The National Hockey League (NHL) was first formed in 1917. The league started with only 4 teams, all of which were based in Canada. As the league grew in popularity, however, more teams joined the league. This included teams from the United States, and the league continued to grow into what is now the largest hockey league on the planet.
The league now consists of 32 teams, and each team will play 82 games in the regular season. Teams qualifying for the playoffs then go on to compete for the Stanley Cup. It is said that the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in all of sport.
The league gains many millions of viewers every year, with fans tuning in from all over the world. The league has also seen some sporting heroes that will be remembered in the game forever.
Did you know that the San Jose Sharks were almost named the San Jose Rubber Puckies?
When San Jose was awarded an expansion team to begin play in the 1991-92 season, the team owners, Gordon and George Gund, held a name-the-team contest that rendered more than 2,000 entries with suggestions that ranged from creative to ridiculous and everything in between. The finalists included “Screaming Squids,” “Salty Dogs,” “Blades” and yes, “Rubber Puckies.”
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