Ice hockey is a tremendously popular, much loved and one of the most watched sports that is especially popular in the naturally very cold areas of the world including Canada, Germany, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States among other countries. The most prominent ice hockey teams of the world such as the Toronto Maple Leaf and Montreal Canadiens are the franchised club members of the National Hockey League NHL, which is a non-profit, unincorporated organization that is known to operate as the main professional ice hockey league consisted of thirty franchised club members. Twenty three of these franchises are located in the United States while the remaining seven are located in Canada, and the headquarters of the league are based in New York City. The NHL is the most well established ice hockey league that is also rightfully considered to be one of the most professional and sought after ice hockey leagues of Canada and the United States. In fact, the oldest North American sports trophy known as the Stanley Cup is awarded to the league’s playoff champion, annually, at the end of every season. National Hockey League tickets are taken to be a must-have among hard core, ice hockey fans.
The League was created in 1917 in Montreal, Canada, when World War I was still on, and a hockey organization was much needed ever since the suspension of the National Hockey Association that had been originally founded in 1909. NHL began its operations with only four members and after going through several phases of expansions, relocations and subsequent contractions, the league now stands with an impressive strength of thirty active, successful franchises. The organization underwent a major labor dispute due to which the entire season of 2004-05 was cancelled, following which a newly designed collective bargaining agreement was signed, including an all new salary cap, after which the league resumed its previous operations. In year 2009, the NHL was noted to have experienced record breaking high points with reference to its TV viewers, sponsorships, live crowds and soaring popularity. NHL hockey tickets were once again reported to have enjoyed sky-rocketed demand among hockey goers.
NHL is reputed to select highly talented players from around the globe and has currently drawn players from around twenty countries. The League initially drew most of its strong professional players from Canada through most of its history but over the last few decades it has hired a considerable proportion of hockey athletes from among the supremely trained European and American populations owing to both, its immensely expanding franchise body that went from six teams to thirty, and because of the increased possibilities of skillfully trained European players particularly and dominantly from the former countries of the Eastern Bloc.
NHL is ranked among the top four leading North American leagues that also include the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Football League. The League has six main divisions according to which it organizes and operates its thirty teams namely, the Atlantic, Southeast, Northeast, Central, Northwest and Pacific Divisions. Among the top playing, remarkably outstanding point scorers are Daniel Sedin, Corey Perry, Martin St. Louis, Henrik Sedin and Steven Stamkos. Among the current notable active players, the highest scoring defensemen include Nicklas Lidstrom, Ludomir Visnovsky, Dustin Byfuglien and Keith Yandle. The league’s top most goal scorers are Corey Perry, Jarome Iginla, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin. The highest ranking goaltenders are Carey Price, Roberto Luongo, Miika Kiprusoff, Jimmy Howard and Cam Ward.
The Hockey League holds a particularly significant place in Canada where the sport is most popular. NHL cannot be said to hold the biggest fan bases on North American floors but it certainly has the prosperous fan bases in the region. The Sports Marketing Group conducted surveys from 1998 through 2004 according to which the NHL fan base resulted to be far more affluent that the fan base of the PGA Tour. Conducted by the Stanford graduate School of Business, the interesting study revealed that of the four major North American Leagues, the American fans of the NHL were the most qualified and educated while also being considerably more computer literate than the rest. Reuters found out in 2010 that the majority of NHL American fans were from the age demographic of 18-34, who were significantly more tech-savvy than any other fan base. Come and watch a live ice hockey game to discover what the hockey hype is all about. Get those NHL tickets and be there to scream with the roaring crowds of die hard fans.
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