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1970-71

• Teams switch home and road jerseys. Teams now wear white (or yellow) jerseys at home and dark colored jerseys on the road.

• The NHL welcomes the Buffalo Sabres and the Vancouver Canucks to the league. Apparently not having an atlas handy, the NHL places both teams in the East Division, while moving the Chicago Black Hawks to the West Division.

• The Oakland Seals are purchased by the flamboyant Charlie O. Finley, and are renamed the California Golden Seals. Finley changes the team's colors to green, gold and white, outfitting his team with white skates.

• The defending champion Boston Bruins shatter the single-season goal scoring record by nearly 100 goals, registering 399 during the regular season. They also set records for wins (57) and points (121).

• On October 29, Gordie Howe becomes the first player in NHL history to record 1000 assists.

• Phil Esposito becomes the first player in NHL history to score 60 goals in a season. He would end with 76.

• The playoff format was a rather nonsensical one. The first-place team in each division played the third-place team, while the second-place team faced the fourth-place team. Many people believe that led to the Minnesota North Stars, who had a stranglehold on third place in the West Division, to intentionally lose their last four games and finish fourth by a single point to avoid playing the Chicago Black Hawks in the first round. The North Stars beat the second-place St. Louis Blues, leaving the third-place Philadelphia Flyers to be swept by the Black Hawks. Nothing was proven against the North Stars, but the format was changed the following season to a one-four/two-three setup.

• Despite their high-scoring ways, the Bruins would not make the Stanley Cup Final. They were upset by the Montreal Canadiens in seven games in the division semifinals. The Canadiens would go on to beat the Black Hawks in seven games to win the Stanley Cup.


Boston Bruins


Buffalo Sabres


California Golden Seals


Chicago Black Hawks


Detroit Red Wings


Los Angeles Kings


Minnesota North Stars


Montreal Canadiens


New York Rangers


Philadelphia Flyers


Pittsburgh Penguins


St. Louis Blues


Toronto Maple Leafs


Vancouver Canucks


1971 All-Star Game
Boston, MA