NHL Ice Hockey

32 teams of National Hockey League (NHL)

By the time you finish reading this blog, you will be the best National Hockey League fan!

The National Hockey League or NHL is the premier professional Ice Hockey League in the world and is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. It has 32 teams: 25 in the United States and 7 in 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.

Interesting Timeline of NHL’s 32 teams:

Here is the glimpse of its evolution:

  • Nov 26, 1917: Formed with 4 teams: Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators and Quebec Bulldogs
  • Dec 19, 1917: Toronto Arenas was founded and replaced Quebec Bulldogs to play first games
  • 1917: First title was won by Toronto Arenas
  • Jan 1918: Montreal Arena burned down, the Wanderers ceased operations, three team league continued
  • 1918: Cup final Toronto Arenas contested Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) champion the Vancouver Millionaires & won
  • 1919: Quebec Bulldogs returned and four team league completed
  • 1919: Montreal Canadiens won the league title in 1919 but the series in the Stanley Cup Finals against the PCHA’s Seattle Metropolitans was abandoned due to the Spanish Flu epidemic
  • 1924: Boston Bruins became the first American team to join the league
  • 1926: New York Rangers joined
  • 1942: The league continued till 1967 with 6 teams [Original Six]. These were: Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leaf (earlier Toronto St. Patricks)
  • 1947: League reached an agreement with the Stanley Cup trustees to take full control of the trophy, allowing it to reject challenges from other leagues that wished to play for the Cup.*
  • 1967: League expanded to 12 teams. 6 teams were added: Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, California Seals, St. Louis Blues
  • 1970: Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres were added
  • 1972: New York Islanders and Atlanta Flames (later the Calgary Flames) joined
  • 1974: Washington Capitals and Kansas City Scouts were added to make 18 teams league
  • 1979: Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers and Quebec Nordiques joined
  • 1999: Seven team were added: San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (later Anaheim Ducks), Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers (now the Winnipeg Jets)
  • 2000: Two teams joined: Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • 2017: Vegas Golden Knights became 31st team
  • 2018: Seattle Kraken became 32nd team of the National Hockey League

Amazing facts of NHL’s Stanley Cup – World’s The Most Unique Trophy

Final thoughts

NHL is the thriving professional sports league that has been in operation for over 100 years and continues to be one of the most popular leagues in North America. One thing is sure that we have had good entertainment around us for so many years and we will surely have it around us for many years in future as well.

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