NHL Hockey ( Events)
The National Hockey League was founded in 1917, originally as the NHA (National Hockey Association). The league embarked on rapid expansion in the 1920s, adding the Montreal Maroons (later to be known as the Montreal Canadiens) and Boston Bruins in 1924. The Bruins were the first American team in the NHL, while the Maroons played in the newly completed Montreal Forum that the Canadiens made famous in later decades.
The New York Americans began play in 1925 after purchasing the assets of the Hamilton Tigers, followed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tex Rickard, owner of Madison Square Garden, was so impressed with the popularity of the Americans that he added the New York Rangers in 1926. The Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Cougars (later Red Wings) were also added after the league purchased the assets of the defunct WCHL. Conn Smythe purchased the Toronto St. Patricks in 1927, immediately renamed them to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and built Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931.
The Great Depression and World War II took their toll on the NHL, The Pirates became the Philadelphia Quakers in 1930, then folded one year later. The Senators likewise became the St. Louis Eagles in 1934, also lasting only one year, and the Canadiens almost got sold to Cleveland. The league was reduced to six teams for the 1942–43 NHL season: the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. This era was also known as the “Original Six Era” these being the only six teams in the league for 25 years.
In the early 1960s the league known as the World Hockey Association, was on the verge of considering it a pro league, and to challenge for the Stanley Cup. The NHL took to expanding, the first time they did in 40 years. The league would double in size, adding, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars (Dallas Stars), Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, California Seals (replaced with San Jose Sharks) and St. Louis Blues. Shortly followed the Vancouver Canucks and the Buffalo Sabres. Two years later, the emergence of the newly founded World Hockey Association (WHA) led the league to add the New York Islanders and Atlanta Flames (now Calgary Flames) to keep the rival league out of those markets. Then in the 1940s the Washington Capitals and the Kansas City Scouts (now New Jersey Devils) were added, making the league have a total 18 teams.
The NHL fought the WHA for players, losing 67 to the new league in its first season of 1972–73, including Bobby Hull, who signed a ten year, $2.5 million contract with the Winnipeg Jets 72’, which today would be worth roughly $13.7 million, which at the time was the biggest contract in NHL history. Seven years of battling for players and markets financially damaged both leagues, leading to a 1979 merger agreement that saw the WHA cease operations while the NHL absorbed the Winnipeg Jets 72’ (now the Phoenix Coyotes), Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers (now the Carolina Hurricanes), and Quebec Nordiques (Colorado Avalanche). The NHL's owners initially rejected this merger agreement by one vote, but a massive boycott of Molson products by fans in Canada led the Montreal Canadiens, which were owned by Molson, to reverse their position in a second vote along with the Vancouver Canucks, allowing the plan to pass.
In 1988 the popularity in the United States over hockey grew tremendously when a trade between the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings happened, sending Wayne Gretzky to LA, and provided the impetus for the 1990s expansion cycles that saw the addition of the San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (now the Anaheim Ducks), Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers (now the Winnipeg Jets), and by the turn of the century the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Since 1992 the league has had four stoppages, which are the only four in the history of the NHL, and three of the four are under the commissioner Gary Bettman, the first and shortest one (lasted 10 days) was under Gil Stein. There was a half season lockout in 93/94 season, resulting in the league cutting down the number of regular season games from 82 to 48. In 2004 there was a complete lockout, meaning no hockey for a year. The most recent stoppage was in 2012, where the league was shutout for the 2nd straight time when CBA negotiations came up.
Lockouts hit hockey franchises hard, specially the ones with small markets, or teams on the verge of bankruptcy ie. Phoenix Coyotes.
The NHL now consists of 30 teams;
Anaheim Ducks Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres Calgary Flames Carolina Hurricanes Chicago Blackhawks Colorado Avalanche Columbus Blue Jackets Dallas Stars Detroit Red Wings Edmonton Oilers Florida Panthers Los Angeles Kings Minnesota Wild Montreal Canadiens Nashville Predators New Jersey Devils New York Islanders New York Rangers Ottawa Senators Philidelphia Flyers Phoenix Coyotes Pittsburgh Penguins San Jose Sharks St Louis Blues Tampa Bay Lightning Toronto Maple Leafs Vancouver Canucks Washington Capitals Winnipeg Jets
Stanley Cup: The oldest sports trophy in North America, Created by Lord Stanley in 1893 to give to the top ametuer hockey team in Canada. WHA: World Hockey Association Lockout: When the negotiations of the CBA have not been accepted by the either the NHL owners or the NHLPA before a regular season. CBA: Collective Bargaining Agreement NHLPA: National Hockey League Player Association NHL: National Hockey League