The National Hockey League was first formed in 1917 in Montreal, Quebec. This was on November 26, after a succession from the National Hockey Association. Currently, the league hosts 31 franchises, seven of which are from Canada and the other 24 from the United States. Since 1917, the league has grown with teams competing for the Stanley cup each year.

Back to the Beginning

With an unresolved dispute between Eddie Livingstone, the Blueshirts’ owner, and the rest of the NHA stakeholders, the National Hockey Association came to its end. The majority of the former NHA league owners decided to start the NHL without Livingstone with four primary teams. These teams include the Montreal Wanderers, Montreal Canadians, Toronto Arenas, and the Ottawa Senators.

Though Quebec City had a franchise at the time, they did not participate in the 1917 Stanley cup championships. This match was historic in many ways and some details such as the time the one of the matches remained a secret until recently.

The NHL recorded a steady growth over the next 25 years, with the Boston Bruins being the first American franchise to join the NHL. As of 1926, the majority of the clubs in the NHL were from the United States, with only four from Canada.

The NHL started as an Ottawa Senators’ territory, which dominated in the 1920s with four Stanley Cup wins and six league titles. However, the team sank in 1934. 1942 became a significant year for the NHL after the league shrank back to only six clubs, which are famously referred to as the original six.

The original six included the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Black Hawks, the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and the New York Rangers. The NHL would then remain as the home of the original six in the next 25 years until 1967 when six more clubs were introduced to the league.