Understanding the NHL Structure

The National Hockey League (NHL) has become one of the most popular sports in the US and Canada, and all over the world. Among the major professional sports in this region, the NHL has started to attract potential sponsors, and the media, making it an excellent venture for both investors and players. Betting companies have also incorporated the sport, and are now offering ice hockey markets, that gamblers can consider placing a stake in, making some money in the process. For ice hockey betting, its essential that you are conversant with how the divisions and conferences work, and other rules governing the game.

Conferences and Divisions

With North America being a large area, the NHL league is divided into two conferences; the Eastern and Western Conferences, bringing the total number of participating teams to 31. Teams from the east coast play most of the games in the Eastern Conference, while those on the west coast play in the Western Conference; those in the middle of the continent also play in the Western Conference.


Eastern Conference

The Eastern Conference has two divisions, which are the Metropolitan and the Atlantic. Most of the teams that play in these divisions, have their bases close together, hence the naming of the divisions. This conference has eight teams in each division, and in most cases, teams from the same conference play each other, for most of the season’s games.

Western Conference

The Western Conference is also divided into two divisions, namely the Pacific and Central division. Because of the number of teams taking part in the NHL season, this conference has 15 teams, which are allocated to a division depending on their location. Teams from the Western Conference have been known to perform better, with a majority making it to the playoffs, compared to the Eastern Conference teams.