A hockey stick is a piece of sport equipment used by the players in all the forms of hockey to move the ball or puck either to push, hit, flick, launch or stop the ball/puck during play with the objective being to move the ball/puck around the playing area using the stick. Stick is a generic term for the equipment since the different disciplines of hockey require significant differences in both the form and the size of the stick used for it to be effective in the different sports. Field/Ice/Roller hockey all have a visually similar form of stick with a long shaft or handle which can be held with two hands, a curved and flattened end. A modern underwater hockey stick bears little resemblance to any field/ice/roller hockey stick since it massively smaller to enable it to be used in one hand, it has to be produced in one of two colours in order to identify which of the competing teams a player is playing for. Field hockey sticks have an end which varies in shape depending on the player's position.
In general, there are four main variations on the head: The'short' is used by players wishing control over the ball, increase their maneuverability. This specific head is most associated with the mid-field position. The'Midi' is used by players who will be hitting the ball and need to be strong on their'reverse side'; this specific head is most associated with ` up-front' position. The'Maxi' is similar to the'Midi' as it has an increased surface area, useful for hitting. However, its strength allows it to be used much more for stopping the ball; this head is used by'defenders' and'attackers'. The'J Hook' again has a large surface area; however does not have the effectiveness of the'Midi' for striking the ball, it has an increased thickness making it ideal for stopping the ball. This head is most used by'defenders'. Field hockey sticks vary in length and price, ranging from 26" to 38.5". The main brands of sticks include TK, Slazenger, Kookaburra, Dita, Adidas, uber hockey, Brabo, Mazon, Tempest, King Karachi, NedStar, The Indian Maharaja, Wasa, No Fear, BHP, Wasp, Princess, IHSAN, Chryso, Rage and Edge.
The size of the stick, most effective for a specific player is judged by that player's height. A 28" stick would be used by a player under 4' most whereas a 38" stick would be used by players over 5'10". However'defenders' like to have a longer stick than'attackers' as this can be used for a greater reach when stopping a moving ball. The'attackers' prefer a shorter stick. Sticks have traditionally been made from wood, but in recent years, sticks made of more expensive materials such as aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber, other composite materials have become common. In addition to weighing less, composite sticks can be manufactured with more consistent flexibility properties than their wooden counterparts, they do not have the natural variations that wooden sticks possess therefore a batch of the same sticks will all perform the same. There are die-hard NHL professionals; some of these sticks have replaceable wood or composite blades, while others are one piece sticks without a replaceable blade.
Composite sticks, despite their greater expense, are now commonplace at nearly all competitive levels of the sport, including youth ice hockey. Some of the top brands of composite sticks include Bauer, Reebok/CCM, Warrior. Many professionals are using composite stick technology rather than wooden sticks; these new sticks are lighter and provide a quicker release of the puck, resulting in a harder, more accurate shot. Although the new materials do enable harder shots, the improved durability and lighter materials can make the transition from wooden to composite stick more difficult for less experienced players. A shortcut used by numerous players is to use a weighted system, such as kwik hands, to adjust to the new sticks. More expensive ice hockey sticks are the lightest sticks on the market. In addition to the increased torque that these composite sticks possess, the sticks do not warp or absorb moisture like their wooden counterparts; when the player is standing on his skates with the stick upright, on the toe, perpendicular to the ice, the top of the shaft should stop just below or above the chin, depending on personal preference.
Defensemen tend to use longer sticks. Ice hockey sticks are used in rinkball. In the event of roller hockey, one-piece sticks are the same as ice hockey sticks, but when graphite shafts are used with replacement blades, it's quite common for the replacement blades to be made of fiberglass with a narrow wood core. Fiberglass shaves down over time on concrete, sport court and blacktop surfaces where traditional wooden ice hockey replacement blades are more to splinter, split and/or crack on those surfaces; the stick for this sport is short compared to that for Field/Ice/Roller hockey, should be coloured either white or black in
2010–11 NHL season
The 2010–11 NHL season was the 94th season of operation of the National Hockey League. The Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final 4–3 to win the Stanley Cup, it was the sixth Cup win in Bruins' franchise history. For the fourth consecutive season, the season started with games in Europe; the 58th All-Star Game was held at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, home arena of the Carolina Hurricanes, on January 30, 2011. This was the final season of operation for the Atlanta Thrashers, who were sold to True North Sports and Entertainment out of Winnipeg and moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg to become the "new" Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg had lost its previous NHL team called the Winnipeg Jets, after the 1995–96 NHL season to Phoenix and were renamed "Phoenix Coyotes." This was the second time the city of Atlanta lost an NHL franchise, having lost the Atlanta Flames to Calgary, Alberta after the 1979–80 season. On June 23, 2010, the NHL announced; as a result, the new salary cap ceiling is set at $59.4 million, while the salary cap floor is $43.4 million.
In April 2011, the NHL reached a new television deal with NBCUniversal, acquired by Comcast earlier in the year. The 10-year, US$2 billion deal extended and unified the broadcast and cable television rights to the league, held by NBC and Versus respectively. Notable changes under the new deal included an increase in nationally televised games on Versus, a new Thanksgiving Friday game on NBC, holding exclusive rights to all playoff games beginning with the second round, plans to broadcast all playoff games nationally on NBCUniversal channels; the 2010 NHL Entry Draft took place on June 25–26, 2010, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, home arena of the Los Angeles Kings. Taylor Hall was selected first overall in the draft by the Edmonton Oilers, Tyler Seguin was picked second by the Boston Bruins and Erik Gudbranson was chosen third by the Florida Panthers. Tom Golisano, Larry Quinn and Daniel DiPofi, owners of the Buffalo Sabres, sold their franchise to Terrence Pegula during the course of the 2010–11 season.
The league approved the sale February 18, 2011. Prior to the 2010–11 season, the first tie-breaker to separate teams with equal number of points in a conference was the number of games won, no matter how the wins were obtained. For the 2010–11 season, the league made a modification to this rule; the new rule states that the team with the greater number of games won, excluding wins obtained in the shootout, will be ranked higher. The change was made to reward in-play team victories instead of a win obtained via an individual skill contest; this figure will be tracked in an additional column in the official league standings called ROW. In its first year, the tie-breaker would prove critical, giving the 106-point, 47-win Philadelphia Flyers the Atlantic Division title over the 106-point, 49-win Pittsburgh Penguins, who were seeded fourth rather than second based on the new rule. Prior to the 2010–11 season, the Board of Governors, General Managers and the Competition Committee unanimously agreed to implement a new penalty.
An illegal hit to the head is a lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or is the principal point of contact is not permitted. Any player who incurs a total of two game misconducts under this rule shall be suspended automatically for the next game his team plays. For each subsequent game misconduct penalty, the automatic suspension shall be increased by one game; the commissioner of the league can increase the suspension longer due to his discretion. The Pittsburgh Penguins moved to the newly constructed Consol Energy Center; the arena replaced Mellon Arena known as "The Igloo", where the Penguins had played since their inception in 1967. The Vancouver Canucks' General Motors Place was renamed Rogers Arena under a 10-year naming rights agreement with Rogers Communications; the Calgary Flames' Pengrowth Saddledome was renamed Scotiabank Saddledome. Several teams announced plans to change their uniforms in the 2010–11 season; the Buffalo Sabres, as part of their 40th anniversary season, reverted to the classic crossed swords insignia and a updated uniform based upon the style they wore from 1970 through 1996, when they left Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and moved down the street to the HSBC Arena with blue and gold trim.
The blue version was their third jersey for the past three seasons. A new third jersey in blue, featured the city's name in white script on the chest, along with "quilted" numbers on the back and a gold nameplate with blue lettering fashioning the look of the AHL's former Buffalo Bisons; the Columbus Blue Jackets unveiled a third jersey November 24 as part of their 10th season celebration. The new jersey made its debut on November 26; the Philadelphia Flyers adopted their 2010 NHL Winter Classic white uniforms as their new road uniform and dropped the black third jersey they wore since changing to Reebok's "NHL Edge" template. The New York Islanders reverted to the uniforms they made their debut back in 1972–73; the road white uniforms are from the 1972–73 season. The New York Rangers inaugurated a new third jersey; the jersey resembled the one worn by the team in its early years, notably during their Stanley Cup championship years of 1928 and 1933, but with
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams consisting of six players each: one goaltender, five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Ice hockey is most popular in Canada and eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and the United States. Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada. In addition, ice hockey is the most popular winter sport in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland. North America's National Hockey League is the highest level for men's ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world; the Kontinental Hockey League is much of Eastern Europe. The International Ice Hockey Federation is the formal governing body for international ice hockey, with the IIHF managing international tournaments and maintaining the IIHF World Ranking.
Worldwide, there are ice hockey federations in 76 countries. In Canada, the United States, Nordic countries, some other European countries the sport is known as hockey. Ice hockey is believed to have evolved from simple stick and ball games played in the 18th and 19th century United Kingdom and elsewhere; these games were brought to North America and several similar winter games using informal rules as they were developed, such as "shinny" and "ice polo". The contemporary sport of ice hockey was developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, where the first indoor hockey game was played on March 3, 1875; some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, have been retained to this day. Amateur ice hockey leagues began in the 1880s, professional ice hockey originated around 1900; the Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice hockey club supremacy, was first awarded in 1893 to recognize the Canadian amateur champion and became the championship trophy of the NHL. In the early 1900s, the Canadian rules were adopted by the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace, the precursor of the IIHF and the sport was played for the first time at the Olympics during the 1920 Summer Olympics.
In international competitions, the national teams of six countries predominate: Canada, Czech Republic, Russia and the United States. Of the 69 medals awarded all-time in men's competition at the Olympics, only seven medals were not awarded to one of those countries. In the annual Ice Hockey World Championships, 177 of 201 medals have been awarded to the six nations. Teams outside the "Big Six" have won only five medals in either competition since 1953; the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, unlike the annual World Championships and quadrennial Olympic tournament, both run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. World Cup games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF, the tournament occurs prior to the NHL pre-season, allowing for all NHL players to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs. Furthermore, all 12 Women's Olympic and 36 IIHF World Women's Championships medals were awarded to one of these six countries.
The Canadian national team or the United States national team have between them won every gold medal of either series. In England, field hockey has been called "hockey" and what was referenced by first appearances in print; the first known mention spelled as "hockey" occurred in the 1773 book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author: Including a New Mode of Infant Education, by Richard Johnson, whose chapter XI was titled "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey". The 1573 Statute of Galway banned a sport called "'hokie'—the hurling of a little ball with sticks or staves". A form of this word was thus being used in the 16th century, though much removed from its current usage; the belief that hockey was mentioned in a 1363 proclamation by King Edward III of England is based on modern translations of the proclamation, in Latin and explicitly forbade the games "Pilam Manualem, Pedivam, & Bacularem: & ad Canibucam & Gallorum Pugnam". The English historian and biographer John Strype did not use the word "hockey" when he translated the proclamation in 1720, instead translating "Canibucam" as "Cambuck".
According to the Austin Hockey Association, the word "puck" derives from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc. "... The blow given by a hurler to the ball with his camán or hurley is always called a puck." Stick-and-ball games date back to pre-Christian times. In Europe, these games included the Irish game of hurling, the related Scottish game of shinty and versions of field hockey. IJscolf, a game resembling colf on an ice-covered surface, was popular in the Low Countries between the Middle Ages and the Dutch Golden Age, it was played with a wooden curved bat, a wooden or leather ball and two poles, with t
Penalty (ice hockey)
A penalty in ice hockey is a punishment for an infringement of the rules. Most penalties are enforced by sending the offending player to a penalty box for a set number of minutes. During the penalty the player may not participate in play. Penalties are enforced by the referee, or in some cases, the linesman; the offending team may not replace the player on the ice, leaving them short-handed as opposed to full strength. When the opposing team is said to be on a power play, they will have one more player on the ice than the short-handed team; the short-handed team is said to be "on the penalty kill" until the penalty expires and the penalized player returns to play. While standards vary somewhat between leagues, most leagues recognize several common varieties of penalties, as well as common infractions; the statistic used to track penalties was traditionally called "Penalty Infraction Minutes", although the alternate term "penalty minutes" has become common in recent years. It represents the total assessed length of penalties each team has accrued.
The first codified rules of hockey, known as the Halifax Rules, were brought to Montreal by James Creighton, who organized the first indoor hockey game in 1875. Two years the Montreal Gazette documented the first set of "Montreal Rules", which noted that "charging from behind, collaring, kicking or shinning the ball shall not be allowed"; the only penalty outlined by these rules was that play would be stopped, a "bully" would take place. Revised rules in 1886 mandated that any player in violation of these rules would be given two warnings, but on a third offence would be removed from the game, it was not until 1904. At that time, a referee could assess a two-, three- or five-minute penalty, depending on the severity of the foul. By 1914, all penalties were five minutes in length, reduced to three minutes two years and the offending player was given an additional fine; when the National Hockey League was founded in 1917, it mandated that a team could not substitute for any player, assessed a penalty, thus requiring them to play shorthanded for the duration.
The penalty was shortened to two minutes for the 1921–22 season, while five- and ten-minute penalties were added two years later. Both the NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation recognize the common penalty degrees of minor and major penalties, as well as the more severe misconduct, game misconduct, match penalties. A minor penalty is the least severe type of penalty. A minor penalty is two minutes in length; the offending player is sent to the penalty box and in most cases, his team will play shorthanded. If the offending player is the goaltender or a team is given a "bench minor" penalty any skater, on the ice at the time of the infraction may serve the penalty. In rare cases, when the offending player suffers an injury on the same play, whoever is on the ice at the time of the penalty may serve the penalty, as was the case of Game 2 of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals during the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, when Phil Kessel served a penalty in place of Tom Kuhnhackl. A team with a numerical advantage in players will go on a power play.
If they score a goal during this time, the penalty will end and the offending player may return to the ice. In hockey's formative years, teams were shorthanded for the entire length of a minor penalty; the NHL changed this rule following the 1955–56 season where the Montreal Canadiens scored multiple goals on one power play. Most famous was a game on November 5, 1955, when Jean Béliveau scored three goals in 44 seconds, all on the same power play, in a 4–2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Coincidental minor penalties occur when an equal number of players from each team are given a minor penalty at the same time; the permission of a substitute player depends on the league and the situation at the time of the infractions. In some leagues, such as the NHL, the teams will play four-on-four for the duration of the penalties if they occurred when both teams were at strength. However, if there is a manpower differential both teams are allowed to make substitutions while the penalized players will remain in the penalty box until the first stoppage in play after their penalty expires.
In other competitions, such as IIHF events, coincidental penalties do not affect manpower in any situation. Coincidental minor penalties are not ended. In some cases, a referee can impose a triple minor; the infraction is counted as three separate minor penalties. If a team scores a power play goal during such a penalty, only the current block of two minutes being counted down is canceled. Expiration rules of double- or triple-minor penalties due to goals being scored are identical to that of regular minor penalties being served back-to-back. A major penalty is a stronger degree of penalty for a more severe infraction of the rules than a minor. Most infractions which incur a major penalty are more severe instances of minor penalty infractions. A player who receives a major penalty will remain off the ice for five minutes of play during which his team will be short-handed. A major penalty cannot end early if a goal is scored against the short-handed team, unless the goal is scored during an overtime period.
If major penalties are assessed to one player on each team at
2005–06 NHL season
The 2005–06 NHL season was the 89th season of operation of the National Hockey League. This season succeeded the 2004–05 season which had all of its scheduled games canceled due to a labor dispute with the National Hockey League Players' Association over the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the League and its players; the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs began on April 21, 2006, concluded on June 19, with the Carolina Hurricanes defeating the Edmonton Oilers to win their first Stanley Cup, after which the Oilers would miss the postseason ten consecutive times and the Hurricanes would miss 11 of their next 12. On July 13, 2005, the NHL, NHLPA jointly announced that they had tentatively agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement which would allow the resumption of hockey for the 2005–06 season; the agreement was voted on July 21 by NHLPA members, approved by a nearly 7 to 1 margin. The following day, the NHL's Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the new agreement. A new logo for the NHL was unveiled, with "NHL" printed in upward-reading letters to project a vibrant, optimistic image, having silver as the dominant color to pay homage to the Stanley Cup.
New Eastern and Western Conference logos were unveiled before the Olympic break, with red as the dominant East color, blue as the dominant West hue. American television had a new look. OLN took over broadcasting rights; the network, owned by Comcast, had Monday and Tuesday night games during the regular season under an exclusivity clause prohibiting local telecasts those nights in the two participating teams' markets. NBC returned as the NHL's over-the-air partner. Comcast high-speed cable internet customers could watch at least seven games a week over the Internet as part of the new TV deal; the league returned with a revamped rulebook, to the point that many refer to "pre-lockout" and "post-lockout" when comparing statistics. The rule experimentation was based on the previous season of play in the AHL, was based on creating a more exciting game with more scoring opportunities. Furthermore, a new Competition Committee was formed to discuss future rule changes, players were invited to participate in the discussion.
The league introduced shoot-outs at the end of over-time. The shootout features only three shots per team, if it is still tied, the shootout becomes sudden death. In preseason games shootouts were held. Shootouts are only in effect for regular-season games. Playoff games will continue with twenty-minute periods; the neutral zone becomes smaller by four feet. All blue and red lines are returned to the traditional width of 12 inches; the double-width lines used in the AHL 2004–05 season were abandoned. If a team ices the puck, it is not allowed to make a line change afterwards. Linesmen are given more discretion when it comes to waving off icing calls when they are accidentally made as the result of a failed pass attempt; the "two-line offside pass" rule was abolished. Players who instigate a fight in the last five minutes of a game will be given a game misconduct penalty plus a one-game suspension. Furthermore, the player's coach will be fined $10,000. Goaltender equipment was reduced in size by eleven percent.
All referees are equipped with wireless microphones so they can now announce penalties over the public address system, similar to National Football League and Canadian Football League referees. With multiple penalties, only the first will be announced by the referee calling the penalty, with the others being announced by the arena's ice-side PA announcer. Any player that shoots the puck over the glass from his own defensive zone will be penalized for delay of game. After the 2006 Olympic break, the rule was modified to read that the puck must cross the glass before crossing the blue line. After the 2006 Olympic break, all sticks to be used in the shootout. In terms of total goals scored during an NHL regular season, the 2005–06 regular season turned out to be the highest-scoring in NHL history, with 7,443 goals scored in 1,230 games. However, the highest-scoring season in terms of goals per game still belonged to the 1992–93 regular season, in which 7,311 goals were scored in only 1,008 games, for an average of 7.25 per game.
The record for most shorthanded goals scored in a season, set in 1992–93 and matched in 1993–94 at 312, was broken as 318 shorthanded goals were scored. A total of 117 shutouts were recorded, down from an all-time high of 192 in 2003–04; the higher offensive numbers were attributable, among other things, to greater frequency of power plays. In 2003–04, teams had an average of 348 power plays over 82 games. In 2005–06, the average number of power plays per team over 82 games was 480; the NHL season began on October 5, for the first time in the League's history, all of the league's 30 teams played a game on opening night. In the first period of each game, all teams wore a jersey with a special patch as the league and players association auctioned off those jerseys for the benefit of the Red Cross in both the United States and Canada earmarking the proceeds for Hurricane Katrina victims (the Islanders' ECHL affiliate in B
A hockey puck is a disk made of vulcanized rubber that serves the same functions in various games as a ball does in ball games. The best-known use of pucks is in a major international sport. Ice hockey and its various precursor games utilized balls until the late 19th century. By the 1870s, flat pucks were made of wood as well as rubber. At first, pucks were square; the first recorded organized game of ice hockey used a wooden puck, to prevent it from leaving the rink of play. Rubber pucks were first made by slicing a rubber ball trimming the disc square; the Victoria Hockey Club of Montreal is credited with making and using the first round pucks, in the 1880s. Many indigenous persons throughout North America played a version of field hockey which involved some type of "puck" or ball, curved wooden sticks, it was first observed by Europeans being played by Mi'kmaqs in Nova Scotia in the late 17th century. It was called "ricket" by the Mi'kmaqs, they began to carve pucks from cherrywood, the puck of preference until late in the century when rubber imported by Euro-Americans replaced the wood.
The origin of the word puck is obscure. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests the name is related to the verb to puck used in the game of hurling for striking or pushing the ball, from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc, meaning "to poke, punch or deliver a blow":It is possible that settlers of Halifax, Nova Scotia, many of whom were Irish and played hurling, may have introduced the word to Canada; the first known printed reference was in Montreal, in 1876, just a year after the first indoor game was played there. A hockey puck is referred to colloquially as a "biscuit". To put the "biscuit in the basket" is to score a goal. Ice hockey requires a hard disk of vulcanized rubber. A standard ice hockey puck is black, 1 inch thick, 3 inches in diameter, weighs between 5.5 and 6 ounces. Pucks are marked with silkscreened team or league logos on one or both faces. Pucks are frozen before the game to reduce bouncing during play. There are several variations on the standard 6-ounce hockey puck. One of the most common is a blue, 4-ounce puck, used for training younger players who are not yet able to use a standard puck.
Heavier 10-ounce training pucks reddish pink or reddish orange in colour, are available for players looking to develop the strength of their shots or improve their stick handling skills. Players looking to increase wrist strength practice with steel pucks that weigh 2 pounds. White pucks are used for goaltender practice; these are weight, but made from white rubber. A hollow, light-weight fluorescent orange puck is available for floor hockey. Other variants, some with plastic ball-bearings or glides, are available for use for road or roller hockey. Two major developments have been devised to create better puck visibility on television broadcasts, but both were short-lived: The use of a "Firepuck" in the early 1990s was the first attempt to improve the visibility of hockey pucks as seen on television; this invention incorporated coloured retro reflective materials of either embedded lens elements or prismatic reflectors laminated into recesses on the flat surfaces and the vertical edge of a standard hockey puck.
Yellow was the preferred reflected colour. A spotlight was required to be positioned on the TV camera and focused at the centre of the viewing area. A short demonstration tape of the Minnesota North Stars skating with the Firepuck was shown during the period break at the 1993 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal; the International Hockey League pursued testing the Firepuck with Donald Klassen. The next television viewing was the IHL All-Star Game in Fort Wayne, January 1994, where the Firepuck was used for the entire game; the IHL tested the Firepuck in two more games, the East Coast Hockey League used it January 17, 1997, for their all-star game. The use of the Firepuck was discontinued because of these reasons: The slight structural change increased the tendency for the puck to bounce on the ice; this resulted in increased scoring. The skaters objected to the use of camera spotlights; the television viewing contrast of the Firepuck was not noticeably enhanced when the camera view was of the entire rink, this being the most common camera shot.
The Firepuck name has since been discontinued. The FoxTrax "smart puck" was developed by the Fox television network when it held National Hockey League broadcasting rights for the United States; the puck had integrated electronics to track its position on screen. The streak would turn red if the puck was shot hard; this was an experiment in broadcasting intended to help viewers unfamiliar with hockey to better follow the game by making the puck more visible. It was ill-received by many traditional hockey fans, but appreciated by many of the more casual viewers; the system debuted with much publicity in the NHL All-Star game at the Boston Fleet Center on January 20, 1996, but the system was shelved when Fox Sports lost the NHL broadcast rights three years later. During a game, pucks can reach speeds of 100 miles per more when struck. Zdeno Chára, whose slapshot clocked 108.8 miles per hour in the 2013 NHL All-Star Game SuperSkills competition, broke his own earlier record. The current world re
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league in North America 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, 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, founded in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario; the NHL 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 folds 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, has since consisted of American and Canadian teams. From 1942 to 1967, the league had only six teams, collectively nicknamed the "Original Six"; the NHL added six new teams to double its size at the 1967 NHL expansion. The league 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. The league's headquarters have been in New York City since 1989 when the head office moved there from Montreal. After a labour-management dispute that led to the cancellation of the entire 2004–05 season, the league resumed play in 2005–06 under a new collective agreement that included a salary cap. In 2009, the NHL enjoyed record highs in terms of sponsorships and television audiences; the International Ice Hockey Federation considers the Stanley Cup to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport".
The NHL draws many skilled players from all over the world and has players from 20 countries. Canadians have constituted the majority of the players in the league, with an increasing percentage of American and European players in recent seasons; the current NHL Champions are the Washington Capitals, who defeated the Vegas Golden Knights four games to one in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. The National Hockey League was established in 1917 as the successor to the National Hockey Association. Founded in 1909, the NHA began play one year with seven teams in Ontario and Quebec, was one of the first major leagues in professional ice hockey, but by the NHA's eighth season, a series of disputes with Toronto Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone led team owners of the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs to hold a meeting to discuss the league's future. Realizing the NHA constitution left them unable to force Livingstone out, the four teams voted instead to suspend the NHA, on November 26, 1917, formed the National Hockey League.
Frank Calder was chosen as its first president, serving until his death in 1943. The Bulldogs were unable to play, the remaining owners created a new team in Toronto, the Arenas, to compete with the Canadiens and Senators; the first games were played on December 19, 1917. The Montreal Arena burned down in January 1918, causing the Wanderers to cease operations, the NHL continued on as a three-team league until the Bulldogs returned in 1919; the NHL replaced the NHA as one of the leagues that competed for the Stanley Cup, an interleague competition back then. Toronto won the first NHL title, defeated the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association for the 1918 Stanley Cup; the Canadiens won the league title in 1919. Montreal in 1924 won their first Stanley Cup as a member of the NHL; the Hamilton Tigers, won the regular season title in 1924–25 but refused to play in the championship series unless they were given a C$200 bonus. The league refused and declared the Canadiens the league champion after they defeated the Toronto St. Patricks in the semi-final.
Montreal was defeated by the Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League for the 1925 Stanley Cup. It was the last time a non-NHL team won the trophy, as the Stanley Cup became the de facto NHL championship in 1926 after the WCHL ceased operation; the National Hockey League embarked on rapid expansion in the 1920s, adding the Montreal Maroons and Boston Bruins in 1924. The Bruins were the first American team in the league; the New York Americans began play in 1925 after purchasing the assets of the Hamilton Tigers, were joined by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The New York Rangers were added in 1926; the Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars were added after the league purchased the assets of the defunct WCHL. A group purchased the Toronto St. Patricks in 1927 and renamed them the Maple Leafs; the first NHL All-Star Game was held in 1934 to benefit Ace Bailey, whose career ended on a vicious hit by Eddie Shore. The second was held in 1937 in support of Howie Morenz's family when he died of a coronary embolism after breaking his leg during a game.
The Great Depression and the onset of World War II took a toll on the league. The Pirates became the Philadelphia Quakers in 1930 folded one year later; the Senators became the St. Louis Eagles in 1934 lasting only one