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About NHL

Foundation and Early Years

Hockey is one of the most thrilling major league sports, an exciting combination of the amazing skill of the players, the raw passion of the crowd, and the physicality of this intense sport! Get the full experience of a hockey game by ordering your cheap NHL tickets here!

Founded originally in 1917, the origins of the National Hockey League go back much further to the creation of the National Hockey Association in 1909. Documented as the first major league in professional hockey, the association originally only consisted of seven Canadian teams. By 1917 several team owners were disputing over the operations of the association, which is when the majority of them broke out suspending the NHA and creating the NHL. The new league competed with other professional hockey organizations every year for the oldest trophy in North American sports history, the Stanley Cup. The NHL won their first Stanley Cup in 1919 when the then Toronto Blueshirts secured a victory over the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHA. By 1926 the NHL was the only league remaining in professional hockey, symbolizing the start of the Stanley Cup being awarded to only the champion within the league.

Expansion and Original Six Era

Throughout the 1920’s the league began an expansion project that included adding in over eight teams to the league, including the first American team- the Boston Bruins in 1924. Like much of the world during the Great Depression and the second World War, the National Hockey League took a major hit. Several teams collapsed due to the lack of funding and players, reducing the number of teams in the league down to just six. For the next twenty-five years the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs were the only teams in the league. From 1967-1974 the league embarked on their first expansion efforts since the 1920’s when they added the original six. All teams were added as an attempt to block out competing leagues from entering into those markets, taking interest away from the National Hockey League.

NHL Today

Throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s the league saw the addition of over ten teams including the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators, and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Most recently the league added the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017, expanding the league to 31 total teams. In 2021 the league is expected to expand once again to 32 teams with the addition of a team based out of Seattle. Today the league spans across the United States with twenty-four teams and Canada with seven teams. The league divides the teams into the Eastern and Western Conference, each having their own respective divisions.

Season Format

Every game of the regular season lasts 60 minutes, broken out into three 20-minute periods. At the end of the game if there is a tie between the teams they then move on to overtime, which consists of a five-minute-long period playing three-on-three with the first to score a goal the winner of the game. If the extra five minute appears to not be enough they then move on to a shootout where three players from each team take their shot one on one with the goaltender. After the initial three shots are taken from each team the shootout either ends or continues based on the number of goals scored. During the post season the format of the game remains the same except for overtime. In the playoffs the overtime period lasts for 20 minutes, and there is no shootout. Meaning that the play continues for 20 minute period intervals until the first team scores.

Attend a Game Today!

See some of the best hockey teams of today, like the Red Wings, the Canadiens, the Bruins, the Islanders, the Penguins, and the Blackhawks. Hockey fans are some of the most passionate sports fans. Anything can set them into a frenzy, from amazing goals to aggressive checking to sometimes just the wrong look. There's nothing like the energy and electricity at a hockey game. At an NHL game, you can participate in some of the league's strange traditions — like when Red Wing fans throw an octopus on the ice! To experience it for yourself, get your cheap NHL tickets here!

NHL Playoffs

Of course, throughout the season, coaches, players, and fans are all thinking about the NHL finals. The playoffs normally kick off in April with eight teams from each conference competing in an elimination style tournament of seven games. Lasting well into June, the tournament ends with a face off between the two conference champions with the winner going home with the Stanley Cup. Cheap Stanley Cup tickets and cheap Winter Classic tickets sell out quickly, so get your tickets to the NHL's greatest games here today!

2021 NHL Season

The 2021 NHL season started on January 13, 2021. The season was shortened with each team playing 56 regular season games ending in mid-May, 2021. The Stanley Cup Playoffs featured 16 teams each playing in best-of-seven game series that concluded in July. Due to the circumstances at that time, most teams decided to start the season without fans in attendance. Tampa Bay Lighting and Florida Panthers were the first teams to allow fans in a limited capacity. The Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, Pittsburgh Penguins and more featured fans later in the season along with other teams. Find tickets to can't miss NHL games on CheapTickets.

2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs featured a unique formation of play as a result of the environment the pandemic posed at the time. A Canada-only division caused all U.S.-based teams to realign into three other divisions. It was determined that the top four teams from each division would earn a playoff berth.

The 16 teams advancing to the NHL Playoffs included the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers, and the reigning Stanley Cup Campion Tampa Bay Lightning.

The first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs consisted of intra-division play with a series featuring No. 1 and No. 4 seeds with another featuring No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. The winners coming out of these series faced off, with that winner awarded advancement to the Stanley Cup semi-finals. The semifinals then featured a re-sorting of the seeds based on their respective regular season records. The Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning ultimately battled it out for the crowning achievement of hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup, with the Lightning coming out on top! Get the best seats and the cheapest seats to the NHL Playoffs at CheapTickets.

Millions of people tune in from their homes to watch NHL games, but watching a game on TV is nothing compared to being there yourself! Get your cheap NHL tickets here today for one of the most memorable sports experiences in your life! Throw on your team's sweatshirt, get a beer on your way into the arena, and join thousands of fans cheering along your team.

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NHL Quick Facts

Current Stanley Cup Champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Commissioner: Gary Bettman
Established: 1917
Most Titles: Montreal Canadiens (25 titles)

Frequently Asked Questions About NHL

What is the best way to buy NHL tickets?

NHL game tickets are ready for purchase on CheapTickets once the schedule is announced for the upcoming season. The best time to purchase tickets are before the game, check the NHL game schedule to find the game your want to attend and get your tickets!

How long do NHL games last?

The average NHL game usually lasts around two hours, that includes the three periods and breaks in between.

How many NHL games are in a season?

There are about 82 NHL games for each NHL team in every season, depending on the year.

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