According to abbreviationfinder, NHL stands for National Hockey League. The National Hockey League (National Hockey League, NHL) is an organization that unites twenty-four American and seven Canadian professional hockey (meaning ice hockey) teams. The NHL is one of the “Big Four” of the most popular professional sports leagues in the United States (along with the NFL – American football, MLB – baseball and NBA – basketball).
The National Hockey League was founded on November 26, 1917, initially with only five teams (all Canadian), two of which have played in the NHL since the league’s inception to the present day (Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs). The NHL was not the first North American professional hockey organization, and in its early years, it was not the only one. The Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) and then the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) competed for the title of the strongest league.
The first American team to join the NHL was the Boston Bruins in 1924, and two years later there were ten teams playing in the league. By this time, the “competitors” of the National Hockey League had disintegrated and the NHL remained the only major league in American hockey.
The Great Depression and later World War II led to the downsizing of the NHL. By 1942, there were only six teams left in the league that became known as the “Original Six”: the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. In this composition, the NHL existed until the end of the sixties.
In 1958, the first black player appeared in the National Hockey League, Willie O’Ree, who was nicknamed the “Jackie Robinson of hockey” (after the famous athlete who “broke” the racial barrier in baseball).
In 1967, the NHL ‘s “expansion period” began, the number of teams in the league doubled that season and continued to grow in the following decades (reaching the current thirty in 2001).
At the end of the last and the beginning of this century, the National Hockey League experienced a series of upheavals (strikes and lockouts) caused by labor disputes between the players’ union and team owners. The 2004-05 season was skipped entirely due to these conflicts. Nevertheless, hockey remains one of the most popular sports in the US and Canada, and the NHL is one of the most popular sports leagues.
The modern NHL includes thirty teams divided into two conferences: Eastern (Eastern Conference) and Western (Western Conference). In turn, the conferences are divided into two divisions each: Atlantic (Atlantic) and Capital (Metropolitan) in the East (eight teams each), Pacific (Pacific) and Central (Central) in the West (seven teams each).
The annual championship of the National Hockey League consists of two parts: the regular season (regular season) and a series of games “knockout” (playoffs, playoffs). “Regular” NHL begins in October and lasts until April, during these six months, each team participates in eighty-two matches.
Around the middle of the season, the “NHL All-Star Game” (National Hockey League All-Star Game) is held, in which the best players in North American hockey take part. Once every four years, instead of the All-Star Game, a break is made in the league championship, giving hockey players the opportunity to take part in the Winter Olympics.
At the end of the regular season, the sixteen strongest teams continue to fight for the championship title. The top three (highest-scoring) teams from each division automatically advance to the playoffs. In addition, two more teams in each of the conferences from among those who did not take “prize” places in the divisions, but showed the best results (the so-called “wild card”, wild card) go to the final part of the competition. In a series of games, conference champions are determined first, and then the strongest team in the National Hockey League.
The winners receive the main NHL trophy – the Stanley Cup (Stanley Cup). This oldest North American professional sports award was established back in 1892 by the Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley Preston, and has since been the most prestigious prize for any hockey player.
In addition to the Stanley Cup, several more honorary trophies are awarded to NHL teams every year, including the Prince of Wales Trophy (awarded to the team that won the Eastern Conference), Clarence Campbell Cup (Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, awarded to the champion team Western Conference), “President’s Prize” (Presidents’ Trophy, awarded to the team with the most points during the regular season).
At the end of the season, the best players (as well as coaches and managers) of the league receive awards. Among the most honorable – “Prize Hart” (Hart Memorial Trophy), which is awarded to the most useful (that is, who made the greatest contribution to the game of his team) player in the league; “Prize of Art Ross” (Art Ross Trophy) – an award to the best forward; “James Norris Prize” (James Norris Memorial Trophy) – the best defender, “Vezina Prize” (Vezina Trophy) – the best goalkeeper; “Calder Prize” (Calder Memorial Trophy) – to the best newcomer; “Ted Lindsay Award” (Ted Lindsay Award) – the best player according to the players themselves and others.
|NHL (National Hockey League) roster|
|Division||Team||Year of team
|City (nearest major city), state (province), country|
|Eastern Conference (Eastern Conference)|
|1924||Boston, Massachusetts, USA|
|1970||Buffalo, New York, USA|
|Detroit Red Wings
(Detroit Red Wings)
|1926||Detroit, Michigan, USA|
|1993||Sunrise (Miami), Florida, USA|
|1909||1917||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|1992||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Tampa Bay Lightning
(Tampa Bay Lightning)
|1992||Tampa, Florida, US|
|Toronto Maple Leafs
(Toronto Maple Leafs)
|1917||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|1972||1979||Raleigh, North Carolina, US|
|Columbus Blue Jackets
(Columbus Blue Jackets)
|2000||Columbus, Ohio, US|
|New Jersey Devils
(New Jersey Devils)
|1974||Newark, New Jersey, US|
|New York Islanders
(New York Islanders)
|1972||Uniondale (New York City), New York, USA|
|New York Rangers
(New York Rangers)
|1926||New York City, New York, USA|
|1967||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|1967||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US|
|1974||Washington, D.C., USA|
|Western Conference (Western Conference)|
|1993||Anaheim, California, US|
|1972||Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
|1972||1979||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada|
|Los Angeles Kings
(Los Angeles Kings)
|1967||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|1972||1979||Glendale (Phoenix), Arizona, USA|
|San Jose Sharks
(San Jose Sharks)
|1991||San Jose, California, USA|
|1945||1970||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Vegas Golden Knights
(Vegas Golden Knights)
|2017||Paradise (Las Vegas), Nevada, US|
|1926||Chicago, Illinois, US|
|1972||1979||Denver, Colorado, USA|
|1967||Dallas, Texas, US|
|2000||Saint Paul, Minnesota, US|
|1998||Nashville, Tennessee, US|
|St. Louis Blues
(St. Louis Blues)
|1967||St. Louis, Missouri, US|
|1999||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|