National Hockey League facts for kids

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National Hockey League
Current season or competition:
2016–17 NHL season
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1917
Commissioner Gary Bettman
No. of teams 30
Country(ies)  Canada
 United States
Most recent champion(s) Pittsburgh Penguins (4th title)
TV partner(s) CAN: CBC, TSN, RDS, RIS, NHL Network Canada
USA: NBC, Versus, HDNet, NHL Network US
Official website

The National Hockey League or NHL, is the highest-level ice hockey league in the world. It has 30 teams - seven are from Canada and the other 23 are from the United States. The winner of the league each year wins the Stanley Cup.

The NHL began in 1917. Some of the owners in the National Hockey Association had problems with owner Edward Livingstone, so they got rid of him by creating a new league. There were five teams in 1917:

They played 22 games a year. The Wanderers had to stop playing in the first year because their arena burned down. Over the years some teams died out, and others were created: the Boston Bruins, New York Americans, Montreal Maroons, Pittsburgh Pirates (later Philadelphia Quakers), New York Rangers, Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars (later Falcons, then Red Wings).

Some teams folded during the Great Depression, so by 1942 there were only six teams:

There were only these six teams for 25 years, so they became known as the "Original Six".

By the 1940s, they were playing 50 games a year, but this increased slowly to 80 games by the 1970s. In 1967, the league increased to 12 teams. By 1979 it had 21 teams, and today it has 30. Some of the teams that no longer exist are the Oakland Seals, Minnesota North Stars (now the Dallas Stars), Winnipeg Jets (now the Arizona Coyotes), Kansas City Scouts (which became the Colorado Rockies and are now the New Jersey Devils), Hartford Whalers (now the Carolina Hurricanes), Quebec Nordiques (now the Colorado Avalanche) and Atlanta Thrashers (now the current Winnipeg Jets).

Today they play 82 games a year, plus four rounds of playoffs. The players make a lot of money (many make over a million dollars a year). Because they could make so much money, many Europeans came over to North America to play in the NHL. Today almost all the world's best hockey players are in the NHL.

Teams in the NHL

Division Team City/Area Arena Founded Joined General Manager Head Coach Captain
Western Conference
Pacific Division Anaheim Ducks Anaheim, CA Honda Center 1993 Bob Murray Bruce Boudreau Ryan Getzlaf
Arizona Coyotes Glendale, AZ Gila River Arena 1972 1979* Don Maloney Dave Tippett Shane Doan
Calgary Flames Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome 1972* Brad Treliving Bob Hartley Mark Giordano
Edmonton Oilers Edmonton, AB Rogers Place 1972 1979 Craig MacTavish Todd Nelson Vacant
Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles, CA Staples Center 1967 Dean Lombardi Darryl Sutter Dustin Brown
San Jose Sharks San Jose, CA SAP Center at San Jose 1991 Doug Wilson Todd McLellan Joe Pavelski
Vancouver Canucks Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena 1945 1970 Jim Benning Willie Desjardins Henrik Sedin
Central Division Chicago Blackhawks Chicago, IL United Center 1926 Stan Bowman Joel Quenneville Jonathan Toews
Colorado Avalanche Denver, CO Pepsi Center 1972 1979* Joe Sakic Patrick Roy Gabriel Landeskog
Dallas Stars Dallas, TX American Airlines Center 1967* Jim Nill Lindy Ruff Jamie Benn
Minnesota Wild Saint Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center 2000 Chuck Fletcher Mike Yeo Mikko Koivu
Nashville Predators Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena 1998 David Poile Peter Laviolette Shea Weber
St. Louis Blues St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center 1967 Doug Armstrong Ken Hitchcock David Backes
Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre 1999* Kevin Cheveldayoff Paul Maurice Andrew Ladd
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division Boston Bruins Boston, MA TD Garden 1924 Peter Chiarelli Claude Julien Zdeno Chara
Buffalo Sabres Buffalo, NY KeyBank Center 1970 Tim Murray Ted Nolan Brian Gionta
Detroit Red Wings Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena 1926 Ken Holland Mike Babcock Henrik Zetterberg
Florida Panthers Sunrise, FL BB&T Center 1993 Dale Tallon Gerard Gallant Willie Mitchell
Montreal Canadiens Montreal, QC Bell Centre 1909 1917 Marc Bergevin Michel Therrien Vacant
Ottawa Senators Ottawa, ON Canadian Tire Centre 1992 Bryan Murray Dave Cameron Erik Karlsson
Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa, FL Amalie Arena 1992 Steve Yzerman Jon Cooper Steven Stamkos
Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre 1917 Dave Nonis Peter Horachek Vacant
Metropolitan Division Carolina Hurricanes Raleigh, NC PNC Arena 1972 1979* Ron Francis Bill Peters Eric Staal
Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena 2000 Jarmo Kekalainen Todd Richards Nick Foligno
New Jersey Devils Newark, NJ Prudential Center 1974* Lou Lamoriello Adam Oates
Scott Stevens
Andy Greene
New York Islanders Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center 1972 Garth Snow Jack Capuano John Tavares
New York Rangers New York City, NY Madison Square Garden 1926 Glen Sather Alain Vigneault Ryan McDonagh
Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center 1967 Ron Hextall Craig Berube Claude Giroux
Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh, PA PPG Paints Arena 1967 Jim Rutherford Mike Johnston Sidney Crosby
Washington Capitals Washington, DC Verizon Center 1974 Brian MacLellan Barry Trotz Alexander Ovechkin
Hhof stanley cup
The Stanley Cup, on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame, is awarded annually to the league champion.
  1. An asterisk (*) denotes a franchise move. See the respective team articles for more information.
  2. The Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques, and original Winnipeg Jets all joined the NHL in 1979 as part of the NHL–WHA merger.

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