The National Hockey League (NHL; French: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is an "unincorporated not-for-profit association" which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which seven are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States. Headquartered in New York City, the NHL is widely considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.
The league was organized on November 27, 1917, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association (NHA), which had been founded in 1909. It started with four teams (all based in Canada) and, through a series of expansions, contractions, and relocations, is now composed of thirty active franchises. The nation referred to by the league's name was Canada, although the league has now been binational since 1924 when it expanded into the United States. After a labour dispute that led to the cancellation of the entire 2004–05 season, the league resumed play under a new collective bargaining agreement that included a salary cap. In 2009, the NHL enjoyed record highs in terms of sponsorships, attendance, and television audiences.
The Detroit Red Wings are a professional ice hockey team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL), and are one of the Original Six teams of the NHL, along with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, and Chicago Blackhawks.
As of 2011[update], the Red Wings have won the most Stanley Cup championships (11) of any NHL franchise based in the United States, and are third overall in total NHL championships, behind the Montreal Canadiens (24) and Toronto Maple Leafs (13). They play home games in the 20,066 capacity Joe Louis Arena after having spent over 40 years playing in Olympia Stadium. The Red Wings are one of the most popular franchises in the NHL, and fans and commentators refer to Detroit and its surrounding areas as "Hockeytown", which has been a registered trademark owned by the franchise since 1996.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a professional ice hockey team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the first expansion teams during the league's original expansion from six to twelve teams. The Penguins played in the Civic Arena, also known to Pittsburgh fans as "The Igloo", from the time of their inception through the end of the 2009–10 season. They moved into their new arena, Consol Energy Center, to begin the 2010–11 NHL season. They have qualified for four Stanley Cup Finals, winning the Stanley Cup three times in their history – in 1991, 1992, and 2009.