National Hockey League

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The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams; 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world and is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.

The National Hockey League was organized on November 26, 1917, at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal, after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association (NHA), which had been founded in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario. The NHL immediately took the NHA's place as one of the leagues that contested for the Stanley Cup in an annual interleague competition before a series of league mergers and failures left the NHL as the only league left competing for the Stanley Cup in 1926.

At its inception, the NHL had four teams, all in Canada, thus the adjective "National" in the league's name. The league expanded to the United States in 1924, when the Boston Bruins joined, and has since consisted of American and Canadian teams. From 1942 to 1967, the league had only six teams, collectively (if not contemporaneously) nicknamed the "Original Six." The NHL added six new teams to double its size at the 1967 NHL expansion. The league then increased to 18 teams by 1974 and 21 teams in 1979. Between 1991 and 2000, the NHL further expanded to 30 teams. It added its 31st team in 2017 and has approved the addition of a 32nd team in 2021.


Division Team City Arena Founded First League Season
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Boston Bruins Boston, Massachusetts TD Garden November 1, 1924 1924-25
Buffalo Sabres Buffalo, New York KeyBank Center December 2, 1969 1970-71
Detroit Red Wings Detroit, Michigan Little Caesars Arena 1926
Florida Panthers Sunrise, Florida Amerant Bank Arena 1993
Montreal Canadiens Montreal, Quebec Bell Centre 1909 1917
Ottawa Senators Ottawa, Ontario Canadian Tire Centre 1992
Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa, Florida Amalie Arena December 6, 1990 1992-93
Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto, Ontario Scotiabank Arena 1917
Metropolitan Carolina Hurricanes Raleigh, North Carolina PNC Arena 1972 1979*
Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus, Ohio Nationwide Arena June 25, 1997 2000-01
New Jersey Devils Newark, New Jersey Prudential Center June 8, 1972 1974-75
New York Islanders Uniondale, New York Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum December 28, 1971 1972-73
New York Rangers New York City, New York Madison Square Garden 1926
Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center 1967-68
Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PPG Paints Arena 1967-68
Washington Capitals Washington, D.C. Capital One Arena 1974
Western Conference
Central Arizona Coyotes Glendale, Arizona Gila River Arena November 1, 1971 1979*
Chicago Blackhawks Chicago, Illinois United Center 1926
Colorado Avalanche Denver, Colorado Ball Arena November 1, 1971 1979*
Dallas Stars Dallas, Texas American Airlines Center 1967-68*
Minnesota Wild Saint Paul, Minnesota Xcel Energy Center June 25, 1997 2000-01
Nashville Predators Nashville, Tennessee Bridgestone Arena June 25, 1997 1998-99
St. Louis Blues St. Louis, Missouri Enterprise Center April 5, 1966 1967-68
Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg, Manitoba Bell MTS Place June 25, 1997 1999-2000
Pacific Anaheim Ducks Anaheim, California Honda Center 1993
Calgary Flames Calgary, Alberta Scotiabank Saddledome December 28, 1971 1972-73
Edmonton Oilers Edmonton, Alberta Rogers Place November 1, 1971 1979
Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles, California Arena 1967-68
San Jose Sharks San Jose, California SAP Center at San Jose 1991
Seattle Kraken Seattle, Washington Climate Pledge Arena December 4, 2018 2021-22
Vancouver Canucks Vancouver, British Columbia Rogers Arena December 2, 1969 1970-71
Vegas Golden Knights Paradise, Nevada T-Mobile Arena June 22, 2016 2017-18

See also

League.png Leagues Portal

National Hockey League
Eastern Conference Atlantic Metropolitan
Boston Bruins (TD Garden)
Buffalo Sabres (KeyBank Center)
Detroit Red Wings (Little Caesars Arena)
Florida Panthers (Amerant Bank Arena)
Montreal Canadiens (Bell Centre)
Ottawa Senators (Canadian Tire Centre)
Tampa Bay Lightning (Amalie Arena)
Toronto Maple Leafs (Scotiabank Arena)
Carolina Hurricanes (PNC Arena)
Columbus Blue Jackets (Nationwide Arena)
New Jersey Devils (Prudential Center)
New York Islanders (Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum)
New York Rangers (Madison Square Garden)
Philadelphia Flyers (Wells Fargo Center)
Pittsburgh Penguins (PPG Paints Arena)
Washington Capitals (Capital One Arena)
Western Conference Central Pacific
Arizona Coyotes (Mullett Arena)
Chicago Blackhawks (United Center)
Colorado Avalanche (Ball Arena)
Dallas Stars (American Airlines Center)
Minnesota Wild (Xcel Energy Center)
Nashville Predators (Bridgestone Arena)
St. Louis Blues (Enterprise Center)
Winnipeg Jets (Canada Life Centre)
Anaheim Ducks (Honda Center)
Calgary Flames (Scotiabank Saddledome)
Edmonton Oilers (Rogers Place)
Los Angeles Kings ( Arena)
San Jose Sharks (SAP Center at San Jose)
Seattle Kraken (Climate Pledge Arena)
Vancouver Canucks (Rogers Arena)
Vegas Golden Knights (T-Mobile Arena)
Defunct Franchises Cleveland Barons • Hamilton Tigers • Montreal Maroons • New York Americans • Ottawa Senators
Related League publications • All-Star Games • Goal Magazine • League records • Seasons • Venues

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