• Detroit Red Wings

    In 1983 the Wings drafted Steve Yzerman, a center from the Peterborough Petes with their first-round pick. He led the team in scoring in his rookie year and started the Wings' climb back to the top.
  • Boston Bruins

    In 1970, a 29-year Stanley Cup drought came to an end in Boston, as the Bruins defeated the St. Louis Blues in four games in the Final. Orr scored the game-winning goal in overtime to clinch the Stanley Cup.
  • Dallas Stars

    Though the Stars were relatively still unknown in Texas, word of the team spread rapidly, and the immediate success of the team on the ice, as well as Mike Modano's career best season (50 goals, 93 points) helped spur the team's popularity in Dallas.
  • New Jersey Devils

    In the 1993 - 1994 regular season Martin Brodeur, goaltender being honored as the league's top rookie with the Calder Memorial Trophy. The Devils' first 100-point season earned them the NHL's second-best record behind the New York Rangers.
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Hockey

National Hockey LeagueThe National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which seven are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States. Headquartered in New York City, the NHL is widely considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and 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.

See how each National Hockey League team came to be in their city, their nickname or their facility.

1917

NHL League Formation

The NHL was established in 1917 as the successor to the National Hockey Association (NHA), officially called the National Hockey Association of Canada Limited.
1892

The Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. Originally commissioned in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the trophy is named for Lord Stanley of Preston, then Governor General of Canada, who awarded it to Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club, which the entire Stanley family supported, with the sons and daughters playing and promoting the game. The first Cup was awarded in 1893 to Montreal HC. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously (chiefly by sportswriters) as Lord Stanley's Mug.
1924

Expansion into the United States

The 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 NHL, while the Maroons played in the newly completed Montreal Forum that the Canadiens made famous in later decades. The New York Americans began play in 1925 after purchasing the assets of the Hamilton Tigers, and were joined by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tex Rickard, owner of Madison Square Garden, was so impressed with the popularity of the Americans that he added the New York Rangers in 1926. The Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars (later Red Wings) were also added after the league purchased the assets of the defunct WCHL. Conn Smythe purchased the Toronto St. Patricks in 1927, immediately renamed them the Maple Leafs, and built Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931.
1979

Popularity Rise with Wayne Gretzky era

Wayne Gretzky is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for four teams from 1979 to 1999. Nicknamed "The Great One", he has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters, players, and the NHL itself. He is the leading point-scorer in NHL history, with more assists than any other player has points, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999, he held 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records.
1992

Work Stoppage

There have been four league-wide work stoppages in NHL history, all happening since 1992.
The first was a strike by the National Hockey League Players Association in April 1992 which lasted for 10 days, but the strike was settled quickly and all affected games were rescheduled. A lockout at the start of the 1994–95 season forced the league to reduce the schedule from 84 games to just 48, with the teams playing only intra-conference games during the reduced season. The resulting collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was set for renegotiation in 1998 and extended to September 15, 2004.
With no new agreement in hand when the existing contract expired on September 15, 2004, league commissioner Gary Bettman announced a lockout of the players union and cessation of operations by the NHL head office. The lockout shut down the league for 310 days, the longest in sports history; the NHL was the first professional sports league to lose an entire season. The league vowed to install what it dubbed "cost certainty" for its teams, but the NHL Players Association countered that the move was little more than a euphemism for a salary cap, which the union initially said it would not accept. A new collective bargaining agreement was ratified in July 2005 with a term of six years with an option of extending the collective bargaining agreement for an additional year at the end of the term, allowing the NHL to resume as of the 2005–06 season.
On October 5, 2005, the first post-lockout NHL season took to the ice with 15 games, and consequently all 30 teams. Of those 15 games, 11 were in front of sell-out crowds. The NHL received record attendance in the 2005–06 season. 20,854,169 fans, an average of 16,955 per game, was a 1.2% increase over the previous mark held in the 2001–02 season. Also, the Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Vancouver Canucks sold out all of their home games; all six Canadian teams played to 98% capacity or better at every home game. 24 of the 30 clubs finished even or ahead of their 2003–04 mark. The Pittsburgh Penguins had the highest increase at 33%, mainly because of 18-year-old first overall draft pick Sidney Crosby. After losing a season to a labour dispute in 2005, attendance figures for League teams have returned to solid ground; the League's TV audience was slower to rebound because of American cable broadcaster ESPN's decision to drop the sport from its schedule. The NHL's post-lockout agreement with NBC gave the league a share of revenue from each game's advertising sales, rather than the usual lump sum paid up front for game rights. The NHL is estimated to earn annual revenue of around $2.27 billion.
At midnight Saturday September 16, 2012, the league locked out its players as the previous labour pact expired. The owners proposed reducing the players' share of hockey-related revenues from 57 percent to 47 percent. All games were cancelled up to January 14, 2013, as well as the 2013 NHL Winter Classic and the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend. A tentative agreement was reached on January 6, 2013, for a 10-year deal. On January 12, the NHL and NHL Players Association signed a memorandum of understanding on the new deal, allowing teams to begin their training camps on January 13, with a shortened 48-game season schedule that began on January 19.