National Hockey League (NHL) Information
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National Hockey League All Star Game Formats
Ace Bailey, a Maple Leafs legend, suffered a fractured skull on a career-ending check by Eddie Shore of the Boston Bruins on Dec. 12, 1933. The Leafs faced off against a team of elite NHL players, 18 of them future Hall of Famers, to raise some $23,000 on Bailey's behalf. That a benefit game held for Irvine (Ace) Bailey at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on Feb. 14, 1934 was the foundation for today's All Star event.
A second benefit was held three years later, this time at the Montreal Forum for the family of Howie Morenz, only 34 when he died of a heart attack on Mar. 8, 1937. Morenz was a three-time Hart Trophy winner with the Montreal Canadiens whose career ended abruptly when he broke his leg less than two months earlier. The host team for the benefit combined players from the cross-town rival Canadiens and Maroons, while the opposition was again an assemblage of all-stars from other NHL clubs.
The third and final "unofficial" All-Star game was also staged at the Forum, in 1939, in honour of Albert (Babe) Siebert. Siebert, a star with the Maroons, New York Rangers, Bruins and Canadiens, drowned in Lake Huron on Aug. 25. He was 35.
Seeking a celebratory showcase following the Second World War, the NHL started the 1947 season with an All Star Game.. The first "official" game pitted the reigning Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs against top talent selected from the remaining team rosters.
More than 14,000 fans jammed the old Maple Leaf Gardens on Canada's Thanksgiving Day , Oct. 13, 1947, to watch the hometown team play the NHL's first official All-Star team. The defending Stanley Cup champs had a lead going into the third period, but the All Stars stormed back and won 4-3, with Doug Bentley scoring the deciding goal.
After four years of All-Star play, the NHL decided to shake things up, so in 1951, the league had the First Team All-Stars, supplemented with players from the four U.S.-based clubs, face the Second Team All-Stars with additions from Toronto and Montreal. It didn't do much for the entertainment value because the 1951 and 1952 games both ended in ties, so the league returned having the Stanley Cup champions go against the All-Stars.
The NHL moved the All Star game to the middle of the season for the first time in 1953.. The All-Star Game had previously been staged before the regular season got under way.
With expansion doubling in the number of teams to 12 , the NHL in 1968 made another format change, pitting All-Stars from the East against the West. The players also started getting participation money for the first time.
In 1975 with 18 teams in the league selected the teams by conference, namely the Prince of Wales and the Clarence Campbell conferences. In 1994 this became a game between the Eastern and Western conferences.
In 1998 recognizing the growing number of players from outside North America playing within the NHL, the format became players from North America on one team and those from everywhere else on the other.
That format lasted five years, until the NHL returned to East vs. West in 2003, the setup that remains in place today.
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The National Hockey League (NHL) is the premier hockey league in the world. The National Hockey League (NHL) currently consists of 30 teams, in major cities of the United States and Canada.The NHL was founded in 1917 amid a storm of controversy in Canadian hockey leagues.