Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports around the world, and its leagues are followed by millions of people. Although it is most popular in Canada, Russia and Eastern European countries, we can say that it has fans all over the world. For the same reason, almost every country has a league for ice hockey, and ice hockey bets can be placed on all of these leagues throughout the year. So, which leagues should you choose for ice hockey betting? We’ve answered this question for you below. Note that no matter which league you choose, you can place a bet for it at GGbet.
National Hockey League (NHL)
The NHL is one of the oldest ice hockey leagues in the world and probably the most popular. It was founded in Canada in 1917 and includes both Canadian and United States teams. (To be precise, it includes 7 teams from Canada and 24 teams from the USA.) At the end of each season, the champion team wins the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America. Originally, the NHL only covered 4 Canadian teams, but in 1924, it began accepting US teams as well. Different teams from both countries became a part of the league in 1942, 1967, 1974 and 1979. Today, a total of 31 teams are competing in the NHL.
Although it is a Canadian-based league, its headquarters is located in central Manhattan. NHL is the world’s fifth-largest professional sports league on revenue and even has a TV channel of its own. NHL matches consist of three periods of 20 minutes. If the match ends in a draw within these periods, a 5-minute overtime begins and the team that scores the first goal is considered the winner. (This overtime period is also known as “sudden death”.) The NHL season runs from September to October and October to April, and the Stanley Cup playoffs are held at the end of the season.
National League (NL)
Don’t confuse this with the NHL: although the name is almost similar, the NL is a league that only includes Swiss teams. This league, founded in 1938, is one of the oldest sports organizations in the world, with 12 teams competing. Every season, 50 games are played, and the top eight teams gain the right to play in the playoffs. Teams can use a maximum of 4 non-Swiss players, so it is possible to see American and Canadian athletes there too. For example, Eliot Berthon, Floran Douay and Josh Jooris still play in the NL league. The NL is very popular in Switzerland, and all matches are streamed live on the MySports channel.
Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL)
The Deutsche Eishockey Liga was established in 1994, so it is considered one of the youngest ice hockey leagues. As the name suggests, it includes German teams. The Germans also call it “Penny-Del” because of its sponsor. It is considered to be the most popular ice hockey league in Europe, after the NL. A total of 14 teams are competing there, and due to the high license prices (a single license costs 800,000 Euros), only top teams can be a part of the league. One of the most interesting features of the DEL is that NHL players mainly play in it. For example, in the 2004-2005 season, a total of 26 NHL players were playing in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, including famous names such as Erik Cole, Doug Weight and Mike York.
Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)
KHL is a super league founded in 2008, and we call it “super” because, unlike others, it includes teams from 6 countries. KHL is the continuation of the former Russian Superleague, it includes 19 teams from Russia and 1 team from other countries (Belarus, China, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia). In other words, this league covers a total of 24 teams. At the end of each season, the playoff champion wins the Gagarin Cup. In addition, the Russian team with the highest ranking is given the title of “Champion of Russia”. In the league, each team plays a total of 62 matches, and the eight-top-ranked teams gain the right to play at the playoffs. There are American and Canadian players playing in this league as well, but as can be guessed, the KHL league mainly consists of Russian players. An all-star match is also held each year in January or February and is called the “Continental Hockey League All-Star Game”.