- 1978–79 NHL season
The 1978–79 NHL season was the 62nd season of the
National Hockey League. The 17 teams of the league played an 80 game season.
Montreal Canadiensbeat the New York Rangersin the Stanley Cupfinals four games to one for their fourth Cup in a row.
This season saw the first reduction in the total number of teams since the
Brooklyn Americansfolded following the 1941–42 season. The financially unstable Cleveland Barons were merged with the also struggling Minnesota North Stars(now the Dallas Stars), reducing the number of teams to seventeen, with the North Stars assuming the Barons' place in the Adams Division.
This reduction would only be temporary, however, as the
World Hockey Associationwould fold following this season and four of its teams, the Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, Winnipeg Jets and Hartford Whalers, would be admitted to the NHL as expansion franchises for the 1979–80 season.
For the first time since the NHL All-Star Game became an annual tradition, it was not played. In its stead was the
1979 Challenge Cup, which saw Soviet Union players come over to North Americato play against NHL players. The Soviets won the series two games to one.
For the past three seasons, the Montreal Canadiens had dominated the regular season, but times were changing. The
New York Islandershad been steadily improving over the past few seasons and this season saw them beat out the Canadiens by one point for the best record in the league.
"GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties In Minutes"
"Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold"
Prince of Wales Conference
"Philadelphia wins best-of-three series 2 games to 1"
Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers"Pittsburgh wins best-of-three series 2 games to 1"
Chicago Black Hawks vs. New York Islanders"Boston wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 0"
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers"Montreal wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 3"
New York Rangers vs. Montreal Canadiens
As of 2008, it is the last time two Pre-war clubs met in the Finals.
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1978–79 (listed with their first team, asterisk (*) marks debut in playoffs):
Brad Marsh, Atlanta Flames
Reggie Lemelin, Atlanta Flames
Al Secord, Boston Bruins
*Bobby Smith, Minnesota North Stars
*Steve Payne, Minnesota North Stars
Rod Langway, Montreal Canadiens
John Tonelli, New York Islanders
Anders Hedberg, New York Rangers
*Ulf Nilsson, New York Rangers
Ken Linseman, Philadelphia Flyers
Pete Peeters, Philadelphia Flyers
Greg Millen, Pittsburgh Penguins
Wayne Babych, St. Louis Blues
Curt Fraser, Vancouver Canucks
Thomas Gradin, Vancouver Canucks
Stan Smyl, Vancouver Canucks
*Brad Smith, Vancouver Canucks
Ryan Walter, Washington Capitals
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1978–79 (listed with their last team):
Bobby Orr, Chicago Black Hawks
*Joe Watson, Colorado Rockies
Danny Grant, Los Angeles Kings
J.P. Parise, Minnesota North Stars
Jacques Lemaire, Montreal Canadiens
Ken Dryden, Montreal Canadiens
Yvan Cournoyer, Montreal Canadiens
Ed Westfall, New York Islanders
Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers
Garry Monahan, Toronto Maple Leafs
Pit Martin, Vancouver Canucks
List of Stanley Cup champions
1978 NHL Amateur Draft
1979 Challenge Cup
1978–79 WHA season
1978 in sports
1979 in sports
* [http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/nhl1927.html Hockey Database]
* [http://nhl.com/ NHL.com]
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