The conference and division names we use are very similar to the names the NHL used prior to its current names. We wanted to add a little nostalgia to our game since a lot of the historic players in this game played in those old conferences and divisions. Many of these names are of people who were important figures in the early days of the NHL.
Also since Canada was once a part of the UK, they have roots tied to the UK monarchy. So one conference was named the "Prince of Wales." Clarence Campbell was the first NHL president, so the other conference was named after him. Lester Patrick was one of the most influential American hockey pioneers and also built the New York Rangers. Jack Adams was a former coach and GM of the Detroit Red Wings. James Norris was a former owner and manager of the Detroit Red Wings. Conn Smythe was a former owner manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and built Maple Leaf Gardens. Mark Bavis and Ace Bailey were both Los Angeles Kings scouts onboard United Flight 175 that crashed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.