1974–75 Washington Capitals season

The 1974–75 Washington Capitals season was the first in Capitals history. Along with the Kansas City Scouts, the Capitals joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team for the 1974–75 season. The team was owned by Abe Pollin, owner of the NBA's Washington Bullets. Pollin had built the Capital Centre in suburban Landover, Maryland, to house both the Bullets (who formerly played in Baltimore) and the Capitals. His first act as owner was to hire Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt as general manager.

1974–75 Washington Capitals
Division5th Norris
Conference9th Wales
1974–75 record8–67–5
Home record7–28–5
Road record1–39–0
Goals for181
Goals against446
Team information
General managerMilt Schmidt
CoachJim Anderson
Red Sullivan
Milt Schmidt
CaptainDoug Mohns
Team leaders
GoalsTom Williams (22)
AssistsTom Williams (36)
PointsTom Williams (58)
Penalty minutesYvon Labre (182)
WinsRon Low (8)
Goals against averageMichel Belhumeur (5.36)

The team's record of 8–67–5 is the worst individual season in the history of the NHL.[1]

Offseason

NHL Draft

Round # Player Nationality College/Junior/Club Team
11Greg Joly (D) CanadaRegina Pats (WCHL)
219Mike Marson (LW) CanadaSudbury Wolves (OMJHL)
337John Paddock (RW) CanadaBrandon Wheat Kings (WCHL)
455Paul Nicholson (LW) CanadaLondon Knights (OMJHL)
573Jack Patterson (C) CanadaKamloops Chiefs (WCHL)
691Brian Kinsella (C) CanadaOshawa Generals (OMJHL)
7109Garth Malarchuk (G) CanadaCalgary Centennials (WCHL)
8127John Nazar (LW) CanadaCornwall Royals (QMJHL)
9144Kelvin Erickson (G) CanadaCalgary Centennials (WCHL)
10161Tony White (LW) CanadaKitchener Rangers (OMJHL)
11176Ron Pronchuk (D) CanadaBrandon Wheat Kings (WCHL)
12190Dave McKee (RW) CanadaOshawa Generals (OMJHL)
13202Scott Mabley (D) CanadaSault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OMJHL)
14212Bernard Plante (LW) CanadaTrois-Rivieres Draveurs (QMJHL)
15220Jacques Chiasson (RW) CanadaDrummondville Rangers (QMJHL)
16225Bill Bell (LW) CanadaRegina Pats (WCHL)
17228Bob Blanchet (G) CanadaKitchener Rangers (OMJHL)
18231Johnny Bower Jr. (D) CanadaDownsview Beavers (OPJHL)
19234Yves Plouffe (D) CanadaSorel Eperviers (QMJHL)
20237Terry Bozack (D) CanadaPembroke Lumber Kings (CJAHL)
21240Gord Cole (LW) CanadaBrandon Wheat Kings (WCHL)
22242Mike Cosentino (C) CanadaHamilton Fincups (OMJHL)
23244John Duncan (D) CanadaCornwall Royals (QMJHL)
24246Barry Kerfoot (RW) CanadaSmiths Falls Bears (CJAHL)
25247Ron Poole (C) CanadaKamloops Chiefs (WCHL)

Expansion Draft

# Player Drafted From Drafted By
2.Ron Low (G)Toronto Maple LeafsWashington Capitals
4.Michel Belhumeur (G)Philadelphia FlyersWashington Capitals
6.Dave Kryskow (F)Chicago Black HawksWashington Capitals
8.Yvon Labre (D)Pittsburgh PenguinsWashington Capitals
10.Pete Laframboise (LW)California Golden SealsWashington Capitals
12.Bob Gryp (F)Boston BruinsWashington Capitals
14.Gord Smith (D)Los Angeles KingsWashington Capitals
16.Steve Atkinson (RW)Buffalo SabresWashington Capitals
18.Bruce Cowick (F)Philadelphia FlyersWashington Capitals
20.Denis Dupere (LW)Toronto Maple LeafsWashington Capitals
22.Joe Lundrigan (D)Toronto Maple LeafsWashington Capitals
24.Randy Wyrozub (C)Buffalo SabresWashington Capitals
26.Mike Bloom (C)Boston BruinsWashington Capitals
28.Gord Brooks (RW)St. Louis BluesWashington Capitals
30.Bob Collyard (C)St. Louis BluesWashington Capitals
32.Bill Mikkelson (D)New York IslandersWashington Capitals
34.Ron Anderson (RW)Boston BruinsWashington Capitals
36.Mike Lampman (LW)Vancouver CanucksWashington Capitals
38.Lew Morrison (RW)Atlanta FlamesWashington Capitals
40.Steve West (C)Minnesota North StarsWashington Capitals
42.Larry Bolonchuk (D)Vancouver CanucksWashington Capitals
44.Murray Anderson (D)Minnesota North StarsWashington Capitals
46.Larry Fullan (LW)Montreal CanadiensWashington Capitals
48.Jack Egers (RW)New York RangersWashington Capitals

Regular season

Along with the Kansas City Scouts, the Capitals joined the NHL as an expansion team for the 1974–75 season. With a combined 30 teams between the NHL and the rival World Hockey Association, the talent pool available to stock the new teams was extremely thin. In their first season, the Capitals would set an NHL record for futility, losing 67 of 80 games, and only winning one on the road. The Scouts fared only marginally better (getting their first win against the Capitals, albeit in their tenth game of existence), and the expansion was widely seen as having been a mistake.

The Capitals' inaugural season was dreadful, even by expansion standards. They finished 8–67–5, which is the worst record in NHL history.[2] Their 21 points were half that of their expansion brethren, the Scouts. They won only eight games, the fewest ever by a team playing at least 70 games. Their .131 winning percentage is still the worst in NHL history. They also set records for most road losses (39 out of 40), most consecutive road losses (37) and most consecutive losses (17), most of which have now been broken. Schmidt himself had to take over the coaching reins late in the season. The Capitals failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Of Washington's eight wins, seven of them were decided by two goals or more, with their season superlative 8-4 win in their final game.

The last remaining Capital from their inaugural season still active was defenceman Yvon Labre, who retired after the 1980–81 season.

Final standings

Norris Division[3]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1Montreal Canadiens80471419374225+149113
2Los Angeles Kings80421721269185+84105
3Pittsburgh Penguins80372815326289+3789
4Detroit Red Wings80234512259335−7658
5Washington Capitals808675181446−26521

Schedule and results

No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1LOctober 9, 19743–6@ New York Rangers (1974–75)0–1–0
2LOctober 12, 19740–6@ Minnesota North Stars (1974–75)0–2–0
3TOctober 15, 19741–1Los Angeles Kings (1974–75)0–2–1
4WOctober 17, 19744–3Chicago Black Hawks (1974–75)1–2–1
5LOctober 19, 19744–6@ Detroit Red Wings (1974–75)1–3–1
6LOctober 20, 19740–5New York Islanders (1974–75)1–4–1
7LOctober 22, 19740–3Detroit Red Wings (1974–75)1–5–1
8LOctober 23, 19742–3@ Chicago Black Hawks (1974–75)1–6–1
9LOctober 27, 19743–4Toronto Maple Leafs (1974–75)1–7–1
10LOctober 31, 19740–3Montreal Canadiens (1974–75)1–8–1
11LNovember 3, 19744–5Kansas City Scouts (1974–75)1–9–1
12LNovember 7, 19744–10@ Boston Bruins (1974–75)1–10–1
13LNovember 9, 19742–6@ Philadelphia Flyers (1974–75)1–11–1
14LNovember 10, 19741–11Montreal Canadiens (1974–75)1–12–1
15TNovember 12, 19742–2Atlanta Flames (1974–75)1–12–2
16LNovember 13, 19743–4@ Atlanta Flames (1974–75)1–13–2
17LNovember 16, 19741–8@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1974–75)1–14–2
18LNovember 17, 19740–6Pittsburgh Penguins (1974–75)1–15–2
19WNovember 19, 19746–4California Golden Seals (1974–75)2–15–2
20LNovember 20, 19743–7@ Buffalo Sabres (1974–75)2–16–2
21TNovember 24, 19744–4Minnesota North Stars (1974–75)2–16–3
22LNovember 27, 19744–6@ Minnesota North Stars (1974–75)2–17–3
23LNovember 30, 19741–7@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1974–75)2–18–3
24LDecember 1, 19742–5California Golden Seals (1974–75)2–19–3
25LDecember 3, 19743–5Buffalo Sabres (1974–75)2–20–3
26LDecember 5, 19742–9@ Buffalo Sabres (1974–75)2–21–3
27LDecember 7, 19742–8@ St. Louis Blues (1974–75)2–22–3
28LDecember 8, 19741–3St. Louis Blues (1974–75)2–23–3
29TDecember 12, 19746–6New York Rangers (1974–75)2–23–4
30LDecember 14, 19741–12@ Boston Bruins (1974–75)2–24–4
31WDecember 15, 19743–1Toronto Maple Leafs (1974–75)3–24–4
32LDecember 17, 19742–4@ Vancouver Canucks (1974–75)3–25–4
33LDecember 19, 19741–4@ Los Angeles Kings (1974–75)3–26–4
34LDecember 20, 19742–5@ California Golden Seals (1974–75)3–27–4
35LDecember 22, 19740–4Buffalo Sabres (1974–75)3–28–4
36LDecember 26, 19741–4Philadelphia Flyers (1974–75)3–29–4
37LDecember 29, 19740–7New York Islanders (1974–75)3–30–4
38LJanuary 2, 19752–5@ New York Islanders (1974–75)3–31–4
39LJanuary 4, 19750–10@ Montreal Canadiens (1974–75)3–32–4
40LJanuary 5, 19750–3@ Atlanta Flames (1974–75)3–33–4
41TJanuary 7, 19753–3Boston Bruins (1974–75)3–33–5
42LJanuary 11, 19753–5@ Kansas City Scouts (1974–75)3–34–5
43LJanuary 12, 19752–7Montreal Canadiens (1974–75)3–35–5
44LJanuary 14, 19752–6Los Angeles Kings (1974–75)3–36–5
45LJanuary 16, 19750–4@ Philadelphia Flyers (1974–75)3–37–5
46LJanuary 19, 19752–3Pittsburgh Penguins (1974–75)3–38–5
47LJanuary 23, 19752–3Vancouver Canucks (1974–75)3–39–5
48LJanuary 25, 19752–5@ Detroit Red Wings (1974–75)3–40–5
49WJanuary 26, 19756–3Detroit Red Wings (1974–75)4–40–5
50LJanuary 30, 19754–6@ Los Angeles Kings (1974–75)4–41–5
51LFebruary 1, 19752–5@ Vancouver Canucks (1974–75)4–42–5
52LFebruary 5, 19751–5@ California Golden Seals (1974–75)4–43–5
53LFebruary 8, 19751–5@ New York Islanders (1974–75)4–44–5
54LFebruary 9, 19753–7@ New York Rangers (1974–75)4–45–5
55WFebruary 11, 19757–4New York Rangers (1974–75)5–45–5
56LFebruary 13, 19751–5@ Kansas City Scouts (1974–75)5–46–5
57LFebruary 15, 19751–7@ St. Louis Blues (1974–75)5–47–5
58WFebruary 16, 19753–0Kansas City Scouts (1974–75)6–47–5
59LFebruary 18, 19751–6Los Angeles Kings (1974–75)6–48–5
60LFebruary 21, 19754–9Buffalo Sabres (1974–75)6–49–5
61LFebruary 22, 19753–10@ Chicago Black Hawks (1974–75)6–50–5
62LFebruary 23, 19752–7St. Louis Blues (1974–75)6–51–5
63LFebruary 25, 19752–6Chicago Black Hawks (1974–75)6–52–5
64LFebruary 26, 19751–3@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1974–75)6–53–5
65LMarch 1, 19754–5@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1974–75)6–54–5
66LMarch 2, 19753–7Vancouver Canucks (1974–75)6–55–5
67LMarch 4, 19750–8Boston Bruins (1974–75)6–56–5
68LMarch 7, 19754–8@ Montreal Canadiens (1974–75)6–57–5
69LMarch 9, 19752–4Toronto Maple Leafs (1974–75)6–58–5
70LMarch 15, 19751–12@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1974–75)6–59–5
71LMarch 18, 19752–7Philadelphia Flyers (1974–75)6–60–5
72LMarch 20, 19751–5Minnesota North Stars (1974–75)6–61–5
73LMarch 22, 19752–8@ Boston Bruins (1974–75)6–62–5
74LMarch 23, 19750–5Atlanta Flames (1974–75)6–63–5
75LMarch 26, 19751–5@ Los Angeles Kings (1974–75)6–64–5
76WMarch 28, 19755–3@ California Golden Seals (1974–75)7–64–5
77LMarch 30, 19755–8Detroit Red Wings (1974–75)7–65–5
78LApril 2, 19753–8@ Detroit Red Wings (1974–75)7–66–5
79LApril 5, 19752–10@ Montreal Canadiens (1974–75)7–67–5
80WApril 6, 19758–4Pittsburgh Penguins (1974–75)8–67–5

Playoffs

The Capitals had an appalling first season and did not qualify for the playoffs. They had the worst points percentage all-time in NHL post expansion history with a 0.131 win percentage average. In addition, they had the worst road record in NHL history, winning their only road game against the California Golden Seals in the 76th game of the season and third-to-last road game of the season.

Player statistics

Regular season

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Tommy WilliamsRW7322365812-48721
Denis DupereLW532015358-41800
Mike MarsonLW7616122859-65502
Yvon LabreD7642327182-54000
Ron LalondeC5012142627-39411
Mike BloomLW677192684-54000
Dave KryskowLW519152483-28110
Doug MohnsLW/D752192154-52100
Bill LesukLW798111977-34120
Stan GilbertsonLW251171812-37201
Garnet BaileyLW22413178-29100
Ron AndersonRW2897168-20400
Steve AtkinsonRW46114158-26320
Pete LaframboiseLW/C455101522-37000
Bob GrypLW27581321-24000
Bruce CowickLW65561141-42000
Gord SmithD63381156-56200
Gord BrooksRW381101125-19100
Nelson PyattC16641021-14001
Jim HrycuikC21551012-12100
Bill MikkelsonD59371052-82300
Paul NicholsonLW394597-29001
Greg JolyD4417844-68100
Jack LynchD2015616-54000
Jack EgersRW143258-14101
Lew MorrisonRW180446-14000
Ron JonesD1911216-14100
Michel BelhumeurG35022100000
Tony WhiteLW502200000
Willie BrossartD1210114-14000
Larry FullanLW41010-2100
Blair StewartC21012-2000
Murray AndersonD4001168-40000
John AdamsG800020000
Ron LowG4800040000
Joe LundriganD30002-3000
Andre PeloffyC90000-8000
Bill RileyRW10000-1000
Rod SeilingD100000000
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Ron Low25884883622355.451
John Adams4008070466.900
Michel Belhumeur18123502431625.360
Team:48008086754435.541

[4]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = Plus/minus; PIM = Penalty minutes; PPG=Power-play goals; SHG=Short-handed goals; GWG=Game-winning goals
      MIN=Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals against; GAA = Goals against average; SO = Shutouts;

References

  1. "NHL History: The 10 Worst Teams of All Time". BleacherReport.com. Retrieved 2015-10-17.
  2. "NHL History: The 10 Worst Teams of All Time". BleacherReport.com. Retrieved 2015-10-17.
  3. "1974-1975 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League.
  4. "1974-75 Washington Capitals Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com". hockey-reference.com. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
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