HockeyHockey is believed to have started as long ago as the late 1800s. The earliest documented game was played in Canada and was hosted by McGill University. The NHL (national hockey league) was formed in 1917 in Canada. It started with just 4 teams and today has grown to 30 teams. Many teams such as the Atlanta Flames, California Golden Seals, Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Barons, Montreal Maroons, Hartford Whalers, and Atlanta Thrashers have shut down operations or been relocated.
In 1926 the original 6 came to be. At the time there was more teams then 6 but they had shut down operations and the six teams have lasted to today. They are the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadians, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. In 1967 the league expanded and added 6 teams, doubling the league turning them into a 12 team league comprised of a western and eastern conference. In 1995 there was a lockout due to a labor agreement dispute that shortened the season to 43 games. That year the New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup. Once again there was a lockout in 2005, but this time the whole season was lost.
This ushered in a new era of hockey, bringing with it new rules to encourage speed, new measures taken for protection of the players, and a new wave of young players such as Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby took over the league. The game has today taken roots in non traditional hockey markets, such as Los Angeles, Nashville, and Florida.