Before the National Hockey League, there was the National Hockey Association (NHA). After the executives of this organization couldn’t resolve disputes, NHL was formed in 1917 as a new entity. The Great Depression and World War II reduced the league to six teams, later known as the “Original Six,” by 1942. The Original Six era ended in 1967 when the NHL doubled in size by adding six new expansion teams. The six existing teams were formed into the newly created East Division, while the expansion teams were formed into the West Division. The NHL continued to expand, adding another six teams to a total of 18 by 1974.

Increased use of defence-focused systems helped cause scoring to fall in the late 1990s, leading some to argue that the NHL’s talent pool had been diluted by 1990s expansion. In 1998, the NHL began awarding teams a single point for losing in overtime, hoping to reduce the number of tie games; after the 2004–05 lockout, it eliminated the tie, introducing the shootout to ensure each game has a winner.

What is the Stanley Cup?

The Stanley Cup championship happens annually. It is the final tournament of the NHL season. There is an elimination-style game leading up to the main game. Then we find out which team will receive the title of Stanley Cup Champion. There are eight teams from each conference that get to the playoffs. This is based on their performance. Afterward, it goes in rounds of winners going forward aiming to get to the Stanley Cup final.

NHL trophies

La Coupe Stanley, French for The Stanley Cup, is the championship trophy awarded annually to the NHL playoff champion. It is the oldest existing trophy to be awarded to a professional sports franchise in North America. The first Cup was awarded in 1893 to Montreal Hockey Club, and winners from 1893 to 1914 were determined by challenge games and league play.

There are actually three Stanley Cups: the original bowl of the “Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup”, the authenticated “Presentation Cup”, and the spelling-corrected “Permanent Cup” on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame whenever the Presentation Cup is not available.

Since the 1914–15 season, the Cup has been won a combined 103 times by 20 current NHL teams and five teams no longer in existence. More than three thousand different names, including the names of over thirteen hundred players, had been engraved on it by 2017.


NHL Odds and Bet Types in 2024 Explained

nhl playoffs

There are plenty of options to bet on NHL games. The main three markets on the NHL and the most popular markets are Money Line, Puck Line, and Goal Totals. Throughout the regular season, each team has 82 games to play. In total there are 1,271 total regular-season games. After you have chosen the sports betting site you wish to enjoy, make sure to explore what the site offers. There should be the main three NHL markets in the money line, spread, and totals. In addition, there should be a selection of NHL Team Prop Bets and NHL Player Prop Bet.

How to read NHL Odds?

Odds are represented as a number with positive or negative signs before them. There are two numbers you need to know about. The first one is the spread, and the second is the odds. Remember that the minus (-) sign indicates that the team is a favorite. This means they are more likely to win the game. The plus (+) sign means they are less likely to win. Players call them “underdog”.

The spread is the number of points the winner needs to win for the bet to win. For example, a spread of -3.5 means the winning team must win by over 4 points for the bet to be a winner (as the team cannot have 0,5 points difference).

Important to know that the odds are the actual payout structure of the game. A –  sign before the odds means that this is the amount of money you need to risk to win $100. You don’t have to bet $100 as your bet will be scaled up or down accordingly. For example, -110 means you need to wager $110 to win a $100 profit. So, your total amount back will be $210.

A + sign means you are betting on the underdog, and the number indicates the amount you win for every $100 wagered. Again scaled up/down accordingly. For example, placing a bet at +130 means you wager $100 and win $130 if the underdog wins, ending up with $230.

In short:

Negative Odds (favorite): How much you risk to win $100

Positive Odds (underdog): How much you can win on a $100 bet.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to bet $100! You can bet with less. It is easier to explain the calculation this way. Also, there is a difference between the odds used in Europe and the USA. American odds also are called Decimal Odds, Implied Odds, or Fractional Odds. For example, 1/4 Odds are actually the Fractional Odds version of +400. For this, you can always use the Odds calculator that can be found on the site.

What types of bets can you place on the NHL in 2024?

nhl usa

NHL Money Line Betting

NHL Money Line Betting is the simplest way in which you can bet on an NHL game. A bet on the Money Line is simply a bet on which team will win the match. NHL game cannot end with a tie as then there would be overtime and shootouts applied.

NHL Spread Betting – NHL Puck Line Betting

Spread betting / Puck Line. In this one, the favorite will typically have a – 1.5 puck line and the underdog a +1.5 puck line, with the odds. Here you are betting on either the favorite to win by 2 or more goals, or for the underdog to win, or to lose by 1 goal. The Puck lines can change from game to game, with some being +/- 0.5 goals and other +/- 2.5 goals, depending on how favored one team is over the other. The puck line will always have a .5 on the end to stop there from being a tie or a push. One side will always cover and the other will lose.

NHL Over/Under Betting – NHL Totals Betting

NHL Over/Under betting is a bet on the total number of goals scored after you combine the two teams’ goals. The line will be set by the sportsbooks and will typically range anywhere from Over/Under 4.5 goals right up to over under 8.5 goals. If you bet the overs on a 5.5 goal line, you need there to be 6 total goals scored to win, if you bet the unders on the same line, 5 or fewer goals in the match will see you cash your ticket.

NHL Player Prop Bets

NHL Player Prop Bets are a type of bet in which you are betting on the proposition of an occurrence, or non-occurrence of a specific player-based stat or performance. As with most sports, points and goals largely shape a player’s performance so you can bet on either of these in the NHL, as well as things like assists, shots, or even saves from a goaltender.

NHL Team Prop Bets

Much like NHL Player Prop Bets, NHL Team Prop Bets are a type of bet in which you are betting on the proposition of an occurrence, or non-occurrence of a specific event. With NHL team prop bets you are betting on one team or another, rather than the performance of both teams, such as the spread, points total or money line. For example, Team Points Total markets. Here you’re betting on an over/under points total for one team. This added flexibility allows you to bet on one team if you like them, but are unsure of the spread, or unsure if the opposition team will score enough points to take the over.

NHL Live Betting

nhl hockey

NHL games are exciting with the possibility of a goal or a penalty at any second, the game came flip on its head in an instant. With odds and lines updating in real time whilst the action unfolds on the ice, you can bet on the game right up until the dying seconds. While you won’t see as extensive a range of markets as you would pregame, all of the top markets such as money line, spreads, totals and a selection of prop bets will be available.

NHL Futures Betting

NHL Futures Betting, as the name would suggest is a bet on a future NHL outcome. This involves the Stanley Cup Championship, To Win A Division, To Win A Conference, or select NHL Player Futures. You bet before the season begins, right through until the end of the season, or at the end of the regular season for specific markets.


Since the 1995–96 season, each team in the NHL plays 82 regular season games, 41 each of home and road. In all, 1,312 games are scheduled (512 of them inter-conference)

The money is put into the NHL Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

The cost of a Season Ticket Membership ranges depending on the location from $3,000 to $22,000 and are subject to change annually.

The NHL currently consists of 32 teams divided into two conferences and four divisions.

In the regular season, NHL teams play 82 games, including games within their division, conference, and inter-conference matchups.

During Great Depression and World War II, the NHL reduced to six teams, known as the “Original Six” by 1942.

The Stanley Cup is the final tournament of the NHL season, featuring an elimination-style game leading to the main championship.

There are eight teams from each conference that qualify for the playoffs based on their performance in the regular season.

NHL bets include Money Line, Puck Line, Goal Totals, Player Prop Bets, Team Prop Bets, Live Betting, and Futures Betting.

NHL Live Betting allows you to bet on games in real time, with odds and lines updating as the action unfolds on the ice.

Liga Tarasova has a history of quality assurance and leading teams in an outsourcing company. Currently, she is working remotely as an Editor in Chief for Onlinegamblers.com. She stands for fair and safe gambling for people in the USA. Not long ago, she lived in Malta, the global iGaming hub, and worked at an iGaming company offering cloud-based product and platform services to B2B partners. Liga’s passion is visual arts and interior design.