• Two financially troubled franchises -- the Cleveland Barons and Minnesota North Stars -- merge. The team plays in Minnesota, leaving Cleveland without an NHL franchise and reducing league membership from 18 teams to 17. It's the first reduction since the Brooklyn Americans folded in 1942. The North Stars take the Barons' place in the Adams Division.

• The All-Star Game is replaced with the Challenge Cup, a best-of-three series between NHL All-Stars and the Soviet Union national team. The Soviets would win the series, two games to one. A year later, a group of U.S.-born college kids would prove to be more problematic for the Soviets.

• The Montreal Canadiens win their fourth straight Stanley Cup, beating the New York Rangers in five games. The Canadiens had come off a hard-fought seven-game series against the Bruins. In the seventh game, regarded as one of the greatest games ever played, the Canadiens were down by a goal late in the third period when the Bruins were caught playing with too many men on the ice (this wasn't a fluke situation where play went near the Bruins' bench while they were in the middle of a line change; they were actually playing with six attackers and a goalie). With Peter McNab serving the penalty, the Canadiens scored on the power play, and they scored in overtime to win the series.

Atlanta Flames

Boston Bruins

Buffalo Sabres

Chicago Black Hawks

Colorado Rockies

Detroit Red Wings

Los Angeles Kings

Minnesota North Stars

Montreal Canadiens

New York Islanders

New York Rangers

Philadelphia Flyers

Pittsburgh Penguins

St. Louis Blues

Toronto Maple Leafs

Vancouver Canucks

Washington Capitals

Challenge Cup Series
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