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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. Milan has 14 sister cities:. 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.
There are other stadiums and multiuse palaces located in the metropolitan area, the biggest being Monza Brianteo Stadium (18,000 seats), the PalaDesio (10,000) and Geas Stadium (8,500). Since the 1990s, the league has tried to promote itself throughout Europe with ads, media, and magazines. Milan and Lombardy are candidates for the Summer Olympic Games of 2016 (Milan-Lombardy 2016). NHL is very proud of its players coming from all around the world. Many of the strongest Italian football players were born in Milan, in the surrounding metropolitan area, or in Lombardy: Valentino Mazzola, Renzo De Vecchi, Paolo Maldini, Giuseppe Meazza, Giacinto Facchetti, Gianni Rivera, Paolo Rossi, Luigi Riva, Gaetano Scirea, Giuseppe Bergomi, Walter Zenga, Antonio Cabrini, Roberto Donadoni, Gianluca Vialli, Silvio Piola, Virginio Rosetta, Giampiero Boniperti, Giuseppe Dossena, Gabriele Oriali, Giuseppe Signori, Ugo Locatelli, Giampiero Marini, Aristide Guarneri, Paolino Pulici, Marcello Lippi, Giovanni Trapattoni, Franco e Giuseppe Baresi, Luigi Cevenini, Virgilio e Giuseppe Fossati, Giovanni Ferrari...

After Gretzky's induction, the NHL declared that he would be the last one to have the waiting period omitted. Both teams play at Giuseppe Meazza - San Siro Stadium (85,700). In 1999 Wayne Gretzky became the last player to have the three years waived. Milan is the only city in Europe whose teams have won both the European Cup and the Intercontinental Cup. However, only 10 individual have been honoured in this manner. Milan and Internazionale. In the past, if a player was deemed significant enough, the pending period would be waived. Football is the most important sport in Italy, and Milan is home to 2 world-famous football teams: A.C.

Three years after retirement, players are eligible to be voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Prices are based on time elapsed and distance traveled. The National Hockey League presents numerous trophies per year; some are given to teams, and other are given to players. All taxis are the same color: white. If the penalized team is scored on during a minor penalty, the penalty immediately ends. Milan has an efficient Taxi service, operated by private companies and licensed by the City of Milan (Comune di Milano). A team is far more likely to score on a power play than during normal play. The "Passante ferroviario" is an underground railway serving a couple of "S" lines and is very much like another subway line (and is even marked as such on subway maps), except that it is connected to the FNME and Trenitalia suburban networks.

This is called a power play for the attackers and a penalty kill for the defenders. The Regional Railway Service ( "R"), instead, links Milan with the rest of Lombardy and the national railway system. Normally, hockey teams have five skaters (excluding the goaltender), so if one penalty is called, play becomes five-on-four. The Suburban Railway Service ( "S" Lines, a service similar to the French RER and German S-Bahn), composed of 8 suburban lines and 10 more scheduled for 2008, connects the "Greater Milan" to cities such as Como and Varese. In most cases, the penalized team cannot replace that player and is thus shorthanded for the duration of the penalty. At the end of the work, the TAV station for Milan to the east will be:. During a penalty, the player who committed the infraction is sent to the penalty box. A line from Milan to Venice and then to Trieste is under construction.

In the NHL, the Linesman may call major intent-to-injure penalties that the referee may have missed. The stations for the TAV (Treni ad Alta Velocità - High Speed Trains) will be:. A linesman may call only obvious technical infractions such as too many men on the ice. High speed train lines are under contruction all across Italy, and new lines will open from Milan to Rome and Naples, and from Milan to Torino. A referee makes all penalty calls. Three new stations for passenger service are under construction:. A penalty is a punishment for inappropriate behaviour. Milan is one of the most important railway hubs of Italy, and the 5 major stations of Milan are among Italy's busiest:.

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. The local transportation authority (ATM) transported more than 600 million passengers in 2003 . If the goalie on the side of the ice where the puck is being sent touches the puck, the icing is waved off. 93 bus lines cover over 1,070 km between them. A short handed team is not penalized for clearing the puck out of its zone during a powerplay. Greater Milan also has one of the most extensive tramway systems in the world, with more than 286 km of track, and 20 lines. Play is resumed with a faceoff in the defending zone of the team that committed the infraction. Lines 4 (linking downtown with Linate Airport) and 6 are in planning stages.

When icing occurs, a linesman stops play. Line 5 is also under construction, to be finished in the first half of 2008. 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. Extensions of lines 1, 2 and 3 are under construction, to create more than 15 km of track with 10 new stations. 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. Raffaele Hospital with the Cascina Gobba station (M2). When an offside violation occurs, the linesman blows play dead, and a faceoff is conducted in the neutral zone. Raffaele", connecting the S.

In ice hockey, play is said to be offside if a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the puck. There is also a light metro-service, "Metrò S. If the game is still tied after the three shootout rounds, the shootout continues, but becomes sudden death. Milan has 3 subway lines (M1 - red, M2 - green, M3 - yellow) and the system, called Milan Metro - "M", running for more than 80 km. The team with the most goals during this shootout wins the game. The main 3 airports of Milano (Malpensa, Linate and Orio) comprise the largest and most important hub in Italy, both for passengers and cargo. Three players for each team in turn perform a penalty shot. Vergiate, Bresso, and Parma are further airports in the region.

If the game is still tied at the end of overtime, the game enters a shootout. A third airport is Orio al Serio (BGY), close to the city of Bergamo. 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. Babila). The team that has the most goals at the end of 60 minutes wins the game. Milan also has the Linate Airport (LIN) within the city limits (for European and domestic traffic), connected with bus line 73 (from S. A goal is scored when the puck passes the goal line and enters the net. Malpensa was designed by the famous Ettore Sottsass.

It is used to judge goals and icing calls. The city has a large international airport known as Malpensa International Airport (MXP), located in the northern suburb of Busto Ariszio and connected to the downtown with the "Malpensa Express" railway service (from Cadorna Station). Near each end of the rink, there is a thin red goal line spanning the width of the ice. In the church Santa Maria delle Grazie can be found one of the most famous paintings of Leonardo da Vinci: The Last Supper (it: "Cenacolo"). They divide the ice into zones. The city is also the home of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. There are two blue lines that divide the rink roughly into thirds. The Biblioteca Ambrosiana contains drawings and notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci among its vast holdings of books, manuscripts, and drawings, and is one of the main repositories of European culture.

The red line is used to judge icing violations. Milan is one of the most important centres in the world for Opera lirica, with its famous Teatro alla Scala (La Scala, theatre). The red line divides the ice in half lengthwise. Cities in the 'World City Network'" (Key Findings, Full Report). The hockey rink is an ice rink which is rectangular with rounded corners and surrounded by a wall . Lang of the Brookings Institution in the economic report "U.S. Each team may also take one 30 second time-out which may only be taken during a normal stoppage of play. Taylor and Robert E.

Between stoppages of play, teams have 25 seconds before substituting their players except for referee stoppages for TV commercials. Milan was included in a list of ten "Alpha world cities" by Peter J. Between each period there is a 15 minute intermission. This new fairground, in the north-western suburb of Pero and Rho (opened in April 2005), is Europe's largest open construction project, making Fiera Milano the largest trade fair complex in the world. Each game is 60 minutes composed of three 20 minute periods. Fiera Milano, the city's Exhibition Center and Trade Fair complex, is one of the most important in the world. 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. Milan is the centre of much finance, the seat of the Italian Stock Exchange (la Borsa Valori) and its hinterland is an avant-garde industrial area.

The overtime is sudden death with the game ending when either team scores a goal. The city is 85% Italian, 4% from other EU countries, and the remainder include Romanian, Egyptian, Filipino, Sri Lankan, Chinese, and Albanian. 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. A small percentage comes from Latin America. If the score is tied at the end of an overtime period, additional overtime periods are played until a winner is determined. Many immigrants come from Asian and North African nations. During playoff games if the score is tied at the end of the third period an overtime period is played. Milan is a very diverse city, being the second largest city in Italy, but it is the most industrial and main financial centre of the country.

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. See also: Rulers of Milan. In each round the higher-ranked team is said to be the team with the home-ice advantage. After the war, the city was reconstructed and has again become an important financial and industrial centre of Italy. 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. When war in Italy was finally over, April 25, 1945, Milan was heavily damaged and entire neighborhoods such as Precotto and Turro were destroyed. 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 fact, Milan was part of Mussolini's Italian Social Republic puppet state, and an important command centre of the German Army stationed in Italy.

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. The city was bombed even after Pietro Badoglio surrendered to the allied forces in 1943. 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. As a critical industrial center of Italy, Milan was target of continuous carpet bombing during World War II. 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. In 1859 (after the second of the Wars of Italian Independence) Austrian rule was ended by the Kingdom of Sardinia (which transformed into the kingdom of Italy in 1861). 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. Milan eventually became one of the main centers of Italian nationalism, claiming independence and the unification of Italy.

At the end of the regular season, the team that finishes with the most points in each division is crowned the division champion. After this period, Milan was part of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia under Austrian rule. Points are awarded for each game as follows:. But the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars saw the city annexed into the French satellite states of the Cisalpine Republic, which later became the Kingdom of Italy. The two divisions from the opposite conference which each team plays against will be rotated every year, much like interleague play in baseball. In the 18th century Austria replaced Spain as Milan's overlord, because the Spanish line of Habsburgs died out. 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. After trying to conquer the rest of northern Italy in the 15th century, Milan was conquered by France, and then later on by Austria (Habsburg), then given in the early 16th century to the Spanish Habsburg line to rule.

Each team in the NHL plays 82 regular season games, 41 games at home and 41 on the road. During the Renaissance Milan was ruled by dukes of the Visconti and Sforza families, who had artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante at their service. For a list of previous teams see List of defunct NHL teams. During the Plague of 1349 Milan was one of the few places in Europe that was untouched by the epidemic, but it was deeply affected by the plagues of 1402 (50,000 deaths), 1542 (80,000), 1576 (17,000) and 1629 (also known as Great Plague of Milan, 70,000 deaths). Over the years many different organizations have existed. In the 11th century, after the Ostrogothic and Lombard periods, the city regained its importance and led other Italian cities in gaining semi-independence from the Holy Roman Empire. The National Hockey League currently has 30 teams divided into two conferences, and 6 divisions, an organization that started in the year 2000. His feast day is the 7th of Decmeber.

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. St Ambrose is now the Patron Saint of the city. Of those 15 games, 11 were in front of sell out crowds. At that time Milan was the second largest city in Europe, with more than 300,000 inhabitants. On October 5, 2005, the first post-lockout NHL season got under way with 15 games. In the 4th century CE, at the time of the bishop Saint Ambrose and emperor Theodosius I, the city was briefly the capital of the Western Roman Empire. 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. It is presumed Milan was originally founded by the Celts of Northern Italy around 600 BCE and was conquered around 222 BCE by the Romans, who gave it the name of Mediolanum.

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. . 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. Inhabitants of Milan are referred to as "Milanesi" and nicknamed "Meneghini". 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. Milan is also famous for the Alfa Romeo motorcar and for its silk production. The resulting collective bargaining agreement was set for renegotiation in 1998 and extended to September 15, 2004. Another famed product of the city is the traditional Christmas sweet cake called Panettone.

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. Indeed the English word milliner is derived from the name of the city. 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. Milan is one of the world capitals of fashion, like New York City, Paris, London and Rome, and design. There have been three work stoppages in NHL history, all happening between 1992 and 2005. The town is famous for fashion firms and shops (via Montenapoleone) and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele on the Piazza Duomo, reputed to be the world's oldest shopping mall. 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. The province comprises 188 communes, ranging in population (2001) from Milan Municipality (1,308,311) to Nosate (638); the city of Milan has lost 113,084 inhabitants (8.3 percent), from 1991 to 2001.

In 1993, the NHL added an additional two teams, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the Florida Panthers. Its province lies in the western part of Lombardy; it covers an area of 1,982 km2 and has a population of 3,839,818 (2004); in 1991, the population was 3,738,685. The San Jose Sharks debuted in 1991, a season later the Ottawa Senators would join the NHL along with the Tampa Bay Lightning. It comes from the Celtic Mid-lan (meaning "in the middle of the plain") and was known as Mediolanum by the Romans. In the early 90's the NHL expanded further with five new franchises. Milan's name has for many centuries been recorded as Mailand, which is still the German name of the city today. As of 2005, the Oilers are the last remaining original WHA franchise still playing in the city where they began in the NHL. The metropolitan area, called the Città Regione (The City Region) claims more than 9.4 million inhabitants (this is an ambitious definition of Milan's metropolitan area, perhaps not very comparable with figures claimed for metros outside Italy).

Four of the remaining six WHA teams merged with the NHL: The Hartford Whalers, Québec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers, and Winnipeg Jets. The city proper has about 1,308,311 inhabitants (2004), but the population of the urban area including the hinterland is about 4 million and is called La Grande Milano (Greater Milan, 1,981 square kilometres). The two leagues fought for the services of hockey players and fans until the WHA folded in 1979. Milan (Italian: Milano; Milanese dialect: Milán) is the main city in northern Italy, and is located in the plains of Lombardy, the most populated and developed region in Italy. The dilution of the talent pool, however, caused the overall quality of play to suffer.
. 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. Toronto, Canada.

Though it never challenged for the Stanley Cup, its status as a viable NHL rival was unquestionable. Thessaloniki, Greece. In 1972, the World Hockey Association (WHA) was formed. Tel Aviv, Israel. Three years later, the NHL added the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres as franchises. Tianjin, China. Louis Blues, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Oakland Seals, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Shanghai, China.

They were the Philadelphia Flyers, St. São Paulo, Brazil. Six new teams were added to the NHL roster, and placed in their own newly-created division. Saint Petersburg, Russia. 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. Osaka, Japan. 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. Melbourne, Australia.

However, the Great Depression took a toll on the league; teams such as the Pirates, Americans and Ottawa Senators folded. Lyon, France. By the end of the 1930-31 season, the NHL featured a total of 10 teams. Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Canadian additions included the Montreal Maroons and Hamilton Tigers. Dakar, Senegal. 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. Krakow, Poland.

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. Chicago, Illinois, United States. (The 1918-19 competition was cancelled because of the Spanish Flu epidemic that had hit Seattle). Boston, Massachusetts, United States. 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. Birmingham, Great Britain, Birmingham's Partner City page. 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. Bethlehem, Palestine.

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. Radio 24. On January 2, 1918, the Westmount Arena in Montreal, home to the Wanderers and Canadiens, was destroyed in a fire. Radio 105. The NHL endured a rocky inaugural season in 1917-18, starting with the temporary shuttering of the Bulldogs. R101. 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. Radio Deejay (National Hdq).

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. Sky Italia (National Hdq). The owners met in Montreal's Windsor Hotel to consider the league's future on February 11, 1917. MTV (South-Europe Hdq). Livingstone and the owners of the other teams. RAI (Milan Regional Hdq). 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. Mediaset (National Hdq).

. Focus (monthly). The NHL is one of the major professional sports leagues of North America.

. Explora (monthly). It is generally regarded as the premier professional ice hockey league in the world. AnnaBella (weekly). 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). Marie Claire (weekly).

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. Oggi (weekly). Jennings Trophy (1982 - present) -- goalkeeper(s) for the team with the fewest goals against them. TV Sorrisi & Canzoni (weekly). William M. La Settimana Enigmistica (weekly). Vezina Trophy (1927 - present) -- voted to be the most outstanding goaltender. Panorama (weekly).

Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award (2000 - present) -- best save percentage by a goalkeeper. Metro (daily). NHL Plus/Minus Award (1968 - present) -- highest plus/minus statistic. La Gazzetta dello Sport (daily, sports only). Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy (1999 - present) -- to the goal-scoring leader during the regular season. La Padania (daily). Pearson Award (1971 - present) -- most outstanding player as selected by peers. Milano Finanza (daily).

Lester B. Il Sole 24 Ore (daily). Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1925 - present) -- player combining ability and sportsmanship. Libero (daily). King Clancy Memorial Trophy (1988 - present) -- leadership and humanitarian contribution. Il Giornale (daily). James Norris Memorial Trophy (1954 - present)-- most outstanding defenceman. Il Giorno (daily).

Jack Adams Award (1974 - present) -- coach of the year. Corriere della Sera (daily). Hart Memorial Trophy (1924 - present) -- most valuable player during the regular season. Nuovo Giuriati - Rugby - 4,000. Selke Trophy (1978 - present) -- top defensive forward. Agorà - Ice Hockey - 4,000. Frank J. PalaLido - Basket - 5,000.

Conn Smythe Trophy (1965 - present) -- most valuable player during the playoffs. Velodromo Vigorelli - Cycling, American Football - 12,000. Calder Memorial Trophy (1933 - present) -- rookie of the year. MazdaPalace - Basket, Volley - 13,500. Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1968 - present) -- perseverance and sportsmanship. Forum di Assago - Basket, Ice Hockey, Volley, Music - 13,000 to 16,000. Art Ross Memorial Trophy (1948 - present) -- regular season league scoring champion. Ippodromo del Galoppo - Horse Racing - 15,000.

The O'Brien Trophy was awarded in the NHL before it was retired following the 1949-50 NHL season. Ippodromo del Trotter - Horse Racing - 16,000. Presidents' Trophy (1986 - present) - best regular season by a team. Brianteo - Athletic, Football - 18,568. Prince of Wales Trophy -- Eastern conference playoff champion. Arena Civica - Athletic, Rugby, Football, 30,000. Campbell Bowl -- Western conference playoff champion. San Siro - only football - 85,700.

Clarence S. Autodromo Nazionale Monza - car and motorcycle racing - 137,000. Stanley Cup -- overall playoff champion. Past winners include Tacchini, Kodes, Panatta, Barazzutti, Moreno, Borg, Smid, Lendl, Forget, Curier, Ivanisevic, Kafelnikov, and Coira. Zero points for a loss in regulation time. The central court has a capacity of 8000. One point for losing in overtime or a shootout. It is the most important youth tournament in the world, and is played at the Milan Tennis Club.

Two points are awarded for a win. Every year, Milan hosts the Bonfiglio Trophy Under 18 Tennis Tournament. They play at the Agora Stadium (capacity 4,500) during the regular season, and at the Forum during playoffs . The Vipers Milano have won the last 4 national championships, the Alpenliga and several Coppa Italia, and are the leaders of that sport in Italy. Different ice hockey teams from Milan have won 30 National Championships between them.

The Amatory Rugby Club Milano have won 18 National Championships and are the most famous and important Rugby team in Italy. Olimpia play at the Forum (capacity 14,000). It is the most important Italian team and one of the top 5 in Europe. Olimpia Milano is a successful European basketball team that have won 3 European Cups, a World Cup, 3 Winners' Cups, 2 Korac Cups and 25 National Championships.

The capacity for the F1 races is around 137,000 spectators. It one of the world's oldest car racing circuits, and one of the most famous. The famous Monza Formula One circuit is located in the suburbs. Milano Pioltello.

Milano Certosa and Milano/Rho Fiera (for the west). Milano Rogoredo (for the south). Milano/Rho Fiera. Milano Tibaldi.

Milano Romolo. Milano Smistamento/Scalo Farini (cargo-trains). Milano Certosa (passenger station). Milano Porta Romana (passenger and cargo station).

Milano San Cristoforo (passenger and cargo station). Milano Greco (passenger station). Milano Rogoredo (passenger station and cargo station). Milano Lambrate (passenger station).

Milano P.ta Garibaldi (passenger station). Milano Centrale (passenger station - the second busiest Italian station). I.S.E.F. Istituto Europeo di Design.

Verdi" di Milano. Conservatorio Superiore "G. Accademia delle Belle Arti di Brera. Beato Angelico.

L.U.C. Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele. Università C.Cattaneo L.I.U.C. Università I.U.L.M.

Scuola Superiore di Direzione Aziendale - Bocconi. Università Bocconi. Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. Università Statale Milano-Bicocca.

Università Statale. Politecnico di Milano. Verdi. Teatro Studio.

Franco Parenti. Porta Romana. L'Elfo. Out Off.

Olmetto. Litta. Filodrammatici. Della 14a.

Ciak. Smeraldo. San Babila. Piccolo Teatro di Milano.

Nuovo Piccolo Teatro. Nuovo. Ventaglio Nazionale. Manzoni.

CRT - Teatro dell'Arte. Teatro Carcano. Teatro Lirico. Piccolo teatro.

Arcimboldi. Teatro alla Scala. Museo del Risorgimento. Museo di Storia Contemporanea.

Museo di Milano. Museo Archeologico. Museo delle Arti Decorative. Museo degli Strumenti Musicali.

Museo Bagatti Valsecchi. Galleria Vinciana. Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica "Leonardo da Vinci". Museo di Storia Naturale.

Padiglione di Arte Contemporanea. Museo Teatro alla Scala. Palazzo Reale. Museo d’Arte Antica.

Museo della Preistoria e Protostoria. Museo Poldi Pezzoli. Museo Egizio. Castello Sforzesco.

Triennale di Milano. Galleria d'Arte Moderna. Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Pinacoteca di Brera.

Fuksas (in Rho-Pero). New Milan Fair Complex of M. Pirelli Tower (seat of Lombardy Region and the highest italian skyscraper). Velasca Tower.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Palazzo Serbelloni. Central Station (the biggest Italian station). Teatro alla Scala.

Palazzo Reale. Palazzo della Ragione. Ca' Granda (University of Milan). Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle).

Duomo. "The Needle and the Yarn" in Piazza Cadorna. Leonardo da Vinci's Horse Statue at Hippodrome. Archi di Porta Nuova.

Roman amphitheatre (scant remains). Leonardo's monument in Piazza della Scala. San Carlo Borromeo in Piazza Borromeo. Oldrado da Trasseno del Palazzo della Ragione.

Napoleone of Canova in Brera. Monumento Cinque Giornate. Mazzini's monument in Piazza della Repubblica. Fontana del Piermarini in Piazza Fontana.

Disc of Pomodoro. Colonne di San Lorenzo. Alessandro Manzoni in Piazza San Fedele. Santo Stefano Maggiore.

San Simpliciano. San Sebastiano. Santa Maria presso San Satiro. Basilica di San Nazaro Maggiore.

Santa Maria del Carmine. Santuario di Santa Maria dei Miracoli. San Marco. Basilica di San Lorenzo Pirelli Tower, Milan .

Basilica di Sant'Eustorgio. San Bernardino alle Ossa. San Babila. Santa Maria delle Grazie (with Leonardo's "Last Supper").

Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio. Sant'Alessandro. Duomo (Milan cathedral). Aermacchi.

Mediobanca. Banca Intesa. Ferrovie Nord Milano. Eni.

Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore. Corriere della Sera/RCS. Bugatti.

Mediaset. Motta. Alfa Romeo. Alemagna.

Fiera Milano. Telecom Italia. Pirelli. Gianni Versace.

Prada. Dolce & Gabbana. Giorgio Armani.

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