National Hockey League


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 organization of professional ice hockey teams in North America, formed in 1917 by five Canadian teams, to which the first U.S. team, the Boston Bruins, was added in 1924. The NHL became the strongest league in North America and in 1926 took permanent possession of the Stanley Cup, a trophy representing world supremacy in ice hockey. Headquarters are in New York City.

 League membership rose to 10, then dropped, and held steady at 6 after 1942. After various periods of expansion and reorganization, the NHL in the early 2000s consisted of 30 teams in two conferences and six divisions.

      Eastern Conference:
      Atlantic Division: New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins
      Northeast Division: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs
      Southeast Division: Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals

      Western Conference:
      Central Division: Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators
      Northwest Division: Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks
      Pacific Division: Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Phoenix Coyotes

      At the end of the league's regular winter season, the top teams in each division engage in a play-off for possession of the Stanley Cup.

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Universalium. 2010.

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