National Hockey League (NHL)


National Hockey League (NHL)

Organization of professional North American ice-hockey teams. The league was formed in 1917 by five Canadian teams; the first U.S. team, the Boston Bruins, was added in 1924. It today consists of 30 teams in two conferences and six divisions. The Eastern Conference includes the Atlantic Division (New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pittsburgh Penguins), the Northeast Division (Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, and Toronto Maple Leafs), and the Southeast Division (Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Washington Capitals). The Western Conference includes the Central Division (Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, and St. Louis Blues), the Northwest Division (Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild, and Vancouver Canucks), and the Pacific Division (Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, and San Jose Sharks). At the end of the regular winter season, the top teams in each division engage in a play-off for the Stanley Cup.

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