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2013-2014 NHL Tickets
National Hockey League - NHL Tickets
Before the National Hockey League began, the National Hockey Association started with four teams in 1909. During this time, many of the league owners from Canada were in heavy disputes with Eddie Livingstone, who was the owner of the Toronto Blueshirts. Unable to oust Livingstone from the league due to the guidelines in the league constitution, the owners suspended the NHA and formed the NHL in November 26, 1917.
While the original NHL began with only four teams, the league grew quickly during the 1920s with the addition of seven teams by 1930. Unfortunately, the Great Depression and World War II damaged the league, reducing its numbers to six teams for the 1942-43 hockey season. During the 1950s, the NHL introduced the first African-American player in the league: Willie O'Ree. He played for the Boston Bruins and made his debut on January 18, 1958.Expanding the League
After wanting further recognition in the sport of hockey, the NHL sought a TV contract in the United States; however, the Western Hockey League competed heavily against the NHL, which caused the National Hockey League to seek a merger between the two organizations. This merger led to the biggest expansion of the NHL to date, adding six new teams to the original six lineup. Unfortunately, the NHL saw competition from the newly founded World Hockey Association in 1972. The WHA competed for players, ultimately damaging the recruiting process of the NHL. Seven years later, the two leagues ended the battle for players and financial markets and merged in 1979. Today, the NHL has 30 teams, thanks in part to a large expansion during the 1990s that added another nine teams to the league.Stanley Cup Finals
The NHL is set up similarly to the National Basketball Association in which it has 30 teams that are split into three divisions and two conferences. The Eastern Conference contains the Atlantic, Northeast and Southeast divisions, while the Western Conference contains the Central, Northwest and Pacific divisions.
Each NHL team plays 82 games, of which 24 are played within the division. Only eight teams can reach the playoffs, which then go on to play in a best-of-seven series to see which team can reach and win the Stanley Cup Finals. The winner of the playoffs receives the President's Trophy, and individual players receive additional trophies for their statistics and achievements during the National Hockey League regular season.