Establish in 1917 in Montreal, Quebec the National Hockey League is a men’s professional ice hockey league, comprise at the time of five Canadian teams and in 1924 added the Boston Bruins turning it into the strongest Ice Hockey League in North America, and taking permanent possession of the Stanley Cup (The highest accolade for a Hockey Team).

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1917 – Formation of the National Hockey League. 

On November 26th, 1917 the NHL was born in the city of Montreal, Quebec, succeeding the National Hockey Asociation. The original teams in the NHL at the time were The Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Arenas.

At that time the NHL was just one of many professional hockey leagues competing for the Stanley Cup. cup

 

Over the next two and a half decades the League went through various changes in compositions, playoff formats, and scheduling. By 1924 the first American team joins the league, the Boston Bruins, and by 1926 six out of ten members of the NHL were Americans.

Until they folded in 1934, the Ottawa Senators reign supreme with six league titles and four Stanley Cup victories. It was in February 1923 that the first broadcast in the History of the National Hockey League a match was transmitted via radio.

 

1942 – The Original Six. 

By 1942 only six teams remained in the National Hockey League:

  • The Montreal Canadiens.
  •  Toronto Maple Leafs.
  •  Boston Bruins.
  •  Chicago Black Hawks.
  •  Detroit Red Wings.
  •  New York Rangers.

This composition remains unchanged for the next 25 years until 1967 where six expansion teams were added to the league. They came to be known as the “Original Six”.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs were the outstanding team of the 40’s have won the Stanley Cup six times in 10 years. By the early 1950’s Detroit Red Wings took home five championship titles and four Heart Trophy, but during the mid-1950’s the Montreal Canadiens rose up to the challenge and took home six Stanley Cup titles and the five straight record.

It was in the 1960’s that Chicago won their very first Stanley Cup. Toronto added four more titles to their history and Montreal had two more under their belt.

 

1967 – Major changes and Expansions.  

More teams joined the National Hockey League, St. Louis Blues Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and the Oakland Seals. By the end of the 1970’s, more teams joined the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Atlanta Flames, New York Islanders, Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals, a total of 18 teams made up the NHL.

In 1979 the NHL has expanded again when it was merged with the World Hockey Association.

 

1990 – More Expansions

During the 90’s the NHL went through more changes, the number teams rise up to 26, relocations throughout the decade, franchises being awarded and rebranding let to a total of 31 teams that makes up the National Hockey League nowadays.