Norris Division

The NHL's Norris Division was formed in 1974 as part of the Prince of Wales Conference. When the NHL realigned into geographic divisions in 1981, the division moved to the Clarence Campbell Conference, where it comprised the league's Great Lakes and Midwest teams, with the Detroit Red Wings being the only member to remain from the previous season. The division existed for 19 seasons until 1993. The division was named in honour of James E. Norris, longtime owner of the Red Wings. It is the fore-runner of the NHL's Central Division. Intense rivalries developed between its constituent teams, which through the 1980s were noted for enforcer-heavy squads that had poor performances - qualifying for the playoffs with .500 points percentages, and achieving no Stanley Cup titles or appearances in the finals - but great local popularity.[1][2][3] Despite the division's reputation, the 1985–86 St. Louis Blues made an impressive cinderella run by reaching the Conference Finals where it took the Calgary Flames 7 games to dispatch them following the The Monday Night Miracle, and the 1990–91 Minnesota North Stars reached the Stanley Cup finals.

Norris Division
ConferenceWales Conference (1974–1981)
Campbell Conference (1981–1993)
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
Replaced byCentral Division
Most Norris Division titlesMontreal Canadiens (7)

As part of his shtick, ESPN's Chris Berman often refers to the National Football League's NFC North division (previously the NFC Central division) as the Norris Division or "NFC Norris" since the two divisions included teams from three of the same cities: Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis–St. Paul. The Tampa Bay Area was also briefly represented in both divisions simultaneously, during the 1992–93 NHL season.

Division lineups


Changes from the 1973–74 season

  • The Norris Division is formed as a result of NHL realignment
  • The Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens come from the East Division
  • The Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins come from the West Division
  • The Washington Capitals are added as an expansion team


  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Hartford Whalers
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Pittsburgh Penguins

Changes from the 1978–79 season


Changes from the 1980–81 season

  • The Norris Division switches from the Prince of Wales Conference to the Clarence Campbell Conference
  • The Hartford Whalers and Montreal Canadiens move to the Adams Division
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins move to the Patrick Division
  • The Los Angeles Kings move to the Smythe Division
  • The Minnesota North Stars and Toronto Maple Leafs come from the Adams Division
  • The Chicago Black Hawks, St. Louis Blues, and Winnipeg Jets come from the Smythe Division


  • Chicago Black Hawks
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Toronto Maple Leafs

Changes from the 1981–82 season

  • The Winnipeg Jets move back to the Smythe Division


  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Toronto Maple Leafs

Changes from the 1985–86 season

  • Chicago changes their nickname from the Black Hawks to the Blackhawks


  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Toronto Maple Leafs

Changes from the 1991–92 season

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are added as an expansion team

After the 1992–93 season

The league was reformatted into two conferences with two divisions each:

Regular season Division champions

Season results

Season 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1974–75Montreal (113)Los Angeles (105)Pittsburgh (89)Detroit (58)Washington (21)
1975–76Montreal (127)Los Angeles (85)Pittsburgh (82)Detroit (62)Washington (32)
1976–77Montreal (132)Los Angeles (83)Pittsburgh (81)Washington (62)Detroit (41)
1977–78Montreal (129)Detroit (78)Los Angeles (77)Pittsburgh (68)Washington (48)
1978–79Montreal (115)Pittsburgh (85)Los Angeles (80)Washington (63)Detroit (62)
1979–80Montreal (107)Los Angeles (74)Pittsburgh (73)Hartford (73)Detroit (63)
1980–81Montreal (103)Los Angeles (99)Pittsburgh (73)Hartford (60)Detroit (56)
1981–82Minnesota (94)Winnipeg (80)St. Louis (72)Chicago (72)Toronto (56)Detroit (54)
1982–83Chicago (104)Minnesota (96)Toronto (68)St. Louis (65)Detroit (57)
1983–84Minnesota (88)St. Louis (71)Detroit (69)Chicago (68)Toronto (61)
1984–85St. Louis (86)Chicago (83)Detroit (66)Minnesota (62)Toronto (48)
1985–86Chicago (86)Minnesota (85)St. Louis (83)Toronto (57)Detroit (40)
1986–87St. Louis (79)Detroit (78)Chicago (72)Toronto (70)Minnesota (70)
1987–88Detroit (93)St. Louis (76)Chicago (69)Toronto (52)Minnesota (51)
1988–89Detroit (80)St. Louis (78)Minnesota (70)Chicago (66)Toronto (62)
1989–90Chicago (88)St. Louis (83)Toronto (80)Minnesota (76)Detroit (70)
1990–91Chicago (106)St. Louis (105)Detroit (76)Minnesota (68)Toronto (57)
1991–92Detroit (98)Chicago (87)St. Louis (83)Minnesota (70)Toronto (67)
1992–93Chicago (106)Detroit (103)Toronto (99)St. Louis (85)Minnesota (82)Tampa Bay (53)
  • Green background denotes qualified for playoffs

Playoff Division champions

Stanley Cup winners produced

Presidents' Trophy winners produced

Norris Division titles won by team

TeamWinsLast win
Montreal Canadiens71981
Chicago Blackhawks51993
Detroit Red Wings31992
Minnesota North Stars21984
St. Louis Blues21987
Hartford Whalers0
Los Angeles Kings0
Pittsburgh Penguins0
Tampa Bay Lightning0
Toronto Maple Leafs0
Washington Capitals0
Winnipeg Jets0


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