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This North American based ice hockey league has teams which are found in Canada and America. It has the third highest attendance figures in the world for spectators who flock to watch the sport live.
About the National Hockey League (NHL)
The NHL has 31 teams in total, seven from Canada and 24 from America. It was initially based in Canada but expanded to America in 1924. The central NHL started in 1942 and originally comprised of just six teams who are the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New York Hawks, the Chicago Black Hawks, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. The culmination of the season is the Stanley Cup which is awarded to the winners of the NHL playoffs. The Stanley Cup is undoubtedly the oldest ever trophy awarded to professional sportsmen and women in the world.
Players in the NHL
The game of ice hockey within the NHL was initially confined to North American players only. However, in recent times, many players from Europe have joined the teams. This changed the play to include a more European style which became integrated with the previous North American style. Many of the more successful players in the NHL have been European and include Henrik Lundqvist, Eric Karlsson and Henrik Sedin.
Wayne Gretzky, a professional Canadian ice hockey player, is perhaps one of the most famous players of all time. Wayne played for four different teams in total between 1979 and 1999. He was granted admission to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999.