• The NHL welcomes two new teams to the fold -- the Kansas City Scouts and the Washington Capitals. Both teams do rather poorly, with the Scouts amassing only 41 points and the Capitals earning 21 points (and only eight wins).
• With league membership now at 18 teams, the league was realigned from two divisions to two conferences of two divisions each. Teams were placed in divisions with no regard to geography, so the conferences and divisions were named for NHL builders rather than geographical references. The conferences were named the Prince of Wales Conference and the Campbell Conference. The Campbell Conference contained the Patrick and Smythe divisions, while the Wales Conference was home to the Norris and Adams divisions.
• The playoff format also underwent a change. The top three teams in each division qualified. The four division winners earned a first-round bye, while the other eight were seeded one through eight, based on their regular season record. After the best-of-three first round mini-series, the four division winners joined the fold and the eight teams were re-seeded based on their regular season records. Re-seeding continued in the semifinals until there were two teams left to compete for the Stanley Cup.
• The New York Islanders became the second team in NHL (and major American professional sports) history to come back from a three games to none deficit to win a seven game series. Their victims were the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders nearly duplicated that feat in the semifinals, rebounding from an 0-3 deficit against the Philadelphia Flyers to force a seventh game, in which they lost.
• The Flyers successfully defended their Stanley Cup title, beating the Buffalo Sabres in six games.