Winnipeg Jets (1972–96)
The Winnipeg Jets were a professional ice hockey team based in Winnipeg, Canada. They began play in the World Hockey Association in 1972; the club joined the National Hockey League in 1979 after the NHL merged with the WHA. Due to mounting financial troubles, in 1996 the franchise moved to Phoenix and became the Phoenix Coyotes. In 2011 the Atlanta Thrashers franchise relocated to Winnipeg and restored the Jets name, although the prior Jets club history is retained by the Arizona club; the NHL had expanded to 16 teams, adding franchises in many hockey-hungry cities, but in Atlanta and Los Angeles. The WHA brought major professional hockey to Ottawa, Quebec City, Winnipeg and Calgary. On December 27, 1971, Winnipeg was granted one of the founding franchises in the WHA, to Ben Hatskin, a local figure who made his wealth in cardboard shipping containers; the team took their name from the Winnipeg Jets of the Western Canada Hockey League. The Jets' first signing was Norm Beaudin and the first major signing was Bobby Hull.
Hull's acquisition financed by the rest of the WHA's teams, gave the league instant credibility and paved the way for other NHL stars to bolt to the upstart league. The Jets were further noteworthy in hockey history for being the first North American club to explore Europe as a source of hockey talent. Winnipeg's fortunes were bolstered by acquisitions such as Swedish forwards Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson, who starred with Hull on the WHA's most famous and successful forward line, defenceman Lars-Erik Sjoberg, who would serve as the team's captain and win accolades as the WHA's best defenceman. Behind these players and other European stars such as Willy Lindstrom, Kent Nilsson, Veli-Pekka Ketola, leavened by players such as Peter Sullivan, Norm Beaudin and goaltender Joe Daley, the Jets were the most successful team in the short-lived WHA; the team won the Avco World Trophy three times, including in the league's final season against Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers. The Jets made the finals five of the WHA's seven seasons.
Another notable accomplishment was the Jets' 5–3 victory over the Soviet National team on January 5, 1978. In the WHA's last season, Kent Nilsson had 107 points, while Morris Lukowich had 65 goals, Peter Sullivan had 46 goals and 86 points; the Jets made it to the Avco Cup and Gary Smith gave up the last goal in WHA history to Dave Semenko in a 7–3 Jets win. Games: Bobby Hull, 411 Goals: Bobby Hull, 303 Assists: Ulf Nilsson, 344 Points: Bobby Hull, 638 Penalty Minutes: Kim Clackson, 413 Goaltending Wins: Joe Daley, 167 Shutouts: Joe Daley, 12The 1976, 1978 and 1979 Avco Cup winning Winnipeg Jets were inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in the team category. By 1979, the vast majority of the WHA's teams had folded. After the season, the Jets were absorbed into the NHL along with the Nordiques and Hartford Whalers. While the results of pre-merger inter-league exhibitions had established the 1978-79 WHA Jets as being at least the competitive equal of all except the best NHL teams such as the three-time defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens and the rising New York Islanders, the Jets had to pay a high price for a berth in the more established league.
They had to give up three of their top six scorers – the core of the last WHA champion – in a reclamation draft. They were forced to draft 18th out of 21 teams. In the draft, they opted to protect defenceman Scott Campbell, who had shown a good deal of promise in the last WHA season. However, Campbell suffered from chronic asthma, only exacerbated by Winnipeg's frigid weather; the asthma drove him out of the league by 1982. Upon entering the NHL, the Jets were based in the Smythe Division of the Campbell Conference. However, with a decimated roster, the Jets finished dead last in the league for their first two seasons in the NHL, including a horrendous nine-win season in 1980–81 that still ranks as the worst in Jets/Coyotes history; this stands in marked contrast to the other 1979 Avco Cup finalist, the Oilers, who became one of the most successful teams during the 1980s. The Jets' first two wretched NHL seasons did net them high draft picks; the team developed a solid core of players by the mid-1980s, with Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen, Paul MacLean, Randy Carlyle, Laurie Boschman, Doug Smail, David Ellett providing a strong nucleus.
In 1981, a league-wide realignment placed the Jets with the league's other Central Time Zone teams in the Norris Division, which over the course of the decade would become the weakest division in the league. Led by Hawerchuk, Steen and Carlyle, the Jets returned to respectability quickly, made the playoffs 11 times in the next 15 years. However, regular-season success did not transfer over into the playoffs; this was because after just one season in the Norris, the relocation of the Colorado Rockies to New Jersey compelled Winnipeg to re-align to the far more competitive Smythe Division along with the Oilers and Calgary Flames – by some accounts, the two best teams in the league during the second half of the 1980s. Due to the way the playoffs were structured at the time, whenever the Jets made the playoffs, they faced the near-certainty of having to beat either the Oilers or the Flames to get to the Campbell Conference Finals. At the time, the top four teams in each division made the playoffs, with the regular-season divisi
Poland men's national ice hockey team
The Poland national men's ice hockey team is the national ice hockey team of Poland, a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. They are ranked 20th in the world in the IIHF World Rankings, but prior to the 1980s they were ranked as high as 6th internationally, they are one of only 8 countries never to have played below the Division I level. The Polish national team plays at the Division IB level, the third tier of the World Championship. Poland has competed in the Olympics thirteen times, most in 1992, with their best result being fourth place in 1932, they have been a regular participant of the World Championship, first appearing in 1930 and having appeared in all but one tournament since 1955. They played in the top division, though have been in Division I since being relegated in 2002. Poland was a regular participant of the early Winter Olympics, first competing at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, where they finished ninth out of eleven teams, they would appear at Winter Olympics until 1956, with their best finish being fourth in 1932.
Financed by state coal money from the 1950s to the 1970s the Polish hockey team was a regular at the top level upsetting the Swedes and Czechoslovaks from time to time. They hosted the World Championship for the only time in 1976, with the matches taking place in Katowice. At this tournament Poland defeated the Soviet Union 6–4 in their opening match, the first time Poland won against the Soviets and what is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in international hockey history. While Poland finished seventh and was relegated for the following year, their victory against the USSR helped prevent them from winning gold for only the second time in 13 years. In the Olympics earlier that year, Poland played 5 matches in the top division, but lost all of them. In the first game, the team managed four goals on the West Germany but it was not enough as they lost 7-4. Four days after being destroyed by the Soviet Union, the Poles took on Czechoslovakia who dominated the whole game throughout and won 7-1, but after the drug testing, the officials found that one of the Czech players tested positive for doping and they awarded Poland with a 1-0 victory, although they didn't receive any points in the standings.
With only two games left and no points in the standings, Poland had no shot at a medal, but still played the last two games against the United States and Finland, lost 7-2 and 7-1 respectively. Poland managed to clean up a bit over four years and played well during the 1980 Olympics and finished seventh out of twelve teams, they managed to pull off a huge upset in their first game by beating Finland 5-4, who would advance to the medal round. In their next game, they played Canada and hoped to complete an bigger upset; the Canadians didn't let this happen and beat the Poles 5-1. In the third game, Poland took on the five time The Soviet Union; the players knew that this would be a challenge because they had played the Soviets many times before and had lost by very lopsided scores, such as 8-3, 9-3, 16-1, 20-0. The Polish team, had beaten the Soviets once in the 1976 World Championship and some of the players from that game were still on the team; the team tried to keep the Soviets down. With their toughest games out of the way, Poland would have one more chance to try to get to the Medal Round.
They took on the Netherlands and went down early in the first period but managed to tie it about four minutes later. The Dutch team scored twice more in the period to lead 3-1. Polish hero Wieslaw Jobczyk scored to put Poland within one goal but the Netherlands stormed back to get two more goals before the third period to make it 5-2; the Polish saw their hopes of the Medal round come to an end. They had one more game against Japan, who had not won any games in the tournament and only tied once. Poland scored 3 goals before twenty minutes had ended, they scored Japan seemed out of it. The final score was 5-1 for Poland; the team's final record was received 4 points in the standings. When Communist rule ended in 1989, the Polish national team began a slow decline in international play, they reached the Olympics in 1992, the most recent time they have played there, finished eleventh out of twelve teams. During the 1990s the first two Polish-born and trained players were selected in the NHL Entry Draft: Mariusz Czerkawski was selected in the 1991 by the Boston Bruins, Krzysztof Oliwa in 1993 by the New Jersey Devils.
Poland last competed at the Elite level in 2002 World Championship, where they finished fourteenth and were relegated. Since they have remained in Division I, but have not earned promotion back to the top level, though they have finished just outside of promotion several times. Roster for the 2018 IIHF World Championship Division I. Head coach: Ted Nolan Players who have played in the NHL and the Polish national team Players from Poland selected in the NHL Entry Draft Henryk Gruth - Most games played for national team Andrzej Zabawa - Most goals scored Leszek Laszkiewicz - 96 games played, 81 total points The head to head records do not include matches against reserve, junior teams or club teams. In grey, teams of countries which no longer exist Official website IIHF profile
Denis Charles Potvin is a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenceman and team captain for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League. He is a four-time Stanley Cup winner as a member of the early 1980s New York Islanders, he is a three-time James Norris Memorial Trophy winner as the NHL's top defenceman. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 and served as a commentator for Ottawa Senators' television broadcasts on Sportsnet, he is the color commentator for the Florida Panthers. Potvin was born in Vanier, but grew up in Hull, Quebec. In 2017, he was named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players" in history. After a stellar junior hockey career with the Ottawa 67s, Potvin was drafted first overall in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft by the struggling expansion New York Islanders, a team which had recorded the worst record in modern NHL history the previous season. Right after Bill Torrey drafted Potvin, Montreal Canadiens general manager Sam Pollock approached Torrey, hoping to trade for Potvin.
Pollock's strategy was to offer a "quick-fix" package of mature players to exchange for the top draft pick. Torrey turned down the offer since he felt Potvin would be a long-term asset to his team. Upon joining the Islanders, Potvin wanted to wear number 7 on his uniform but was forced to take number 5, as forward Germain Gagnon was wearing number 7. Potvin entered the NHL with high expectations. While he did not dominate the game in the same way as Orr, Potvin became an immediate star, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year in 1973–74 and the James Norris Memorial Trophy as league's top defenceman in 1975–76 ending Orr's eight year reign, at age 22, when he scored 31 goals and 98 points, the highest totals by a defenceman other than Orr; that year he finished second to Bobby Clarke in the voting for the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player. Upon Orr's decline and retirement in the late 1970s, Potvin became acknowledged as the premier defencemen in the game.
He won the Norris Trophy in 1977–78 and 1978–79. The latter was his best offensive season, when he scored 31 goals and 70 assists in only 73 games, becoming the second defenceman to score 100 points in a season, he had an impressive +71 plus-minus rating that season and finished fourth in the balloting for the Hart Trophy. Between 1974–75 and 1980–81, Potvin was named to the NHL's first all-star team five times and the second all-star team once. In Potvin's best season, 1978–79, the talented but young Islanders lost in semi-finals of the 1979 Stanley Cup playoffs to the New York Rangers in six games, despite being favoured to win the series. Clark Gillies stepped down as captain during the off-season and Potvin became the team's third captain, a position he held until relinquishing it in 1987. In 1979–80, Potvin's first year as captain, the Islanders won their first of four Stanley Cups. Potvin was a key part of the Islanders during the team's early 1980s glory years: in addition to the four consecutive Stanley Cup championships and five straight finals appearances, in the eight seasons he served as captain, the Islanders never failed to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Potvin was productive offensively in the playoffs, with his best year being 1980–81 when he scored 8 goals and 17 assists for 25 points in 18 games. However, he was never able to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff's most valuable player. In the 1983–84 season, Potvin made a comeback of sorts, scoring 85 points and making the NHL's second all-star team. Potvin was known for being intelligent and outspoken off the ice. Throughout the 1970s, these traits alienated his Islander teammates, as they made Potvin appear arrogant, he offended many hockey fans by stating publicly he had played better in the 1976 Canada Cup than Bobby Orr, that Orr's selection as tournament MVP was for sentimental reasons. However, as Potvin matured, he became seen as a great leader as he learned to use these same qualities to positively affect his teammates. Potvin was a more traditional defender than Orr and an physical player, he averaged just under one point per game over his career. Late in his career, Potvin suffered a series of injuries that impeded his performance, leading to his retirement following the 1987–88 season.
He retired as the NHL's leader in points by a defenceman. His career totals were surpassed by Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, others, as of 2014, he sits fifth in career goals and seventh in career points amongst defencemen. Potvin claimed to have received an offer from Mike Keenan to come out of retirement and play for the arch-rival New York Rangers in 1993. Keenan has yet to substantiate these claims. Potvin admitted. After a brief skate, he decided. Potvin was a color commentator for Florida Panthers television broadcasts on FS Florida from 1993, paired with play-by-play announcers Dave Strader and Steve Goldstein, for over 16 seasons before being replaced by former Panthers player Bill Lindsay in 2009. In September 2010, Potvin was hired as the Ottawa Senators' television colour analyst, working with Dean Brown on Rogers Sportsnet. In August 2014, he was rehired as colour commentator by the Florida Panthers, working with Steve Goldstein on Fox Sports Florida; as a colour commentator, he is known for his bizarre and infl
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
Swedish Hockey League
The Swedish Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league, the highest division in the Swedish ice hockey system. The league consists of 14 teams; the league was founded in 1975, while Swedish ice hockey champions have been crowned through various formats since 1922, the title, as well as the Le Mat Trophy, have been awarded to the winner of the SHL playoffs since the league's inaugural 1975–76 season. As of 2010–11, the SHL was the world's most evenly matched professional ice hockey league. During the 2011–12 season, the SHL was the most well attended ice hockey league in Europe, averaging 6,385 spectators per game, however in 2013–14, the SHL was third best in Europe, with an attendance average of 5,978. SHL was the second most popular sports team league within Sweden, after the football league Allsvenskan, which in the 2013 season had an average attendance of 7,627; the league was founded in 1975 as Elitserien, featured 10 teams, though this was expanded to 12 for the 1987–88 season. The league was renamed the SHL in 2013, in 2014, a number of format changes were announced, including an expansion to 14 teams to be finalized prior to the 2015–16 season, a new format for promotion from and relegation to HockeyAllsvenskan, the second tier league.
The Swedish Ice Hockey Championship was awarded for the first time in 1922, only two years after ice hockey was introduced in Sweden by the American film director Raoul Le Mat. At this point, the Swedish Championships were held as a separate tournament, it was not until the 1952–53 season that the championship was awarded to the winner of the top-tier hockey league, which at the time was Division I. The inaugural Elitserien season began on 5 October 1975, with the league consisting of 10 teams, each playing a regular season consisting of 36 games. There has been extensive discussion about the number of teams in the SHL; the league has had 12 teams since an expansion from 10 teams in 1987, there has been general agreement among hockey experts that the league needs to be expanded by at least two more teams. They mean that, apart from just the economic situation for some of the clubs, the competition from HockeyAllsvenskan has shown that more teams are needed in the top-tier league SHL. On 13 March 2014, the SHL and HockeyAllsvenskan announced that the SHL will be expanded to 14 teams, starting in the 2015–16 season.
To make this change happen, at least two HockeyAllsvenskan teams will be promoted to the SHL in the 2014–15 season. In 2009, Håkan Loob, the general manager of Färjestad BK, sent a letter to Alexander Medvedev, the owner and president of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League, on behalf of five SHL teams – Färjestad, Frölunda, Djurgården, Linköping and HV71 – that were "interested in discussing the future of European hockey", it was believed. The teams formed an interest group to investigate the possibility of forming a continental hockey league spanning several European countries; these plans were abandoned in November 2011, with Frölunda's chairman expressing hopes for the future of the European Trophy. On 17 June 2013, the league was renamed "Svenska hockeyligan", since this would allow for an easy English translation and a common abbreviation between the two languages, all of, considered to be a better brand identity to invest in; each regular season SHL game is composed of three 20-minute periods, with an intermission of a maximum of 18 minutes between periods.
If the game is tied following the 60-minute regulation time, a five-minute three-on-three sudden death overtime period is played. If a game still is tied after the overtime period, a shootout decides the game. In a shootout, the team that scores the most penalty shots out of three attempts wins the game. If the game is still tied after the first three penalty-shot rounds, the shootout continues round by round, until one team scores while the other team fails to score. In the event of a tied game during the playoffs, additional 20-minute overtime periods are played perpetually until one team scores. Unlike in the regular season, playoff overtime periods are played five-on-five. Only one game in Sweden has surpassed four full overtime periods, no SHL games have surpassed three full overtime periods; the longest SHL game was the first game of the 1997 Swedish Championship semifinals, played on 23 March 1997 between Leksands IF and Färjestad BK. 6,012 spectators saw Andreas Karlsson score the game-winning goal for Leksand after 59 minutes of overtime.
See Longest ice hockey games in Sweden for other games. SHL games are played on an ice hockey rink, rectangular ice rink with rounded corners and surrounded by a wall, it measures 30 by 60 meters. Counting from the formation of the SHL in 1975, Färjestad BK is the most successful team with nine Swedish Championship titles. Brynäs IF and Djurgårdens IF are tied for the second most successful team with six championship titles. Counting from 1922, when the first Swedish championships were played, Djurgårdens IF is the most successful team with sixteen championship titles, followed by Brynäs IF with thirteen, as well as Färjestad BK and IK Göta with nine; the SHL season is divided into a regular season from late September through the beginning of March, when teams p
Ice Hockey World Championships
The Ice Hockey World Championships are an annual international men's ice hockey tournament organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation. First held at the 1920 Summer Olympics, it is the sport's highest profile annual international tournament; the IIHF was created in 1908 while the European Championships, the precursor to the World Championships, were first held in 1910. The tournament held at the 1920 Summer Olympics is recognized as the first Ice Hockey World Championship. Between 1920 and 1968, the Olympic hockey tournament was considered the World Championship for that year; the first World Championship, held as an individual event was in 1930 in which twelve nations participated. In 1931, ten teams played a series of round-robin format qualifying rounds to determine which nations participated in the medal round. Medals were awarded based on the final standings of the teams in the medal round. In 1951, thirteen nations were split into two groups; the top seven teams played for the World Championship.
The other six played for ranking purposes. This basic format would be used until 1992. During a congress in 1990, the IIHF introduced a playoff system; as the IIHF grew, more teams began to participate at the World Championships, so more pools were introduced. The modern format for the World Championship features 16 teams in the championship group, 12 teams in Division I and 12 teams in Division II. If there are more than 40 teams, the rest compete in Division III; the teams in the championship play a preliminary round the top eight teams play in the playoff medal round and the winning team is crowned World Champion. Over the years, the tournament has gone through several rule changes. In 1969 body-checking in all three zones in a rink was allowed and goaltender masks became mandatory in the early 1970s and in 1992 the IIHF began using the shootout; the current IIHF rules differ from the rules used in the NHL. From the 1920 Olympics until the 1976 World Championships, only athletes designated as "amateur" were allowed to compete in the tournament.
Because of this, players from the National Hockey League and its senior minor-league teams were not allowed to compete, while the Soviet Union was allowed to use permanent full-time players who were positioned as regular workers of an aircraft industry or tractor industry employer that sponsored what would be presented as an after-hours amateur social sports society team for their workers. In 1970, after an agreement to allow just a small number of its professionals to participate was rescinded by the IIHF, Canada withdrew from the tournament. Starting in 1977, professional athletes were allowed to compete in the tournament and Canada re-entered; the IIHF requires that players are citizens of the country they represent and allow players to switch national teams provided that they play in their new nation for a certain period of time. Canada was the tournament's first dominant team, winning the tournament 12 times between 1930 and 1952; the United States, Sweden, Great Britain and Switzerland were competitive during this period.
The Soviet Union first soon became rivals with Canada. From 1963 until the nation's breakup in 1991, the Soviet Union was the dominant team, winning 20 championships. During that period, only three other nations won medals: Canada and Sweden. Russia first participated in 1992 and the Czech Republic and Slovakia began competing in 1993. In the 2000s, the competition became more open as the "Big Six" teams – Canada, the Czech Republic, Russia and the United States – as well as Slovakia and Switzerland have become more evenly matched; as this tournament takes place during the same period as the stages of the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs, many of that league's top players are not available to participate for their national teams or have only become available after their NHL teams have been eliminated, after playing 90+ games. North American teams, the United States, have been criticized for not taking this tournament seriously. For example, USA Hockey sent teams made up of younger NHL players alongside college players, not using top level stars when they are available.
The 2015 World Championship, held in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic, was the most successful to date in terms of overall attendance. The International Ice Hockey Federation, the sport's governing body, was created on 15 May 1908 under the name Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace. In 1908, organized ice hockey was still new. In 1887, four clubs from Montreal formed the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada and developed a structured schedule. Lord Stanley donated the Stanley Cup and the trustees decided to award it to either the best team in the AHAC, or to any pre-approved team that won it in a challenge; the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association was formed in 1905, which mixed paid and amateur players in its rosters. The ECAHA folded and as a result of the dissolution, the National Hockey Association formed; the Ice Hockey European Championships, first held in Les Avants, Switzerland in January 1910, were the precursor to the World Championships. It was the first official tournament meant for national teams, the participating nations were Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland.
In North America, professional hockey was continuing to grow, the National Hockey League, the largest professional hockey league in the world, was formed in 1917. T
Robert Marvin Hull, OC is a Canadian former ice hockey player, regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. His blonde hair, legendary skating speed, end to end rushes, the ability to shoot the puck at high velocity, were all a part of the player known as "The Golden Jet", his talents were such that one or two opposing players were assigned just to shadow him—a tribute to his explosiveness. In his 23 years in the National Hockey League and World Hockey Association, Hull played for the Chicago Black Hawks, Winnipeg Jets, Hartford Whalers, he won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player twice and the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading point scorer three times, while helping the Black Hawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961. He led the WHA's Winnipeg Jets to Avco Cup championships in 1976 and 1978, he led the NHL in goals seven times, the second most of any player in history, led the WHA in goals one additional time while being the WHA's most valuable player two times. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, received the Wayne Gretzky International Award in 2003.
In 2017 Hull was named one of the'100 Greatest NHL Players' in history. Hull was born in Ontario, he was Robert Edward Hull, a cement company foreman. He played his minor hockey in Belleville, Junior B hockey for the Woodstock Warriors in the fall of 1954. Hull led the Warriors to the 1955 Sutherland Cup as Ontario champions, he played for the Galt Black Hawks and the St. Catharines Teepees in the Ontario Hockey Association, before joining the Chicago Black Hawks in 1957 at the age of 18. Hull blossomed into a star, finishing second in the rookie of the year balloting his first season. Hull wore numbers 16 and 7 as a Black Hawk but switched to his famous number 9, a tribute to his childhood idol Gordie Howe. By his third season, he led the league in goal- and point-scoring, a feat which he achieved in 1961–62 and 1965–66, he went on to lead the Chicago Black Hawks to the Stanley Cup in 1961—their third overall and first in 23 years. He finished second in point-scoring three further times. On March 12, 1966, he became the first NHL player to score more than 50 goals in a season, surpassing Maurice Richard's, Bernie Geoffrion's and his own hallowed mark of 50 goals.
His 51st goal against the New York Rangers earned him a seven-minute standing ovation from the Chicago Stadium faithful. Hull scored 54 goals that season, the highest single season total of the Original Six era; that same year, Hull set the record for the most points in a season with 97, one more than the previous record set by Dickie Moore 7 years earlier. His point total was tied the next year by teammate Stan Mikita and their record was broken three years by Phil Esposito. Hull led the league in goal scoring seven times during the 1960s. Despite Hull breaking his own goals in a season record by four goals in 1968–69 and setting a career NHL high of 107 points, the Hawks missed the playoffs for the first time since his rookie season that year. By his final NHL season, he had scored more a remarkable five times; this was only one time less than all other players in NHL history combined up until that point in time. In his 15 full NHL seasons he was voted the First-Team All-Star left winger ten times and the Second-Team All-Star left winger twice.
His slapshot was once clocked at 118.3 mph and he could skate 29.7 mph. During his drive to be the first to eclipse the 50 goal mark, Hull's wrist shot was claimed to be harder than his slapshot. Long unhappy because of his poor salary in the period when he was one of hockey's preeminent superstars, Hull responded to overtures from the upstart World Hockey Association's Winnipeg Jets in 1972 by jesting that he would jump to them for a million dollars, a sum considered absurd. Gathering the other league owners together to contribute to the unprecedented amount on the grounds that inking such a major star gave instant credibility to the new rival league, competing directly against the entrenched NHL, Jets' owner Ben Hatskin agreed to the sum, signed Hull as a player/coach for a contract worth $1.75 million over 10 years plus a $1 million signing bonus. Although his debut with Winnipeg was held up in litigation by the NHL, Hull became the WHA's greatest star winning the Gordie Howe Trophy as league MVP in 1972–73 and 1974–75.
With Swedish linemates Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson he formed one of the most formidable forward lines of the 1970s, leading the Jets to two AVCO Cups during his time with the club. His best performance was during the 1974–75 season, when he scored 77 goals to set a new professional mark, while adding 65 assists for a total of 142 points, 5 behind the league leader. In the five WHA seasons in which he played more than half the schedule, he was voted a First-Team All-Star thrice and a Second-Team All-Star twice, while scoring 50 goals in a year four times and getting 100 points four times; because he joined the rival league, Hull was not allowed to represent Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series, which pitted Canada's top NHL players against the USSR's national team. Two years a second Summit Series was played and Hull joined many WHA stars in a second series against the Soviet national team; the WHA lost the series four games to one, despite Hull's seven goals. He was a key member of the Canadian squad that won the 1976 Canada Cup, scoring five goals an