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The National Hockey League (NHL)
The National Hockey League (NHL) is an ice hockey tournament in North America, which comprises 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered the leading ice hockey tournament in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, oldest professional sports trophy, was awarded to the team that won the playoff series at the end of the season.
The National Hockey League was first held on November 26, 1917, at the Windsor Hotel in Montréal following the suspension of the predecessor organization National Hockey Association (NHA) established in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario. NHL immediately took the place of NHA as one of the leagues competing for the Stanley Cup (a tournament of many teams from different competitions) before the merger and dissolution made NHL become the only competition that competed for the Stanley Cup in 1926.
Initially, NHL had four teams belonging to Canada, so the new tournament had the word “National” (country) in the name. The tournament opened for American teams in 1924, with the Boston Bruins joining. From 1942 to 1967, the tournament consisted of only six teams, known as the “Original Six”. NHL added after the new team in the 1967 season. The league then increased to 18 teams in 1974 and 21 teams in 1979. From 1991 to 2000, the NHL expanded to 30 teams. Then the 31st team in 2017 and prepare for the 32nd team in 2021.
After a dispute between the players and the management that led to the cancellation of the 2004-05 seasons, the tournament continued in the 2005-06 season with an agreement passed including a salary limit. In 2009, NHL received a record high amount of sponsorship, audience, and television viewing.
The league’s headquarters have been in New York City since 1989 when the head office moved there from Montreal. There have been four league-wide work stoppages in NHL history, all occurring after 1992. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers the Stanley Cup to be one of “important championships for the sport”. NHL attracts many athletes from around the world with about 20 countries having players competing in the tournament. Canadians account for a large number of players, and the proportion of European and American players increases. The NHL is the fifth-wealthiest professional sport league after the NFL, the MLB, the NBA, and the Premier League by revenue.
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