National Hockey League
The National Hockey League, also know as the NHL, is a North American league. Less popular of the major sports in North America, but still carries a large population of fans. The leagues Commissioner is Gary Bettman. There are 30 teams, 6 of which are from Canada and the remaining 24 are from the United States.
Ice hockey (frequently simply called hockey in countries where it is the most popular form of hockey) is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use sticks to direct a puck into the opposing team's goal. It is a fast-paced and physical sport.
The league was organized in 1917 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association (NHA).
The league began in 1917 and lasted untill 1942 as the NHA. in 1942 after the Great Depression the NHA changed to the NHL and the Original Six teams were founded. The Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks. The expansion era occurred between 1967 and 1992. The southward expansion started in 1992. The 2004-2005 season lockout brought change to the league, and dropped popularity. The Winter Classic started in 2008 where the game takes place outside in a football or baseball stadium.
New Jersey Devils Official Website
New York Islanders Official Website
New York Rangers Official Website
Philadelphia Flyers Official Website
Pittsburgh Penguins Official Website
Boston Bruins Official Website
Buffalo Sabres Official Website
Montreal Canadiens Official Website
Ottawa Senators Official Website
Toronto Maple Leafs Official Website
Carolina Hurricanes Official Website
Florida Panthers Official Website
Tampa Bay Lightning Official Website
Washington Capitals Official Website
Winnipeg Jets Official Website
Chicago Blackhawks Official Website
Columbus Blue Jackets Official Website
Detroit Red Wings Official Website
Nashville Predators Official Website
St. Louis Blues Official Website
Calgary Flames Official Website
Colorado Avalanche Official Website
Edmonton Oilers Official Website
Minnesota Wild Official Website
Vancouver Canucks Official Website
Anaheim Ducks Official Website
Dallas Stars Official Website
Los Angeles Kings Official Website
Phoenix Coyotes Official Website
San Jose Sharks Official Website
Offical NHL Rules Book PDF Rink Dimensions Goal Crease Dimensions
The size of the rink is 200 feet long and 85 feet wide. The corners are rounded with a radius of 28 feet. White boards with a yellow stripe line the rink with a 5 foot tall glass protector. The endboards are higher at 8 feet. A netting is also at the endboards to keep the puck from going out of player and injuring a fan.
Faceoffs start the game and intermissions, start play after the puck goes out of play and when a penalty occurs. The game is 2 intermissions and 20 minutes long with a 17 minute break. Goals are when a player useis his stick to get the puck into the opponents net. Throwing the puck, and kicking the puck in the net is not counted. There are more than 10 other ways a goal will not count. There are video reviews on each goal. Players can NOT throw a puck, they can catch it if it goes over their head and must instantly hit it to the ice and use his stick or skate. Icing is when a player shots the puck from their blue line and it reaches the opponents end and is touched by your opponents player, not Goalkeeper. Goalkeepers can touch the puck if they do not want icing to occur, but only if its in their play area. Players of the attacking team must not precede the puck into the attacking zone, a pass must occur. Overtime is played for 5 minutes with 4 players and 1 goalkeeper per team. First goal to win, if not the game goes into a shootout. During a shootout one offensive player must try to put the goal in the net against the opponents goalkeeper. There are no defensive players on the ice, unless they are the one shooting. The minimum number of rounds is 3. If Team A scores first, and Team B misses the score is 1-0. The next round occurs and Team A scores and Team B scores then the score is 2-1. In the next round Team A scores and Team B scores, Team A wins. If Team A misses, the game is tied 2-2 and continues on with more rounds.
There is a large list of different penalties. Some categories are Minor Penalties, penalties that last 2 minutes and are most common. There are also Bench Minor Penalties, Double-minor Penalties, Coincidental Penalties, Major Penalties, Match Penalties, Misconduct Penalties, Game Misconduct Penalties, Delayed Penalties, and Goalkeeper's Penalties. Boarding, Charging, Checking from Behind, Clipping, Elbowing, Fighting, Head-butting, Kicking, Kneeing, Roughing, Slew-footing and Throwing Equipment are considered physical fouls. Fouls are called on Holding, Hooking, Interference and Tripping. Fouls can be called on stick usage, like Butt-ending, Cross-checking, High-sticking, Slashing and Spearing. Some other fouls are, Delay of Game, Diving, Equipment fouls, Forfeit of Game, Handling the Puck, Illegal Substitution, Interference on the Goalkeeper, Leaving the Bench, Premature Substitution, Refusing to Play the Puck, Refusing to Start Play, Too Many Men on the Ice, and Unsportsmanlike Conduct. (Check the PDF for more details on these penalties and fouls.)
The different officiating positions are Referees and Linesman, both wear the black and white, but the Referees have an orange patch on their sleeve. Some other positions are Official Scorer, Game Timekeeper, Penalty Timekeeper, Goal Judge, and Video Goal Judge.
The AHL is the primary development league for the NHL. NHL teams can send players to their Affiliate Team in the AHL and can be re-called back to play in the NHL. Two-way contracts exist between players. These players can go back and forth from the AHL to the NHL. Players can also be sent down the the ECHL and called back up to the AHL if necessary. There are thirty teams in the AHL, each having an affiliate to an NHL team.
The ECHL, formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League, which now has West Coast teams changed their name to their abbreviation, ECHL. This league is under the AHL, and the third highest hockey league in the Americas.