goals and eight assists for eleven points in sixteen playoff games. Yvan Cournoyer was the leading scorer for the Canadiens with 77 points (30g-47a).
This season's final standings were Montreal - 90 points, Boston - 88, Chicago - 48, Oakland - 46, St. Louis - 44. The expansion New York Rangers finished with a dismal 2-21-1 record.
In 1967, the NHL allowed each team an allotment of two minutes worth of game time per minute of actual playing time.