National Hockey League

North American professional ice hockey league

The National Hockey League or NHL, is the highest-level ice hockey league in the world. It has 32 teams - 7 from Canada and 25 from the United States. The championship trophy is the Stanley Cup.

National Hockey League
Ligue nationale de hockey (French)
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2023–24 NHL season
SportIce hockey
FoundedNovember 26, 1917 (106 years ago) (1917-11-26),
Montreal, Quebec, Canada[1]
Inaugural season1917–18
CommissionerGary Bettman
No. of teams32
CountriesCanada (7 teams)
United States (25 teams)
Headquarters1185 6th Ave
New York, NY 10036.
Most recent
Florida Panthers
(1st title)
Most titlesMontreal Canadiens
(25 titles)[nb 1]
TV partner(s)

The NHL were founded in 1917. There were five original 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 32. Some of the teams that no longer exist are the Oakland Seals, Minnesota North Stars (now the Dallas Stars), Winnipeg Jets (now the dormant 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.

List of teams

Division Team City Arena Capacity Founded Joined General manager Head coach Captain
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Boston Bruins Boston, Massachusetts TD Garden 17,850 1924 Don Sweeney Jim Montgomery Brad Marchand
Buffalo Sabres Buffalo, New York KeyBank Center 19,070 1970 Kevyn Adams Don Granato Kyle Okposo
Detroit Red Wings Detroit, Michigan Little Caesars Arena 19,515 1926 Steve Yzerman Derek Lalonde Dylan Larkin
Florida Panthers Sunrise, Florida Amerant Bank Arena 19,250 1993 Bill Zito Paul Maurice Aleksander Barkov
Montreal Canadiens Montreal, Quebec Bell Centre 21,302 1909 1917 Kent Hughes Martin St. Louis Nick Suzuki
Ottawa Senators Ottawa, Ontario Canadian Tire Centre 18,652 1992 Steve Staios D.J. Smith Brady Tkachuk
Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa, Florida Amalie Arena 19,092 1992 Julien BriseBois Jon Cooper Steven Stamkos
Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto, Ontario Scotiabank Arena 18,819 1917 Brad Treliving Sheldon Keefe John Tavares
Metropolitan Carolina Hurricanes Raleigh, North Carolina PNC Arena 18,680 1972 1979* Don Waddell Rod Brind'Amour Jordan Staal
Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus, Ohio Nationwide Arena 18,144 2000 Jarmo Kekalainen Pascal Vincent Boone Jenner
New Jersey Devils Newark, New Jersey Prudential Center 16,514 1974* Tom Fitzgerald Lindy Ruff Nico Hischier
New York Islanders Elmont, New York UBS Arena 17,113 1972 Lou Lamoriello Lane Lambert Anders Lee
New York Rangers New York City, New York Madison Square Garden 18,006 1926 Chris Drury Peter Laviolette Jacob Trouba
Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center 19,500 1967 Daniel Briere John Tortorella Vacant
Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PPG Paints Arena 18,387 1967 Kyle Dubas Mike Sullivan Sidney Crosby
Washington Capitals Washington, D.C. Capital One Arena 18,506 1974 Brian MacLellan Spencer Carbery Alexander Ovechkin
Western Conference
Central Chicago Blackhawks Chicago, Illinois United Center 19,717 1926 Kyle Davidson Luke Richardson Vacant
Colorado Avalanche Denver, Colorado Ball Arena 18,007 1972 1979* Chris MacFarland Jared Bednar Gabriel Landeskog
Dallas Stars Dallas, Texas American Airlines Center 18,532 1967* Jim Nill Peter DeBoer Jamie Benn
Minnesota Wild Saint Paul, Minnesota Xcel Energy Center 17,954 2000 Bill Guerin John Hynes Jared Spurgeon
Nashville Predators Nashville, Tennessee Bridgestone Arena 17,113 1998 David Poile John Hynes Roman Josi
St. Louis Blues St. Louis, Missouri Enterprise Center 18,724 1967 Doug Armstrong Drew Bannister Brayden Schenn
Utah Hockey Club Salt Lake City, Utah Delta Center 12,000 2024 Bill Armstrong André Tourigny Vacant
Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada Life Centre 15,321 1999* Kevin Cheveldayoff Rick Bowness Adam Lowry
Pacific Anaheim Ducks Anaheim, California Honda Center 17,174 1993 Pat Verbeek Greg Cronin Vacant
Calgary Flames Calgary, Alberta Scotiabank Saddledome 19,289 1972* Craig Conroy Ryan Huska Mikael Backlund
Edmonton Oilers Edmonton, Alberta Rogers Place 18,347 1972 1979 Ken Holland Jay Woodcroft Connor McDavid
Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles, California Arena 18,230 1967 Rob Blake Todd McLellan Anze Kopitar
San Jose Sharks San Jose, California SAP Center 17,562 1991 Mike Grier David Quinn Logan Couture
Seattle Kraken Seattle, Washington Climate Pledge Arena 17,151 2021 Ron Francis Dave Hakstol Vacant
Vancouver Canucks Vancouver, British Columbia Rogers Arena 18,910 1945 1970 Patrik Allvin Rick Tocchet Quinn Hughes
Vegas Golden Knights Paradise, Nevada T-Mobile Arena 17,356 2017 Kelly McCrimmon Bruce Cassidy Mark Stone
Western Conference
Central Arizona Coyotes Phoenix, Arizona TBD 1972 1979*
  1. An asterisk (*) denotes a franchise move. See the respective team articles for more information.
  2. The Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers (now Carolina Hurricanes), Quebec Nordiques (now Colorado Avalanche), and original Winnipeg Jets (now Arizona Coyotes) all joined the NHL in 1979 as part of the NHL–WHA merger.


  1. Kreiser, John (November 25, 2017). "NHL turns 100 years old". Retrieved March 29, 2018. Beginning on Nov. 24, 1917, the NHA's directors, George Kendall (better known as George Kennedy) of the Montreal Canadiens, Sam Lichtenhein of the Montreal Wanderers, Tom Gorman of Ottawa, M.J. Quinn of Quebec and NHA secretary-treasurer Frank Calder, held three days of meetings at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal and decided to start over. Gorman, seconded by Kendall, proposed, 'That the Canadiens, Wanderers, Ottawa and Quebec Hockey Clubs unite to comprise the National Hockey League.' The motion was carried, and the NHL was officially formed on Nov. 26, 1917.
  2. "NHL, ESPN, Disney reach groundbreaking seven-year rights deal". (Press release). March 10, 2021. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  3. Rosen, Dan (April 27, 2021). "NHL, Turner Sports reach deal for games on TNT, TBS". (Press release). Retrieved April 28, 2021.


  1. While the Montreal Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups, this does not equal its number of NHL championships, as the Stanley Cup predates the NHL and was an inter-league championship prior to 1926. The Canadiens won a Stanley Cup championship in 1916 as a member of the National Hockey Association, and 23 as a member of the NHL. Montreal also won the NHL championship twice without winning the Stanley Cup: in 1918–19 when the Spanish flu cancelled the Stanley Cup finals against the Seattle Metropolitans of Pacific Coast Hockey Association and in 1924–25 when they lost in the Stanley Cup finals to the Western Canada Hockey League's Victoria Cougars.
  2. As the national rightsholder in Canada, Sportsnet produces the game broadcasts for the CBC and sub-licenses the French-language rights to TVA Sports.

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