NHL and the Stanley Cup

NHL is the world's best hockey league and it attracts players from all over the world. Although the players can come from any nation, the National Hockey League (NHL) is a hockey league comprised of teams from the US and Canada only. Seven of the teams are located in Canada and 23 in the United States.

nhl

The teams in the NHL compete in the playoffs for the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sport trophy in North America. NHL is one of the Major professional sports leagues of the United States.

The NHL is an unincorporated not-for-profit association, but the 30 franchised member clubs are much more profit driven entities.

The NHL was created back in 1917, in the Canadian city of Montreal. It replaced the National Hockey Association which had suspended its operations despite being less than 10 years old. (The National Hockey association was formed in 1909.) The NHL originally contained 4 teams but have since then gradually expanded to encompass the 30 teams it is comprised of today.

The NHL is widely considered the premier hockey league in the world and it also features the highest average wages in the ice hockey world. This helps attract players from all over the globe. The majority of the players have historically been Canadian, but today the league contains a high number of U.S. and European players as well. The opening of the eastern block in Europe saw many talented players from the former Soviet Union and other states behind the iron curtain recruited to play in the NHL.

The teams currently playing in the NHL are:

List of teams

Division

Team

City/Area

Arena

Founded

Joined

Atlantic

New Jersey Devils

Newark, NJ

Prudential Center

1974

New York Islanders

Uniondale, NY

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

1972

New York Rangers

New York City, NY

Madison Square Garden

1926

Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia, PA

Wells Fargo Center

1967

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh, PA

Consol Energy Center

1967

Northeast

Boston Bruins

Boston, MA

TD Garden

1924

Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo, NY

First Niagara Center

1970

Montreal Canadiens

Montreal, QC

Bell Centre

1909

1917

Ottawa Senators

Ottawa, ON

Scotiabank Place

1992

Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto, ON

Air Canada Centre

1917

Southeast

Carolina Hurricanes

Raleigh, NC

RBC Center

1972

1979*

Florida Panthers

Sunrise, FL

BankAtlantic Center

1993

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa, FL

St. Pete Times Forum

1992

Washington Capitals

Washington, D.C.

Verizon Center

1974

Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg, MB

MTS Centre

1999*

Central

Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago, IL

United Center

1926

Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus, OH

Nationwide Arena

2000

Detroit Red Wings

Detroit, MI

Joe Louis Arena

1926

Nashville Predators

Nashville, TN

Bridgestone Arena

1998

St. Louis Blues

St. Louis, MO

Scottrade Center

1967

Northwest

Calgary Flames

Calgary, AB

Scotiabank Saddledome

1972*

Colorado Avalanche

Denver, CO

Pepsi Center

1972

1979*

Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton, AB

Rexall Place

1972

1979

Minnesota Wild

St. Paul, MN

Xcel Energy Center

2000

Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver, BC

Rogers Arena

1970

Pacific

Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim, CA

Honda Center

1993

Dallas Stars

Dallas, TX

American Airlines Center

1967*

Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles, CA

Staples Center

1967

Phoenix Coyotes

Glendale, AZ

Jobing.com Arena

1972

1979*

San Jose Sharks

San Jose, CA

HP Pavilion at San Jose

1991

The 30 teams are divided into 6 divisions as seen in the table above and the 6 divisions are divided into 2 conferences, Eastern and Western. The lower 3 divisions in the table above belong to the western conference, while the top 3 belong to the eastern conference. The teams are sometimes bought and moved and they might hence have been known under a different name and had another home city at another point in time.

Stanley cup

Each season of the NHL starts with group play, or the regular season as it is often called. The regular season sees each team playing a total of 82 games - 41 at home and 41 away. Each team plays the teams within their division more than any other. They play 6 games against each opponent in that division. They also play each team in the opposite conference at least once, as well as at least 4 games against each team in the conference to which the team belongs.

Year

Winning team

Runner up

Games

1927

Ottawa Senators (C)

Boston Bruins (A)

2–0–2

1928

New York Rangers (A)

Montreal Maroons (C)

3–2

1929

Boston Bruins (A)

New York Rangers (A)

2–0

1930

Montreal Canadiens (C)

Boston Bruins (A)

2–0

1931

Montreal Canadiens (C)

Chicago Black Hawks (A)

3–2

1932

Toronto Maple Leafs (C)

New York Rangers (A)

3–0

1933

New York Rangers (A)

Toronto Maple Leafs (C)

3–1

1934

Chicago Black Hawks (A)

Detroit Red Wings (A)

3–1

1935

Montreal Maroons (C)

Toronto Maple Leafs (C)

3–0

1936

Detroit Red Wings (A)

Toronto Maple Leafs (C)

3–1

1937

Detroit Red Wings (A)

New York Rangers (A)

3–2

1938

Chicago Black Hawks (A)

Toronto Maple Leafs (C)

3–1

1939

Boston Bruins

Toronto Maple Leafs

4–1

1940

New York Rangers

Toronto Maple Leafs

4–2

1941

Boston Bruins

Detroit Red Wings

4–0

1942

Toronto Maple Leafs

Detroit Red Wings

4–3

1943

Detroit Red Wings

Boston Bruins

4–0

1944

Montreal Canadiens

Chicago Black Hawks

4–0

1945

Toronto Maple Leafs

Detroit Red Wings

4–3

1946

Montreal Canadiens

Boston Bruins

4–1

1947

Toronto Maple Leafs

Montreal Canadiens

4–2

1948

Toronto Maple Leafs

Detroit Red Wings

4–0

1949

Toronto Maple Leafs

Detroit Red Wings

4–0

1950

Detroit Red Wings

New York Rangers

4–3

1951

Toronto Maple Leafs

Montreal Canadiens

4–1

1952

Detroit Red Wings

Montreal Canadiens

4–0

1953

Montreal Canadiens

Boston Bruins

4–1

1954

Detroit Red Wings

Montreal Canadiens

4–3

1955

Detroit Red Wings

Montreal Canadiens

4–3

1956

Montreal Canadiens

Detroit Red Wings

4–1

1957

Montreal Canadiens

Boston Bruins

4–1

1958

Montreal Canadiens

Boston Bruins

4–2

1959

Montreal Canadiens

Toronto Maple Leafs

4–1

1960

Montreal Canadiens

Toronto Maple Leafs

4–0

1961

Chicago Black Hawks

Detroit Red Wings

4–2

1962

Toronto Maple Leafs

Chicago Black Hawks

4–2

1963

Toronto Maple Leafs

Detroit Red Wings

4–1

1964

Toronto Maple Leafs

Detroit Red Wings

4–3

1965

Montreal Canadiens

Chicago Black Hawks

4–3

1966

Montreal Canadiens

Detroit Red Wings

4–2

1967

Toronto Maple Leafs

Montreal Canadiens

4–2

1968

Montreal Canadiens (E)

St. Louis Blues (W)

4–0

1969

Montreal Canadiens (E)

St. Louis Blues (W)

4–0

1970

Boston Bruins (E)

St. Louis Blues (W)

4–0

1971

Montreal Canadiens (E)

Chicago Black Hawks (W)

4–3

1972

Boston Bruins (E)

New York Rangers (E)

4–2

1973

Montreal Canadiens (E)

Chicago Black Hawks (W)

4–2

1974

Philadelphia Flyers (W)

Boston Bruins (E)

4–2

1975

Philadelphia Flyers (CC)

Buffalo Sabres (PW)

4–2

1976

Montreal Canadiens (PW)

Philadelphia Flyers (CC)

4–0

1977

Montreal Canadiens (PW)

Boston Bruins (PW)

4–0

1978

Montreal Canadiens (PW)

Boston Bruins (PW)

4–2

1979

Montreal Canadiens (PW)

New York Rangers (CC)

4–1

1980

New York Islanders (CC)

Philadelphia Flyers (CC)

4–2

1981

New York Islanders (CC)

Minnesota North Stars (PW)

4–1

1982

New York Islanders (PW)

Vancouver Canucks (CC)

4–0

1983

New York Islanders (PW)

Edmonton Oilers (CC)

4–0

1984

Edmonton Oilers (CC)

New York Islanders (PW)

4–1

1985

Edmonton Oilers (CC)

Philadelphia Flyers (PW)

4–1

1986

Montreal Canadiens (PW)

Calgary Flames (CC)

4–1

1987

Edmonton Oilers (CC)

Philadelphia Flyers (PW)

4–3

1988

Edmonton Oilers (CC)

Boston Bruins (PW)

4–0

1989

Calgary Flames (CC)

Montreal Canadiens (PW)

4–2

1990

Edmonton Oilers (CC)

Boston Bruins (PW)

4–1

1991

Pittsburgh Penguins (PW)

Minnesota North Stars (CC)

4–2

1992

Pittsburgh Penguins (PW)

Chicago Blackhawks (CC)

4–0

1993

Montreal Canadiens (PW)

Los Angeles Kings (CC)

4–1

1994

New York Rangers (EC)

Vancouver Canucks (WC)

4–3

1995

New Jersey Devils (EC)

Detroit Red Wings (WC)

4–0

1996

Colorado Avalanche (WC)

Florida Panthers (EC)

4–0

1997

Detroit Red Wings (WC)

Philadelphia Flyers (EC)

4–0

1998

Detroit Red Wings (WC)

Washington Capitals (EC)

4–0

1999

Dallas Stars (WC)

Buffalo Sabres (EC)

4–2

2000

New Jersey Devils (EC)

Dallas Stars (WC)

4–2

2001

Colorado Avalanche (WC)

New Jersey Devils (EC)

4–3

2002

Detroit Red Wings (WC)

Carolina Hurricanes (EC)

4–1

2003

New Jersey Devils (EC)

Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (WC)

4–3

2004

Tampa Bay Lightning (EC)

Calgary Flames (WC)

4–3

2006

Carolina Hurricanes (EC)

Edmonton Oilers (WC)

4–3

2007

Anaheim Ducks (WC)

Ottawa Senators (EC)

4–1

2008

Detroit Red Wings (WC)

Pittsburgh Penguins (EC)

4–2

2009

Pittsburgh Penguins (EC)

Detroit Red Wings (WC)

4–3

2010

Chicago Blackhawks (WC)

Philadelphia Flyers (EC)

4–2

2011

Boston Bruins (EC)

Vancouver Canucks (WC)

4–3