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National Hockey League (NHL)
The NHL was founded in 1917 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and is the premier professional ice hockey league in the world. Since the first round of expansion in 1967, the league has grown from the Original Six teams to 31 teams – 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. Here’s a brief history of expansion.
- 1942 – Following the demise of the Brooklyn Americans, the NHL’s Original Six era begins. The Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs make up the League for the next 25 seasons.
- 1967 – The NHL adds six teams, the largest expansion in professional sports history. The LA Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues and California Seals join the NHL.
- 1970 – The NHL expands to 14 teams with the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks.
- 1972 – Two more teams added as the New York metropolitan gets a second team with the NY Islanders and the first team in the South is added with the Atlanta Flames, who would relocate to Calgary in 1980.
- 1974 – Two more teams added including the Washington Capitals, who would win their first Stanley Cup in 2018.
- 1979 – The NHL takes four teams from the World Hockey Association including three from Canada, Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets and brings the NHL to 21 teams.
- 1991 – A new era of NHL expansion began with the addition of the San Jose Sharks.
- 1992 – Two more teams are added with the Ottawa Senators and the first team in Florida, Tampa Bay Lightning.
- 1993 – the 25th and 26th teams are added with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Florida Panthers (in Miami).
- 1998 – The Nashville Predators are added to bring the teams to 27.
- 1999 – Atlanta gets a team again with the Thrashers, who relocate again in 2011 to become the second iteration of the Winnipeg Jets.
- 2000 – Seven years after the North Stars departed for Dallas, Minnesota gets a team and returns to St. Paul as the Wild. The Columbus Blue Jackets are also added.
- 2016 – The Las Vegas Golden Knights are added and begin play a year later as the league’s 31st team. The Golden Knights are the first major professional sports team in Las Vegas.
The NHL headquarters have been in New York City since 1989 when the head office moved there from Montreal. A labor-management dispute led to the cancellation of the entire 2004-2005 season. A new collective agreement including a salary cap was implemented the following prior to the 2005-2006 season.
The league currently consists of 31 teams in two conference and four divisions. Following the leagues regular season, eight teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs. The top three teams in each division plus two wild cards with the best remaining records compete for conference title. The final two teams play for the league’s championship and coveted trophy, the Stanley Cup.
The leagues official website is http://www.NHL.com.
BETTING ON NHL HOCKEY
Betting on NHL hockey includes moneyline, spread and total wagers. You can also employ various exotics such as parlays when betting on the NHL. The spread in hockey is known as the “puck line”. Futures and prop betting is also available for the NHL.
There are various leagues throughout the world which BetAmerica offers odds on. These include, but are not limited to, the leagues listed below. Odds for the World Cup and Winter Olympics are available when appropriate.
- Europe – Champions League Hockey
- Russia – KHL
- Sweden – Swedish Hockey League and Swedish Hockey Alfedsken
- World Cup
- Winter Olympics
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