Norris Division

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Norris Division
Conference Wales Conference (1974-1981)
Campbell Conference (1981–1993)
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice Hockey
Founded 1974
Ceased 1993
Replaced by Central Division
Most titles Montreal Canadiens (7)

The NHL's Norris Division was formed in 1974 as part of the Prince of Wales Conference. The division moved to the Clarence Campbell Conference in 1981, with the Detroit Red Wings being the only member to remain from the previous season. The division existed for 19 seasons until 1993. The division was named in honour of James E. Norris. It is the fore-runner of the NHL's Central Division. Intense rivalries developed between its constituent teams.

As part of his shtick, ESPN's Chris Berman often refers to the National Football League's NFC North division (previously the NFC Central division) as the Norris Division or "NFC Norris" since the two divisions included teams from three of the same cities: Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis–St. Paul. The Tampa Bay Area was also briefly represented in both divisions simultaneously, during the 1992–93 NHL season.

Division lineups

1974–1979

Changes from the 1973–1974 season

  • The Norris Division is formed as a result of NHL realignment
  • The Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens come from the Eastern Division
  • The Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins come from the Western Division
  • The Washington Capitals are added as an expansion team

1979–1981

  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Hartford Whalers
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Pittsburgh Penguins

Changes from the 1978–1979 season

  • The Hartford Whalers are granted entry into the NHL from the World Hockey Association (WHA)
  • The Washington Capitals move to the Patrick Division

1981–1982

Changes from the 1980–1981 season

  • The Norris Division switches from the Prince of Wales Conference to the Clarence Campbell Conference
  • The Hartford Whalers and Montreal Canadiens move to the Adams Division
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins move to the Patrick Division
  • The Los Angeles Kings move to the Smythe Division
  • The Minnesota North Stars and Toronto Maple Leafs move in from the Adams Division
  • The Chicago Black Hawks, St. Louis Blues, and Winnipeg Jets move in from the Smythe Division

1982–1986

  • Chicago Black Hawks
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Toronto Maple Leafs

Changes from the 1981–1982 season

1986–1992

  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Toronto Maple Leafs

Changes from the 1985–1986 season

  • Chicago changes their nickname from the Black Hawks to the Blackhawks

1992–1993

  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Toronto Maple Leafs

Changes from the 1991–1992 season

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are added as an expansion team, making the division similar to the NFC Central in the National Football League in that it also had teams in Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay at the time.

After the 1992–1993 season

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

Regular Season Division Champions

Playoff Division Champions

From the 1981–82 season until 1992–93, the playoff champion of the Norris Division met the playoff champion of the Smythe Division in the Campbell Conference Finals. The Norris champions lost the first nine of these conference finals as well as the last one, winning only in 1991 and 1992 (where in both cases they lost the Stanley Cup Finals).

Stanley Cup winners produced

  1. 1976—Montreal Canadiens
  2. 1977—Montreal Canadiens
  3. 1978—Montreal Canadiens
  4. 1979—Montreal Canadiens

Presidents' Trophy winners produced

  1. 1991—Chicago Blackhawks

Norris Division Titles Won by Team

Team Number of Championships Won Last Year Won
Montreal Canadiens 7 1981
Chicago Blackhawks 5 1993
Detroit Red Wings 3 1992
Minnesota North Stars 2 1984
St. Louis Blues 2 1987

References








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