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NHL

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The National Hockey League (NHL) (French: Ligue Nationale de Hockey (LNH)) is a professional ice hockey league composed of teams in North America. It is the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the North American major professional sports leagues. The NHL is divided into two fifteen-team conferences, each of which consists of three five-team divisions.

The league was founded in 1917 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with four teams, and through a series of expansions, reductions and relocations is now composed of 30 teams, 24 of which are based in the United States and six in Canada. After a labour dispute that led to the cancellation of the complete 2004–05 season, the league has staged a successful comeback, including revenue and profit growth.

Because the sport originated in Canada, Canadians have historically constituted a large majority of the players in the NHL. Over the past 25 years, the percentages of American and European players have increased because of the NHL’s continued expansion into the United States, its high standard of play compared to other leagues, and the availability of highly skilled European players. Nevertheless, more than half of the league’s players on the 2005–06 roster were born in Canada.

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