• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


A Treatise of Schemes and Tropes.png This a Useful Notes page. A Treatise of Schemes and Tropes.png
Information icon4.svg IMPORTANT: The content of this page is outdated. If you have checked or updated this page and found the content to be suitable, please remove this notice.
File:NHL Shield 4741.png

The National Hockey League is a professional Ice Hockey league in North America. Founded in 1917, it is composed of 30 teams: 23 in the United States and seven in Canada. The Stanley Cup represents the league's championship, and is the oldest challenge trophy in North America; traditionally, each member of the championship team gets possession of Lord Stanley's Bowl for a day, and it has had some odd misadventures in its time.

It is a member of the "Big Four" American and Canadian Sporting Leagues along with the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the National Basketball Association...when it is not the butt of My Friends and Zoidberg jokes originating from Flavour 2 of Eagle Land. (In which they are referred to as "The Big Three Sports...and Hockey.".)

Each year since 2008, the league has hosted the Winter Classic on New Year's Day[1] which features two major rival teams in an outdoor game at either an NFL or MLB stadium. Beginning in 2010 (for the 2011 Classic), HBO began running NHL 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic which followed the two teams involved throughout the month of December leading up to the event.

The Teams

In "the beginning" [2], there were the "Original Six", the six teams that formed the NHL from the folding of the New York Americans in 1942 until the league's expansion in 1967.

  • Boston Bruins: Current Stanley Cup champs. First NHL team south of the border. Famous former players include Bobby Orr, Cam Neely and Ray Bourque. Current captain and defenseman Zdeno Chára is the tallest guy ever to play in the league[3]. Have won the 2nd most titles among US teams, behind Detroit. They don't like Montreal.
  • Chicago Blackhawks: A team with both history (Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull) and rising stars (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews). Known for the longest time of having an incredibly stingy owner who would place the bottom line over winning the Stanley Cup. Interestingly, as soon as said owner died (to boos from the fans when asked for a moment of silence), his son took over and changed things. One of those things was finally allowing home games to be broadcast on Chicago TV. That has pushed CSN Chicago and WGN to their highest ratings ever. Even NBC and Versus have enjoyed some of the highest ratings they've had for playoff games. Everyone was very happy and the team suddenly played very well. They really don't like Detroit and they don't like Vancouver much either.
  • Detroit Red Wings: Consistently good (have made the playoffs the last 21 years) within recent memory and therefore hated outside Detroit. The general dislike is newer than a lot of people think, since the post-expansion revival came after almost twenty years of being somewhat of a league Butt Monkey and a strenuous rebuilding process. Before then, there just weren't as many teams to pass the Cup around to, but they were the most dominant of the American-based teams. Fans have a habit of chucking octopi onto the ice during the playoffs (in the Original Six days a playoff team needed to beat two teams in best-of-7, thus eight wins, to win the Cup). The feelings between them and Chicago are mutual, but Detroit fans tend to have more creative chants.
  • Montreal Canadiens: AKA the Habs[4]. Older than the NHL; their history begins in the NHL's predecessor league, the National Hockey Association. Has won 24 championships, a feat surpassed only by the New York Yankees. Also the last Canadian team to win the Cup (1993). Goaltender Jacques Plante made the goalie mask regular gear after stopping an Andy Bathgate slapshot with his nose in 1959. Pretty much the team of French Canada with the departure of the Quebec Nordiques to Colorado in 1995. Their long, storied history includes some legendary French players: Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur and Patrick Roy. They hate Toronto with a passion, they surely don't like Boston, and they really don't like Zdeno Chara.
  • New York Rangers: AKA the Blueshirts. Name comes from the fact that the first owner was a guy named Tex.[5] Most recent year of glory was 1994, when the Curse of 1940 was broken (the longest Cup drought in history at 53 seasons). The Rangers have a fierce rivalry with the Devils, which made Messier's Game 6 hat trick and Matteau's double OT goal in Game 7 of the 1994 Conference Finals that much sweeter. Has a recent history of overpaying for players, though management seems to be trying to change that. The team no longer plays "Let's Go Band" at home games because every time it's played, diehards will chant "Potvin sucks!".
  • Toronto Maple Leafs: Known for bad declension[6], being hated by the rest of Canada (especially among Montreal fans), being the most valuable franchise in the league, and not having won the Cup since 1967 (the league's longest current drought after the Blackhawks' win in 2010[7]), or even qualified for the playoffs since 2004. Their rivalry with the Canadiens is the oldest in the league. They hate their provincial rivals, the Ottawa Senators, a lot and have kicked them out of the playoffs on multiple occasions.

Current League Format: The league is currently divided into two conferences (Eastern and Western), each with three divisions (Atlantic, Northeast, and Southeast for the East; Central, Northwest, and Pacific Divisions for the West). The conferences used to be named the Prince of Wales Conference and the Clarence Campbell Conference (respectively), and the divisions used to be called the Adams, Norris, Patrick, and Smythe (there were only four divisions in those days), but current NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (see below) renamed them after the '92-'93 season into geographical descriptions to allow new fans to understand the game better (one of many reasons why he is hated by traditionalists).

For information about Original Six teams, refer to the above section.

Eastern Conference

  • Atlantic Division
    • New Jersey Devils: Formerly the Kansas City Scouts AND the Colorado Rockies. During most of their early history, they were the league's undisputed Butt Monkey. Once being referred to as a "Mickey Mouse organization" by no less than The Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky. Then in 1988 they Took a Level in Badass and since then the have Devils missed the playoffs only twice. The team of Martin Brodeur, who is always in the discussion of best goalie ever and currently holds numerous career records. Traditionally won with defense and came up with the neutral zone trap that led to low-scoring games all across the league in the years before the lockout. Does not like the Rangers[8], even the front office: They've made trades with every team...except the Rangers. Despite playing well so consistently (there have been several trumpets of the Devils' downfall from the elite lately, only for Brodeur et al to prove them wrong), often has problems selling out their home games (at least those that don't involve the Rangers or Flyers). Recognized in hockey circles as a heavily strict and heavily discliplined franchise, with a team first mentality. Oh, and they're named after a cryptid called The Jersey Devil that supposedly haunts the Pine Barrens region. The 2010-11 season looked to be when they were finally tumbling from their elite status, starting a rather bad 9-29-2. Their title-winning coach Jacques Lemaire returned for this one season and shook them out of it. Hockey fans in New Jersey are typically torn between being loyal to either the Devils or the Flyers (with their primary fan bases being in North Jersey and South Jersey, respectively).
    • New York Rangers: Original Six
    • New York Islanders: New York's "other" team. Known as the "Fishsticks" due to their unpopular 90's jersey, they have usually been bullied out of the media by the big-time Rangers, and have their radio coverage on the College Radio station of Hofstra University (but with professional broadcasters) due to lack of listener interest or room on the dial because of the Rangers, Knicks, Nets and Devils all staking their claim on the big New York sports stations. Did have a string of four straight championships in the early 80's. Since then, history and a hatred for the Rangers are really all they have going for them. Haven't won a playoff series since 1993. Has a reputation for managerial ineptitude: trading away future stars, overpaying on contracts, etc. Even signed one of their goaltenders to a 15-year contract; Rick DiPietro is pretty good but has since become injury-prone. Construction on a new arena was rejected by voters in August 2011 (Nassau Coliseum is by far the crappiest arena in the league). They're staying in the Coliseum until 2015, after which their future on Long Island, and maybe New York, is in doubt.
      • To be fair about the DiPietro contract, it seems to have become more of a harbinger of contracts to come: more double-digit-year contracts for more high-profile players have since been made by teams around the league, and recently the league voided a 17-year contract between Ilya Kovalchuk and the Devils because it evaded the salary cap too blatantly (they later settled on a 15-year one that the league was fine with.)
    • Philadelphia Flyers: One of the teams created in the 1967 Expansion, and the first of the expansion era teams to win the Stanley Cup. Historically known as the Broad Street Bullies of the 70's, where they pretty much punched their way to the Cup. (Although Bernie Parent's skimpy less-than-2 goals-against averages probably had a little to do with it. Many Philadelphia cars at the time sported bumper stickers declaring "Only God saves more than Bernie Parent".) Has chronically lacked a permanent goaltender in recent years, though locking up Ilya Bryzgalov for the next 9 seasons looks to correct that.
    • Pittsburgh Penguins: One of the teams created in the 1967 Expansion. The team of Sidney "Sid the Kid" Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but really, it's Mario Lemieux's team. He's saved them from bankruptcy at least twice; first as the hot number 1 pick in 1984 that revitalized the team, and then again by buying the team outright, and then coming out of retirement to put butts back in the seats and thereby becoming the first ever player/owner in the NHL. Although they faced potential relocation a few years ago, a new arena deal was struck in 2007, and the new building opened in 2010. Recently have been plagued by injuries to several of their core players, most infamously the concussion that sidelined Crosby for all but a handful games in 2011.
  • Northeast Division
    • Boston Bruins: Original Six
    • Buffalo Sabres: Don't bring up Brett Hull's goal in 1999 to them. Please. Their original uniform design remains the most popular overall, given the backlash against their Goat's Head red and black era, and the Buffaslug. The team of the "French Connection", a forward line from the 1970's consisting of three French-Canadiens.[9] Also the team that had The Dominator - goalie Dominik Hasek - for his most dominant years. Besides him, they've mostly lacked star power over the past few years.
    • Montreal Canadiens: Original Six
    • Ottawa Senators: Not related to the old Ottawa Senators (1883-1934) who won the Cup 11 times. Their first two seasons were absolute disasters (their 1992/93 season saw them win only 10 games of 84), but they slowly grew into perennial playoff contenders for most of the last decade. (Although they could never get past the Leafs whenever they met.) Once got into a massive brawl with the Buffalo Sabres with 100 penalty minutes and goalies going at each other. Also, former star player Dany Heatley is disliked by fans.
    • Toronto Maple Leafs: Original Six
  • Southeast Division
    • Carolina Hurricanes: Formerly the Hartford Whalers, and formerly of the WHA; moved in 1997 because they were getting squeezed financially by the Original Six Bruins and Rangers (and they were playing in a tiny arena that was literally part of a shopping mall complex). First couple of years in Carolina didn't go so well either on or off the ice (half-empty arenas are a persistent problem for NHL teams in the South, especially if the team is less than awesome). A Cup run in 2002 and a Cup victory in 2006 has turned things around, though (Raleigh just hosted a successful All-Star Game which speaks to the fanbase support the team has cultivated), and they have usually been in contention with Washington for division titles.
    • Florida Panthers: Started fast for an expansion team: they came this close to making the playoffs in their first season and made it to the Finals a few years later. After that, there hasn't been much for them; their berth in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs is their first in over a decade. Not to mention that 2012 was their first year in winning a divisional championship. Their most notable contribution came during their Cinderella Finals run in 1996, when fans would litter the arena with plastic rats, causing extensive delays in games (due to one of their players killing a rat with his stick in the locker room... yeah, fans are weird).
    • Tampa Bay Lightning: Southernmost team to win the Cup (2004). They were first attempt to market hockey in a southern state since the Atlanta Flames (who moved to Calgary), and help start a wave of expansion teams and team relocations during The Nineties when they showed a steady fanbase. They set single-game attendance records for a few years due to playing in a then-vacated domed baseball stadium (now Tropicana Field and home to the Rays), which was larger than any hockey arena but also made it hard to keep the ice solid. Has been in ownership turmoil ever since, though they've had stretches of good play in the past decade. Set a new standard for stadium Rule of Cool in 2011 when renovations to the St Pete Times Forum included the installation of tesla coils in the rafters that shoot real lightning during the pregame intro and after goals.
    • Washington Capitals: The team of Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin. Their first season saw them with the worst winning percentage in modern NHL history (8 wins in 80 games). Nowadays usually have much more regular season success, but Every Year They Fizzle Out in the first or second round of the playoffs.
    • Winnipeg Jets: Formerly the Atlanta Thrashers, who never even won a playoff game having been swept by the Rangers in their lone postseason appearance in 2006. On May 31 2011, the team was sold and moved to Winnipeg[10] for the next season, resurrecting the previous team's name due to overwhelming fan support for it (this has also led to a massive Continuity Snarl, as the history of the original Winnipeg Jets is now entrenched in the backstory of the Phoenix Coyotes, a severely contentious issue among Jets purists). Season tickets for Winnipeg's 2011-2012 season sold out in 17 minutes. The team were to remain in the Southeast Division for only the 2011-12 season[11]. A disagreement between the league and the players' union scuttled realignment for 2012-13, so the Jets are expected to spend at least another season geographically miscast.

Western Conference

  • Central Division
    • Chicago Blackhawks: Original Six
    • Columbus Blue Jackets: The second NHL team in Ohio (the Cleveland Barons played from 1976 to 1978). Has a cannon in their home arena as part of the team's honoring the state of Ohio's contributions to the Union (hence the name). Made the playoffs for the first time in 2009, the last current team to do so (they're still looking for their first postseason win, as they were swept by the Red Wings). For years, all they've had is Rick Nash.
    • Detroit Red Wings: Original Six
    • Nashville Predators: A consistently decent team since about 2004, that has problems both with other people knowing they exist and staying solvent: the fanbase is pretty decent, but corporate sponsors are lacking for them. Part of this situation might be the defensive-minded approach that its coach Barry Trotz (the only coach the team has ever had since it started playing in 1998) has implemented - it's effective in winning games but doesn't make for exciting play that can draw fans in, but that could be changing with the recent addition of Mike Fisher, husband of country superstar Carrie Underwood as well as making it past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in history.
    • St. Louis Blues: One of the teams created in the 1967 Expansion. Tied with Los Angeles as the oldest franchise still without a championship, although they made the Finals in their first three seasons (due largely to divisional alignments of the time guaranteeing one of the 1967 expansion teams facing an Original Six team in the Finals). They were once owned by Ralston-Purina, and nearly moved to Saskatoon before a new owner was found that would keep the team in St. Louis. Brett Hull had his best years as a Blue.
  • Northwest Division
    • Calgary Flames: Once home to one of the best mustaches in the league, belonging to Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald. Major rival to the Edmonton Oilers, as part of the Battle of Alberta. The rivalry was most heated in the 80s, when both teams had stockpiled incredible amounts of talent, the Oilers taking most of the series versus the Flames. (Although in 1986, the Oilers did the Flames a favor by scoring on themselves in Game Seven) Also broke Canada's heart when they couldn't seal the deal back in 2004 - although there was a potential Cup winning goal scored by the Flames late in game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals that is still a sore point for Flames fans today. The franchise started as the Atlanta Flames from 1972 to 1980, before moving northwest to join Edmonton in the NHL.
    • Colorado Avalanche: Formerly the Quebec Nordiques, which joined the NHL in the 1979 WHA merger. This is the league's second venture in Denver (the Rockies became the New Jersey Devils in 1982). Had a strong rivalry with the Red Wings in the 90's when both were good. The Avs won two Stanley Cups, in 1996 and 2001. The team of Joe Sakic.
    • Edmonton Oilers: The last surviving team from the World Hockey Associaton that remains in its original city, and the only one of the four that joined the NHL (Quebec Nordiques, Winnipeg Jets, Hartford Whalers) that never actually won a WHA title. The team most people think of when they talk about Wayne Gretzky. Won the Cup five times in seven years (84, 85, 87, 88, and 90; a fluke own-goal cost them the 1986 trophy, and Gretzky was traded in the 1988 off-season). Simply put, they were an offensive juggernaut in the 80s, shattering records. The 90s, though, were a different story: changing economics forced management to dismantle the team (by the start of the 1992 season, most of the players from the dynasty years were gone), though they did make the playoffs somewhat consistently in the late '90s. They last made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006, only to be defeated by the Carolina Hurricanes in the seventh game. Since then, they've had a string of last or next-to-last-place finishes in their division (including finishing dead last in the league in 2009/10 and 2010/11). Currently one of the youngest teams in the league, with many analysts predicting them to be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.
    • Minnesota Wild: Awarded as a 2000 expansion team largely as an apology for allowing the North Stars to be hijacked to Dallas. Helps that the Wild ownership has been far more committed to the local market than any of the Stars' owners ever were, having retired #1 as a tribute to the hockey fans of Minnesota at the first Wild game. Until 2009 they didn't have a permanent captain (the position was rotated among the players). Arguably holders of the most unusual winning streaks in the game today - they've never lost a home opener and are undefeated against the Oilers at home.
    • Vancouver Canucks: Unusually for a hockey team, until recently their goalie (Roberto Luongo) was captain (although this is considered unofficial by League rules, which have prohibited goalies from wearing the "C" on their sweater for over 60 years. He wore it on his mask instead.). Has reached the Stanley Cup Final three times and lost, twice to teams from New York (Islanders in '82, Rangers in '94) and to the Boston Bruins in 2011. The "Flying-V" sweater from 1978-85 is generally considered to be one of the ugliest uniforms in League history, though some would argue that they've never really had good luck with uniforms. Home to the Sedins, twin brothers with such uncanny chemistry that "Henrik to Daniel... Goal!" is one of the most common sounds in the league. Some people consider them to be rather creepy. Their last two Cup losses sparked riots in Downtown Vancouver. Have developed a notable (and particuarly hostile) rivalry with the Blackhawks in the past few seasons meeting them in the playoffs three years in a row. After losing to them in 2009 and 2010,[12] they nearly swept them in 2011 before the Hawks came back to force game 7 which the Canucks finally won in overtime. Slowly becoming hated across Canada more than the Leafs.
  • Pacific Division
    • Anaheim Ducks: Formerly the "Mighty Ducks of Anaheim", this team was founded by Disney following the success of The Mighty Ducks movies. Thankfully changed their name before winning a Stanley Cup in 2007, the first Californian team to do so.
    • Dallas Stars: Formerly the Minnesota North Stars. One of the teams created in the 1967 Expansion. Faced several ownership issues in Minnesota, including a merger with another failed team in 1978 (the Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals/Cleveland Barons), and a threat to move the team to San Jose before the merger was dissolved with the formation of the Sharks. Despite leaving a hockey-rich market in 1993, the Stars have surprisingly thrived in Dallas, winning the Cup in 1999 (although the nature of the Cup-winning goal remains a point of contention, especially in Buffalo).
    • Los Angeles Kings: One of the teams created in the 1967 Expansion. The team traded for Wayne Gretzky in 1988, a move which probably saved the Kings but almost caused the Canadian government to interfere (Serious Business doesn't begin to describe hockey in Canada). Was the NHL's first team in a warm-weather city. Has a rather large and loyal fanbase.
    • Phoenix Coyotes: Formerly the original Winnipeg Jets. The team's currently in the discussion for relocation, mainly due to their last owner filing the team for bankruptcy. Maybe to Hamilton, Ontario; maybe Quebec City, maybe Kansas City, who the Hell really knows at this point. Two things are for sure; they won't be moving back to Winnipeg since that position's already been filled, and the league seems Hell-bent on keeping them in Phoenix. Surprised everybody in 2009/10 as one of the best teams in the league, finishing second in their division with 50 wins. They'd then do it again 2 years later by winning their first ever divisional championship... for both sides of the franchise! This marks the third time in a row that they'd make it to the playoffs, which would make Phoenix all the more disappointed if the Coyotes move.
    • San Jose Sharks: The first team of the 1990s expansion, born out of a failed attempt to relocate the North Stars to the Bay Area, and one of the more successful examples from a business perspective. They currently have a reputation of doing well in the regular season but not so well come playoff time; in 2010 and 2011 they made it to the Western Conference Finals, but lost in 4 and 5 games, respectively. Of late, sports media and many fans seem to feel the "choker" label no longer applies (both teams they have lost to in the recent Finals were extremely potent), but popular opinion being what it is, they will likely be "chokers" until they win a Cup.

Names to know

  • Forwards:
    • Wayne Gretzky - The Great One. Near universally considered the best hockey player of all time, he holds over 60 league records including most goals and led Edmonton to four Stanley Cup championships. He was traded to Los Angeles in 1988, and played briefly with St. Louis and the Rangers. He retired in 1999, and coached the Coyotes for four seasons. Also one of the nicest players to set skate to ice, staunchly avoiding fights and always playing a clean game. His #99 was retired league-wide in 2000.
      • His records are so dominating that, in the eleven years since he's retired, his career points (a point being a goal or an assist) is still completely untouched, more than 1000 points higher than second place. Besides scoring more goals than anyone in league history (894), even if you only count his assists, the amount still tops any other player's career point total.
      • Gretzky has finished his career with over 2800 points. The next one in the scoring lists is Mark Messier with 1800 career points.
    • Gordie Howe - The man who held most of the league's records before Gretzky came along and smashed them. Also known as Mr. Hockey. The unofficial stat of a 'Gordie Howe Hat Trick' is named ofter him, indicating that a player has scored a goal, an assist, and a fighting major in one game, even though Howe himself rarely accomplished this feat. Howe came out of retirement to play alongside his sons in the World Hockey Association before retiring again with the Whalers in 1980. He then came out of retirement again to play a shift with a minor league team in the 1990s for the sole purpose of becoming the only man ever to play professional hockey in six consecutive decades. Gretzky's hero growing up - the two would play on a line together at the 1980 All Star Game.
    • Maurice "the Rocket" Richard - One of the greatest players in his generation and best goalscorers of any. First player to ever score fifty goals in fifty games. Not many have followed.
    • Bobby Hull & Brett Hull - Father and son who, while never played during the same years, were both feared for their booming shot. Bobby stunned the hockey world in 1972 for jumping to the World Hockey Association and the first million-dollar contract in hockey history. Between them, they've scored over 1300 NHL goals. "The Golden Jet" and "The Golden Brett".
    • Stan Mikita - Along with Bobby Hull is considered one of the greatest Blackhawks of all time, having developed a distinct Red Oni, Blue Oni playing style with Hull that proved highly effective[13] and led to the team's 1961 Cup. The two were honored in 2011 with life-size bronze statues outside the United Center right by that one guy who tends to be associated with great Chicago atheletes.
    • Guy Lafleur - A dynamic offensive star for the Canadiens during theseventies. Known for his hair flying behind him as he zoomed down the wing. "The Flower".
    • Mario Lemieux - Perhaps the only player who could rival Wayne Gretzky (Gretzky said Mario was actually better than he was) in skill, and points (1.88 points per game to Gretzky's 1.92), if his career wasn't plagued by injuries: chronic back problems (to the point he could hardly tie up his own skates), lots of hip issues and freakin' cancer, before finally retiring due to a heart issue. He retired once previously for three years, and took a full year off. Currently part of the ownership group of the Penguins. Wore #66.
    • Jaromir Jagr - Lemieux's longtime lancer during the Pen's glory years in the 90s and once owner of one of the most legendary mullets in sports history. Served as captain for Pittsburgh for a time after Mario's first retirement before the team's financial troubles led to him being let go. After a few seasons with the Capitals and Rangers the seemingly washed-up star returned to Europe to play in the KHL where he improved, eventually to the point of leading the Czech national team to gold at the World Cup. Wears #68. At age 39 he set his sights on a return to the NHL leading to the infamous 2011 "Jagr Watch" in the days leading up to the summer free-agency period. All signs pointed toward him returning to Pittsburgh but the deal fell through at the last minute and he eventually signed with the Pens' Arch Enemy, the Flyers. As expected, Internet Backlash ensued.
    • Marcel Dionne - Fifth all-time in points and third only behind Gretzky and Lemieux in 100 point seasons. One of the most talented players to never win the Cup. Ironically, his less talented brother, Gilbert, pulled it off with Montreal in 1993.
    • Mark Messier - The last WHA-era player to retire after the merger. "The Moose". Won the Stanley Cup five times with Edmonton, but is better known for winning it with the Rangers in 1994 - he's the only player to ever captain two different teams to the Cup. He is often considered to be one of the greatest leaders to ever play hockey, sometimes nicknamed 'The Messiah' in New York for his legendary playoff performance with the Rangers in 1994. Second to Gretzky in all time points scored, though by a wide margin (1887 points to Gretzky's 2857).
    • Sidney Crosby - One of the best players playing today, and the one most likely to be recognized by non-hockey fans. Scored the game winning goal for Canada in the 2010 Olympic finals. Also one of most hated players outside of Pittsburgh, particularly in Washington, Philadelphia, and Detroit. When it comes to international hockey, pretty much all of the US hates him because of the aforementioned gold medal-winning goal, which came against the United States. Was sidlined with a concussion in consecutive games in early 2011[14] and was out until Nevember when he returned for a couple weeks but was out once again until March. (Unintentially) the face of a string of high-profile concussions currently plaguing teams and players throughout the league.
    • Mike Modano - Probably the best player in Stars history, so much so that even though he signed with Detroit, when he returned to Dallas they still cheered for him. Currently holds the scoring record among American-born players. Married to Willa Ford.
    • Dave "Tiger" Williams - The NHL's all-time leader in penalty minutes with a staggering 3966 in 962 games. A feared fighter who was also fairly productive offensively with several 20 goal seasons (and one with 35) compiling a very respectable 513 career points total. A colorful character in theseventies and eighties, (in)famous for his ride-your-stick-like-it's-a-broom goal celebration.
    • Teemu Selanne - The Finnish Flash. Now in his forties and still going strong, an Anaheim Duck for the second time, he's one of the most prolific goal scorers in league history and holds the record for most goals and points in his rookie season. A mainstay on the Finnish national team, he's played in four Olympics and is considered a national hero.
    • Pavel Bure - "The Russian Rocket" - one of the premiere goalscorers of thenineties. A dynamic talent, his career was ended prematurely by injuries. The last player to post back-to-back sixty goal seasons.
    • Alexander Ovechkin - Captain of Washington, and one of the most electrifying players in the league today. Fans either love his energy, or hate his showboating. Despite being one of the most eligible bachelors in professional sports, he prefers the simple family life and is an admitted Momma's Boy. Of course his mother is an two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner from the Soviet women's basketball team. He is also apparently BFFs with DJ Pauly D.
    • Daniel and Henrik Sedin - Identical twins that have played together for their entire lives, except for during the 2011 All Star Game, when they were drafted by opposite teams. Considered to be two of the best players currently playing, in the past two years they have both each individually won the award for the league's highest scorer (along with various league MVP awards, Henrik with the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2009-10 and Daniel with the Ted Lindsay Award in 2010-11).
    • Joe Thornton - Captain of the San Jose Sharks, called "Jumbo Joe" for his large size. Considered one of the best passers in the League (he consistently has some of the most assists in the entire League), has recently drawn some comparisons to Steve Yzerman (see below) for committing to the defensive side of the game at the cost of reduced offense. Also known as a very nice guy during interviews and off the ice, but recently has started to react to the media with snarl and a little condescension due to their continued insistence on trotting out the "choker" label whenever the Sharks start to do poorly.
    • Steve Yzerman - The longest-serving captain in NHL history, wearing the "C" for Detroit for twenty years (19 seasons due to the 2004-05 lockout). Once an offensive superstar that approached Gretzky and Lemieux's scoring skills, Yzerman reinvented himself as a two-way player to help lead the Wings to three Stanley Cup titles. As GM for Team Canada, he put together the 2010 Gold-winning squad, and is the latest GM for the Tampa Bay Lightning (the position in Detroit not opening up any time soon).
    • Paul Henderson - A very good player in the NHL and later WHA in thesixties and seventies but famous for scoring the most dramatic and important goal in Canadian hockey history - the series-winning goal in the final game of the epic 1972 Summit Series vs theSoviets.
    • Sean Avery - The most hated player in the league. He was traded from the Red Wings to the Kings as a result of his behavior. He was then traded from the Kings to the Rangers in 2006, and the New York fans fell in love with his attitude that culminated in introducing an ingenious but outlandish tactic against the rival Devils in the 2008 playoffs. He signed with Dallas after that year to make more money, but was suspended and ordered to enter anger management by the league after making a crack about Dion Phaneuf getting his sloppy seconds before a game. He was waived and rejoined the Rangers later that year, and retired with them three years later because head coach John Tortorella notoriously disliked him, regularly demoting him without reason. Notably, he has different sides - he is very fashion-conscious (once interning with Vogue magazine one summer) and appeared in an ad publicly supporting gay marriage, leaving many detractors in the decidedly weird position of siding with him.
    • Jonathan Toews - Captain of the Blackhawks and the youngest member of the Triple Gold Club. Known as Captain Serious for his somewhat cold demeanor that occasionally borders on "Stop Having Fun!" Guys. Has a notable bromance with Patrick Kane.
    • Patrick Kane - The red to Toews' blue. Scored one of the more awkward cup-clinching goals in recent years in overtime against the Flyers. It took several seconds for anyone else to realize the puck was in the net. A somewhat polarizing figure because of percieved arrogance, temperment, and unwillingness to pay 20 cents.
    • Joe Sakic - One of the longest serving and most revered player and captain in the National Hockey League when he played for the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche. Is known best for his amazing all around play, amazing maturity, and for what is known as probably one of the classiest acts in sports history, defying tradition by handing the Stanley Cup over to Ray Bourque (who has waited 22 years to win the cup) instead of lifting it himself.
    • Bob Probert - Considered one of the greatest enforcers ever to play the game. But he was far from a one dimensional fighter, averaging around 15 goals a year in his early seasons and once putting up 29 to go with 62 points and 398 penalty minutes. A member of the fairly exlusive 3000 career penalty club in the NHL with 3300 in 935 games.
    • Jarome Iginla (Full name - Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla) - Half-Canadian, half-African captain of the Calgary Flames. One of the most recognizable power forwards currently playing and recognized as being one of the kindest individuals around despite having a bruising and physically punishing play style. Also, the Golden Goal Sidney Crosby socred to win gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics? Iginla made the pass. Has two Olympic golds, but is still gunning for his first Stanley Cup.
    • Dave Bolland - Center for the Blackhawks and definite fan favorite due to being a central figure in the Hawks' current rivalry with Vancouver. One of the few players in the league known for being exceptionally good at shutting down the Sedins and their Creepy Twins play style. Was injured with a concussion in a game against the Lightning in March 2011 and didn't return until game 4 of the first round of the playoffs. He did so in dramatic fashion, preventing a sweep and changing the momentum of the series to eventually force game 7. This combined with certain personality quirks, such as never smiling after a goal only to laugh hysterically all the way to the penalty box has earned him great Memetic Badass status of the Crazy Awesome variety. Suspected of being a Time Lord.
    • Steven Stamkos. Centre for the Tampa Bay Lightning, known for his speed and scoring ability. His career started off with an unremarkable rookie year (which he blamed on improper off-ice training), but quickly improved, winning the Rocket Richard trophy the following year. Took a puck to the nose in the 2011 Eastern Conference finals, only to reappear minutes later with a face cage, impressing pretty much everybody.
    • Paul "BizNasty" Bissonette - Enforcer for the Coyotes who is more notable for his Twitter account than his his playing. Aside from frequently bringing the league PR team to tears, he revels in Self-Deprecation about being a perennial fourth-liner and/or "healthy scratch" and has built up a solid fanbase in doing so. May be the reason the league has now instituted a social media blackout for players on gamedays. You can (and should) follow him right here.
    • Dan "CarBomb" Carcillo - BizNasty's former partner in crime who, having bounced around several teams became a very polarizing figure among said teams' fanbases, most recently in Philadelphia. For the 2011 season he signed with Chicago who's fans, after some initial skepticism[15] very quickly welcomed him with open arms. His original twitter accout was deleted after an infamous tweet about a girl who just wanted her Daddy to be proud that may have been the reason for his favorable reception by Hawks fans. His new (slightly more SFW) account is right here.
    • Evgeni "Geno" Malkin- Russian player for the Pittsburgh Penguins, known for being considered one of the top three best players in the league in recent years. Won the Conn Symthe trophy in the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals. Had trouble getting in the league from Russia and getting accustomed to the English language. He has been cold lately do to injuries, but this year looks good for him.
    • Patrick Sharp - Another one of the Blackhawks' stars from Thunder Bay, ON. Tends to serve as The Kirk to Toews and Kane's respective Spock and McCoy[16]. Was named MVP of the 2011 All-Star game while being the only one among his Hawk teammates[17] drafted to Team Staal, which lost anyway. Recently had consecutive overtime winning goals in games the days immediately before and after the birth of his first child (who is already being shipped with Eric Staal (also of Thunder Bay)'s son born two days later).
      • Also, the only player in the league capable of equalling Henrik Lundqvist's Memetic Sex God status.
    • Daniel Alfredsson - Currently the longest serving captain in the NHL and has played over 1000 games and has over 1000 points with the same team (Ottawa Senators). Was the first European captain to lead his team to the Stanley Cup Final. Was a part of the CASH[18] line until Dany Heatley demanded a trade out. Ottawa fans love their captain and often chant Alfie during games which can lead to this. He has also inspired a following called the Church Of Alfie. Oppositely, he is hated in Toronto for mocking then captain Mats Sundin after Sundin was suspended for throwing his broken stick into the crowd and also for this hit on Darcy Tucker.
    • Dany Heatley - Once a rising star with the now defunct Thrashers, he killed teammate Dan Snyder when Snyder was riding passenger as Heatley drove drunk. He was immediately forgiven, and everyone agrees to pretend it never happened. His back to back fifty goal seasons seem a distant memory these days.
    • Dale Hunter - Known to be one of the most feared enforcers in the NHL, Hunter could add points on the board and notches to opponents' bodies every chance he got. He had some pretty impressive runs with the Quebec Nordiques and the Washington Capitals, becoming just part of a handful of goons that scored more than 1000 points and 3000 PI Ms in his career. He stepped in as coach of the Capitals after Bruce Boudreau was fired due to inconsistency problems and managed to get them to the playoffs in the 2011-12 season, advancing to the 2nd round and taking the New York Rangers to the limit before eventually being ousted in 7 games. He left the job and returned to being head coach of the London Knights.
  • Defensemen:
    • Bobby Orr - Unquestionably the greatest defenseman to play hockey and about the only player giving Gretzky competition for "best ever", yet had his career cut short due to a plague of knee injuries. Won the Cup twice with the Bruins. Scored "The Goal" to win the Stanley Cup in 1970, one of the most iconic moments in NHL history.
    • Eddie Shore - The most dominant defenseman of his era - the late 1920s through 1940 - would have won a pile of Norris Trophies had the award existed when he played. Won the Hart Trophy four times as league MVP. Known for being extremely ill-tempered and violent as well as skilled.
    • Ray Bourque - A defenseman considered second only to Orr. Holds the record for most consecutive All-Star games (19 in a row), most points scored by a defenseman and the unofficial record for most shots on goal (over 6000).
    • Paul Coffey - The premier offensive defensemen in his day, breaking many of Bobby Orr's records. Known for his tremendous skating ability, but also for sometimes hanging around the offensive end for too long (particularly later in his career).
    • Al MacInnis - Known for his incredibly powerful shot, often leaving trophy sized bruises on players courageous enough to attempt to try and block it, despite being a great defenceman in all regards. Split his career between the Flames and Blues. Won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1989 when the Flames won their only Cup.
    • Scott Stevens - When he played, forwards were often afraid to cross his blue line, for he was one of the hardest hitters to ever lace the skates. Known for classic, thunderous hits.
    • Mike Green - An offensive defenseman who is comparable to a young Paul Coffey.
    • Nicklas Lidström - A veteran defenseman who is known for his outstanding play with the Detroit Red Wings, quietly shutting down opposing offenses without much body contact.
    • Chris Pronger - Contrasting Nicklas Lidstrom, he is the epitome of physical domination in the defensive zone. Very big. Plays on the edge, nearly drawing infractions, but only nearly, drawing the ire of fans and players everywhere, except for his own. Currently out with a concussion, which many believe could be career-threatening given his age.
    • Zdeno Chara - Slovakian-born captain of the Bruins. At 6' 9" (well over 7 feet with skates) is the tallest person to ever play in the NHL[19], and holds the league record for hardest slap shot. Involved in a somewhat controversial hit against Max Pacioretty of the Habs. Habs fans thought it was dirty and he should have been suspended. Bruins fans attest the injury was because of the glass between the benches that isn't present at other stadiums. Due to the teams' known relationship and the Serious Business nature of hockey in Canada, the Montreal police got involved and Air Canada threatened to pull their sponsorship of the league. They were not happy.
    • Larry Murphy - He earned credentials as one of the best two-way defenders in the 1980s and 1990s, being one of the key players that helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win two consecutive Stanley Cups after strong stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Washington Capitals and Minnesota North Stars. The Detroit Red Wings would add him to their winning ways, earning him 2 more titles. In his time with the Penguins, he created the Murphy Dump, as coined by broadcaster Mike Lange: Murphy would clear out the puck from his zone and yet it slided just enough not to cause an icing call.
  • Goaltenders:
    • Jacques Plante - Innovated the modern goalie mask, and was the first to wear it regularly. (The first NHL goalie ever to wear a mask, however, was the Montreal Maroons' Clint Benedict in 1929-30 for five games.) Won the Vezina Trophy (for being goalie on the team with the team with the fewest goals scored against it) a record seven times (including one shared). His habit of knitting to relax helped establish goaltender as the likely position of any Cloudcuckoolander that laced up their skates.
    • Terry Sawchuk - Considered the (or at least among) best goalies of the Original Six era. He held a record that many thought could never be broken, 103 shutouts, until it was done in 2009 by...
    • Martin Brodeur - probably the best goalie of all time, he has won the cup three times with the Devils and two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada. Broke Patrick Roy's record for most wins and is still going strong with over 500 compiled.
    • Miikka Kiprusoff - Was not a starting goalie until after he was traded from the San Jose Sharks to the Calgary Flames in 2003-2004. In the starting spot he then set a modern day NHL record for lowest goals against average before backstopping the Flames all the way to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, in an unlikely and charismatic playoff run by a scrappy underdog team. Has continued to be an outstanding goalie in the years since, frequently stealing wins with his acrobatic goaltending.
    • Roberto Luongo - Currently with the Vancouver Canucks, and was the first goaltender in decades to be a team captain, a title he relinquished after the 2009-10 Season. While his technique borders on unorthodox, his frequent, and often incredibly athletic, saves leave viewers (and shooters) scratching their heads. After Martin Brodeur's embarrassing loss to USA in the Vancouver 2010 Olymplics, Luongo took over as Team Canada's goalie, and helped salvage the tournament in his hometown, culminating in a gold medal. That was sort of a big deal. Since then, he's come under fire for his complete collapse in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.
    • Ryan Miller - Goalie for the Sabres and Team USA. Has made an art of stealing, or at least keeping 'em in games his teams might have no business being in. Comes from a hockey family out of Lansing, Michigan - his brother Drew plays for Detroit, and cousins Kevin, Kelly and Kip (all brothers) are retired NHLers, and all five starred for Michigan State University.
    • Antti Niemi - Goalie for the San Jose Sharks. Notable for being the second-most recent Stanley Cup championship goaltender, having helped the Blackhawks to the trophy in 2010; and for being in the rare position of winning a Cup, being released by the winning team, and signing with the team he helped beat to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. Also notable for being something of a Memetic Badass, for his rather acrobatic butterfly goaltending--at one point during the 2011 playoffs he wound up playing while standing on his head during several shots.
    • Tim Thomas - Goalie for the Bruins and Niemi's successor as Cup-winning goalie. 5th goaltender and only 2nd American player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP. Known for making lots of ridiculously hard saves and a very unorthodox playing style. Didn't actually become a starting goalie in the NHL until he was well into his thirties, having played in Europe and minor leagues over the years. Also known for his controversial opinions on the federal government and refusing to meet Barack Obama.
    • Patrick Roy - Revolutionized the goaltending position in the 80s with a new butterfly style to stop low shots. Is considered one of the best goalies when the game is on the line, and has an uncanny knack to dominate playoff overtime. Among Montreal fans, he shares a reputation with Ken Dryden as a brilliant young goaltender who left the team when he was at the top of his game.[20] One of the fiercest competitors ever to play.
    • Dominik Hasek - The goalie most known for his stint with Buffalo in the 90's. Often stuck on bad Buffalo teams but still managed to challenge Roy and Brodeur as the best goalie in the NHL year after year. Notable for his flexibility and willingness to make seemingly impossible saves look normal. Would win two Stanley Cups with Detroit. Won the Vezina Trophy for best goalie six times, a record for its current criteria.
    • Glenn Hall - Nicknamed "Mr. Goalie" during his career for his skill at his position. Threw up a lot, but still managed to play 502 consecutive games once, a record for a goalie that will almost certainly never be broken (even the best goaies now will sit about ten or fifteen games a season).
    • Ron Hextall - Best known for his years in Philadelphia, Hextall changed the way goalies played by his willingness to come out of the net (way out of the net) and aggressively pass the puck forward instead of stopping it or guiding it to the side for a teammate to pick up. He was the first goaltender in NHL history to deliberately score a goal (instead of getting credit for the goal by being the last player to touch the puck before the opposing team screwed up and scored on their own net). Also well known for using his stick as an axe on opposing players' legs and even fighting.
    • Marc Andre Fluery- Goalie for the Penguins, known for being very flexible and able to make amazing saves, particularly the save on Alex Ovechin during game 7 of the 2009 Eastern Semifinals which was a major turning point in the game that led to the Pens absolutely dominating the Caps. He also had a memorable save in the final seconds of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, literally jumping to the side of the net ala a Secret Service man taking the bullet for the President.
    • Henrik Lundqvist - King Henrik, goalie for the Rangers. Hails from Sweden and led the national team to Olympic Gold at the 2006 Torino games. Well known amongst fans and throughout the league for being not only be really really good, but being really really attractive, to the point that few fans and even other players haven't fallen into moments of Stupid Sexy Flanders upon seeing him without a mask, including a Swedish Princess if rumors are true. Naturally, it's led to great amounts of Memetic Sex God status.
    • Ilya Bryzgalov - Russian-born goaltender for the Flyers who previously won the Cup with Anaheim in 2007. Became the Breakout Character in the 2011-12 edition of 24/7 which showed the entire hockey world his happy-go-lucky, philosophic self, at least until his play started hitting a slump at which point the world also saw a much more jaded and cynical side that led to league-wide woobie status. It's not hard to drawn comparisons between him and a certain Russian well known on this very wiki.
    • Tom Barrasso - American-born goaltender that while he had a good start with the Buffalo Sabres, his stint with the Pittsburgh Penguins is more well-known. Stepped up into the big leagues at the age of 18, a feat that has hardly been equaled ever since and proved to be one of the best marquee goalies of his time thanks to his impressive agility and stick handling skills and became the first American goalie to amass 300 wins. He's currently mentoring Cam Ward as the Carolina Hurracanes' goaltending coach.
    • Grant Fuhr - Drafted 8th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 1981, Fuhr would become one of the best goalies in the 1980s while playing alongside Andy Moog and later Bill Ranford. In the later stages of his career, he fought against injuries and substance abuse problems, but he still managed to obtain 403 victories in his career. He holds the current NHL record for 76 consecutive starts and 79 appearances in 1996 with the St. Louis Blues.
    • Andy Moog - Rising up as a goaltender with the Oilers, Moog showed a lot of moxie while splitting time with Grant Fuhr, even managing to win one of the Stanley Cup titles for Edmonton in the 1984 playoffs. He would then be traded to the Boston Bruins for Bill Ranford and cemented his reputation as one of the best of his position. Considered to be The Habs Killer due to being able to beat the Montreal Canadiens each time they met in the playoffs. He's known to have the scariest goalie mask in history.
    • Ed Belfour - Known as The Eagle thanks to his emblematic mask that always sported an eagle in every team he's played with, Belfour is considered one of the best goalies of all time. Drated by the Chicago Blackhawks , Belfour would come up with one of the best seasons for a rookie in 1990-1991 by obtaining 43 victories, 2.47 GAA and 4 shoutouts and took them to the Stanley Cup Finals in the 1991-1992 season where they got swept by the Mario Lemieux-led Penguins. Tensions between him and backup goalie Jeff Hackett led him to be dealt to the San Jose Sharks and later he landed to the Dallas Stars, where he helped them win the Stanley Cup in 1999 against the Buffalo Sabres. He was also known as Crazy Eddie due to his drunken antics and was inducted in the 2011 NHL Hall of Fame.
  • Coaches and other people
    • Frederick Arthur Stanley - Lord Stanley of Preston (1841 - 1908), he purchased the original trophy that came to bear his name, the Stanley Cup, in 1892, to be awarded to the champion of Canadian hockey. Stanley never actually saw the Cup awarded, as he returned home to England prior to its first awarding in 1893. The Stanley Cup was originally a challenge cup among amateur teams, but became a professional championship in the 1910s, and the de facto championship trophy of the NHL after 1926.
    • Peter Pocklington - owner of the Edmonton Oilers from 1978 to 1998, he brought Wayne Gretzky to the team; put his father's name on the 83-84 Stanley Cup (an accident, he claims); traded Gretzky to Los Angeles for two players, three draft picks, and $15 million in 1988; and had to sell the team after falling into bankruptcy. He is not liked in Edmonton.
    • Don Cherry - Former coach during the 70's and early 80's who is now host of Hockey Night in Canada's 'Coach's Corner'. Best known for his flamboyant dress style and propensity to say controversial things which at times lands him in hot water (Most notable was a five minute long debate with co-host Ron MacLean about the impending War in Iraq in 2003. Note that the entire argument had nothing to do with hockey at all.) Coach's Corner has also been subject to a seven-second delay in the past due to Cherry's controversial nature. Your Mileage May Vary on whether or not he oversteps his boundaries, some love him, some hate him.
    • Gary Bettman - Current NHL Commissioner (in fact, its first Commissioner; previously there were Presidents). Spearheaded the league's push into non-traditional markets (new franchises in Nashville and Atlanta, as well as movement of teams southward[21]). Has generated a lot of Hatedom from fans accusing him of being anti-Canadian (having blocked several attempts to move now-financially-floundering franchises in Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Phoenix back to Canada) and being generally detrimental to the sport (two labor stoppages, including the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season, and the subsequent move of games from ESPN to the (then Outdoor Life, now) Versus Network due to the latter's much less extensive exposure).
    • Scotty Bowman - winningest coach in the league's history (1244 regular season wins, 223 playoff wins). Won nine Stanley Cups as a coach with three different teams (Canadiens, Penguins, and Red Wings), and coached the St. Louis Blues to three consecutive Cup appearances from 1968-70. Currently the Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations for the Blackhawks. Was recently awarded the Order of Canada (basically, he's a Canadian knight).
    • Al Arbour - hockey's second winningest coach (782 regular season wins, 123 playoff wins). Holds the record for most wins with one team (740). Best known as coach of the dynasty New York Islanders, but he also won Stanley Cups as a player with the Red Wings, Blackhawks and Maple Leafs, and was captain of Scotty Bowman's St. Louis Blues.
    • The Sutter Family - Six brothers from Viking, Alberta that have played in the NHL for a combined total of over 5000 games - Darryl, Duane, Brian, Brent, and twins Ron and Rich. Several have gone on to coach in the league as well. The second generation of Sutters are breaking into the NHL as well, with Brandon and Brett having played at the top level, and several more possibly on the way in coming years.
    • Lou Lamoriello - Team President and General Manager of the New Jersey Devils. In Lou's first year, the Devils Took a Level in Badass and were one win away from going to their first Stanley Cup Finals in 87'-88' Season. Since that season, the franchise missed the playoffs ONLY twice, while winning the Stanley Cup three times in four appearances. He was best known for drafting Martin Brodeur in 1990, after "almost" every team passed him up. He's now considered one of the league's best goaltenders and holds several league records. One of the drafters of the 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement, that brought the NHL back from a cancelled season.
    • Howie Meeker: A former player and TV commentator who became more famous as a children's educator in the sport with TV shows and books devoted to teaching the game. He also was a strong advocate for better quality kid's safety equipment in the sport.
    • Jack Edwards: Play-by-play announcer for the Bruins on NESN, known for his enthusiastic commentary.
    • Roger Neilson: Sadly passed away from cancer in 2003. Infamous for his bending of the rules, such as putting a defenseman in goal for a penalty shot, who could legally leave the goal and check the other guy, and having goalies block the net with their stick when they were pulled. The innovator of the Towel Power tradition (fans waving towels) when he stuck a white towel on the end of a player's stick and waved it as a mock surrender flag as a symbol of his disgust with the officiating in the game.
    • The Staal Brothers - Four brothers from Thunder Bay, Ontario who are currently signed to NHL contracts.
      • Eric, the oldest brother, is the current Captain of the Carolina Hurricanes and was a part of the team during their 2006 Stanley Cup win.
      • Marc is the second oldest and is the only defenceman of the four. He currently plays for the New York Rangers.
      • Jordan currently plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins and won the Stanley Cup with them in 2009. Interestingly, he started playing in the NHL a year before his older brother Marc.
      • Jared is the youngest brother and is the only one to have been traded in the NHL. He was originally drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes but was traded to his brother Eric's team, the Carolina Hurricanes in 2010. Has not yet become an NHL regular.
    • Brendan Shanahan: Already well known by hockey fans for his time as a player (1000 points and three Stanley Cups), Shanahan became a rather polarizing figure in 2011 when he replaced Colin Campell as the league's disciplinarian. As opposed to Campbell, who gained much criticism for punishing some incidents and letting many others slide, Shanahan's agenda seems to be to hand out suspensions for absolutelty eveything. At this point, half the fans are complaining that he's even worse than Campbell, and the other half argue that he's exactly what the game needs. Stay tuned. Shanahan is a firm proponent of the idea that new media is not evil as he has appeared in online videos explaining every suspension he's handed out so far in detail, so fans aren't scratching their heads wondering about his application of the rules.
    • Mike "Doc" Emrick: Widely regarded as the best play-by-play commentator in the sport. Has a unique vocabulary, and knows just about everything there is to know about hockey. Was born and raised in Indiana, a state known for its basketball rather than its hockey, and is a noted fan of baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates. Nickname comes from the doctorate he earned at Bowling Green State University.

Historical footnotes

  • In the three major North American sports leagues (or the "Big Two Sports...and Hockey", if you prefer) that have a best-of-seven playoff series format (the others being the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball), a team has come back from being down three games to none to win the series only four times. Three of them have been in the NHL (the fourth being the 2004 Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees):
    • The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings in this manner to win the Stanley Cup, after Detroit head coach Jack Adams was suspended midway through the series.
    • The New York Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1975 Quarterfinals, and fell just short of repeating the feat against the Philadelphia Flyers in the following round.
    • The 2010 Philadelphia Flyers did this to the Boston Bruins in the Conference Semifinals, and to top it off, even spotted the Bruins the first three goals of Game 7, only to win that game by a score of 4-3.
National Hockey League provides examples of the following tropes:
  1. January 2nd in 2012 as not to conflict with the NFL as New Years fall on Sunday
  2. the roots of the league go back to 1917 with four teams (among them the Canadiens and Maple Leafs) and grew to as many as ten before the Great Depression and World War 2 forced the league to downsize
  3. 6'9" (2.06m)
  4. for "Les Habitants", an old term for French-origin inhabitants of Quebec
  5. "Tex's Rangers"
  6. Technically, it's correct because the team isn't named after the things that grow on trees but the Canadian Maple Leaf Regiment that fought in World War I
  7. Though, really, the Kings and Blues have Cup droughts that are just as long, having never won the league championship since their formation in 1967
  8. The chant in the link happens at every home game, without exception, no matter who they're playing against or what point it is in the season.
  9. Center Gilbert Perreault, with Rick Martin to his left and Rene Robert on his right.
  10. the second time a team moved from Atlanta, the first being the Flames in 1980
  11. (okay, Winnipeg is in the southeastern part of Manitoba)
  12. The Hawks would go on to win the cup this year
  13. and is somewhat mirrored with modern Hawk stars Jonathan Toews (blue) and Patrick Kane (red)
  14. the former of which being the outdoor Winter Classic
  15. there was still some bad blood from the 2010 Cup Finals
  16. even though Toews is actually The Captain
  17. out of 4 of them
  18. Captain Alfredsson, Spezza, Heatley
  19. and therefore hoisted the cup higher than it has ever been before in 2011
  20. Dryden left the Canadiens (and the NHL) after only seven seasons over a contract dispute, and used the time to study law at McGill. Roy, after an embarrassing 11-1 to Detroit in 1995, angrily declared it would be the last game he ever played in Montreal, and he got his wish, spending the rest of his career with the Colorado Avalanche.
  21. Quebec to Colorado, Winnipeg to Phoenix, Hartford to Carolina; the Stars don't belong here because the decision to move to Dallas was made shortly before Bettman took over