North America has been known to hold great sports leagues that comprise of the best players in the world. The National Hockey League is no exception with players from the United States all the way to Russia.
Before the NHL, the National Hockey Association was the dominant hockey league in North America, but acquired a suspension from conflicts with World War One and players going off to fight. The NHL jumped in to fill the void and was formed on November 22, 1917 in Montreal, Canada.
The NHL only started with four teams, but has expanded to its current 30 teams. The teams are split into two conferences and each conference has three divisions. In the Eastern Conference are the Atlantic, Northeast, and Southeast Divisions and in the Western Conference are the Central, Northwest, and Pacific Divisions. Here are the teams and the year they joined: Toronto Maple Leafs in 1917, Montreal Canadiens in 1917, Bonston Bruins in 1924, New York Rangers in 1926, Detroit Red Wings in 1926, Chicago Blackhawks in 1926, Pittsburgh Penguins in 1967, Philadelphia Flyers in 1967, St. Louis Blues in 1967, Los Angeles Kings 1967, Dallas Stars in 1967, Vancouver Canucks in 1970, Buffalo Sabres in 1970, New York Islanders in 1972, Calgary Flames in 1972, Washington Capitals in 1974, New Jersey Devils in 1974, Carolina Hurricanes in 1979, Colorado Avalanche in 1979, Edmonton Oilers in 1979, Phoenix Coyotes in 1979, San Jose Sharks in 1991, Tampa Bay Lighthing in 1992, Ottawa Senators in 1992, Florida Panthers in 1993, Anaheim Ducks in 1993, Nashville Predators in 1998, Minnesota Wild in 2000, Columbus Blue Jackets in 2000, and the Winnipeg Jets in 2011.
At the end of every NHL season, a league playoff determines who will win the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America. The team to win this championship the most times is the Montreal Canadiens with 23 wins.
The NHL is what all young hockey players strive to become apart of. With thirty teams going head to head every year in front of a crowd of at least 15,000 people, the NHL is the biggest and most popular hockey league in the world.
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