National Hockey League

The NHL (National Hockey League) is one of the most popular and watched sports in North America.

Most young hockey players strive to make the NHL

The games are broad-caste live around the world. They are also recorded for viewing later and saved on different media platforms. The fast moving and hard hitting game draws young and old viewers alike. Many people will have a favorite team and cheer them on. Merchandise for the different teams in the league can be purchased at different outlets. Top players sign contracts worth millions of dollars. Even the lowest paid players can make as much as a leader of a country. Fame and fortune will be realized by many of its players. Although contract disputes have shut down the league at varies times, it continues to be a top sport viewed by millions world wide.

The game is played on ice in an ice rink. 5 players plus a goalie per team play at one time, per team. Penalties will see lopsided numbers playing against each other which usually aids in making a score. A rubber puck is controlled by a hockey stick. Regulations determine the length of the hockey stick and how much curve the blade that contacts the ice surface can have. Goalies use a larger stick to assist in keeping the puck out of the net. The goalies wear more protective pads than regular players because the puck is shot at high speeds towards the net. The 2 teams then try and score on each others goalie. The ice skater teams will consist of 2 forwards, center man, 2 defense men and a goalie when playing at full strength. All teams in the NHL have additional players. They are called lines.

The game is very demanding and physical

Body checks can be used on opponents. Most lines will only play 1-3 minutes before switching with another line. Hockey teams normally will have 3-4 lines and a back-up goalie. They are assisted by a manager and assistant manager who remain in the player bench (box) during the game. Other hockey assistants will also be present such as the team medic, trainer or doctor. Players wear helmets and padding in various places. Many players are injured though due to the toughness of the game.

Hockey players for the NHL league are drafted from leagues around the world and local farm teams. Many clubs have their own farm teams where the young players are groomed before entering the NHL. The teams are owned by various business men that hope their team will take top rankings. There is a playoff at the end of the season that matches top teams against each other to try and win the ultimate prize called the "Stanley Cup". To have your team win the league is most sought after. Points are awarded for goals made by players and games won through out the season. This determines which teams will play each other in the playoffs. The USA (United States of America) has the most teams in the NHL. Canada also has teams and many players that play for the USA teams come from Canada originally. To date most teams that have won the Stanley cup, have had a Canadian captain. Canada is famous for hockey and it is a national source of pride to have some of the best players in the world. It does not matter if they play for a USA team as the 2 countries are friendly and share the common sport interest.

Teams of the NHL (National Hockey League)
hockey players

                              WESTERN CONFERENCE                                   EASTERN CONFERENCE

 Pacific Division  Central Division  North-West Division  North-East Division  South-East Division Atlantic Division
 Anaheim Ducks  Chicago Black hawks  Calgary Flames  Boston Bruins  Carolina Hurricanes   New Jersey Devils
 Dallas  Stars  Cloumbus Blue Jackets  Colorado Avalanche  Buffalo Sabres  Florida Panthers  New York Islanders
 Los Angeles Kings  Detroit Red Wings  Edmonton Oilers  Montreal Canadiens  Tampa Bay Lightning  New York Rangers
 Phoenix Coyotes  Nashville Predators  Minnesota Wild  Ottawa Senators  Washington  Capitals  Philadelphia Flyers
 San Jose Sharks  St Louis Blues  Vancouver Canucks  Toronto Maple Leafs  Winnipeg  Jets  Pittsburgh Penguins