National Hockey League

National Hockey League
Ligue nationale de hockey (French)
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2020–21 NHL season
05 NHL Shield.svg
SportIce hockey
FoundedNovember 26, 1917 (1917-11-26),
Montreal, Quebec, Canada[1]
Inaugural season1917–18
CommissionerGary Bettman
No. of teams31[2]
CountriesCanada (7 teams)
United States (24 teams)
Headquarters1185 6th Ave
New York, NY 10036.
Most recent
champion(s)
Tampa Bay Lightning
(2nd title)
Most titlesMontreal Canadiens
(25 titles)[nb 1]
TV partner(s)
Official websiteNHL.com

The National Hockey League (NHL; French: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world,[3] and is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America,[4] is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.

The National Hockey League was organized on November 26, 1917, at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal, after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association (NHA), which had been founded in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario.[5] The NHL immediately took the NHA's place as one of the leagues that contested for the Stanley Cup in an annual interleague competition before a series of league mergers and foldings left the NHL as the only league left competing for the Stanley Cup in 1926.

At its inception, the NHL had four teams—all in Canada, thus the adjective "National" in the league's name. The league expanded to the United States in 1924, when the Boston Bruins joined, and has since consisted of American and Canadian teams. From 1942 to 1967, the league had only six teams, collectively (if not contemporaneously) nicknamed the "Original Six". The NHL added six new teams to double its size at the 1967 NHL expansion. The league then increased to 18 teams by 1974 and 21 teams in 1979. Between 1991 and 2000, the NHL further expanded to 30 teams. It added its 31st team in 2017 and has approved the addition of a 32nd team in 2021.

The league's headquarters have been in Midtown Manhattan since 1989, when the head office moved from Montreal.[6] There have been four league-wide work stoppages in NHL history, all occurring after 1992.[7] The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers the Stanley Cup to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport".[8] The NHL draws many highly skilled players from all over the world and currently has players from approximately 20 countries.[9] Canadians have historically constituted the majority of the players in the league, with an increasing percentage of American and European players in recent seasons.

The NHL is the fifth-wealthiest professional sport league in the world by revenue, after the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Premier League.[10]

  1. ^ Kreiser, John (November 25, 2017). "NHL turns 100 years old". NHL.com. Retrieved March 29, 2018. Beginning on Nov. 24, 1917, the NHA's directors, George Kendall (better known as George Kennedy) of the Montreal Canadiens, Sam Lichtenhein of the Montreal Wanderers, Tom Gorman of Ottawa, M.J. Quinn of Quebec and NHA secretary-treasurer Frank Calder, held three days of meetings at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal and decided to start over. Gorman, seconded by Kendall, proposed, 'That the Canadiens, Wanderers, Ottawa and Quebec Hockey Clubs unite to comprise the National Hockey League.' The motion was carried, and the NHL was officially formed on Nov. 26, 1917.
  2. ^ "Teams". NHL.com. NHL Enterprises, LP. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  3. ^ Marsh, James (2006). "National Hockey League". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 11, 2006.
  4. ^ Roarke, Shawn P. (March 12, 2017). "Stanley Cup has incredible history". NHL.com. NHL Enterprises, LP. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  5. ^ The National Hockey League Official Record Book & Guide 2009 77th Edition, p. 9. New York: National Hockey League (2008)
  6. ^ Todd, Jack (September 17, 2012). "Americans and Bettman have stolen Canada's game". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  7. ^ Eichelberger, Curtis (May 29, 2009). "NHL Borrows From NFL as It Pursues Bigger TV Contract". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved June 29, 2009.[dead link]
  8. ^ Podnieks, Andrew (March 25, 2008). "Triple Gold Goalies... not". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  9. ^ "QuantHockey.com". Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  10. ^ "Major sports leagues all make a lot of money, here's how they do it:, Major sports leagues all make a lot of money, here's how they do it".


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