The league was organized on November 26, 1917, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association, which had been founded in 1909. It started with four teams 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 NHL has now been binational since 1924 when its first team in the United States, the Boston Bruins, began play. After a labour dispute that led to the cancellation of the entire 2004–05 season, the league resumed play under a new collective agreement that included a salary cap. In 2009, the NHL enjoyed record highs in terms of sponsorships, attendance, and television audiences.
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