A brief ice hockey history
Early to mid-1800s:
Ice hockey as we know it is first played in either Windsor, Nova Scotia, Kingston, Ontario or Montreal, Quebec, depending on who you believe and how you read the evidence.
The first known rules are published by the Montreal Gazette.
The Amateur Hockey Association of Canada is formed, with four teams in Montreal, one in Ottawa and one in Quebec City.
1889 or 1892:
The first women's hockey game is played in Ottawa or Barrie, Ontario.
Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston and Governor-General of Canada, donates a trophy to be called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. It will be known more commonly as the Stanley Cup. The first winning team is from the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, champions of the AHAC.
The first artificial ice rink is opened in Baltimore.
College athletes from the United States and Canada play the first international series of matches, with the Canadians winning all four games.
College and club teams in the Eastern U.S. soon take up the game.
The Winnipeg Victorias become the first team from Western Canada to win the Stanley Cup.
Late 1800s and early 1900s:
North American ice hockey appears in European countries, taking its place alongside similar games such as bandy.
The goal net is introduced.
Five teams in the United States and Ontario form the International Hockey League, the first league of professional teams. It last three seasons.
The Montreal Canadiens play their first game after joining a new league called the National Hockey Association.
Teams in Western Canada form the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. The league introduces several innovations: Blue lines are added to divide the ice into three zones, goaltenders are permitted to fall to the ice to make saves and forward passing is allowed in the neutral zone.
The 60 minute game is divided into three 20 minute periods.
The number of players allowed on the ice is reduced from seven to six per team.
Four NHA teams reorganize to form the National Hockey League. A new Toronto franchise, the Arenas, is added. The Arenas will become the Maple Leafs in 1927.
The Seattle Metropolitans of the PCHA become the first American-based team to win the Stanley Cup, after the Cup's trustees rule that teams outside Canada can compete for the trophy.
An ice hockey tournament is played at the Summer Olympics. It will later be declared the first World Ice Hockey Championship. Canada wins.
Foster Hewitt calls the first hockey broadcast for radio, an intermediate game between teams from Kitchener and Toronto.
The Boston Bruins defeat the Montreal Maroons 2-1 in the first NHL game played in the United States.
The NHL increases the regular season schedule from 24 to 30 games. Players on the first place Hamilton Tigers refuse to compete in the 1925 playoffs unless they are paid for the extra games played. The players are suspended and the team is subsequently sold to become the New York Americans.
Ice hockey debuts at the Winter Olympics, with Canada winning the gold medal.
The New York Rangers, Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars (later renamed the Red Wings) join the NHL.
The Western Hockey League disbands and sells most of its players to the new NHL teams, leaving the NHL as the undisputed top hockey league in North America.
The first offside rule is introduced.
Ralph Bowman of the St. Louis Eagles scores the first penalty shot goal.
The New York Americans defeat Toronto 3-2 in the first game to be broadcast coast-to-coast in Canada.
Great Britain wins the Olympic gold medal, marking Canada's first significant loss in international ice hockey.
The first rule to deal with icing is introduced.
The Brooklyn Americans withdraw from the NHL. For the next 25 years the league will be comprised of the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Bruins, Rangers and Black Hawks, now known as "the Original Six."
The NHL season begins in October for the first time.
Babe Pratt becomes the first NHL player suspended for betting on games.
Referees begin using hand signals to indicate penalties and other rulings.
Billy Reay of the Montreal Canadiens becomes the first NHL player to raise his arms and stick in celebration after scoring a goal.
The center red line first appears on the ice.
Hockey Night in Canada makes its television debut.
Maurice "Rocket" Richard is suspended for the remainder of the season and the playoffs after punching a linesman during a fight.
The suspension sparks the "Richard Riot" in Montreal.
NHL officials wear striped sweaters for the first time.
The Zamboni makes its NHL debut when Montreal hosts Toronto.
Jean Beliveau is the first hockey player to appear on the cover of "Sports Illustrated."
The USSR enters Olympic ice hockey for the first time, winning the gold medal.
The first NHL Player's Association is formed with Detroit's Ted Lindsay as president. The owners soon crush the organization and the Red Wings trade Lindsay to the last place Chicago Black Hawks.
CBS is the first U.S. television network to carry NHL games.
Willie O'Ree of the Boston Bruins is the first black player in the NHL.
The Hockey Hall of Fame opens in Toronto.
The first NHL amateur draft is held in Montreal, with 21 players selected.
Ulf Sterner plays four games with the New York Rangers, becoming the first Swedish-born player in the NHL.
The NHL doubles in size, adding franchises in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Oakland, St. Louis and Philadelphia.
The Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks join the NHL.
The World Hockey Association begins play, outbidding NHL teams for several star players. Bobby Hull becomes hockey's first million-dollar man when he leaves the Chicago Black Hawks and signs a 10-year, $2.75 million contract with the WHA's Winnipeg Jets.
The Atlanta Flames and New York Islanders join the NHL.
The Summit Series pits the best Canadian professionals against the best from the Soviet Union for the first time. Canadian players who have jumped from the NHL to the WHA are not invited to play. Canada wins the last three games to finish with four wins, three losses and a tie, clinching the series on a dramatic goal by Paul Henderson in the final game.
The Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals join the NHL.
The USSR wins the first World Junior Hockey Championship.
A second Canada-Soviet exhibition series takes place, featuring Canadians from the WHA against the Soviet nationals.
Soviet club teams play in North America for the first time when Central Red Army and Soviet Wings play a series of exhibition games against NHL teams.
Two franchises move: The California Seals become the Cleveland Barons and the Kansas City Scouts become the Colorado Rockies.
Canada defeats Czechoslovakia in the final to win the first Canada Cup tournament.
The Cleveland Barons merge with the Minnesota North Stars.
The World Hockey Association folds, with the Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, Hartford Whalers and Winnipeg Jets joining the NHL.
The United States defeats the USSR in the semifinal and Finland in the final to win the Olympic gold medal. The "Miracle on Ice" will be enshrined as one of the greatest moments in American sports history.
The Atlanta Flames move to Calgary.
The Colorado Rockies move to New Jersey and become the Devils.
The NHL introduces a five-minute sudden death overtime period at the end of ties games in the regular season.
Sergei Priakin plays for the Calgary Flames, becoming the first Soviet player permitted to join an NHL club.
Canada wins the first Women's World Hockey Championship.
The San Jose Sharks join the NHL.
The NHL introduces video review.
The Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning join the NHL.
The Florida Panthers and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim begin play.
The Minnesota North Stars move to Dallas and become the Stars.
One of the NHL's most famous futility streaks comes to an end as the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1940.
Rangers' defenseman Brian Leetch is the first American-born player to win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.
In the league's first major labour dispute, NHL players are locked out for 103 days at the beginning of the 1994-95 season. The regular season, which begins January 20, 1995, is the shortest in 53 years.
Jaromir Jagr becomes the first European to lead the NHL in scoring.
The Quebec Nordiques move to Denver and become the Colorado Avalanche.
The Winnipeg Jets move to Phoenix, where they are re-named the Coyotes.
The Hartford Whalers become the Carolina Hurricanes.
Craig Mactavish, the last remaining helmetless player in the NHL, retires.
The Nashville Predators join the NHL.
The NHL begins using two referees in each game.
NHL players compete at the Olympics for the first time, with the Czech Republic winning the gold medal.
The United States defeats Canada to win the first Olympic gold medal in women's hockey.
The Atlanta Thrashers join the NHL.
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild bring the total number of NHL teams to 30.
NHL players return to the Winter Olympics, with Canada winning the gold medal. The victory comes 50 years to the day after the last Canadian gold medal in men's hockey.
Canada defeats the United States to win the second Olympic gold medal in women's hockey.
The Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup, with Swedish-born defenseman Niklas Lidstrom claiming the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Lidstrom is the first European to win the award.
The United States wins its first ever World Junior Hockey Championship.
The Stanley Cup arrives in Florida, as the Tampa Bay Lightning win the NHL championship in their 12th season.
Canada wins the second World Cup of Hockey, defeating Finland 3-2 in the championship game and finishing the tournament undefeated. Vincent Lecavalier is named tournament MVP.
On September 15, the owners lock out the players, putting the 2004-05 NHL season on hold pending a new collective bargaining agreement.
On February 16, the 2004-05 NHL season is officially cancelled because of the failure to reach a new collective agreement.
On July 13, the 301st day of the lockout, the NHL and NHL Players' Association announce a tentative agreement, allowing the league to resume play in October.
The NHL introduces a series of rules changes for the 2005-06 season, including shootouts to end tie games