Further expansion occurred in 1991 and 1992, increasing the number of teams in the NHL to 26. The Quebec Nordiques were undergoing financial difficulties due to the relative size of its market and were sold in 1995 and moved to Denver and were renamed the Avalanche. The Jets also relocated in 1996, after being acquired by a Phoenix group, where they became the Phoenix Coyotes (renamed Arizona Coyotes in 2014). This move reduced the number of Canadian-based franchises in the NHL to six.

In the summer of 1997, the National Hockey League announced expansion plans to include four more US cities. By the year 2000, the National Hockey League had expanded to 30 teams with the addition of Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild (2000), Atlanta Thrashers (1999), and Nashville Predators(1998). In 2011, the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and adapted the Jets name. In 2016, NHL commissioner Garry Bettman made an announcement about the launch of a new franchise in Las Vegas. In the 2017/2018 season, the Golden Knights became the 31st team to join the NHL.

Labour Disputes in the NHL

Team owners initiated a lockdown in 2004 that restricted members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association from participating in the NHL. The lockout occurred for 310 days between September 16, 2004, and July 13, 2005. The lockout was due to the athletes’ resistance to a salary cap and resulted in a huge reduction in athletes’ earnings, and a cap of $39 million per team for the 2005/2006 season. This was the first time that a whole season was lost in a major North American League because of a labor dispute. The dispute also resulted in the cancelation of the playoffs for the Stanley Cup. The only time when playoffs for the Stanley Cup were canceled prior to the dispute was during the influenza epidemic of 1919.
A subsequent labor dispute occurred in 2012, after the expiration of the 2005 collective bargaining agreement. The cause of the dispute was the proportion of hockey-generated revenues the players were receiving in a season. Their existing contract stipulated that they receive 57 percent of all hockey-generated revenues. However, the NHL wanted this figure reduced significantly. Neither the NHL nor players would budge, and this resulted in a lockout and cancellation of many games, including the National Hockey League All-Star Game, 510 regular-season games, as well as the 2013 classic match between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. The two parties reached an agreement on January 12, 2013, where they would split all hockey-generated revenues by half.…

By 1942, only six teams were remaining in the National Hockey League: Rangers, Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Red Wings, Black Hawks, and Canadiens. After 1942, the league remained unchanged for 25 years. In 1967 six more teams were added to the league, and the original franchises were known as the “Original Six“.

The Maple Leafs, consisting of big names such as Syl Apps, Walter Broda, Max Bentley, and Ted Kennedy, dominated the 1940s, garnering six Stanley Cups. However, Maurice “Rocket” of the Canadiens was, without a doubt, the most offensive player with fifty goals in fifty matches in the 1944/1945 season, including three assists and five goals in one event. The color barrier was broken in 1948 when Rangers signed Larry Kwong. In 1958, Willie O’Ree became the first black to play in the National Hockey League when he played for the Boston Bruins.

The Red Wings, composed of big names such as Ted Lindsay, Terry Sawchuk, Gordie Howe, and Red Kelly, dominated the early 1950s garnering four Stanley cups. In the mid-1950s, the Canadiens had built what is widely considered the most exceptional lineup in National Hockey League history, comprising legends such as Henri Richard, Jean Beliveau, Bernie Geoffrion, Doug Harvey, Dickie Moore, and Jacques Plante. The Montreal Canadiens clinched the Stanley 6 times, and a record 5 consecutive times between 1955 and 1960.

In the 1960s the Black Hawks won their first-ever Stanley Cup in more than 20 years, the Maple leafs won the cup 4 times, and the Canadiens won the cup 2 times prior to the league’s expansion in 1967.

Expansion and transformation of the NHL (1967-1990)

In 1967, six new American teams were added to the NHL: LA Kings, the Seals, North Stars, Penguins, Blues, and Fliers. The Canucks and the Sabres joined in the 1970s and the New York Islanders and Atlanta flames in 1972. The number of teams in the National Hockey League increased to 18 in 1974 following the addition of the Washington Capitals and Kansas City Scouts. There were only 3 Canadian based teams in the National Hockey League, and the Montreal Canadiens were the dominant team garnering eight championships between 1967 and 1979.

In 1971, the World Hockey Association (WHA) was formed (with some financial backing from Commonwealth Financial Systems), ending the NHL’s monopoly on professional hockey. In 1979, the NHL merged with the WHA, and the Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers, and the Jets were assimilated into the National Hockey League. In 1980, the Atlanta franchise moved to Calgary, which increased the number of Canadian-based teams in the National Hockey League to seven. In the 1983/1984 season, Edmonton Oilers became the first member of the former WHA teams to clinch the Stanley Cup. The Edmond Oilers continued their reign, winning four cups in the next 6 seasons. The Pittsburgh Penguins were the dominating team at the beginning of the 1990s, clinching two consecutive Stanley Cups in 1990/91 and 1991/92, and winning a record 17 consecutive games in 1992/93– a record that still stands today.

The 1967-1990 hockey era emphasized offensive play and scoring, which was typified by the incredible scoring feats of Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, whose accomplishments are perhaps unmatched in any sport. Wayne Gretzky is the all-time top scorer in National Hockey League history with 2,857 points, and the only NHL player to reach 2,000 points. Gretzky holds or shares 61 NHL records, including most assists (1963) and most goals (894).…

The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league consisting of 31 teams. Widely regarded as ice hockey’s counterpart to baseball’s Major League Baseball (MLB), or American football’s National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), has a rich and exciting history filled with mergers, conflicts, and lockouts. Many people love ice hockey, and some even consider it to be the greatest sport on earth. Besides being played on a giant sheet of ice, ice hockey is often harder-hitting and faster than most sports. The lively atmosphere in hockey arenas and cities make NHL matches something to always look forward to. If you are reading this, you are probably an avid NHL fan, or curious about how NHL became the largest hockey giant. Whatever the case, reading this article will increase your knowledge of the NHL’s expansion, structure, organizational transformation, and other important NHL aspects. In this article, we will examine some of the most significant events in NHL history, and how the National Hockey League became the hockey giant it is today.

The National Hockey League (NHL) was formed in 1917 by four Canadian hockey teams. The four clubs were Toronto Arenas, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, and Montreal Canadiens. Initially, when the NHL was formed, the founders had never in the wildest dream envisioned that their brainchild would one day grow to become a dominant player in North American Hockey. Instead, they had formed the NHL as a move to solve an owner problem in an old league. More specifically, some of the owners of Canadian hockey teams had become tired of the attitude of Toronto Blueshirts’ owner Eddie Livingstone and were looking for a way out. After other team owners of the National Hockey Association (NHA) grew impatient of Livingstone, they decided to form their own league, which would be in every aspect similar to the previous league, other than the fact that Eddie Livingstone would not be a part of it. At the time, the National Hockey League was one of the professional leagues that battled it out for the Stanley Cup.

In the following 25 years after the league was formed, many changes occurred, including the playoff format, scheduling, and composition of the league. The Boston Bruins became the first American team to join the National Hockey League in 1924. Shortly after, other American teams followed suit, and by 1926, six of the ten teams that made up the National Hockey League were from the US. The Ottawa Senators were the dominating force in the NHL in the 1920s, garnering 4 Stanley Cup wins and 6 league titles. Other significant events that occurred in the 1920s include Joe Malone’s 7 goals in a single game, George Hainsworth winning the Viena Trophy in its initial 3 years, and the first radio broadcast of a hockey game. In this era, exceptional players included Charlie Conacher, Frank Clancy, Bill Cook, Nels Stewart, Aurele Joliat, and Lester Patrick. Eddie Shore was the leading defenceman, and Howie Morenz was one of the most flashy hockey players.…