NHL History

NHL History

The NHL history, National Hockey League begins with the end of the previous league, the National Hockey Association (NHA), in 1917. After a failed attempt to resolve disputes with Eddie Livingstone, the owner of Toronto Blosherts, executives of the other three NHA franchises suspended the NHA, and formed the National Hockey League (NHL), replacing Livingstone’s team with an interim team in Toronto arenas. The first quarter century of the NHL saw the league compete against two rival major leagues – the Pacific Coast Hockey League and the Western Canadian Hockey League – for players and the Stanley Cup. The NHL first expanded in the United States in 1924 with the founding of Bruins Boston, and by 1926 it consisted of ten teams in Ontario, Quebec, the Great Lakes region, and the Northeast United States. At the same time, the NHL emerged as the only major league and only rival to the Stanley Cup. In 1947, the NHL completed a deal with the Stanley Cup trustees to take full control of the trophy. The NHL footprint spread across Canada like Foster Hewitch was heard broadcasting from coast to coast beginning in 1933.

The great frustration and the Second World War

The great frustration and the Second World War reduced the league to six teams, later known as “Origin Six,” by 1942. Maurice Richard became the first player to score 50 goals in a season in 1944-45, and ten years later, Richard was suspended for assaulting a lineman, leading to Richard Riot. Jordi Howe made his debut in 1946, retiring after 35 seasons as an all-time NHL captain in terms of goals and points. “China Clipper” Larry Kwong becomes the first non-white player in the league, breaking the NHL color barrier in 1948, when he played for the New York Rangers. Willie Urey broke the black barrier in the NHL when it was suitable for the Bruins in 1958. In 1959, Jack Blunt became the first goalkeeper to use a mask to protect regularly.

The end of original six eras

The original six era ended in 1967 when the NHL doubled in size by adding six new expansion teams. The six teams in the newly created Division East team were formed, while the expansion teams in the Western Section were formed. The NHL continued to expand, adding six more teams, to a total of 18 by 1974. This continued expansion resulted in part from the NHL’s attempts to compete with the World Hockey Association, which operated from 1972 to 1979 and sought to compete with the NHL for markets and players. Bobby Hall was the most famous player to defect to the rival league, signing a $2.75 million contract with the Winnipeg Jets. The NHL participated in international play in the mid-1970s, starting with the summit series in 1972 in which it pitted the best Canadian players in the NHL against the best players in the Soviet Union, which Canada won by four wins, three losses and a draw. Eventually, Soviet bloc players flocked to the NHL with the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.

The time WHA stopped working

When the WHA stopped working in 1979, the NHL accommodated four league teams, bringing the NHL to 21, a figure that remained constant until the San Jose Sharks was added as an expansion franchise in 1991. Since then, the league has grown from 22 teams in 1992 to 31 today as the NHL spread its mark across the USA. The league withstood major labor struggles in 1994-95 and 2004-05, the last to see the entire 2004-05 NHL season canceled, marking the first time in North American history that the league canceled a full season in a labor dispute. Wayne Gretzky was successfully passed Jordi Howe as the NHL’s all-time top scorer in 1994 when he scored his 802nd goal. Mario Lemio beat non-Hodgkin’s Limphoma to finish his NHL career with more than 1,700 points and a Stanley Cup championship. The increasing use of defense-focused systems helped lower enrollment in the late 1990s, leading some to argue that the NHL’s talent pool had been weakened by expansion in the 1990s. In 1998, the NHL began giving teams one point to lose in overtime, hoping to reduce the number of tie games; After closing 2004-05, he cancelled the tie altogether, introducing penalties to make sure each game had a winner.


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