National Hockey League

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National Hockey League (NHL)
Ligue nationale de hockey (French)
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs
Sport Ice hockey
Founded November 26, 1917 (100 years ago) (1917-11-26),
Montreal, Quebec, Canada[1]
Inaugural season 1917–18
Commissioner Gary Bettman
No. of teams 31[2]
Countries  Canada
 United States
Headquarters New York City, New York, United States
Continent North America
Most recent
Washington Capitals (1st title)
Most titles Montreal Canadiens (25 titles)[nb 1]
TV partner(s)
Official website

The National Hockey League or NHL, is the highest-level ice hockey league in the world. It has 31 teams - seven are from Canada and the other 24 are from the United States. The winner of the league each year wins the Stanley Cup.

The NHL began in 1917. Some of the owners in the National Hockey Association had problems with owner Edward Livingstone, so they got rid of him by creating a new league. There were five teams in 1917:

They played 22 games a year. The Wanderers had to stop playing in the first year because their arena burned down. Over the years some teams died out, and others were created: the Boston Bruins, New York Americans, Montreal Maroons, Pittsburgh Pirates (later Philadelphia Quakers), New York Rangers, Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars (later Falcons, then Red Wings).

Some teams folded during the Great Depression, so by 1942 there were only six teams:

There were only these six teams for 25 years, so they became known as the "Original Six".

By the 1940s, they were playing 50 games a year, but this increased slowly to 80 games by the 1970s. In 1967, the league increased to 12 teams. By 1979 it had 21 teams, and today it has 31. Some of the teams that no longer exist are the Oakland Seals, Minnesota North Stars (now the Dallas Stars), Winnipeg Jets (now the Arizona Coyotes), Kansas City Scouts (which became the Colorado Rockies and are now the New Jersey Devils), Hartford Whalers (now the Carolina Hurricanes), Quebec Nordiques (now the Colorado Avalanche) and Atlanta Thrashers (now the current Winnipeg Jets).

Today they play 82 games a year, plus four rounds of playoffs. The players make a lot of money (many make over a million dollars a year). Because they could make so much money, many Europeans came over to North America to play in the NHL. Today almost all the world's best hockey players are in the NHL.

List of teams[change | change source]

Division Team City Arena Capacity Founded Joined General manager Head coach Captain
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Boston Bruins Boston, MA TD Garden 17,565 1924 Don Sweeney Bruce Cassidy Zdeno Chára
Buffalo Sabres Buffalo, NY KeyBank Center 19,070 1970 Jason Botterill Phil Housley Vacant
Detroit Red Wings Detroit, MI Little Caesars Arena 20,000 1926 Ken Holland Jeff Blashill Henrik Zetterberg
Florida Panthers Sunrise, FL BB&T Center 19,250 1993 Dale Tallon Bob Boughner Derek MacKenzie
Montreal Canadiens Montreal, QC Bell Centre 21,288 1909 1917 Marc Bergevin Claude Julien Max Pacioretty
Ottawa Senators Ottawa, ON Canadian Tire Centre 18,694 1992 Pierre Dorion Guy Boucher Erik Karlsson
Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa, FL Amalie Arena 19,092 1992 Steve Yzerman Jon Cooper Steven Stamkos
Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto, ON Scotiabank Arena 18,819 1917 Lou Lamoriello Mike Babcock Vacant
Metropolitan Carolina Hurricanes Raleigh, NC PNC Arena 18,680 1972 1979* Ron Francis Bill Peters Vacant
Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena 18,500 2000 Jarmo Kekäläinen John Tortorella Nick Foligno
New Jersey Devils Newark, NJ Prudential Center 16,514 1974* Ray Shero John Hynes Andy Greene
New York Islanders New York, NY Barclays Center 15,795 1972 Garth Snow Doug Weight John Tavares
New York Rangers New York, NY Madison Square Garden 18,006 1926 Jeff Gorton Alain Vigneault Ryan McDonagh
Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center 19,543 1967 Ron Hextall Dave Hakstol Claude Giroux
Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh, PA PPG Paints Arena 18,387 1967 Jim Rutherford Mike Sullivan Sidney Crosby
Washington Capitals Washington, D.C. Capital One Arena 18,506 1974 Brian MacLellan Barry Trotz Alex Ovechkin
Western Conference
Central Chicago Blackhawks Chicago, IL United Center 19,717 1926 Stan Bowman Joel Quenneville Jonathan Toews
Colorado Avalanche Denver, CO Pepsi Center 18,007 1972 1979* Joe Sakic Jared Bednar Gabriel Landeskog
Dallas Stars Dallas, TX American Airlines Center 18,532 1967* Jim Nill Ken Hitchcock Jamie Benn
Minnesota Wild St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center 17,954 2000 Chuck Fletcher Bruce Boudreau Mikko Koivu
Nashville Predators Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena 17,113 1998 David Poile Peter Laviolette Roman Josi
St. Louis Blues St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center 19,150 1967 Doug Armstrong Mike Yeo Alex Pietrangelo
Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg, MB Bell MTS Place 15,294 1999* Kevin Cheveldayoff Paul Maurice Blake Wheeler
Pacific Anaheim Ducks Anaheim, CA Honda Center 17,174 1993 Bob Murray Randy Carlyle Ryan Getzlaf
Arizona Coyotes Glendale, AZ Gila River Arena 17,125 1972 1979* John Chayka Rick Tocchet Vacant
Calgary Flames Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome 19,289 1972* Brad Treliving Glen Gulutzan Mark Giordano
Edmonton Oilers Edmonton, AB Rogers Place 18,641 1972 1979 Peter Chiarelli Todd McLellan Connor McDavid
Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles, CA Staples Center 18,230 1967 Rob Blake John Stevens Anže Kopitar
San Jose Sharks San Jose, CA SAP Center 17,562 1991 Doug Wilson Peter DeBoer Joe Pavelski
Vancouver Canucks Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena 18,910 1945 1970 Jim Benning Travis Green Henrik Sedin
Vegas Golden Knights Paradise, NV T-Mobile Arena 17,500 2017 George McPhee Gerard Gallant Vacant
  1. An asterisk (*) denotes a franchise move. See the respective team articles for more information.
  2. The Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers (now Carolina Hurricanes), Quebec Nordiques (now Colorado Avalanche), and original Winnipeg Jets (now Arizona Coyotes) all joined the NHL in 1979 as part of the NHL–WHA merger.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Kreiser, John (November 25, 2017). "NHL turns 100 years old". National Hockey League. 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. "Rosters, Arena Information, and Aerial Maps – – Teams". National Hockey League. Retrieved November 10, 2013.


  1. While the Montreal Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups, this does not equal its number of NHL championships, as the Stanley Cup predates the NHL and was an inter-league championship prior to 1926. The Canadiens won a Stanley Cup championship in 1916 as a member of the National Hockey Association, and 23 as a member of the NHL. Montreal also won the NHL championship twice without winning the Stanley Cup: in 1918–19 when the Spanish flu cancelled the Stanley Cup finals against the Seattle Metropolitans of Pacific Coast Hockey Association and in 1924–25 when they lost in the Stanley Cup finals to the Western Canada Hockey League's Victoria Cougars.
  2. As the national rightsholder in Canada, Rogers Media sub-licensed some game broadcasts to CBC and TVA Sports.

Other websites[change | change source]