1974-75 NHL Regular Season Standings
|Toronto Maple Leafs||80||31||33||16||78||280||309|
|Los Angeles Kings||80||42||17||21||105||269||185|
|Detroit Red Wings||80||23||45||12||58||259||335|
|New York Rangers||80||37||29||14||88||319||276|
|New York Islanders||80||33||25||22||88||264||221|
|St. Louis Blues||80||35||31||14||84||269||267|
|Minnesota North Stars||80||23||50||7||53||221||341|
|Kansas City Scouts||80||15||54||11||41||184||328|
1974-75 National Hockey League Season
With the addition of the Washington Capitals and Kansas City Scouts, the size of the National Hockey League increased to 18 teams for the 1974-75 season. The league had now tripled in size since the 1966-67 campaign. The Capitals won just eight games, losing 67 and tying five for a dismal total of 21 points. Their expansion cousins in Kansas City fared a bit better with 15 wins and 41 points.
With the increase in the number of teams, the schedule grew with each team now playing 80 games, up from the 78 in 1973-74. Also, the NHL was adjusted from two divisions to four. No longer just the Eastern and Western, the NHL was now divided into the Norris, Adams, Patrick and Smythe divisions. Geographically, they made little sense.
The additions of Washington and Kansas City were not to be the only changes for 1974-75. Relocations were planned with the California Golden Seals moving to Denver and the Pittsburgh Penguins moving to Seattle. These relocations were nixed, however.
The Philadelphia Flyers won their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship, beating the Buffalo Sabres in the finals. Bernie Parent, goaltender for the Flyers, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff most valuable player.
During the regular season, Bobby Orr won his second of two Art Ross Trophies. He remains the only defenseman to lead the NHL in scoring. Orr did it with 135 points on 46 goals and 89 assists while playing in all 80 games for the Boston Bruins. He finished eight points ahead of teammate Phil Esposito. Phil led the league with 61 goals in the days before the Rocket Richard Trophy.
The Calder Trophy went to Eric Vail of the Atlanta Flames. Vail put up 39 goals, one more than Gilbert Perreault’s 1970-71 rookie record, and added 21 assists for 60 points over 72 games.
The Vezina Trophy went solely to Bernie Parent of the Flyers. Parent appeared in 68 games, posted a 2.03 goals against average and recorded 12 shutouts. The shutout total ranks him 14th all-time, tied with several others, including Terry Sawchuk who had 12 for the Detroit Red Wings in the 1951-52 NHL season.
Bobby Clarke of the Flyers was awarded the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP. Playing all 80 games, Clarke scored 27 and assisted on 89 for 116 points. His 89 assists tied him for the NHL lead with Bobby Orr. He placed sixth in the race for the Art Ross Trophy. For Bobby, it was second of three career Hart Trophy wins.
1974-75 marked the National Hockey League debut of future Hockey Hall of Fame forward Clark Gillies. It also marked the NHL finale for Hall of Famers Henri Richard and Norm Ullman. Ullman would go on to play two more years in the World Hockey Association with the Edmonton Oilers.
On an infamous note, Dave Schultz of the Philadelphia Flyers set the current mark for most penalty minutes in a single season. Schultz sat a knuckle bruising 472 minutes in the box, a whopping 196 minutes more than second place Andre Dupont, a teammate of Dave’s with the Flyers.