March 7, 2009

NHL Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division: Team Profiles and Map.

Filed under: Hockey-NHL, pre-realignm't — admin @ 7:41 pm


The National Hockey League’s Atlantic Division is the only division in the league made up entirely of teams that have won a Stanley Cup Title.  

The New York Rangers were formed in 1926 as an expansion team (along with the Chicago Black Hawks and the Detroit Cougars) and are the oldest team in the Atlantic Division.  The Rangers were formed one year after the now-defunct New York Americans first brought pro hockey to midtown Manhattan.  Tex Rickard,  the boxing promoter who built and ran the third Madison Square Garden, (at W 50th St. and 8th Avenue),  decided he wanted to run a hockey team as well in New York City,  and the New York press soon nicknamed the fledgling franchise ”Tex’s Rangers”.  With the aid of Pacific Coast Hockey Association co-founder Les Francis,  the Rangers won their first Stanley Cup Title in just their second season,  in 1927.

The Rangers have won 4 Stanley Cup Titles,  but endured a 54-year cup drought,  with no titles won between their 1940 and their 1994 championships.   Led by veteran cup-winners Mark Messier and Brian Leetch,  the 1993-’94 Rangers rallied from 2 games down versus the New Jersey Devils in the semifinals,  and then won the 1994 Stanley Cup Title in 7 games over the Cinderella-team ,  7th seed Vancouver Canucks. 

The next oldest clubs in the Atlantic Division are the two Pennsylvania franchises,  the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Both were formed in 1967, when the NHL doubled in size from 6 to 12 teams.  

The golden age of the Philadelphia Flyers was in the early half of the 1970′s,  when the brawling Broad Street Bullies won back-to-back Stanley Cup Titles,  in 1974 and 1975.  The Flyers have remained competitive in the years since then,  but have come up short in 5 Stanley Cup Finals,  most recently in 1997,  when they were shut out by the Detroit Red Wings.  The Philadelphia Flyers draw so well that they are able to have their top minor league affiliate,  the Philadelphia Phantoms,  play right next door.

The Pittsburgh Penguins also won their Stanley Cup Titles in successive years,  in 1991 and 1992.  The Penguins have endured some lean years since then,  including bankruptcy in 1998.  17-year player and prolific scoring legend Mario Lemieux (Wikipedia profile here} was one of the club’s biggest creditors,  and was able to put together a plan that the NHL Board of Governors and the US Bankruptcy Court approved.  Lemieux bought the Penguins, then came out of retirement to play as player/owner of the Penguins from 2000 to 2006.  In 2005,  it was reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  that all of the franchise’s $90 million debt was paid.  Lemieux remains as principal owner.  Last season the Penguins finally made it to back to the Stanley Cup Finals,  but lost to Detroit 2 games to 4.

The New York Islanders were formed as one of two expansion teams in 1972 (along with the Atlanta Flames).  In just their third season (1974-’75),  the Islanders made it to the semifinals.   Led by their first line of Mike Bossy,  Bryan Trottier,  and Clark Gilles,  the Islanders won 4 consecutive Stanley Cup Titles,  from 1980 to 1983.  The Islanders remained competitive for the remainder of the 1980′s,  but then began a decline which the franchise has never really come out of.  These days the New York Islanders languish near the bottom of the table,  and are perennially the lowest drawing club in the league. 

The New Jersey Devils are the youngest hockey club in the division,  beginning as the Kansas City Scouts,  in 1974.  The Scouts were one of two expansion teams for 1974 (along with the Washington Capitals).  The team had real trouble attracting season ticket buyers (with just 2,000 in 1975-’76),  and were forced to move to Denver,  Colorado in 1976,  after just two seasons in Missouri.  The Colorado Rockies continued the franchise’s dismal showing on the ice.  For a number of years,  the franchise tried to move again,  to New Jersey,  but the NHL Board blocked the move until a suitable arena was in place.  That came about in 1982.  The New Jersey Devils continued the franchise’s sub-.500 ways,  although the team improved every year from 1984 to 1987.  In 1987-’88,  the Devils achieved the 13-year-old franchise’s first winning season,  and their second playoff appearance.  It took 7 more seasons for the New Jersey Devils to win their first Stanley Cup Title,  in 1995,  with a shutout of the Detroit Red Wings.  The Devils went on to win the Stanley Cup again in 2000 (4-2 over the Dallas Stars) and in 2003 (4-3 over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim).

Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here}.    Thanks to Jersey Database site {click here (set to the JerseyDatabase blog section)}.   Thanks to Logo Shak {click here}.   Thanks to the NHL shop {click here}.   Thanks to Stadium Classics/NHL jerseys {click here}.   Thanks to Gameday Sports Archive (NHL throwback jerseys) {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {NHL page here}.

February 20, 2009

NHL Eastern Conference, Northeast Division: Map and Team Profiles.

Filed under: Hockey-NHL, pre-realignm't — admin @ 10:27 am


The National Hockey League’s Northeast Division features the two oldest professional hockey clubs still in existence…the Montreal Canadiens (founded in 1909),  and the Toronto Maple Leafs (founded in 1917).  One team in the division,  the Boston Bruins,  were formed as expansion team in 1924 (becoming the first American team in the league).   The Buffalo Sabres were formed as an expansion team in 1970;  and the second Ottawa Senators were formed as an expansion team in 1992,  marking a return of the NHL to Canada’s national capital,  after a 58-year absence.

The Montreal Canadiens are hands down the most storied and successful hockey team in the world.  The hockey club has won 24 Stanley Cup Titles;  their first Cup win actually predates the NHL.  This was in 1916,  when they represented the National Hockey Association (1910-1917).  The Canadiens defeated the Pacific Coast Hockey Association’s Portland Rosebuds to win the title.  The following year,  the NHA gave way to the NHL (basically to exclude the divisive Toronto Blueshirts ownership).  Les Canadiens  had become the de-facto club of the French-speaking population in the Montreal area;  while the Montreal Wanderers,  then the Montreal Maroons,  became the hockey club of the English-speaking citizens of the region. 

The Canadiens didn’t become a dominant force in the NHL initially,  though.  The club had “only” won 5 Stanley Cup Titles by 1946.   But they owned the post-war era…they won 5 straight Stanley Cups from 1956 to 1960;  they won 5 Stanley Cup Titles in the 1960′s,  and 6 Stanley Cup Titles in the 1970′s.  However,  since then the Canadiens have only won 2 Stanley Cup Titles,  in 1986,  and their last,  in 1993.   Surprisingly,  though,  the Montreal Canadiens have produced the second-most players in the Hockey Hall of Fame,  with 42  (Toronto has produced 54 players in the Hall of Fame,  which is in,  you guessed it,  Toronto).

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the most famous sports team in the world that has a misspelling in their name,  as the plural of ’leaf’ is ‘leaves’.  They have not won a Stanley Cup Title since 1967,  which is pretty amazing,  when one considers the fact that the Leafs’ headquarters is in the same building that the NHL’s home office is.  That is not to say they are not a success,  though,  as they have a thirty-year success rate in keeping NHL hockey out of Hamilton, Ontario  (which is 50 miles west of Toronto),  for fear of actual competition for their fan base.  Here is an article about how the former owner,  Harold Ballard,  held the team back  {Click here}.  Currently,  the Toronto Maple Leafs are owned by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Ltd.,  58% of which is controlled by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan  {see this}.  This makes the situation one in which “excessive” (read: competitive) expenditures for talent is avoided.  In other words,  the Maple Leafs ownership doesn’t want to “waste” money trying to spend to build a champiopnship-calibre team…why should they,  when:  A. the pensions of thousands of school teachers are riding on the financial stability of the hockey team,  and B. there is a captive,  hockey-hungry fan base in southern Ontario willing to go to games,  even if the Leafs have no chance of making the playoffs (which is again the situation this year),  and C. there is no relegation and promotion system,  like in  European,  and most of the world’s,  football (aka soccer) leagues. 

Basically,  the Ontario Teachers’ Union has latched on to a machine that prints money.  Because the Toronto NHL franchise’s games will always sell out,  no matter how bad the team is.  Good for education in this part of Canada,  bad for hockey.  Because it is a real problem for the state of pro hockey in North America if the sole team from the biggest city in Canada is institutionally unwilling to pursue a championship.

The Boston Bruins also have had a long layover since last hoisting the Stanley Cup in victory… 36 years.  And for some reason,  they have been drawing rather poorly in the last few years,  even this season,  when the team is doing very well. 

The Buffalo Sabres have never won the Stanley Cup (but don’t get me started on this,  which was the clearly illegitimate winning goal that the Dallas Stars’ Brett Hull scored on Buffalo in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals).  My love for the plucky Sabres is not diminished by the fact that management decided that their club would be best represented by a bison that seems to have been born without appendages,  resembling a horned bannana slug.

The Ottawa Senators are the newest team in the Northeast division,  having been formed in 1992.  They also have never won the Stanley Cup Title,  but they did make it to the Finals in 2007,  losing to the Anaheim Ducks in 5 games.   The Senators existence is important to hockey fans in Canada,  as it went against the trend (led by commissioner Gary Bettman) of putting hockey franchises where they don’t belong (ie, where it doesn’t snow).  And Ottawa’s ability to constantly sell out their arena stands in direct contrast to all these other new teams in the American south,  southwest,  and midwest.  Currently,  the Senators are playing to 106% capacity,  and this is an off-year for the hockey club,  both in terms of performance and gate figures.




2008-2009 average attendances,  {Click here}.  First off,  Chicago’s figures are inflated via the outdoor game at Wrigley Field,  which drew 40, 818.  If you subtract that game from their average,  as of February 17th,  Chicago’s average attendance is 21,708 per game…amazingly,  still good enough for first.  Evidently,  there is a long-overdue hockey renaissance in the Windy City.  I remember seeing earlier this season (in SI magazine) the report that Blackhawks management had finally loosened their restrictions on local broadcasts of their home games.  This,  plus the buzz around the outdoor game,  plus,  of course,  the vast improvement in the Blackhawks squad,  have all contributed to the huge increase in home crowds…an increase of around 4,900 per game (up from 16,814 per game in 2007-2008,  which was 19th best).

Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page  {Click here}.   Thanks to the NHL shop  {Click here}.   Thanks to Logo Shak  {Click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the relevant pages at Wikipedia  {Click here,  for the page on the NHL}.   Thanks to my cousin Gary,  for cluing me in on the ownership structure of the Toronto Maple Leafs.   Thanks to the JerseyDatabase site {click here}.

January 12, 2009

NHL Eastern Conference, Southeast Division: Map and Team Profiles.

Filed under: Hockey-NHL, pre-realignm't — admin @ 11:06 am


The National Hockey League’s Southeast Division is made up entirely of expansion teams,  although one team,  the Carolina Hurricanes,  has its origins in the World Hockey Association.

The Washington Capitals were one of two teams formed by the NHL,  for the 1974-1975 season (the other expansion team that season was the Kansas City Scouts,  who are now the New Jersey Devils).  The creation of the WHA in 1972,  and the NHL’s subsequent expansion (4 teams in 3 years),  meant the pro hockey talent pool had been thinned out considerably by 1974,  and the expansion Capitals set the record for the worst-ever season by an NHL team,  with a .131 winning percentage (8-67-5).  Since those poor first few seasons,  the Capitals have stabilzed as a relatively competitive franchise,  but the Capitals have no Stanley Cup Titles.  Washington did make it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998,  but were swept by the defending champions,  the Detroit Red Wings. 

The Hartford Whalers joined the NHL as one of the four former WHA teams,  in the 1979-1980 season.  17 years later,  the hockey club was unable to secure new facilities,  and moved south,  in 1997,  to become the Carolina Hurricanes.  After several seasons of mediocre play and horrible attendance,  the Hurricanes built up a respectable fan base and became competitve.  They made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002,  losing to the Detroit Red Wings 1 game to 4.  Four seasons later, in 2006, the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup Title,  defeating the Edmonton Oilers in 7 games. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning were formed for the 1992-1993 season.  The hockey club went through a nightmare first decade,  and were deep in debt by the turn of the century.  In 2000-20001,  they became the first NHL team ever to post 5 straight 50-loss seasons.  New ownership and management resulted in a stunning tunaround for the Lightning,  though,  and the team,  led by a host of young talent,  stunned the hockey world by winning the Stanley Cup Title in 2004. 

A year after Tampa Bay joined the NHL,  the league added another team in the state:  the Florida Panthers,  who were formed for the 1993-1994 season (along with he Mighty Ducks of Anaheim).   The Panthers have no Stanley Cup Titles,  but made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996,  in just their third season,  losing to the Colorado Avalanche in a 4 game sweep.

The Atlanta Thrashers were formed for the 1999-2000 season,  marking a return of NHL hockey to Atlanta, Georgia after a 17-year absence.  The Atlanta Flames had existed for 8 seasons,  before seeing the light,  and moving to Western Canada to become the Calgary Flames.  Hopefully history wiill repeat itself,  and this hockey club will finally realize that ice hockey basically has no place in the Deep South,  the land of NASCAR,  and will move up north to a more deserving locale,  like,  say,  Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,  or Kitchener, Ontario.  A place where kids actually play ice hockey.

It seems this wish,  for Canada getting another NHL franchise,  may come true,  thanks to the sorry state of the economy…{see this, from On Frozen Blog : How About a Depression-Led Realignment ?  from January 11, 2009. }. [Note: the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 2011 to become the Winnipeg Jets (II).]

Thanks to the contributors to the pages on NHL team on Wikipedia  {Click here}. 

Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page  {Click here}.   Thanks to shop {Click here}.   Thanks to NHL  {Click here}.

December 30, 2008

NHL Western Conference, Central Division: Map and Team Profiles.

Filed under: Hockey-NHL, pre-realignm't — admin @ 4:29 pm


The National Hockey League’s Central Division has two teams that date back to the 1926-1927 season…the Chicago Black Hawks and the Detroit Cougars  (Detroit adopted the Red Wings nickname in 1932;  Chicago changed the spelling of their nickname to one word in 1986).

The Detroit Red Wings have won 11 Stanley Cup Titles,  and won the 2008 Title,  making them cup-holders  {see this: Traditions and anecdotes,  from Wikipedia}.  The Red Wings have won 4 Titles in the last 12 seasons.   The Chicago Blackhawks are a far less successful franchise,  with just 3 Stanley Cup Titles.  Chicago has not won a Stanley Cup Title since 1961  (they did make it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992,  but were shut out by the Pittsburgh Penguins).  


The Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings will square off in an outdoor hockey game,  in what the NHL calls the Winter Classic,  on January the 1st,  at Wrigley Field,  home of the Chicago Cubs baseball club.  Here is the site associated with the game  {Click here ( Event home) }.  

{Click here, for the webcam showing preparations at Wrigley Field.  (Note:  there is a nice video feature called ‘Wrigley Rink Build’ on this page,  to the right of the center screen,  and three boxes down.) }

The previous two NHL-regular season outdoor games were held in gridiron football stadiums,  the original match at Commonwealth Stadium,  in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada,  on November 22, 2003.   The game was between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens,  with the Canadiens winning 4-3,  in front of 57,167 fans.  The temperature  was -18 Celsius (zero degrees Fahrenheit),  with a wind chill of minus 22 Fahrenheit.    Here is an account of the game from the ESPN archives  {Click here}.


5 years later,  the Buffalo Sabres hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at Rich Stadium,  in Orchard Park, NY,  home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.  The Penguins beat the Sabres 2-1,  with rising star Sidney Crosby scoring the winning goal in the overtime shootout.  71,217 attended the game (an NHL record,  surpassing the Edmonton-Montreal outdoor game 5 years earlier).  The temperature was 0.5 degrees Celsius (33 degrees Fahrenheit) with intervals of light snow falling throughout the game.   The teams wore vintage uniforms,  with the Penguins sporting powder blue uniforms for the first time since 1973,  and the Sabres in their original colors of white,  royal blue,  and yellow.   Here is an account of the game from  {Click here}.  Here is a 30-second home video posted on Youtube showing the crowd {Click here}.



The weather is a concern for the January 1st game in Chicago  {see this (Yahoo Sports, from Dec. 27) }.  


The remaining 3 teams in the NHL  Western Conference, Central Division are the St. Louis Blues (established for the 1967-1968 season),  the Nashville Predators (established for the 1998-1999 season),  and the Columbus Blue Jackets (established for the 2000-2001 season).   There are no Stanley Cup Titles between these three hockey clubs,  although the St. Louis Blues made it to the Stanley Cup Finals three straight seasons (their first three seasons),  from 1968 to 1970…The West Division was made up of all expansion teams from the 1967-1968 season,  and the imbalance in talent between the new hockey teams and the ‘Original Six’ teams in the East Division was shown by the fact that the St. Louis Blues were shut out zero games to 4 games in three straight Stanley Cup Finals.   Speaking of weak expansion teams,  the Columbus Blue Jackets have never made the playoffs in their eight seasons of existence.   The Nashville Predators are pretty competitive,  though,  and have made the playoffs the last 4 seasons (losing in the first round each time).


From the Jersey Database site’s blog, here is an article called ‘The complete jersey history of the Detroit Red Wings’ {click here}.

Thanks to the NHL shop at  {Click here}.   Thanks to NHL site {Click here}.   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page  {Click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the Wikipedia pages on the NHL {Click here}.

December 26, 2008

NHL Western Conference, Northwest Division: Map and Team Profiles (with synopsis of the PCHA, the WCHL, and the WHA).

Filed under: Hockey-NHL, pre-realignm't — admin @ 4:18 pm


The National Hockey League did not have a presence in Canada’s western provinces until the Vancouver Canucks were awarded a franchise for the 1970-1971 season.   However,  there are Stanley Cup Title winners from Western Canada,  and the American Pacific Northwest,  dating back to 1915.

The Pacific Coast Hockey Association (or PCHA)  was a small,  but innovative league that existed from 1912 to 1924.  The Patrick brothers,  Lester {see this} and Frank {see this},  were the creators of this league,  which originally featured just 3 teams in British Columbia, Canada…the Vancouver Millionaires,  the New Westminster Royals,  and the Victoria Aristocrats.  

The Patrick family had just come into a fortune,  after selling their lumber business to a British concern,  and the Patrick brothers convinced their father to invest in their hockey league venture.  

The warm climate of the Canadian Pacific coast necessitated the building of artificial ice rinks.  The arena in Vancouver that the Patricks built,  called the Denman Street Arena,  had a 10,500 capacity,  remarkable for a city that then had a population of just around 100,000.  It was at that time the largest ice hockey arena in the world.   Another innovation made by the Patrick brothers was the creation of the blue line,  the first step in the evolution of  the modern offside rule for hockey.  They pioneered the use of player’s numbers on uniforms.  They first began recording assists on goals.  They invented hockey’s penalty shot.  Finally,  the Patricks first introduced the concept of a post-season playoff format,  in 1918. 

By 1915,  the trustees of the Stanley Cup decided to allow PCHA teams to compete for Stanley Cup challenge matches.  That same year,  the Vancouver Millionaires,  led by Frank Patrick,  defeated the original Ottawa Senators 3 games to zero,  to win the Stanley Cup Title.


The PCHA had expanded to include American teams in 1914 (first in Portland, Oregon;  then in Seattle, Washington;  and later in Spokane, Washinmgton).   In 1917,  the PCHA’s Seattle Metropolitans defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3 games to 1,  to win the Stanley Cup Title.   This was the first Stanley Cup Title won by a team from the United States.

The PCHA was able to achieve its high level of competitive play so quickly because of its raids on east-coast talent,  circa 1911-1914.  Several players who went on to become members of the Hockey Hall of Fame,  like “Cyclone” Taylor,  and Newsy Lalonde,  joined PCHA teams,  and Taylor was instrumental in the Vancouver Millionaires’ 1915 Stanley Cup Title.

The Western Canada Hockey League (or WCHL) was established in 1921,  designed to be a sister-league to the PCHA.  The winner of a playoff between the PCHA and the WCHL would go on to play the winner of the NHL for the Stanley Cup Title.  This system existed for 3 seasons (1921-1922 to 1923-1924).  The four founding teams of the WCHL were the Edmonton Eskimos,  the Calgary Tigers,  the Regina Capitals,  and the Saskatoon Sheiks.
But by the spring of 1924,  the PCHA found itself in dire financial straits,  and was forced to fold,  with two of the teams,  the Vancouver Maroons and the Victoria Cougars,  joining the WCHL.   The next season,  the Victoria Cougars,  led by coach/defenseman Lester Patrick,  defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3 games to 1,  to win the 1925 Stanley Cup Title.   This was the last time a non-NHL team won a Stanley Cup Title. 

A year later,  the WCHL also went bust.  The Patrick brothers were able to find most of the WCHL players employment in the NHL.  In fact,  for all intents and purposes,  in the fall of 1926,  the Victoria Cougars became the NHL expansion team called the Detroit Cougars…most of the players on the Victoria team moved to the Detroit team.  [The Detroit team  changed their name to the Red Wings,  in 1932.]    However,  the NHL does not consider the Detroit Red Wings to be a continuation of the the Victoria Cougars,  despite the similarity of most of the player roster (and the Detroit franchise’s original nickname itself ).   A similar thing can be said for the Chicago Blackhawks,  who were also formed as an NHL expansion team in 1926.  In their case,  the original Chicago team was comprised mostly of players from the WCHL’s Portland Rosebuds.  This was a team that originated in 1921 as the Regina (Saskatchewan) Capitals.


The World Hockey Association was formed in 1972,  and began play for the 1972-1973 season.  Like the PCHA 60 years earlier,  the WHA of the 1970′s attained a good measure of instant credibility by raiding talent (from the NHL).  Players like Bobby Hull (joining the Winnipeg Jets) and Gerry Cheevers (joining the Cleveland Crusaders) made the NHL soon realize this upstart league would not be a flash in the pan.  By 1974,  WHA teams like the Winnipeg Jets began signing European players like Swedes Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson,  drawing on a pool of talent on the other side of the Atlantic,  something the NHL had traditionally ignored.  This is one of the greatest legacies of the World Hockey Association,  pioneering the use of foreign talent.  Today,  the NHL has a considerable fan base in Europe,  which would almost certainly not exist had the NHL remained so hidebound in it’s refusal to seek talent outside of Canada. 

One reason why the WHA was able to compete somewhat successfully with the NHL in the 1970′s was that the WHA introduced top-flight hockey to cities in Canada that had had to make do with minor league hockey previously…Edmonton, Alberta;  Winnipeg, Manitoba;  and Quebec City, Quebec.  And when the WHA eventually folded, after the 1979 season,  3 of the 4 WHA teams that were allowed to join the NHL as expansion teams were Canadian…the Edmonton Oilers,  the Quebec Nordiques,  and the Winnipeg Jets  [the Hartford Whalers were the fourth team].


 Below is a small chart showing the 5 teams in the NHL Northwest Division;  read left to right for each team…


Two of the five teams in the NHL’s Western Conference, Pacific Division trace their roots to the WHA.  The Edmonton Oilers are the only one of the four WHA teams in the NHL to still be in the same location.   The Quebec Nordiques are now the Colorado Avalanche.  [Of the other two WHA teams which joined the NHL in the 1979-1980 season,  the Hartford Whalers are now the Carolina Hurricanes,  and the Winnipeg Jets are now the Phoenix Coyotes.] 

In 1980,  one year after the 4 WHA teams joined the NHL,  the Atlanta Flames,  an 8-year old NHL expansion team,  moved to Alberta, Canada and became the Calgary Flames.

That accounts for four of the five teams in the NHL’s Northwest Division.  The fifth is the Minnesota Wild,  who were formed in 2001,  as an expansion team.   2001 was also when the current NHL divisional alignment was established.


The Stanley Cup Title has been won 8 times by NHL teams which are currently in the Northwest Division.    The Edmonton Oilers have won 5 Stanley Cup Titles,  the last in 1990.


The Calgary Fames won their Stanley Cup Title in 1989.    The Colorado Avalanche have won 2 Stanley Cup Titles,  their first in 1995 (the first season after the franchise moved from Quebec to Denver, Colorado).   The Avalanche won their second Stanley Cup Title in 2001.   In recent years,  the Calgary Flames lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning (in 2004);  and the Edmonton Oilers lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Carolina Hurricanes one season later (in 2006).

Thanks to the contibutors at Wikipedia to the pages of the NHL {Click here (set at the history of the NHL)},  WHA  {Click here},  PCHA  {Click here},  and WCHL  {Click here}.

Thanks to “The Official National Hockey League 75th Anniversary Commemorative Book”,  edited by Dan Diamond…particularly the chapter called ‘The Making of the NHL’,  by Brian McFarlane  (first published by McClelland and Stewart, Inc.,  Toronto,  in 1991).

Thanks to the site called Western Hockey Legends (PCHA and WCHL Hockey Teams)  {Click here}.

Thanks to the Logoserver site (set at PCHA logos hereWCHL logos here) }.    Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page  {Click here (set at Pro Hockey logos) }.

Thanks to shop  {Click here}.

Thanks to  {Click here}.

December 18, 2008

NHL Western Conference, Pacific Division: Map and Team Profiles.

Filed under: Hockey-NHL, pre-realignm't — admin @ 8:07 am

This post begins my series on National Hockey League Divisions.   Each team’s current home and away jerseys are prominently shown;  third jerseys and secondary logos are also shown.   Within each teams’ rectangular box,  there are two smaller boxes…the upper box shows notable uniforms and logos from the past.   The box in the lower left shows each NHL team’s minor-league affiliates.   The entire 30-team NHL,  by divisions,  is shown at the top. 

The NHL is divided into two 15-team conferences (the Eastern and Western Conferences),  each with three 5-team divisions.  The current schedule has the teams playing fellow division members 6 times,  and fellow conference members 4 times,  with the remaining 18 games played versus the 15 teams in the other conference  {see this,  from a hockey blog on the New York Rangers called The}.  

8 teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs,  which includes the 3 division-winning teams plus the 5 other teams with the best records in each conference.   The NHL used to be criticized for having too many teams qualifying for the playoffs:  teams with losing records often qualified,  25 years ago or so.   That is no longer the case,  as expansion has swelled the ranks to where a team almost definitely has to have a winning record to make it to the post-season.   Of course,  hockey purists might insist that this is no improvement,  as the 30-team NHL has watered down the talent-level.   But with the influx of overseas talent currently in the league,  hopefully this is not a problem.   Hockey’s real hurdle has always been the lack of major-media-outlet exposure,  but it seems that the internet,  and fans’ ability to get NHL games and news there,  has allowed the whole professional game to find a comfortable niche.   The biggest problem with hockey’s ability to attract new fans (or lack thereof) has always been the fact that it doesn’t translate well onto the television screen.   There is nothing like seeing an NHL game in person.   It is an intense thing,  viewing the precision and fluidity of the players as they glide across the ice,  engaged in a game that melds graceful athletic prowess with sudden episodes of brutal physical collision.    

The current conference/divisonal set-up dates back to the 1998-1999 season;  the current team alignment dates back to the 2000-2001 season,  when the last two expansion teams,  the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild,  were added.

The Pacific Division has two teams that have won the Stanley Cup:  the Dallas Stars,  in 1999,  and the Anaheim Ducks,  in 2007.

Thanks to site  {Click here}.   Thanks to shop {Click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages on NHL teams on Wikipedia  {Click here}.   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page  {Click here}.   Thanks to  {Click here}.

December 15, 2008

National Hockey League 2008-2009.

Filed under: Hockey,Hockey-NHL, pre-realignm't — admin @ 2:34 pm


The map shows the 30 teams in the NHL.   Last season’s attendance figures are listed,  along with percentage capacity.   In 2007-2008,  there were 11 teams that played to 100% capacity (or higher).   Below are the top 12 drawing teams last season,  with average attendance and capacity listed…

1. Montreal Canadiens  21,273 (100.0%).   2. Buffalo Sabres 19,950 (109.4%).   3. Ottawa Senators 19,821 (107.1%).   4. Philadelphia Flyers 19,566 (100.3%).   5. Toronto Maple Leafs 19,434 (103.3%).   6. Calgary Flames 18,870 (112.4%).   7. Detroit Red Wings 18,870 (94.0%).   8. Tampa Bay Lightning 19,692 (94.6%).   9. Vancouver Canucks 18,630 (101.1%).   10. Minnesota Wild 18,568 (102.8%).   11. New York Rangers 18,200 (100.0%).   12. Dallas Stars 18,038 (97.3%).

Two other teams played to capacity last season,  #15. Anaheim Ducks 17,193 (102.6%);  and #16. Pittsburgh Penguins 17,076 (100.7%). 

I have listed the Stanley Cup Titles of each NHL team on the far right of the map.

The Detroit Red Wings are 2007-2008 Champions and Cup holders.  The Red Wings have won 4 Stanley Cups in the last 12 seasons.

NHL site  {Click here}. 

Thanks to the contributors to the pages on NHL teams in Wikipedia  (NHL page here).   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page  {Click here}.   Thanks to Logo Shak site  {Click here}.   Thanks to NHL shop  (Click here}.   Thanks to ESPN site  {Click here},  and this site,  which has attendance figures for all hockey leagues in North America  {Click here}.

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