History of the National Hockey League

History Of The National Hockey League

History of the National Hockey League

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The history of the National Hockey League begins with the demise of its predecessor league, the National Hockey Association (NHA), in 1917. After unsuccessfully resolving disputes with Eddie Livingstone, owner of the Toronto Blueshirts, executives of the three other NHA franchises suspended the NHA, and formed the National Hockey League (NHL), replacing the Livingstone team with a temporary team in Toronto, the Arenas. The NHL's first quarter-century saw the league compete against two rival major leagues—the Pacific Coast Hockey Association and Western Canada Hockey League—for players and the Stanley Cup. The NHL first expanded into the United States in 1924 with the founding of the Boston Bruins, and by 1926 consisted of ten teams in Ontario, Quebec, the Great Lakes region, and the Northeastern United States. At the same time, the NHL emerged as the only major league and the sole competitor for the Stanley Cup; in 1947, the NHL completed a deal with the Stanley Cup trustees to gain full control of the Cup. The NHL's footprint spread across Canada as Foster Hewitt's radio broadcasts were heard coast-to-coast starting in 1933.

The Great Depression and World War II reduced the league to six teams, later known as the "Original Six", by 1942. Maurice Richard became the first player to score 50 goals in a season in 1944–45, and ten years later, Richard was suspended for assaulting a linesman, leading to the Richard Riot. Gordie Howe made his debut in 1946, and...
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