National Hockey League (NHL) games are some of the fastest and most aggressive sporting events in the US. Fights, blood and tooth loss are just a few of the frenetic occurrences you can probably expect from a hockey game.
The NHL started with a core of six teams and has grown tremendously to 32 teams.
Every year since 1963, the league has held an NHL draft.
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For the 2023 draft, Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee will host draft day. In 2022, the draft was held at the Bell Center in Montreal, Quebec and in 2021, it was at the NHL Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Learn these fun facts about the NHL ahead of the 2023 draft.
- The NHL was founded on November 22, 1917.
- Originally, there were only six teams in the NHL.
- The Montreal Canadiens have the most Stanley Cup titles.
- Hockey pucks are frozen before game time.
- The Anaheim Ducks got their name from the movie «The Mighty Ducks.»
1. The NHL was founded on November 22, 1917.
The NHL began in Montreal, Canada, in 1917. The NHL was founded by British-born Canadian journalist and athlete Frank Calder, who was also the league’s first president. He died in 1943. The Calder Memorial Trophy is an award given «to the player selected as the most competent in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League,» according to the NHL website.
After his passing, Red Dutton, a Canadian hockey player, served as interim president of the NHL for three consecutive years, from 1943 to 1946. Then Clarence Campbell, Calder’s expected predecessor whom he groomed for the job before he his death, he served from 1946 to 1977.
2. There were originally only six teams in the NHL
The first six teams in the NHL didn’t all join at the same time, but they were the only six teams in the league for more than 20 years. They are collectively known as the «Original Six».
The six teams included the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, and Detroit Red Wings.
In 1967, six more teams were added to the league. This included the California Seals, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and St. Louis Blues.
Of the 32 current professional hockey teams, 25 are from the United States and 7 from Canada.
3. The Montreal Canadiens have the most Stanley Cup titles
The Montreal Canadiens lead the NHL with the most Stanley Cup wins. As of 2023, they have won 24 championships. They are also the oldest team in the league. The Toronto Maple Leafs have the second most titles, but trail far behind with just 13 major wins.
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4. Hockey pucks freeze before game time.
Did you know that hockey pucks freeze before they hit the ice before game time? The pucks, or cookies, are frozen to prevent them from bouncing off the ice during play. They also glide more smoothly and move faster.
Hockey pucks used in the NHL will change color when temperatures are above freezing. The umpires then know that it is time to change the puck for the duration of the game. Between 15 and 20 hockey pucks can be used in a game.
5. The Anaheim Ducks got their name from the movie «The Mighty Ducks.»
«The Mighty Ducks» is a Disney sports movie about a youth hockey team. The NHL team was founded in 1993 and is owned by Disney. They were originally called the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. At first, they even had the jerseys and logo the same color as the team in the movie.
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The kit was sold in 2005, prompting a name and color change. In 2005, Henry Samueli, co-founder of Broadcom Corporation, and his wife Susan bought the equipment for $75 million. The team is now called the Anaheim Ducks and sports the color orange versus the green and yellow colors of the Mighty Ducks.