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National Hockey League

The modernized NHL shield logo debuted in 2005, replacing the orange and black shield, which had been used since the league's inception. The silver color is a homage to the Stanley Cup, the trophy awarded to the NHL champion.

The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional sports organization composed of hockey teams in the United States and Canada, where it is also known by its French name, Ligue Nationale de Hockey (LNH). It is generally regarded as the premier professional ice hockey league in the world. The NHL is one of the major professional sports leagues of North America.

History

The beginnings to The Original Six

The National Hockey League was founded in 1917 in Montreal after a series of disputes within the (Canadian) National Hockey Association (NHA) between the Toronto Blueshirts' owner Edward J. Livingstone and the owners of the other teams. The owners met in Montreal's Windsor Hotel to consider the league's future on February 11, 1917. Livingstone, unable to attend the meeting because of illness, was shocked to learn that owners had chosen to effectively eject him and the Blueshirts from the NHA. Arguments and discussions ensued which eventually led to the formation of the National Hockey League at on November 26, 1917, with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs and newly-renamed Toronto Arenas as founding members.

The classic NHL shield logo, used until the end of the 2004 lockout.

The NHL endured a rocky inaugural season in 1917-18, starting with the temporary shuttering of the Bulldogs. On January 2, 1918, the Westmount Arena in Montreal, home to the Wanderers and Canadiens, was destroyed in a fire. The Wanderers, already a shadow of its former self, folded in the wake of the fire, ending one of the most storied franchises in the early years of Canadian professional hockey. With the Bulldogs and Wanderers out, the NHL operated with just three teams for the remainder of its opening year, and through the second season.

Though the league struggled to stay in business during its first decade, NHL teams were quite successful on the ice, winning the Stanley Cup seven out of its first nine years. (The 1918-19 competition was cancelled because of the Spanish Flu epidemic that had hit Seattle). By 1926, having increased player salaries to a level that couldn't be matched by other Canadian leagues, the NHL was alone in Stanley Cup competition. The league had also expanded into the United States, with the Boston Bruins in 1924, the New York Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925 and the New York Rangers, Detroit Cougars (later to become the Red Wings), and Chicago Blackhawks in 1926. Canadian additions included the Montreal Maroons and Hamilton Tigers. By the end of the 1930-31 season, the NHL featured a total of 10 teams. However, the Great Depression took a toll on the league; teams such as the Pirates, Americans and Ottawa Senators folded. With these developments and the onset of World War II, the NHL was reduced to six teams during its 25th anniversary year of (1942) – six teams still known today, if somewhat inaccurately, as the Original Six: The Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Bruins, Rangers, and Blackhawks.

Expansion: 1967 and beyond

The rise of the Western Hockey League, which many pundits thought planned to transform into a major league and challenge for the Stanley Cup, spurred the NHL in 1967 to undertake its first expansion since the 1920s. Six new teams were added to the NHL roster, and placed in their own newly-created division. They were the Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Oakland Seals, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Three years later, the NHL added the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres as franchises.

In 1972, the World Hockey Association (WHA) was formed. Though it never challenged for the Stanley Cup, its status as a viable NHL rival was unquestionable. In response to that, the NHL decided to rush its own expansion plans by adding the New York Islanders and Atlanta Flames that year, along with the Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals two years later. The dilution of the talent pool, however, caused the overall quality of play to suffer. The two leagues fought for the services of hockey players and fans until the WHA folded in 1979. Four of the remaining six WHA teams merged with the NHL: The Hartford Whalers, Québec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers, and Winnipeg Jets. As of 2005, the Oilers are the last remaining original WHA franchise still playing in the city where they began in the NHL.

In the early 90's the NHL expanded further with five new franchises. The San Jose Sharks debuted in 1991, a season later the Ottawa Senators would join the NHL along with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In 1993, the NHL added an additional two teams, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the Florida Panthers. Approaching the new millennium, the NHL added another four teams; the Nashville Predators (1998), the Atlanta Thrashers (1999), the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets (both added in 2000) bringing the total to 30 teams.

Labour Issues

There have been three work stoppages in NHL history, all happening between 1992 and 2005.

The first was a strike by the National Hockey League Players Association in April 1992 which lasted for 10 days, but the strike was settled quickly and all affected games were rescheduled.

A lockout at the start of the 1994-95 forced the league to reduce the schedule from 84 games to just 48, with the teams playing only intra-conference games during the reduced season. The resulting collective bargaining agreement was set for renegotiation in 1998 and extended to September 15, 2004.

Negotiations to replace the contract that expired in 2004 turned into one of the most contentious collective bargaining sessions in the history of professional sports. The league vowed to install what it dubbed "cost certainty" for its teams, but the National Hockey League Players Association countered that the move was little more than a euphemism for a salary cap, which the union initially said it would not accept. With no new agreement in hand when the existing contract expired on September 15, 2004, league commissioner Gary Bettman announced a lockout of the players union and cessation of operations by the NHL head office, causing the NHL to lose an entire season.

A new collective bargaining agreement was ratified in July 2005 with a term of six years with an option of extending the collective bargaining agreement for an additional year at the end of the term, allowing the NHL to resume as of the 2005-06 season.

Post Lockout

On October 5, 2005, the first post-lockout NHL season got under way with 15 games. Of those 15 games, 11 were in front of sell out crowds. The NHL, despite negative press generated during the lockout, has success attracting fans to the initial games of the season and extends fan bases into non-traditional markets in the US such as Nashville, Atlanta, and the Carolinas.

Current organization

The National Hockey League currently has 30 teams divided into two conferences, and 6 divisions, an organization that started in the year 2000. Over the years many different organizations have existed. For a list of previous teams see List of defunct NHL teams.

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Season structure

Regular season

Each team in the NHL plays 82 regular season games, 41 games at home and 41 on the road. Teams play 32 games within their division (8 games against four other teams), 40 games against non-divisional, conference opponents (4 games against 10 other teams) and 10 interconference games, 1 game against each team in two of the three divisions in the opposite conference. The two divisions from the opposite conference which each team plays against will be rotated every year, much like interleague play in baseball.

Points are awarded for each game as follows:

  • Two points are awarded for a win
  • One point for losing in overtime or a shootout
  • Zero points for a loss in regulation time.

At the end of the regular season, the team that finishes with the most points in each division is crowned the division champion.

Stanley Cup playoffs

At the end of the regular season, the three division champions and the five other teams in each conference with the highest number of points, 8 teams in each conference, qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The division winners are seeded one through three, and the next five teams with the best records in the conference are seeded four through eight.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs is an elimination tournament, where two teams battle to win a best-of-seven series in order to advance to the next round. The first round of the playoffs, or conference quarterfinals, consists of the first seed playing the eighth seed, the second playing the seventh, third playing the sixth, and the fourth playing the fifth. In the second round, or conference semifinals, the NHL re-seeds (unlike the NBA) the teams, with the top remaining conference seed playing against the lowest remaining seed, and the other two remaining conference teams pairing off. In the third round, the conference finals, the two remaining teams in each conference play each other, with the conference champions proceeding to the Stanley Cup Finals.

In each round the higher-ranked team is said to be the team with the home-ice advantage. Four of the seven games are played at this team's home venue - the first and second, and, where necessary, the fifth and seventh, with the other games played at the lower-ranked team's home venue.

During playoff games if the score is tied at the end of the third period an overtime period is played. If the score is tied at the end of an overtime period, additional overtime periods are played until a winner is determined. Overtimes are also full periods of twenty minutes (of five-on-five hockey), rather than the five minutes (of four-on-four hockey, followed by a shootout) in the regular season. The overtime is sudden death with the game ending when either team scores a goal.

Rules

While the National Hockey League follows the general rules of Ice hockey, it differs slightly from those used in international games organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation such as the Olympics.

Game timing

Each game is 60 minutes composed of three 20 minute periods. Between each period there is a 15 minute intermission. Between stoppages of play, teams have 25 seconds before substituting their players except for referee stoppages for TV commercials.

Each team may also take one 30 second time-out which may only be taken during a normal stoppage of play.

Hockey rink

The hockey rink is an ice rink which is rectangular with rounded corners and surrounded by a wall . The red line divides the ice in half lengthwise. The red line is used to judge icing violations. There are two blue lines that divide the rink roughly into thirds. They divide the ice into zones. Near each end of the rink, there is a thin red goal line spanning the width of the ice. It is used to judge goals and icing calls.

Scoring and winning

A goal is scored when the puck passes the goal line and enters the net. The team that has the most goals at the end of 60 minutes wins the game. If the game is tied at the end of regulation time, a 5 minute, 4-on-4 sudden death overtime period is played, where the first team that scores a goal wins the game. If the game is still tied at the end of overtime, the game enters a shootout. Three players for each team in turn perform a penalty shot. The team with the most goals during this shootout wins the game. If the game is still tied after the three shootout rounds, the shootout continues, but becomes sudden death.

Offside

In ice hockey, play is said to be offside if a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the puck. When an offside violation occurs, the linesman blows play dead, and a faceoff is conducted in the neutral zone.

The NHL in 2006 removed the offside pass or two-line pass which was a pass from inside a team's defending zone that crosses the red line.

Icing

Icing occurs when a player shoots the puck across both the red line and the opposing team's goal line without the puck going into the net. When icing occurs, a linesman stops play. Play is resumed with a faceoff in the defending zone of the team that committed the infraction. A short handed team is not penalized for clearing the puck out of its zone during a powerplay. If the goalie on the side of the ice where the puck is being sent touches the puck, the icing is waved off.

Under the rules following the 2004-2005 lockout, if a team ices the puck under five-on-five conditions, they are not allowed to make a line change for the following faceoff.

Penalties

A penalty is a punishment for inappropriate behaviour. A referee makes all penalty calls. A linesman may call only obvious technical infractions such as too many men on the ice. In the NHL, the Linesman may call major intent-to-injure penalties that the referee may have missed.

During a penalty, the player who committed the infraction is sent to the penalty box. In most cases, the penalized team cannot replace that player and is thus shorthanded for the duration of the penalty. Normally, hockey teams have five skaters (excluding the goaltender), so if one penalty is called, play becomes five-on-four.

This is called a power play for the attackers and a penalty kill for the defenders. A team is far more likely to score on a power play than during normal play. If the penalized team is scored on during a minor penalty, the penalty immediately ends.

Trophies and awards

Stanley Cup on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame

The National Hockey League presents numerous trophies per year; some are given to teams, and other are given to players.

Trophies awarded to teams

  • Stanley Cup -- overall playoff champion.
  • Clarence S. Campbell Bowl -- Western conference playoff champion.
  • Prince of Wales Trophy -- Eastern conference playoff champion.
  • Presidents' Trophy (1986 - present) - best regular season by a team
  • The O'Brien Trophy was awarded in the NHL before it was retired following the 1949-50 NHL season.

Trophies awarded to individuals

  • Art Ross Memorial Trophy (1948 - present) -- regular season league scoring champion
  • Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1968 - present) -- perseverance and sportsmanship
  • Calder Memorial Trophy (1933 - present) -- rookie of the year
  • Conn Smythe Trophy (1965 - present) -- most valuable player during the playoffs
  • Frank J. Selke Trophy (1978 - present) -- top defensive forward
  • Hart Memorial Trophy (1924 - present) -- most valuable player during the regular season
  • Jack Adams Award (1974 - present) -- coach of the year
  • James Norris Memorial Trophy (1954 - present)-- most outstanding defenceman
  • King Clancy Memorial Trophy (1988 - present) -- leadership and humanitarian contribution
  • Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1925 - present) -- player combining ability and sportsmanship
  • Lester B. Pearson Award (1971 - present) -- most outstanding player as selected by peers
  • Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy (1999 - present) -- to the goal-scoring leader during the regular season
  • NHL Plus/Minus Award (1968 - present) -- highest plus/minus statistic
  • Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award (2000 - present) -- best save percentage by a goalkeeper
  • Vezina Trophy (1927 - present) -- voted to be the most outstanding goaltender
  • William M. Jennings Trophy (1982 - present) -- goalkeeper(s) for the team with the fewest goals against them
  • The Lester Patrick Trophy has been presented by the National Hockey League since 1966 to honour a recipient's contribution to hockey in the United States.

Three years after retirement, players are eligible to be voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In the past, if a player was deemed significant enough, the pending period would be waived. However, only 10 individual have been honoured in this manner. In 1999 Wayne Gretzky became the last player to have the three years waived. After Gretzky's induction, the NHL declared that he would be the last one to have the waiting period omitted.

NHL: An International League

NHL is very proud of its players coming from all around the world. Since the 1990s, the league has tried to promote itself throughout Europe with ads, media, and magazines. The league also voluntarily stops its season so that its players can play in the Winter Olympics to have the players represent their own country. While the league has always had a strong Canadian majority, the percentage of Canadian players has gone down slowly in the past 20 years since the arrival of European players.


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While the league has always had a strong Canadian majority, the percentage of Canadian players has gone down slowly in the past 20 years since the arrival of European players. There are also some local formats that in one or other way are pretty similar with Endemol's Big Brother:. The league also voluntarily stops its season so that its players can play in the Winter Olympics to have the players represent their own country. It also had its own version in USA for the latin market airing in Telemundo. Since the 1990s, the league has tried to promote itself throughout Europe with ads, media, and magazines. It's a mixture among Big Brother and Star Academy and has had a huge success in different latin countries, as Chile, Spain, Brazil (formerly known as Casa dos Artistas), Venezuela, Colombia or Mexico. NHL is very proud of its players coming from all around the world. Protagonistas..., a format from the Spanish producer house GloboMedia, developed by its subsidiary in America, Promofilm.

After Gretzky's induction, the NHL declared that he would be the last one to have the waiting period omitted. The Bar, another format from Strix. In 1999 Wayne Gretzky became the last player to have the three years waived. It's the third biggest 'people-living-together' reality show on Earth, only defeated by Star Academy/Operación Triunfo (France/Spain, 2001, Endemol) broadcasted in 50 countries and Big Brother (Holland, 1999, Endemol) emitted or planned to be emitted in 68. However, only 10 individual have been honoured in this manner. The Farm, created by the Swedish producer house Strix, creators of Survivor. In the past, if a player was deemed significant enough, the pending period would be waived. There are three specially important formats around the globe that attach to rules kind of similar with Big Brother:.

Three years after retirement, players are eligible to be voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Indeed, in the second Polish edition, one of the housemates was taken to a psychiatric hospital, and the winner of the first season in Portugal tried to kill himself several times. The National Hockey League presents numerous trophies per year; some are given to teams, and other are given to players. One interesting development is that German scientists have discovered that former Big Brother contestants may be at risk from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition sometimes suffered by those who leave the armed forces. If the penalized team is scored on during a minor penalty, the penalty immediately ends. The amount of sex shown on the televised versions varies from country to country depending on censorship rules, with some countries editing out all sex and nudity, and others allowing the show to border on the pornographic. A team is far more likely to score on a power play than during normal play. With the passing of time, it has been demonstrated that the most successful versions were the ones that emulated a soap opera, whereas the versions where the principal attraction was sex have been eliminated, as in Hungary or Poland.

This is called a power play for the attackers and a penalty kill for the defenders. Some versions have been filled with sex-crazed housemates, whereas others decided to base the conflict within their programs around difficult or romantic personalities, as in Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, Philippines or Spain. Normally, hockey teams have five skaters (excluding the goaltender), so if one penalty is called, play becomes five-on-four. On the other hand, other versions have involved plotting in the vein of the most cruel soap opera. In most cases, the penalized team cannot replace that player and is thus shorthanded for the duration of the penalty. This only happened once, as afterwards, Big Brother modified its rules to prohibit this type of agreement. During a penalty, the player who committed the infraction is sent to the penalty box. While any pretences to be a cultural experiment are dubious, reports of the different results of the show around the world have been mildly interesting from a pop-anthropology standpoint; i.e., in Spain, the competitors designed an agreement to achieve they all were nominated automatically and annul then their power of decision inside the process of elimination in the contest.

In the NHL, the Linesman may call major intent-to-injure penalties that the referee may have missed. More generally, the voyeuristic nature of the show, where contestants volunteer to surrender their privacy in return for minor celebrity status and a comparatively small cash prize, has attracted much scorn. A linesman may call only obvious technical infractions such as too many men on the ice. Criticisms typically are based on the ironic aspects of George Orwell's dystopic vision of Nineteen Eighty-Four being consciously aped by producers for public entertainment. A referee makes all penalty calls. Despite derision from many intellectuals and other critics, the show has been a commercial success around the world. A penalty is a punishment for inappropriate behaviour. The house is even shown live on satellite television (with a 10-15 minute delay to permit muting of unacceptable content in the UK).

Under the rules following the 2004-2005 lockout, if a team ices the puck under five-on-five conditions, they are not allowed to make a line change for the following faceoff. In some countries, the Internet broadcasting was supplemented by updates via email, WAP and SMS. If the goalie on the side of the ice where the puck is being sent touches the puck, the icing is waved off. These websites were highly successful, even after some national series started charging for access to the video stream. A short handed team is not penalized for clearing the puck out of its zone during a powerplay. Although the main show, typically broadcast daily with a weekly roundup, is by necessity heavily edited, viewers can also watch a continuous, 24-hour feed from multiple cameras on the web. Play is resumed with a faceoff in the defending zone of the team that committed the infraction. The series is notable for involving the Internet.

When icing occurs, a linesman stops play. The last remaining housemate is declared the winner and receives a substantial sum in prize money, the amount of which has varied widely around the world. Icing occurs when a player shoots the puck across both the red line and the opposing team's goal line without the puck going into the net. After the votes are tallied, the "evictee" leaves the house and is interviewed on-camera by the host of the show, usually in front of a live studio audience. The NHL in 2006 removed the offside pass or two-line pass which was a pass from inside a team's defending zone that crosses the red line. The ones with the most nominations are then named on the television show, and viewers can vote for whom they want to be evicted. When an offside violation occurs, the linesman blows play dead, and a faceoff is conducted in the neutral zone. Each week, the housemates each privately nominate a number of people who they wish to see removed from the house more than the other residents.

In ice hockey, play is said to be offside if a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the puck. Of course, their allowance is lessened if they fail to complete the weekly task. If the game is still tied after the three shootout rounds, the shootout continues, but becomes sudden death. To obtain a greater allowance, they may gamble some of their initial amount on the success of the completion of tasks. The team with the most goals during this shootout wins the game. The housemates have a weekly allowance with which they can buy food and other essentials. Three players for each team in turn perform a penalty shot. The tasks are designed to test their team-working abilities and community spirit.

If the game is still tied at the end of overtime, the game enters a shootout. To fill in time, the residents have various chores to maintain the house, and are set apparently random tasks by the producers of the show, who communicate with the housemates through one (unseen) individual issuing commands, termed "Big Brother". If the game is tied at the end of regulation time, a 5 minute, 4-on-4 sudden death overtime period is played, where the first team that scores a goal wins the game. in contraposition to other zones, or characteristics, of the house, more common, even precarious. The team that has the most goals at the end of 60 minutes wins the game. Now almost every country has a modern house for the contest, with jacuzzi, sauna, VIP suite, etc. A goal is scored when the puck passes the goal line and enters the net. This added an element of survival into the show, thus increasing the potential for tensions within the house.

It is used to judge goals and icing calls. Although essential amenities such as running water, furniture and a limited ration of food were provided, luxury items were forbidden. Near each end of the rink, there is a thin red goal line spanning the width of the ice. Initially, the hostel in which they had to reside for the duration of the competition was very basic. They divide the ice into zones. Besides the same living together, which is the principal axis and major attraction of the contest, this one turns concerning 4 basic props: the stripped-bare back to basics environment in which they live, the evictions system, the weekly tasks set by Big Brother, and the "diary room", in which the housemates individually convey their thoughts, feelings, frustrations and their eviction nominees. There are two blue lines that divide the rink roughly into thirds. The last remaining is the winner.

The red line is used to judge icing violations. At weekly intervals, the public is invited to vote to evict one of the contestants. The red line divides the ice in half lengthwise. Private chats with a psychologist are a special exception. The hockey rink is an ice rink which is rectangular with rounded corners and surrounded by a wall . Originally shown in the Netherlands in September 1999, and subsequently cloned across the world, the "housemates" are confined inside a specially designed house where every single point in the house is within view of a video camera, and not permitted any contact with the outside world (although some versions, like the ones from Philippines, Mexico, Germany or Spain have introduced in some seasons precise changes, allowing the contact with the outside in certain situations): no TV, radio, telephone, Internet or other media are available to the housemates, not even writing materials. Each team may also take one 30 second time-out which may only be taken during a normal stoppage of play. .

Between stoppages of play, teams have 25 seconds before substituting their players except for referee stoppages for TV commercials. The show's name comes from George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, a dystopia in which Big Brother is the all-seeing leader. Between each period there is a 15 minute intermission. It has been a prime-time hit in almost 70 different countries, earning Endemol large sums. Each game is 60 minutes composed of three 20 minute periods. The show, a kind of 'real life soap', was invented by John de Mol of the Netherlands and developed by his production company, Endemol. While the National Hockey League follows the general rules of Ice hockey, it differs slightly from those used in international games organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation such as the Olympics. Big Brother is a popular reality television format, where, over 15 weeks or so, a number of contestants (typically 12) try to avoid periodic publicly-voted evictions from a communal house and hence win a cash prize.

The overtime is sudden death with the game ending when either team scores a goal. Ukraine, Dom. Overtimes are also full periods of twenty minutes (of five-on-five hockey), rather than the five minutes (of four-on-four hockey, followed by a shootout) in the regular season. UK, Back To Reality. If the score is tied at the end of an overtime period, additional overtime periods are played until a winner is determined. Turkey, Biri Bizi Gözetliyor. During playoff games if the score is tied at the end of the third period an overtime period is played. Spain, La Casa De Tu Vida.

Four of the seven games are played at this team's home venue - the first and second, and, where necessary, the fifth and seventh, with the other games played at the lower-ranked team's home venue. Spain, El Bus. In each round the higher-ranked team is said to be the team with the home-ice advantage. Slovenia, To Sam Ja. In the third round, the conference finals, the two remaining teams in each conference play each other, with the conference champions proceeding to the Stanley Cup Finals. Slovakia VyVolení. In the second round, or conference semifinals, the NHL re-seeds (unlike the NBA) the teams, with the top remaining conference seed playing against the lowest remaining seed, and the other two remaining conference teams pairing off. Serbia, To Sam Ja.

The first round of the playoffs, or conference quarterfinals, consists of the first seed playing the eighth seed, the second playing the seventh, third playing the sixth, and the fourth playing the fifth. Russia, Za Steklom. The Stanley Cup Playoffs is an elimination tournament, where two teams battle to win a best-of-seven series in order to advance to the next round. Russia, Golod. The division winners are seeded one through three, and the next five teams with the best records in the conference are seeded four through eight. Russia, Dom. At the end of the regular season, the three division champions and the five other teams in each conference with the highest number of points, 8 teams in each conference, qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Russia, 12 Negrityat.

At the end of the regular season, the team that finishes with the most points in each division is crowned the division champion. FYR Macedonia, Tom Sam Ja. Points are awarded for each game as follows:. Puerto Rico, 360 Estudio. The two divisions from the opposite conference which each team plays against will be rotated every year, much like interleague play in baseball. Peru, La Casa De Gisela. Teams play 32 games within their division (8 games against four other teams), 40 games against non-divisional, conference opponents (4 games against 10 other teams) and 10 interconference games, 1 game against each team in two of the three divisions in the opposite conference. Norway, Singel 24-7.

Each team in the NHL plays 82 regular season games, 41 games at home and 41 on the road. Netherlands, De Bus. For a list of previous teams see List of defunct NHL teams. Latvia, Barbarossa. Over the years many different organizations have existed. Latvia, Fabrika. The National Hockey League currently has 30 teams divided into two conferences, and 6 divisions, an organization that started in the year 2000. Israel, The Yacht.

The NHL, despite negative press generated during the lockout, has success attracting fans to the initial games of the season and extends fan bases into non-traditional markets in the US such as Nashville, Atlanta, and the Carolinas. Israel, Project Y. Of those 15 games, 11 were in front of sell out crowds. Ireland, Cabin Fever. On October 5, 2005, the first post-lockout NHL season got under way with 15 games. Indonesia, Penghuni Terakhir. A new collective bargaining agreement was ratified in July 2005 with a term of six years with an option of extending the collective bargaining agreement for an additional year at the end of the term, allowing the NHL to resume as of the 2005-06 season. Hungary, Való Világ.

With no new agreement in hand when the existing contract expired on September 15, 2004, league commissioner Gary Bettman announced a lockout of the players union and cessation of operations by the NHL head office, causing the NHL to lose an entire season. France, Nice People. The league vowed to install what it dubbed "cost certainty" for its teams, but the National Hockey League Players Association countered that the move was little more than a euphemism for a salary cap, which the union initially said it would not accept. France, Les Colocataires. Negotiations to replace the contract that expired in 2004 turned into one of the most contentious collective bargaining sessions in the history of professional sports. Czech Republic VyVolení. The resulting collective bargaining agreement was set for renegotiation in 1998 and extended to September 15, 2004. Croatia, To Sam Ja.

A lockout at the start of the 1994-95 forced the league to reduce the schedule from 84 games to just 48, with the teams playing only intra-conference games during the reduced season. Bosnia, To Sam Ja. The first was a strike by the National Hockey League Players Association in April 1992 which lasted for 10 days, but the strike was settled quickly and all affected games were rescheduled. Bosnia, 60 Sati. There have been three work stoppages in NHL history, all happening between 1992 and 2005. Bolivia, Uno Busca. Approaching the new millennium, the NHL added another four teams; the Nashville Predators (1998), the Atlanta Thrashers (1999), the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets (both added in 2000) bringing the total to 30 teams. Austria, Taxi Orange.

In 1993, the NHL added an additional two teams, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the Florida Panthers. Albania, To Sam Ja. The San Jose Sharks debuted in 1991, a season later the Ottawa Senators would join the NHL along with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Albania, Syri Magjik. In the early 90's the NHL expanded further with five new franchises. Albania, Kafazi i Arte. As of 2005, the Oilers are the last remaining original WHA franchise still playing in the city where they began in the NHL. Countries: Argentina, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland.

Four of the remaining six WHA teams merged with the NHL: The Hartford Whalers, Québec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers, and Winnipeg Jets. Countries: Algeria, Bahrein, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Comoros Islands, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, UK, Yemen.. The two leagues fought for the services of hockey players and fans until the WHA folded in 1979. Big Brother winner with the highest percentage: 87.2%, Pepe Herrero, GH7 Spain. The dilution of the talent pool, however, caused the overall quality of play to suffer. Most housemates left on the final night: 6, Celebrity BB4 UK. In response to that, the NHL decided to rush its own expansion plans by adding the New York Islanders and Atlanta Flames that year, along with the Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals two years later. First non-celebrity winning Big Brother VIP/Celebrity: Chantelle Houghton, Celebrity BB4 UK.

Though it never challenged for the Stanley Cup, its status as a viable NHL rival was unquestionable. First non-celebrity on Big Brother VIP/Celebrity: Chantelle Houghton, Celebrity BB4 UK. In 1972, the World Hockey Association (WHA) was formed. 2006

    . Three years later, the NHL added the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres as franchises. First Big Brother birth: Tanja Slangenberg gave birth to Joscelyn Savanna, BB5 Netherlands. Louis Blues, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Oakland Seals, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Lowest eviction percentage with positive voting: 1.06%, Martin, BB6 Germany.

    They were the Philadelphia Flyers, St. Longest gap between 2 BB seasons: 966 days, BB4 > BB5 Netherlands. Six new teams were added to the NHL roster, and placed in their own newly-created division. First Big Brother 7: Spain. The rise of the Western Hockey League, which many pundits thought planned to transform into a major league and challenge for the Stanley Cup, spurred the NHL in 1967 to undertake its first expansion since the 1920s. First Big Brother ~ Big Mother season: BB4 Greece. With these developments and the onset of World War II, the NHL was reduced to six teams during its 25th anniversary year of (1942) – six teams still known today, if somewhat inaccurately, as the Original Six: The Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Bruins, Rangers, and Blackhawks. First Big brother house to have an altar: BB1 Philippines.

    However, the Great Depression took a toll on the league; teams such as the Pirates, Americans and Ottawa Senators folded. First Big Brother with twins winning: Greg and David Matthews, BB5 Australia. By the end of the 1930-31 season, the NHL featured a total of 10 teams. Youngest Big Brother winner: Anastacia Yagalova, 19 years old, BB1 Russia. Canadian additions included the Montreal Maroons and Hamilton Tigers. Shortest Big Brother: 60 days, BB3 Mexico. The league had also expanded into the United States, with the Boston Bruins in 1924, the New York Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925 and the New York Rangers, Detroit Cougars (later to become the Red Wings), and Chicago Blackhawks in 1926. First Big Brother village: BB6 Germany.

    By 1926, having increased player salaries to a level that couldn't be matched by other Canadian leagues, the NHL was alone in Stanley Cup competition. Shortest gap between 2 Big Brother seasons: 0 minutes, BB5 > BB6 Germany. (The 1918-19 competition was cancelled because of the Spanish Flu epidemic that had hit Seattle). Longest time in Big Brother house: Sascha Sirtl and Franziska Lewandrowski, 365 days, BB5 Germany. Though the league struggled to stay in business during its first decade, NHL teams were quite successful on the ice, winning the Stanley Cup seven out of its first nine years. Seasons with most contestants: 59, BB5 Germany & BB6 Germany. With the Bulldogs and Wanderers out, the NHL operated with just three teams for the remainder of its opening year, and through the second season. Longest Big Brother: 365 days, BB5 Germany.

    The Wanderers, already a shadow of its former self, folded in the wake of the fire, ending one of the most storied franchises in the early years of Canadian professional hockey. 2005

      . On January 2, 1918, the Westmount Arena in Montreal, home to the Wanderers and Canadiens, was destroyed in a fire. First Big Brother 6: Spain. The NHL endured a rocky inaugural season in 1917-18, starting with the temporary shuttering of the Bulldogs. First incorrect eviction: Bree Amer instead of Ryan Fitzgerald, BB4 Australia. Arguments and discussions ensued which eventually led to the formation of the National Hockey League at on November 26, 1917, with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs and newly-renamed Toronto Arenas as founding members. First twins competing: Natalie and Adria, BB5 USA.

      Livingstone, unable to attend the meeting because of illness, was shocked to learn that owners had chosen to effectively eject him and the Blueshirts from the NHA. First transsexual winner: Nadia Almada, BB5 UK. The owners met in Montreal's Windsor Hotel to consider the league's future on February 11, 1917. First Evil Big Brother: BB5 UK. Livingstone and the owners of the other teams. Only contestant to win 2 Big Brothers: Jill Liv Nielsen, BB1 & BB Reality All Stars Denmark. The National Hockey League was founded in 1917 in Montreal after a series of disputes within the (Canadian) National Hockey Association (NHA) between the Toronto Blueshirts' owner Edward J. First Big Brother Reality All Stars: Denmark.

      . First Big Brother suspended: Big Brother Arabia. The NHL is one of the major professional sports leagues of North America.

      . First Big Brother with a praying room: Big Brother Arabia. It is generally regarded as the premier professional ice hockey league in the world. First Big Brother in Asia: Big Brother Arabia. The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional sports organization composed of hockey teams in the United States and Canada, where it is also known by its French name, Ligue Nationale de Hockey (LNH). First blood related housemates: Domenico and Ilaria, father and daughter, GF4 Italy.

      The Lester Patrick Trophy has been presented by the National Hockey League since 1966 to honour a recipient's contribution to hockey in the United States. 2004

        . Jennings Trophy (1982 - present) -- goalkeeper(s) for the team with the fewest goals against them. First contestant to become pregnant in the house: Sissal, BB3 Denmark. William M. First Big Brother 5: Spain. Vezina Trophy (1927 - present) -- voted to be the most outstanding goaltender. First Big Brother All Stars: Belgium.

        Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award (2000 - present) -- best save percentage by a goalkeeper. First Big Brother Teen: UK. NHL Plus/Minus Award (1968 - present) -- highest plus/minus statistic. First winner of Asian descent: Jun Song, BB4 USA. Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy (1999 - present) -- to the goal-scoring leader during the regular season. First Big Brother with ex-couple housemates: Alison & Justin, Amanda & Scott, David & Michelle, Erika & Robert, Jee & Jun, BB4 USA. Pearson Award (1971 - present) -- most outstanding player as selected by peers. First black winner: Cherise Makubale, BB1 Africa.

        Lester B. First international version: Big Brother Africa. Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1925 - present) -- player combining ability and sportsmanship. Oldest Big Brother housemate: Mihalis Apostolides, 63 years old, BB3 Greece. King Clancy Memorial Trophy (1988 - present) -- leadership and humanitarian contribution. First Big Brother with a couple competing: Pasquale and Victoria, GF3 Italy. James Norris Memorial Trophy (1954 - present)-- most outstanding defenceman. 2003

          .

          Jack Adams Award (1974 - present) -- coach of the year. Natalia 50,06%, Natalia evicted, GH3 Argentina. Hart Memorial Trophy (1924 - present) -- most valuable player during the regular season. Least eviction difference: 0.12%, Viviana 49,94% vs. Selke Trophy (1978 - present) -- top defensive forward. First Big Brother host to spend 24 hours in the house: Martijn Krabbé, BB4 Netherlands. Frank J. First Big Brother 4: Netherlands.

          Conn Smythe Trophy (1965 - present) -- most valuable player during the playoffs. First pregnant housemate: Michelle, BB2 South Africa. Calder Memorial Trophy (1933 - present) -- rookie of the year. First Big Brother with Power Of Veto: BB3 USA. Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1968 - present) -- perseverance and sportsmanship. First Big Brother double eviction: Alex and Nathan, BB2 Australia. Art Ross Memorial Trophy (1948 - present) -- regular season league scoring champion. First Big Brother to have BB nominating all housemates: BB2 Australia.

          The O'Brien Trophy was awarded in the NHL before it was retired following the 1949-50 NHL season. First housemates swap: GH3 Spain - BB1 Mexico. Presidents' Trophy (1986 - present) - best regular season by a team. 2002

            . Prince of Wales Trophy -- Eastern conference playoff champion. Highest eviction percentage: Karolina, 95.82%, BB2 Poland. Campbell Bowl -- Western conference playoff champion. First Big Brother The Battle: Netherlands.

            Clarence S. First Big Brother 100 Days Later: Norway. Stanley Cup -- overall playoff champion. First Big Brother in Africa: BB1 South Africa. Zero points for a loss in regulation time. First Big Brother with Head Of House: BB2 USA. One point for losing in overtime or a shootout. Oldest Big Brother winner: Janusz Dzięcioł, 47, BB1 Poland.

            Two points are awarded for a win. First gay winner: Brian Dowling, BB2 UK. First Big Brother to have more than one winner: Christophe Mercy & Loana Petrucciani, LS1 France. First Loft Story season: LS1 France. First replacement housemate to win Big Brother: Marcelo Corazza, GH1 Argentina.

            First Big Brother in Oceania: BB1 Australia. First Celebrity/VIP winner: Jack Dee, Celebrity BB1 UK. First Big Brother 3: Germany. Most Big Brothers to start in a year: 21.

            2001

              . First evicted housemate voted back into the house: Marion, BB2 Germany. First bisexual winner: Bianca Hagenbeek, BB2 Netherlands. First female winner: Daniela Kanton, BB1 Switzerland.

              First Big Brother 2: Netherlands. First contestant to be removed by BB: Nicholas Bateman, BB1 UK. Season with least contestants: 10, BB1 USA, BB1 Sweden and GF1 Italy. First Big Brother in America: Big Brother USA.

              First Big Brother VIP: Netherlands. 2000

                . First Big Brother winner: Bart Spring in 't Veld, BB1 Netherlands. First replacement housemate: Mona Rooth-de Leeuw, BB1 Netherlands.

                First contestant to voluntarily leave: Tara van den Bergh, BB1 Netherlands. First contestant to be evicted: Martin Jonkman, BB1 Netherlands. First Big Brother: Netherlands. 1999

                  .

                  Country with most days with BB on air: Germany, 1.102 days. Country with most VIP/Celebrity seasons: Mexico, 5 finished seasons. Country with most seasons in total: UK, 11 finished seasons (6 main, 4 Celebrity & 1 Teen). Country with most seasons: Spain, 7 finished seasons.

                  Winners: 62 males and 40 females. General

                    . They also welcome 4 new housemates. The BB1 Norway housemates living again together after 100 days since the contest's ending.

                    Big Brother, 100 Days Later (Norway). Contestants from different reality shows living together at the BB house. Big Brother, Reality All Star (Denmark). Housemates from the different BB Belgium seasons living together.

                    Big Brother, All Star (Belgium). Teenage houseguests not competing, just living together. Teen Big Brother (United Kingdom). Other special versions:

                      .

                      Seven B-celebrity hoteliers and a Big Boss run a hotel, collecting money for charity. In 2006 a new variant appeared in the Netherlands: "Hotel Big Brother". Celebrity Big Brother does not attach the time length of the Big Brother VIP series (it only lasts a few days), which last even for months. Also in different countries, there is a spin-off called Big Brother VIP (Mexico, Hungary, Argentina, Bulgaria -called VIP Brother-, Spain, Denmark and Portugal) / Celebrity Big Brother (UK, South Africa, Netherlands, Philippines, Peru, Belgium and Australia).

                      Scandinavia: Sweden and Norway. Pacific: Chile, Ecuador and Peru. Middle East: United Arab Emirates, Arabia, Bahrein, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Syria, Somalia and Tunisia. Central America (planned for the end of the year): Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

                      Africa: Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. All these follow the normal Big Brother rules with the exception that contestants come from different countries in the region where it airs:

                        . There are five special panregional versions of Big Brother. However, this proved to be a failure with the show's audience and the show switched back to the traditional "Big Brother" format in mid-season.

                        The "mamas" would not be able to win the prize but they would stay with their children until their eviction. In Big Mother nine houseguest take place in the game with their mothers, with whom they must coexist during the contest. The fourth Greek season introduced a new element: the mother. The sixth version (currently airing in RTL II) is running in a small artificial town denominated "Das Dorf".

                        The fifth German edition, running for a full year, separated the contestants into three teams (rich, regular, survivor) and equivalent living areas. This was also seen in Australia, Spain, Bulgaria and Mexico. He was establishing punishments and was proposing hard tasks and secret tricks. The fifth UK edition introduced the "Evil" touch, where the Big Brother voice became almost a villain.

                        Italy and Mexico added punishment zones to their houses. Separated houses have also been used in Spain, Australia, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Slovakia, Greece, UK, Scandinavia, Sweden, Norway and Germany. The third Dutch edition introduced the notion of "The Battle", in which the house is separated into a luxurious half and a poor half, with two teams of housemates constantly fighting for time in the luxurious half. It's been adapted in Brazil and since then some countries modified their nominations rules.

                        The US version also introduced the Power of Veto, with a houseguest having power to save a housemate from the nominations. Also, the nominations are done by one houseguest, the HOH (Head of Household). Big Brother USA currently uses different rules than other countries' versions of the show, as it has starting with its second season (the first season followed the traditional format) In the US version, viewers do not vote for eviction; all voting is done by houseguests. Twelve single people stay in the same house until only the winning couple are left.

                        In France and Canada, the format has been developed using couples. [8] Co-produced version with Norway and Sweden taking part. Its name came because all of the participating countries are in the border of the Pacific. [7] Made in Colombia, this is a panregional version with contestants from Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

                        [1]. Discontinued after 10 days because of religious protests. [6] Filmed in Amwaj Island in Bahrain. The 7th season will start in autumn 2006.

                        The season ends in February 2006. The set includes a church, a market place, four houses, etc. "Big Brother: The Village". 200The show is called "Big Brother: Das Dorf", lit.

                        The producers of the show said that when the ratings are too low, the show will be cancelled. This is the first show in television history which has no time limit. Immediately after, Big Brother VI started. The ultimate winner got a prize of 1,000,000 €.

                        [5] In 2004 edition, this was the first version to run for 365 days consecutively. Countries taking part: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. [4] Planned for the end of the year. [3] Versions from Canada and France have two winners, a male and a female.

                        [2] Greg Mathew had to split his prize with his twin, David, because they entered the house as one person, called Logan and they agreed to share it if they won. [1] Panregional version with housemates from Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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