NHL-A Brief History


The National Hockey League, also known as the NHL, operates as a professional ice hockey league. The league has a total of 30 teams, with 23 of them from the United States and the other 7 being Canadian. The league’s headquarters are in New York. The league is known to be the premier league for ice hockey on a global scale. The Stanley Cup is the particular trophy that is given to the championship team at the conclusion of each professional hockey season.

The league was started in 1917, in Canada, but founded officially in 1909. Four teams originally made up the league. This was the result of many expansions as well as relocations. The name for the league originally was known to be Canadian given its Canadian roots, however, in 1924; there was an expansion into America.

The league has many talented individuals, who are from roughly 20 countries worldwide. It has been widely discussed that Canadians tend to encompass the crux of the players within the league, but over the last 40 years or so, there has been a significant amount of American and European players who have joined the teams within the team.

The league has what is known as a board of governors, who make the decisions. They are essentially the governing and ruling entity that controls the league. Every team within the league is considered a member, and the specific team is able to appoint a governor and two alternates to serve on the board. At present, the chairman is Jeremy Jacobs, who is also the owner of the Boston Bruins.

The board of governors of the league establishes the particular policies and is responsible for ensuring that the rules associated with the game of ice hockey are upheld. The board can also hire and fire and approves the changes associated with game schedules, players and any kind of relocation of a team that takes place.

The board also has the right to review any kind of caps associated with players and any kind of sale or purchase of a team. The board usually meets two times annually: once in June and once in December. The date of the particular meeting is decided by the league’s commissioner.

Games, Hockey Rinks, Rules and Structure

Every game that is regulated within the league is performed with 2 teams and runs about an hour long. The game consists of three periods of twenty minutes each. The intermissions are anywhere between 15 to 17 minutes. The timeouts for television are done after an elapsed time of 6 minutes, at 10 minutes and then again at 14 minutes. This happens regularly unless a power play occurs. When a power play happens, the timeout usually happens during what is known as the first stoppage. During the 2007 to 2008 season, a new rule was created that stated that if a first stoppage that happens is what is known as an icing, then a timeout for television is not to happen. This forces players not to have a break even though they cannot change. At the end of the regulation time, which at present is 60 minutes, the team who has scored the most goals becomes the victor of the game.

If there is a tie, then overtime happens. In a regular season of professional ice hockey, overtime is noted as being a total of 5 minutes, with there being four players from one team and four players from another team having a kind of sudden death play. The first team that scores a goal is crowned the winner. Until the season in 2005, if there were no scores during overtime, the game would stand at a time.

Once the 2005 season began, if a tie was present once overtime was over, then the game would go into what is known as a shootout, which is where three players on each team perform a penalty shot. Any team that scores the most during the shootout is considered the winner of the game. If a tie persists, then the shootout does not stop, but the sudden death stipulation begins again. Shootouts are not allowed to happen in playoffs. Playoffs consist of many sudden death periods. This happens until a team eventually wins. There is a theory out there that an ice hockey game could go on forever if allowed, which is why no timeouts for television exists during overtime periods in playoffs.

Every NHL game convenes in an ice hockey rink that is in the shape of rectangle. The rink edges are rounded. All hockey rinks are encompassed by Plexiglas as well as walls. The Plexiglas’ measurements are usually about 25 by 60 meters. They are considered by hockey enthusiasts to be much more narrow than the standards set forth by an organization known as International Ice Hockey Federation, which is an intercontinental body of both inline and ice hockey that is headquartered in Switzerland. There are 70 members in the federation and it supervises tournaments.

In the center of the hockey rink is a line that separates the area of the ice. This division is used to spot any violations that may happen during an ice hockey game. Two blue lines separate the rink into threes, with there being two zones noted for attacking and one neutral zone. At the ends of the rink, a goal line exists. The goal line takes the entire ice width and this is what is used to determine any kind of calls made on the ice as well as when goals are scored. During the 2005 to 2006 season, an area designated by the shape of a trapezoid was put behind the net where goals are usually scored. With this incorporation, the goaltender can hit the puck into the area or before the actual goal line. If the puck is hit behind the line and not within the area shaped like a trapezoid, a penalty happens. This rule is usually referred to as the Martin Brodeur rule.

The NHL follows the normalcy of rules that are associated with the sport of ice hockey with a few differentiations. These differentiations are dissimilar from international ice hockey games governed by International Ice Hockey Federation. When the rules are violated, this can lead to what are known as penalty calls or ceasing of play. In the 2004 to 2005 season, the league altered its rules regarding the offside.

A play is considered to be offside if an ice hockey individual player on an offensive team enters what is known as the attack zone prior to the puck entering, unless a defending player carries the puck. If the player on the offense attempts to hit the puck into the zone and the puck subsequently deflects from the defensive player prior the entering the zone, a violation is called usually. Another different rule that exists that the IIHF does not use, but the league does concerns icings.

The league has a rule where a linesman can cease play in reference to icing when a defensive player moves the puck prior to an offensive player. The IIHF’s rule contrasts that because play is ceased once the puck reaches and goes over the line of the goal. When the rules were altered in the 2004 to 2005 season, when a team is found guilty of what is referred to as icing the puck, the team cannot make a change in line or substitution in skater of any kind before a faceoff takes place.

There is also a penalty variation between the league and the IIHF. Where the IIHG has both minor penalties as well as doubles ones, the league has more serious infractions known as major penalties. This includes fighting. When a major penalty is called, it takes place for a period of 5 minutes. The rule associated with IIHF calls for players to be removed from the game. When a team has been penalized, a player that is removed or penalized cannot be replaced. The team is considered shorthanded for the total time of the penalty.

The structure of NHL seasons is separated into exhibition, regular season and postseason. In the exhibition season, members of the league can play each other and they can also play against European teams as well. In what is deemed to be the regular season, teams can play each other but it is by a set schedule. In the playoffs, which are where the Stanley Cup is given, two teams usually play against each other and compete in a best of seven formats, with the remaining final team receiving the trophy associated with the tournament.

The standings of the regular season are tallied through the usage of a point system rather than percentages. Points are given for every game played: one for overtime losing or shootout that happens and two for a win. No points are given for a regulation loss. Once the conclusion of the regular season is reached, a team that has the most points within the various divisions is considered that victor of that division and is given what is known as the President’s Trophy.


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