Category: Sport History
History of the NHL
After the end of NHA (National Hockey Association) in 1917, the NHL (National Hockey League) was formed. This came about after NHA was unable to settle disputes with Eddie Livingstone who was the owner of the Toronto Blue shirts and executive of the other three franchises suspended them.
The coming of NHL was challenged by the other two leagues namely; Pacific Coast Hockey Association and Western Canada Hockey League who would compete for the players as well as the Stanely Cup.
This made the NHL to expand in other parts of United State in 1924. By 1926 the league had ten teams in different parts of the United States. After this, the NHL (National Hockey League) entered into a deal with the Stanley Cup trustees where they gained full control of the cup.
Challenges started trickling in when World War II made its impact. The league was reduced to six teams which were to be called the Original Six in 1942. The league continued to shine and Maurice Richard was the first player to score 50 goals in a season making him to be one of the best scorers. He was later suspended after ten years of success for assaulting a linesman paving way to Gordie Howe who was believed to be the best scorer of all times.
The color barrier was broken in 1948 by Larry Kwong of China who played for New York Rangers as a non-white member. However, the first black man to play was Willie O’Ree in 1958 breaking the black color barrier. Jacques Plante would become the first goaltender to use masks for protection in 1959.
1n 1967, the original six ended where the NHL (National Hockey League) added more six teams. The newly teams were added to West Division which was created leaving the original six to East Division which was also newly formed. By 1974 the NHL added six more teams thus making a total of 18 teams.
All these additions were as a result of strengthening their competition with the (WHA) World Hockey Association that was competing for their players. Their rivalry was even experienced deeper when one Bobby Hull who was a famous player then opted to leave NHL and sign a deal of $100,000 contract.
However, this strengthened the NHL who started involving themselves with international play in 1970. This started with Summit Series in 1972 which featured the top Canadian NHL players with the Soviet Union. The Canadians won with 4 wins, 3 loses and a tie.
In 1979 the WHA ceased operations and NHL absorbed the four league teams reaching to 21 teams. The figure stayed at that point until 1991 where another team was added. Today the league has grown to 30 teams and it has spread across US. It has stood the test of time apart from 2004-05 where it was affected by labor dispute that saw the entire season cancelled.
Regulations have been made over the years to make the NHL stable. One of the regulations that were made in 2000 was that if the team drew they would each take a point. If a team won in overtime they would be given a second point. This has continued to date.