The post expansion Western Division would only survive until 1970-71. With further expansion to Buffalo and Vancouver, both of these franchises joined the Eastern Division. The Chicago Blackhawks headed west.
As promised, let's get to the "just for the fun of it" aspect of this story. Close your eyes and suspend belief for a short period.
Imagine that the 1967-68 Western Division was still in operation. What would the standings look like after 40-plus years of going to battle. Statistics from the National Hockey League 2010 Official Guide were used to construct the follow list.
|WESTERN DIVISION STANDINGS 1967-2009|
The undisputed leader in the majority of categories are the Philadelphia Flyers. The early success of the Scotty Bowman coached St. Louis Blues, enabled them to capture the number 2 spot. The Stanley Cup Champions (3) of this lot are the Pittsburgh Penguins, who rank fourth. At the bottom are the Los Angeles Kings.
One causality resulted in the Western Division shrinking to 5 members. The California Seals/Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals, were transferred to Cleveland in 1976-77, then merged with the Minnesota North Stars for the 1978-79 season. The Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas to start the 1993-94 campaign.
Okay, you can open your eyes.