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Central Division (NHL)

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The NHL's Central Division was formed in 1974 as the Norris Division in a league realignment. It assumed its current name in 1993 after another realignment.

Since the 1981 realignment, only the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues have had continuous membership in the division.

Current lineupEdit

Division lineupsEdit

1974–1979Edit

Changes from the 1973–1974 seasonEdit

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

1979–1981Edit

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

Changes from the 1978–1979 seasonEdit

  • The Hartford Whalers are granted entry into the NHL from the World Hockey Association (WHA)
  • The Washington Capitals move to the Patrick Division

1981–1982Edit

Changes from the 1980–1981 seasonEdit

  • 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 move in from the Adams Division
  • The Chicago Black Hawks, St. Louis Blues, and Winnipeg Jets move in from the Smythe Division

1982–1986Edit

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

Changes from the 1981–1982 seasonEdit

1986–1992Edit

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

Changes from the 1985–1986 seasonEdit

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

1992–1993Edit

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

Changes from the 1991–1992 seasonEdit

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are added as an expansion team, making the division similar to the NFC Central in the National Football League in that it also had teams in Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay at the time.

1993–1996Edit

  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Dallas Stars
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Winnipeg Jets

Changes from the 1992–1993 seasonEdit

  • The Norris Division is renamed the Central Division
  • The Minnesota North Stars move to Dallas, Texas, and become the Dallas Stars
  • The Winnipeg Jets return from the Smythe Division (renamed Pacific Division)
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning move to the Atlantic (formerly Patrick) Division

1996–1998Edit

  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Dallas Stars
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Phoenix Coyotes
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Toronto Maple Leafs

Changes from the 1995–1996 seasonEdit

  • The Winnipeg Jets move to Phoenix, Arizona, to become the Phoenix Coyotes

1998–2000Edit

  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Nashville Predators
  • St. Louis Blues

Changes from the 1997–1998 seasonEdit

  • The Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes move to the Pacific Division
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs move to the Northeast Division
  • The Nashville Predators are added as an expansion team

2000–2013Edit

Changes from the 1999–2000 seasonEdit

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets are added as an expansion team

2013–Edit

  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Nashville Predators
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Winnipeg Jets

Changes from the 2012–2013 seasonEdit

  • The Northwest Division is dissolved due to the NHL realignment
  • The Detroit Red Wings move to the Atlantic Division (formerly Northeast)
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets move to the Metropolitan Division (formerly Atlantic)
  • The Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild come from the Northwest Division
  • The Dallas Stars return from the Pacific Division
  • The Winnipeg Jets come from the Southeast Division

Division ChampionsEdit

Playoff Division ChampionsEdit

From the 1981–82 season until 1992–93, the playoff champion of the Norris Division met the playoff champion of the Smythe Division in the Campbell Conference Finals. The Norris champions lost the first nine of these conference finals as well as the last one, winning only in 1991 and 1992 (where in both cases they lost the Stanley Cup Finals).

Season resultsEdit

Season 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
1993–94Detroit (100)Toronto (98)Dallas (97)St. Louis (91)Chicago (87)Winnipeg (57)
1994–95Detroit (70)St. Louis (61)Chicago (53)Toronto (50)Dallas (42)Winnipeg (39)
1995–96Detroit (131)Chicago (94)Toronto (80)St. Louis (80)Winnipeg (78)Dallas (66)
1996–97Dallas (104)Detroit (94)Phoenix (83)St. Louis (83)Chicago (81)Toronto (68)
1997–98Dallas (109)Detroit (103)St. Louis (98)Phoenix (82)Chicago (73)Toronto (69)
1998–99Detroit (93)St. Louis (87)Chicago (70)Nashville (63)
1999–2000St. Louis (114)Detroit (108)Chicago (78)Nashville (70)
2000–01Detroit (111)St. Louis (103)Nashville (80)Chicago (71)Columbus (71)
2001–02Detroit (116)St. Louis (98)Chicago (96)Nashville (69)Columbus (57)
2002–03Detroit (110)St. Louis (99)Chicago (79)Nashville (74)Columbus (69)
2003–04Detroit (109)St. Louis (91)Nashville (91)Columbus (62)Chicago (59)
2004–05No season due to 2004–05 NHL lockout
2005–06Detroit (124)Nashville (106)Columbus (74)Chicago (65)St. Louis (57)
2006–07Detroit (113)Nashville (110)St. Louis (81)Columbus (73)Chicago (71)
2007–08Detroit (115)Nashville (91)Chicago (88)Columbus (80)St. Louis (79)
2008–09Detroit (112)Chicago (104)St. Louis (92)Columbus (92)Nashville (88)
2009–10Chicago (112)Detroit (102)Nashville (100)St. Louis (90)Columbus (79)
2010–11Detroit (104)Nashville (99)Chicago (97)St. Louis (87)Columbus (81)
2011–12St. Louis (109)Nashville (104)Detroit (102)Chicago (101)Columbus (65)
2012–13Chicago (77)St. Louis (60)Detroit (56)Columbus (55)Nashville (41)
2013–14Colorado (112)St. Louis (111)Chicago (107)Minnesota (98)Dallas (91)Nashville (88)Winnipeg (84)
  • Green background denotes qualified for playoffs

Stanley Cup winners producedEdit

  1. 1976—Montreal Canadiens
  2. 1977—Montreal Canadiens
  3. 1978—Montreal Canadiens
  4. 1979—Montreal Canadiens
  5. 1997—Detroit Red Wings
  6. 1998—Detroit Red Wings
  7. 2002—Detroit Red Wings
  8. 2008—Detroit Red Wings
  9. 2010—Chicago Blackhawks
  10. 2013—Chicago Blackhawks

Presidents' Trophy winners producedEdit

  1. 1991—Chicago Blackhawks
  2. 1995—Detroit Red Wings
  3. 1996—Detroit Red Wings
  4. 1998—Dallas Stars
  5. 2000—St. Louis Blues
  6. 2002—Detroit Red Wings
  7. 2004—Detroit Red Wings
  8. 2006—Detroit Red Wings
  9. 2008—Detroit Red Wings
  10. 2013—Chicago Blackhawks

Norris/Central Division titles won by teamEdit

Team Number of Championships Won Last Year Won
Detroit Red Wings 16 2011
Montreal Canadiens 7 1981
Chicago Blackhawks 7 2013
Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars 4 1998
St. Louis Blues 4 2012
Colorado Avalanche 1 2014
Minnesota Wild 0
Nashville Predators 0
Winnipeg Jets 0
Columbus Blue Jackets 0
Phoenix Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets 0

*Teams that are in bold are currently in the division.

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