The 1966-67 season of the NHL was a landmark season for the National Hockey League. This year marked the 50th year of play that took place. The 50th year anniversary was more than just a sentimental year though, this season brought changes to the league that would change the sport forever.
Since the 1940s the league had featured just 6 teams. These six teams would square off repeatedly during a season that lasted 70 games. This was exciting as rivalries were able to be built up, but it was time for the league to grow into what it could be. This season would be the last season in NHL history where they would have just 6 teams.
There were other things that made this season in hockey historically important. One of these things included the debut of Bobby Orr. Bobby Orr is known as being one of the greatest players to ever play in the NHL. He would make his NHL debut with the Boston Bruins.
Despite the addition of one of the all-time greats, the Bruins were not able to find success during the 1966-67 season. They managed to take home just 17 wins on the season while dropping 43 games. This record would leave them in the cellar of the league, winning 10 fewer games than the next worst team.
The Detroit Red Wings would be the second to worst team in the NHL. They managed to take home 27 wins on the season, but their record was not good enough to make the playoffs. The Red Wings and Bruins would be the two teams that season that did not qualify for the playoffs.
The 4th best team in the regular season was the New York Rangers. The Rangers managed to take home a record that was above a .500 win percentage. They would win 30 games while dropping 28. The Rangers were led that season by Phil Goyette. Goyette was not much of a goal scorer, but he was one of the great distributors of the puck that season. He dished out 49 assists on the season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs would secure the 3rd best regular season record with 32 wins and 27 losses on the season. While they weren’t super impressive during the season, they managed to take out the Black Hawks in the first round and advanced to the Stanley Cup. Their performance in the playoffs would make them the Stanley Cup Champions.
The Montreal Canadien would secure the 2nd best regular season record during the season. They were led by Bobby Rosseau and Henri Richard. These two players combine for 118 points on the season and they were good enough to keep the team in games on a nightly basis. The Canadiens would win 32 games on the season. This team would advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, but fell to the Maple Leafs in 6 games.
The Chicago Black Hawks were the top team in the league for years and managed to continue that reputation in the regular season. Unfortunately they were not able to come through in the playoffs. They would fall to the Maple Leafs in 6 games in the Semi-Finals.
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