With 31 teams across the United Stated and Canada, the NHL is the world’s premier professional ice hockey league. Founded in 1917 as a successor to the National Hockey Association (NHA), the National Hockey League began to take its modern form in 1942 with the establishment of the “Original Six” teams, the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers. One of North America’s four major sports leagues along with the NFL, NBA and MLB, the NHL has been delivering fast-paced action all along. From Bobby Orr’s iconic game-winner against the St. Louis Blues in 1970, which gave Boston their first Stanley Cup in nearly three decades and sent the beloved Bruin into the air, to toothless Flyer Bobby Clarke leading the Broad Street Bullies, to The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, reeling off eight consecutive Hart Trophy nods as the NHL MVP, the league’s history is chockfull of historic moments, the kind that keep its ever-growing fanbase coming back for more. Experience the board-crashing, puck-slapping, on-the-edge-of-your-seat excitement for yourself; grab your NHL tickets at StubHub.
The National Hockey League was founded in 1917 in Montreal, Canada. Originally featuring only Canadian-based teams, the league branched out to the United States in the 1920s. The NHL would undergo a major expansion again in the 1960s, doubling from six team to 12 with the addition of the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota North Stars and California Seals. The league has continued to expand since and now features a total of 31 teams across North America. Twenty-four teams are based in the US, while seven hail from north of the border. The Canadiens have been the most dominant franchise in the league over the course of their history, winning an astounding 24 Stanley Cup Championships. The Maple Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups, and the Red Wings 11. The league is divided into two conferences, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. In the NHL's playoff format, each conference submits their top eight teams into a quarterfinals, semifinals and conference finals, and both conferences send one team each to the Stanley Cup Finals.