Today I will inform you on the history and background of the National Hockey League. When you think of hockey, what goes through your head? Do you think of fighting or just a fast game? What about a few guys with toothless grins and going for wins? Originally the championship trophy of the NHL was donated by Lord Stanley of Preston. Having paid nearly $50 for this cup, he wanted to award the best team in the league. It was originally gifted to the winner of a challenge series between Ottawa and Montreal. Competition for this cup expanded and teams competed for the title of best in the dominion of Canada. The NHL would eventually form and adopt this trophy for itself. Hockey has expanded throughout the world, from Canada to Australia. My name is _____ and I am currently a player of the game as are many others. I enjoy playing hockey and admiring those who professionally play. Today I will discuss the competition before the NHL, the formation of the NHL, and its development from that time going forward in the 20th century. .
Amateur hockey in the late 1800s and early 1900s built a strong foundation for the NHL to come in future years. It developed as a simple game played because of the cold Canadian winter. When ponds and lakes froze, the people went out to play. That being said, ice hockey was a popular sport in the Canadian area in the late 1800s. Teams competed, but there was little higher meaning to the games. Teams did not compete professionally and players were not paid by the their teams. Lord Stanley however, was a devoted fan of the game. He purchased and donated a cup to be competed for by teams throughout Canada. This cup was no bigger than a large chip bowl. But its attraction proved to be real and great over time. (flip slide) Montreal AAA was the first team to win the award in 1892. Various other teams came to compete for this cup for over twenty years before the NHL was formed.