International Ice Hockey
The World Hockey Association has been a proposed professional ice hockey league designed to compete against the already established National Hockey League during the mid-2021 NHL lockout. Unlike its American counterpart, the NHL, the WHA hopes to continue a European-based competitive league with teams from North and South America. Unlike the NHL, which is an international league, the WHA hopes to maintain its own league standards as well as the tradition of European hockey. Of notable note for failure and instability, its first season was plagued by many conflicts and problems, such as the relocation of the Nashville Predators to North Carolina, a team owned by the NHL’s Nashville Predators.
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Like the NHL, the WHL is split into three conferences with four teams each in the northern and southern divisions. Unlike the NHL, however, there are two wild cards in the playoffs, instead of one. Because the WHL is an international league, it features teams not located within the country that play against those from within the country. The teams are split roughly between the Ontario and Quebec sections. Despite the split in conferences, the teams have scheduled home and away matches three times per year.
Unlike the NHL, the WHL has an automatic qualifying playoff system in place, where each team plays against other teams in their own league to earn a spot in the playoffs. The same system is used to determine which team will represent the league at the World Hockey League tournament. Unlike the NHL, where playoff positions are determined by regular season results only, the World Hockey League playoffs are determined by points earned throughout the season, and not by conference finishes or regular season results. The WHL’s first and second teams, the Portland Canadiens and the Windsor Whalingeros, are currently tied for first place in the standings; the third team in the series, the Kamloops Blazers, is currently the last place team.