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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. Many people outside of those circles view those works as being too focused on the American anime subculture, and not focused enough on telling stories that resonate with a wider audience. 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. For the most part, these artists are not yet recognized outside of the anime and manga fan community. Since the 1990s, the league has tried to promote itself throughout Europe with ads, media, and magazines. Many of these have their own small publishing houses, and some webcomics and webmanga in this style have become very popular (see Megatokyo). NHL is very proud of its players coming from all around the world. In addition, there are many amateur artists who are influenced exclusively by the manga style.

After Gretzky's induction, the NHL declared that he would be the last one to have the waiting period omitted. While the movement also involves Japanese artists, a handful of French cartoonists other than Boilet have decided to embrace its ideal. In 1999 Wayne Gretzky became the last player to have the three years waived. In France there is a "Nouvelle Manga" movement started by Frédéric Boilet which seeks to combine mature sophisticated daily life manga with the artistic style of traditional Franco-Belgian comics. However, only 10 individual have been honoured in this manner. As a result his work features a strong influence from manga without influences from international otaku culture. In the past, if a player was deemed significant enough, the pending period would be waived. as Heavy Liquid.

Three years after retirement, players are eligible to be voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Before he was fired (due to an editorial change at Kodansha) he was developing many ideas for the anthology that he would later publish in the U.S. The National Hockey League presents numerous trophies per year; some are given to teams, and other are given to players. American artist Paul Pope worked in Japan for Kodansha on the manga anthology Afternoon. If the penalized team is scored on during a minor penalty, the penalty immediately ends. These artists have their roots in the anime/manga subculture of their particular regions. A team is far more likely to score on a power play than during normal play. These artists have many other influences that make their work more palatable to non-manga readers.

This is called a power play for the attackers and a penalty kill for the defenders. Other artists such as Americans Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan (Demo) and Canadian Bryan Lee O'Malley (Lost At Sea) are heavily influenced by the mainstream manga style and have received acclaim for their work outside of anime/manga fan circles. Normally, hockey teams have five skaters (excluding the goaltender), so if one penalty is called, play becomes five-on-four. American alternative comics artists such as Frank Miller and Scott McCloud were somewhat influenced by manga in a few of their works. In most cases, the penalized team cannot replace that player and is thus shorthanded for the duration of the penalty. Manga has long had an influence on international comics and animation the world over. During a penalty, the player who committed the infraction is sent to the penalty box. Many of these genres apply equally well to anime (which very often includes adaptations of manga) and Japanese computer games (some of which are also adaptations of manga).

In the NHL, the Linesman may call major intent-to-injure penalties that the referee may have missed. Some dōjinshi continue with a series' story or write an entirely new one using its characters, much like fan fiction. A linesman may call only obvious technical infractions such as too many men on the ice. Unofficial fan made comics are also called dōjinshi. A referee makes all penalty calls. Comiket, the largest comic book convention in the world with over 400,000 gathering in 3 days, is devoted to dōjinshi. A penalty is a punishment for inappropriate behaviour. Dōjinshi is produced by small amateur publishers outside of the mainstream commercial market in a similar fashion to small-press independently published comic books in the United States.

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. "sketches"). If the goalie on the side of the ice where the puck is being sent touches the puck, the icing is waved off. They might also publish their unfinished drawings or sketches, known as oekaki (lit. A short handed team is not penalized for clearing the puck out of its zone during a powerplay. "bonus" or "extra"). Play is resumed with a faceoff in the defending zone of the team that committed the infraction. Some manga artists will produce extra, sometimes unrelated material, which are known as omake (lit.

When icing occurs, a linesman stops play. Some publishers of translated manga keep that format, but some switch the direction to left to right, so as not to confuse Western readers. 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. Traditionally, manga are written from right to left. 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. Many things appear in manga format, including wanted posters for criminals. When an offside violation occurs, the linesman blows play dead, and a faceoff is conducted in the neutral zone. At a manga kissaten, people drink coffee and read manga.

In ice hockey, play is said to be offside if a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the puck. Japan also has manga cafés, or manga kissaten. If the game is still tied after the three shootout rounds, the shootout continues, but becomes sudden death. In particular, books and magazines sold to boys (shōnen) and girls (shōjo) have distinctive cover art and are placed on different shelves in most bookstores. The team with the most goals during this shootout wins the game. Manga are primarily classified by the age and gender of the target audience. Three players for each team in turn perform a penalty shot. Old manga have also been reprinted using somewhat lesser quality paper and sold for 100 yen each to compete with the used book market.

If the game is still tied at the end of overtime, the game enters a shootout. Recently, "deluxe" versions have also been printed as readers have gotten older and the need for something special grew. 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. These volumes use higher-quality paper, and are useful to those who want to "catch up" with a series so they can follow it in the magazines or if they find the cost of the weeklies or monthlies to be prohibitive. The team that has the most goals at the end of 60 minutes wins the game. When a series has been running for a while, the stories are usually collected together and printed in dedicated book-sized volumes, called tankōbon. A goal is scored when the puck passes the goal line and enters the net. If these are successful and receive good reviews, they are continued.

It is used to judge goals and icing calls. Manga artists sometimes start out with a few "one-shot" manga projects just to try to get their name out. Near each end of the rink, there is a thin red goal line spanning the width of the ice. Manga series can run for many years if they are successful. They divide the ice into zones. Manga magazines also contain one-shot comics and various four-panel yonkoma (equivalent to comic strips). There are two blue lines that divide the rink roughly into thirds. These manga magazines, or "anthology magazines", as they are also known (colloquially "phone books"), are usually printed on low-quality newsprint and can be anywhere from 200 to more than 850 pages long.

The red line is used to judge icing violations. Manga magazines usually have many series running concurrently with approximately 20–40 pages allocated to each series per issue. The red line divides the ice in half lengthwise. The Tenchi series in particular is known for this; there are more than thirteen different unrelated story arcs based around Tenchi and his friends. The hockey rink is an ice rink which is rectangular with rounded corners and surrounded by a wall . in one set of stories ("story arc") only to have another story arc run where the same characters do not know each other. Each team may also take one 30 second time-out which may only be taken during a normal stoppage of play. So a set of characters may build relationships, jobs, etc.

Between stoppages of play, teams have 25 seconds before substituting their players except for referee stoppages for TV commercials. A fair number of manga artists do not feel that their stories and characters are set in stone. Between each period there is a 15 minute intermission. Being a very diverse artform, however, not all manga artists adhere to the conventions most popularized in the west through anime such as Akira, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, and Ranma ½. Each game is 60 minutes composed of three 20 minute periods. Large eyes have become a permanent fixture in manga and anime since the 1960s when Osamu Tezuka(see above) started drawing them in this way, mimicking the style of Disney cartoons from the United States. 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. While the art can be incredibly realistic or cartoonish, it is often noted that the characters look "Western", or have large eyes.

The overtime is sudden death with the game ending when either team scores a goal. Panels and pages are typically read from right to left, consistent with traditional Japanese writing. 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. Emphasis is often placed on line over form, and the storytelling and panel placement differs from those in Western comics. If the score is tied at the end of an overtime period, additional overtime periods are played until a winner is determined. The popular and recognizable style of manga is very distinctive. During playoff games if the score is tied at the end of the third period an overtime period is played. However, there have been no official inquiries or laws trying to limit what can be drawn in manga, except for vague decency laws applying to all published materials, stating that "overly indecent materials should not be sold." This freedom has allowed artists to draw manga for every age group and for about every topic.

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. For example, a number of film adaptation of manga such as Ichi the Killer or Old Boys were rated Restricted or Mature in the west. In each round the higher-ranked team is said to be the team with the home-ice advantage. Like its American counterpart, some manga has been criticized for being violent and sexual. 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. Manga is well respected both as an art form and as a form of popular literature though it has not reached acceptance of "higher" art genre like film or music. 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. Several major manga magazines sell several million copies each per week.

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 economic terms, a weekly sales of comics in Japan outsell entire annual output of the American comic industry. 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. Though roughly equivalent to the American comic book, manga holds more importance in Japanese culture than comics do in American culture. 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 most famous gekiga style manga in the West is Akira. 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. Eventually, gekiga was absorbed into manga and now are used to describe manga style which does not use cartoonish drawing.

At the end of the regular season, the team that finishes with the most points in each division is crowned the division champion. However, gekiga's rental business model eventually died out in the 1970s, while comic artists in manga format significantly improved their graphic quality and story. Points are awarded for each game as follows:. For this reason, gekiga was considered to be much more artistically superior. The two divisions from the opposite conference which each team plays against will be rotated every year, much like interleague play in baseball. Gekiga on the other hand did not have any deadline so the artist could use much more detailed drawing and more realistic portraial of character with a greatly complex and mature story line. 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. Consequently, most manga artist adopted Tezuka-style drawing where characters are drawn in a simpler but exagerated manner - most typified by large round eyes which is regarded as a defining feature of Japanese comic in the west.

Each team in the NHL plays 82 regular season games, 41 games at home and 41 on the road. Manga was based on weekly or biweekly magazine publications so the demand for prompt production and deadline was paramount. For a list of previous teams see List of defunct NHL teams. The other, gekiga, was based on a rental format, much in the same line as the modern movie rental systems. Over the years many different organizations have existed. One, the manga format, was based on sales of comic magazine. The National Hockey League currently has 30 teams divided into two conferences, and 6 divisions, an organization that started in the year 2000. Between the 1960s and the 1970s, there were two forms of comic serialisation.

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. Another important trend in manga was gekiga. Of those 15 games, 11 were in front of sell out crowds. He also mentored a number of important comic artists, such as Fujiko Fujio (creator of Doraemon), Akatuka Fujio and Shotaro Ishinomori. On October 5, 2005, the first post-lockout NHL season got under way with 15 games. His qualification as a medical doctor as well as his serious story lines were used to deflect criticism that manga was vulgar and undesirable for children. 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. Tezuka also contributed to the social acceptace of manga.

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. As the manga generation of children grew up, the market for comics expanded accordingly and manga soon become a major cultural force of Japan. 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. Some criticise Tezuka's somewhat excessive use of tragic dramatisation in his stories. 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. Hyakkimaru in Dororo was born severly crippled because his father offered 48 parts of Dororo's infant body to 48 demons. The resulting collective bargaining agreement was set for renegotiation in 1998 and extended to September 15, 2004. Kimba's father was killed by human hunters and the theme of conflict between man and nature was a reccuring theme for the comic.

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. Atom (Astro Boy) was created by a grieving scientist trying to create an imitation of his dead son, who then later abandoned the boy. 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. Most of his comics' central characters had a tragic background. There have been three work stoppages in NHL history, all happening between 1992 and 2005. Though he is known in the West as a creator of the children's animation Astro Boy, many of his comics had some very mature and sometimes dark undertones. 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. It is often commented that any manga genre which Tezuka did not create was done by someone who was desperately trying to find something Tezuka wasn't doing.

In 1993, the NHL added an additional two teams, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the Florida Panthers. Dororo, Mitumega Tooru.). The San Jose Sharks debuted in 1991, a season later the Ottawa Senators would join the NHL along with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Astro Boy), horror (eg. In the early 90's the NHL expanded further with five new franchises. Black Jack) to science fiction (eg. As of 2005, the Oilers are the last remaining original WHA franchise still playing in the city where they began in the NHL. Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Emperor Leo)) to serious drama (eg.

Four of the remaining six WHA teams merged with the NHL: The Hartford Whalers, Québec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers, and Winnipeg Jets. His manga series cover from action adventure (eg. The two leagues fought for the services of hockey players and fans until the WHA folded in 1979. Tezuka adopted his comic to almost all film genres at the time. The dilution of the talent pool, however, caused the overall quality of play to suffer. Soon, it became a specialised weekly or monthly comic magazine, which is now the foundation of the Japanese comic industry. 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. Initially, his comic was published in a children's magazine.

Though it never challenged for the Stanley Cup, its status as a viable NHL rival was unquestionable. This somewhat revived the old ukiyo-e like tradition where the picture is a projection of an idea rather than actual physical reality. In 1972, the World Hockey Association (WHA) was formed. Tezuka also adopted Disney like facial feature where eyes, mouth, eyebrows or nose are drawn in a very exagerated manner to add more distinct characterisation with fewer lines which made his prolific output possible. Three years later, the NHL added the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres as franchises. Moreover, each of the pictures in pages flow from top right to bottom left so that people could see and read comic in speed reading manner (note that vertical Japanese is written in top-right down to bottom left order). Louis Blues, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Oakland Seals, and Pittsburgh Penguins. And just like film, the only text in Tezuka's comic was character's spoken line.

They were the Philadelphia Flyers, St. Tezuka introduced film like story telling and character in comic format in which each short-film like episode is part of larger story arch. Six new teams were added to the NHL roster, and placed in their own newly-created division. Before Tezuka, most Japanese comics were drawn on one or four picture format dealing with social or political satire or humour. 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. He later commented that a part of reason he went to medical school was to avoid conscription and he actually didn't like seeing blood. 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. Tezuka was greatly inspired by the film and later decided to become a comic artist, which at the time (and somewhat even now) was an unthinkable choice for someone who qualified as a medical doctor and Ph.D in medicine.

However, the Great Depression took a toll on the league; teams such as the Pirates, Americans and Ottawa Senators folded. Though a war propaganda film, it was also a children's film, so the main theme of the film was peace and hope in the time of darkness. By the end of the 1930-31 season, the NHL featured a total of 10 teams. In 1945, Tezuka who was studying medicine, saw a war propaganda animation film called "Momotarou Uminokaihei" whose style was largely copied from Disney's Fantasia. Canadian additions included the Montreal Maroons and Hamilton Tigers. Osamu Tezuka, widely acknowledged to be the father of story-based manga, became popular. 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. Manga as people know it in the 20th and 21st centuries only really came into being after Dr.

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. Manga at this period was known as Ponchi-e (Punch-picture) and, like its British counterpart Punch magazine, mainly depicted humour and political satire in short 1 or 4 picture format. (The 1918-19 competition was cancelled because of the Spanish Flu epidemic that had hit Seattle). Thus, they imported Western artists to teach their students things such as line, form and colour (things which were never concentrated on in ukiyo-e as the idea behind the picture was normally considered more important). 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. When the United States began trading with Japan, Japan tried to modernise itself and catch up with the rest of the world. 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. Manga developed from a mixture of ukiyo-e and Western art movements.

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. However, gi-ga (literally "funny pictures") drawn in the 12th century by various artists contain many manga-like qualities such as emphasis on story and simple, artistic lines. On January 2, 1918, the Westmount Arena in Montreal, home to the Wanderers and Canadiens, was destroyed in a fire. The word first came into common usage after the publication of the 19th century Hokusai manga, containing assorted drawings from the sketchbook of the famous ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. The NHL endured a rocky inaugural season in 1917-18, starting with the temporary shuttering of the Bulldogs. Literally translated, manga means "random (or whimsical) pictures". 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. .

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. Stories are often modified to appeal to a more mainstream market. The owners met in Montreal's Windsor Hotel to consider the league's future on February 11, 1917. A small amount of the total Manga output of Japan is adapted into anime, which is usually created afterwards, once a market interest has been established. Livingstone and the owners of the other teams. It comes mainly in black and white, except for the covers and maybe the first few pages. 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. Manga developed from a mixture of ukiyo-e and Western styles of drawing, and took its current form shortly after World War II.

. Manga (漫画) is the Japanese word for comics and/or cartoons it usually refers specifically to Japanese comics. The NHL is one of the major professional sports leagues of North America.

. Mangaka (漫画家) Literally "Manga professional" is a Japanese term for a manga author/artist. It is generally regarded as the premier professional ice hockey league in the world. It is also commonly called コミック(komikku, from comic) in Japanese. 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). Because nouns in Japanese do not have a plural form, manga is the form for both plural and singular.

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. Densha Otoko (Comedy/Drama). Jennings Trophy (1982 - present) -- goalkeeper(s) for the team with the fewest goals against them. MONSTER (Horror/Drama). William M. Lone Wolf and Cub (Samurai Drama). Vezina Trophy (1927 - present) -- voted to be the most outstanding goaltender. Ghost in the Shell (Sci-Fi).

Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award (2000 - present) -- best save percentage by a goalkeeper. Blade of the Immortal (Samurai Drama). NHL Plus/Minus Award (1968 - present) -- highest plus/minus statistic. Berserk (Medieval/Fantasy). Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy (1999 - present) -- to the goal-scoring leader during the regular season. Angel Densetsu (Drama). Pearson Award (1971 - present) -- most outstanding player as selected by peers. Oh My Goddess! (Fantasy/Action).

Lester B. Akira (Sci-Fi). Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1925 - present) -- player combining ability and sportsmanship. 3x3 Eyes (Mythology/Comedy/Horror). King Clancy Memorial Trophy (1988 - present) -- leadership and humanitarian contribution. Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon (fantasy/romance/action). James Norris Memorial Trophy (1954 - present)-- most outstanding defenceman. Cardcaptor Sakura(Action/Fantasy).

Jack Adams Award (1974 - present) -- coach of the year. X/1999 (Paranormal). Hart Memorial Trophy (1924 - present) -- most valuable player during the regular season. Revolutionary Girl Utena (Action/Drama). Selke Trophy (1978 - present) -- top defensive forward. Please Save My Earth (Sci-fi/Drama). Frank J. Marmalade Boy (Comedy/Romance/Drama).

Conn Smythe Trophy (1965 - present) -- most valuable player during the playoffs. Kareshi Kanojo no Jijō) (Comedy/Romance/Drama). Calder Memorial Trophy (1933 - present) -- rookie of the year. Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances a.k.a. Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1968 - present) -- perseverance and sportsmanship. Hana-Kimi (Hanazakari no Kimi-tachi e) (Comedy/Romance/Drama). Art Ross Memorial Trophy (1948 - present) -- regular season league scoring champion. Fruits Basket (Comedy/Romance/Paranormal).

The O'Brien Trophy was awarded in the NHL before it was retired following the 1949-50 NHL season. Boys Over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango) (Drama/Romance). Presidents' Trophy (1986 - present) - best regular season by a team. Ceres, Celestial Legend (Ayashi no Ceres) (Paranormal/Romance). Prince of Wales Trophy -- Eastern conference playoff champion. Nana (Drama/Romance). Campbell Bowl -- Western conference playoff champion. Inuyasha (action/adventure/comedy).

Clarence S. Saint Seiya (Mythological/Adventure/Action). Stanley Cup -- overall playoff champion. Rurouni Kenshin (Historical Fiction/Romantic Comedy/Action). Zero points for a loss in regulation time. Negima (Harem/Magic/Comedy). One point for losing in overtime or a shootout. Great Teacher Onizuka (High School Comedy/Action).

Two points are awarded for a win. Dragon Ball (Super-Powered Martial Arts). One Piece (Pirate Action/Comedy). Samurai Deeper Kyo (Samurai Epic). Naruto (Fantasy/Ninja).

Fullmetal Alchemist (Action/Adventure/Comedy). Bleach (Action/Adventure/Fantasy). Shōnen-ai (or Yaoi, gay romance). Shōjo-ai (or Yuri, lesbian romance).

Moé (also mahō kanojo or magical girlfriend). Mecha (giant robots). Magical girl (mahō shōjo). Dōjinshi Fan-art or self-published manga.

Battling companion (not an official name). Semi-alternative (popular publication individualistic style). La nouvelle manga (Franco-Belgian/Japanese artistic movement). Gekiga (dramatic pictures).

Alternative (See also: Garo)

    . Shōnen young and teenage boys. Shōjo young and teenage girls. Seinen men.

    Kodomo children. Josei (or redikomi) women.

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