The 2010-11 NHL season was the 94th season of operation (93rd season of play) of the National Hockey League (NHL).
For the fourth consecutive season, the season started with games in Europe.
This was the final season of operation for the Atlanta Thrashers, who were sold to True North Sports and Entertainment out of Winnipeg, Manitoba and moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg to become the Winnipeg Jets.
Winnipeg previously had lost its NHL team (also called the Winnipeg Jets) after the 1995–96 NHL season to Phoenix, Arizona and were renamed "Phoenix Coyotes."
Television Deals in the U.S.Edit
The league's broadcast agreements with NBC and Versus (which were to expire at the end of the season) were renewed.
On April 19, 2011, NBC/Versus and the NHL agreed to a new ten-year deal worth a total US$2 billion.
The Pittsburgh Penguins moved to the newly constructed Consol Energy Center.
The arena replaced Mellon Arena (also known as "The Igloo") where the Penguins had played since their inception in 1967.
The new arena has a seating capacity of 18,387, and was officially inaugurated with the continuation of the "Battle of the Keystone State" between the Penguins and their fellow Atlantic Division rivals and defending Eastern Conference champion, the Philadelphia Flyers, on October 7, 2010 as part of the NHL's Opening Face-Off.
The Flyers defeated Pittsburgh 3–2 in the Penguins' debut in the Consol Energy Center.
Two existing arenas received a new name starting with the 2010–11 season.
The Vancouver Canucks' home (previously known as General Motors Place) became Rogers Arena after the Canadian telecommunications company purchased the naming rights from General Motors Canada.
The Calgary Flames' home arena name was also changed from the Pengrowth Saddledome to the Scotiabank Saddledome after the Canadian banking company.
On June 23, 2010, the NHL announced that the salary cap would be increased by $2.6 million.
As a result, the new salary cap ceiling is set at $59.4 million while the salary cap floor is $43.4 million.
2010 NHL Entry DraftEdit
The 2010 NHL Entry Draft took place on June 25–26, 2010 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, home arena of the Los Angeles Kings.
Taylor Hall was selected first overall in the draft by the Edmonton Oilers.
Tom Golisano, Larry Quinn and Daniel DiPofi (owners of the Buffalo Sabres) sold their franchise to Terrence Pegula during the course of the 2010–11 season.
On February 18, 2011, the league approved the sale.
Prior to the 2010–11 NHL season, the first tie-breaker to separate teams with equal number of points in a conference was the number of games won, no matter how the wins were obtained.
For the 2010–11 NHL season, the league made a modification to this rule.
The new rule states that the team with the greater number of games won, excluding wins obtained in the shootout, will be ranked higher.
The change was made to reward in-play team victories (regulation or overtime) instead of a win obtained via an individual skill contest.
This figure will be tracked in an additional column in the official league standings called ROW (Regulation and overtime wins).
In its first year, the tie-breaker would prove critical, giving the 106-point, 47-win (44-ROW) Philadelphia Flyers the Atlantic Division title over the 106-point, 49-win (39-ROW) Pittsburgh Penguins, who were seeded 4th rather than 2nd based on the new rule.
Illegal hits to the headEdit
Prior to the 2010–11 NHL season, the Board of Governors, General Managers and the Competition Committee unanimously agreed to implement a new penalty.
An illegal hit to the head is a lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or is the principal point of contact is not permitted.
Any player who incurs a total of two game misconducts under this rule shall be suspended automatically for the next game his team plays.
For each subsequent game misconduct penalty the automatic suspension shall be increased by one game.
The commissioner of the league can increase the suspension longer due to his discretion.
2010 Kraft HockeyvilleEdit
Every year since 2006, Kraft Foods has sponsored a contest called Kraft Hockeyville (where small Canadian towns compete against each other for the title of Hockeyville).
The winning town also gets to host an NHL preseason game in a local arena as well as hosting an event called the "Stanley Cup Jamboree."
Dundas, Ontario (a suburb of Hamilton which itself has been the subject of numerous efforts at potential NHL expansion) won the 2010 contest and hosted the pre-season game between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres on September 28, 2010.
Exhibition Games in EuropeEdit
The six teams going to Europe to open their regular seasons there as part of the NHL Premiere games also played exhibition games against European teams under the banner of NHL Premiere Challenge to close out their pre-seasons, finishing with a 6–1–0 record.
|Date||Venue||European team||NHL team||Score|
|October 2||SAP Arena, Mannheim||Template:Country data GER Adler||Sharks||2–3 (SO)|
|October 2||The Odyssey, Belfast||Template:Country data UK Giants Select||Bruins||1–5|
|October 4||Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg||Template:Country data RUS SKA||Hurricanes||5–3|
|October 4||Tampereen jäähalli, Tampere||Template:Country data FIN Ilves||Wild||1–5|
|October 5||Tipsport Arena, Liberec||Bílí Tygři||Bruins||1–7|
|October 5||Malmö Arena, Malmö||Template:Country data SWE Redhawks||Blue Jackets||1–4|
|October 6||Arena Riga, Riga||Template:Country data LAT Dinamo||Coyotes||1–3|
A record six teams opened the regular season in Europe in a series branded the "2010 Compuware NHL Premiere Games."
On October 7–8, 2010, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Minnesota Wild played two games at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. The Hurricanes swept the Wild.
On October 8–9, 2010, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the San Jose Sharks played two games at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.
The two teams split a two-game premiere. On October 9–10, 2010, the Boston Bruins and the Phoenix Coyotes played two games at the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. The two teams also split a two game premiere.
The first Premiere Games goal was scored by Minnesota Wild forward Guillaume Latendresse.
The regular season also began in North America on October 7, 2010 with four additional games.
In Canada, CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada" broadcast a double header featuring four Canadian teams.
The first game saw the eastern Canadian Original Six-era rivalry rekindled, with the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting the Montreal Canadiens.
This game was followed by the Battle of Alberta when the Calgary Flames visited the Edmonton Oilers.
In the United States, both 2010 Stanley Cup Finalists were in action as well on Versus.
Besides the previously mentioned Philadelphia Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins game to open Consol Energy Center, the Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks played against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center in the nightcap.
The Blackhawks had their home opener two nights later against their Central Division rivals, the Detroit Red Wings and hoisted their first Stanley Cup championship banner in 49 years in a pre-game ceremony.
The first NHL Face-off games goal was scored by Tim Brent of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Outdoor NHL GamesEdit
2011 NHL Winter ClassicEdit
On January 1, 2011, the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic playing the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field.
The game was telecast on NBC in the USA and on CBC and RDS in Canada.
The Washington Capitals won the game 3–1. The game was originally scheduled to be played at 1 pm. Due to inclement weather in Pittsburgh, the NHL was forced to move the game into prime-time at 8:00pm.
The Return of the Heritage ClassicEdit
A second outdoor game, the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic, was held in Canada at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta, on February 20, 2011, between the Calgary Flames and the Montreal Canadiens.
CBC, RDS and Versus telecasted the game.
This was the second outdoor game held in Canada following the Heritage Classic in 2003 when the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4–3 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.
The Heritage classic resulted in the Flames defeating the Canadiens 4–0. This event was recorded as the first shutout in any NHL outdoor game.
CBC hosted its 11th annual Hockey Day in Canada event on February 12, 2011, in Whitehorse, Yukon.
The network broadcast a triple header of games featuring all six Canadian teams. The Edmonton Oilers hosted the Ottawa Senators, the Toronto Maple Leafs visited the Montreal Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks welcomed the Calgary Flames.
On February 20, 2011 (for the first time ever), the NHL and NBC hosted a "Hockey Day in America" event, featuring eight of the most popular American NHL teams.
The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Rangers 4–2, the Washington Capitals defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2–1, the Red Wings defeated the Minnesota Wild 2–1.
The highlight game of the afternoon was a meeting of the last two Stanley Cup champions as the Pittsburgh Penguins were defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks 3–2.
The event was part of the broader "Hockey Weekend Across America" organized by USA Hockey.
On October 30, 2010, four penalty shot goals were scored on one night for the first time in league history.
The previous record was three penalty shot goals in one night. Four penalty shot attempts in one night had occurred previously.
On November 20, 2010 (which was the 50,000th game in the NHL's history) was played, counting all regular season and playoff games, going back to the league's inaugural season in 1917.
NHL All-Star TeamEdit
Scoring leaders Edit
The following players led the league in points at the conclusion of the regular season.
- (GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/– = Plus-minus; PIM = Penalty minutes)
|Daniel Sedin||Vancouver Canucks||82||41||63||104||+29||32|
|Martin St. Louis||Tampa Bay Lightning||82||31||68||99||0||12|
|Corey Perry||Anaheim Ducks||82||50||48||98||+9||104|
|Henrik Sedin||Vancouver Canucks||82||19||75||94||+26||40|
|Steven Stamkos||Tampa Bay Lightning||82||45||46||91||+3||74|
|Jarome Iginla||Calgary Flames||82||43||43||86||0||40|
|Alexander Ovechkin||Washington Capitals||79||32||53||85||+24||41|
|Teemu Selanne||Anaheim Ducks||73||31||49||80||+6||49|
|Henrik Zetterberg||Detroit Red Wings||80||24||56||80||−1||40|
|Brad Richards||Dallas Stars||72||28||49||77||+1||24|
Leading goaltenders Edit
The following goaltenders led the league in goals against average at the end of the regular season while playing at least 1800 minutes.
- (GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; OT = Overtime/shootout losses; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average)
|Tim Thomas||Boston Bruins||57||3,363:58||35||11||9||112||9||.938||2.00|
|Roberto Luongo||Vancouver Canucks||60||3,589:39||38||15||7||126||4||.928||2.11|
|Pekka Rinne||Nashville Predators||64||3,789:15||33||22||9||134||6||.930||2.12|
|Jonathan Quick||Los Angeles Kings||61||3,590:34||35||22||3||134||6||.918||2.24|
|Henrik Lundqvist||New York Rangers||68||4,006:40||36||27||5||152||11||.923||2.28|
|Corey Crawford||Chicago Blackhawks||57||3,336:37||33||18||6||128||4||.917||2.30|
|Marc-Andre Fleury||Pittsburgh Penguins||65||3,695:10||36||20||5||143||3||.918||2.32|
|Carey Price||Montreal Canadiens||72||4,206:08||38||28||6||165||8||.923||2.35|
|Antti Niemi||San Jose Sharks||60||3,523:54||35||18||6||140||6||.920||2.38|
|Brian Boucher||Philadelphia Flyers||34||1,884:34||18||10||4||76||0||.916||2.42|
- On October 22, 2010, Ottawa Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson recorded a hat trick, with the third goal being his 1,000th career NHL point. He became the 75th player in league history to record 1,000 points.
- On October 26, Colorado Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles recorded an assist in his 9th consecutive game to give him the franchise and NHL record for longest assist streak for a defenseman from the start of season.
- On October 26, Ottawa Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On October 28, Calgary Flames forward Craig Conroy participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On November 3, Buffalo Sabres forward Mike Grier participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On November 6, Los Angeles Kings forward Ryan Smyth participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On November 22, Ottawa Senators forward Alexei Kovalev recorded his 1,000th career NHL point with a goal. He became the 76th player in league history to record 1,000 points, and the third Russian born player to do so.
- On November 24, Boston Bruins forward Mark Recchi scored two goals, with the second being his 1,500th career NHL point. He became the 13th player in league history to reach this milestone.
- On December 26, Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On December 27, Detroit Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood recorded his 400th NHL win. He became the 10th player in league history to reach this milestone.
- On January 11, 2011, Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson won his 600th game as an NHL coach. He became the seventh coach in league history to reach this milestone.
- On January 17, San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau and Dallas Stars forward Jamie Langenbrunner both participated in their 1,000th NHL game in separate contests. Marleau was the third youngest player in NHL history to reach 1,000 games played.
- On February 1, Minnesota Wild forward Andrew Brunette participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On February 10, New Jersey Devils coach Jacques Lemaire won his 600th game as an NHL coach. He became the eighth coach in league history to reach this milestone.
- On February 16, Florida Panthers forward Cory Stillman participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On February 20, Detroit Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On March 20, Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On April 1, Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla scored 2 goals and added an assist to reach 1,000 career points. He became the 77th player in league history to do so.
- On April 2, Washington Capitals forward Jason Arnott recorded his 400th career NHL goal.
- On April 8, San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton recorded his 1,000th career NHL point with a goal. He became the 78th player to reach the milestone and the fourth this season.
- On April 9, Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Martin won his 600th game as an NHL coach. He became the ninth coach in league history to reach this milestone.
- On April 9, Boston Bruins forward Mark Recchi played in his 1,652nd NHL game, surpassing Chris Chelios for sole possession of the fourth spot on the NHL's all-time games played list.
The following is a list of notable players who played their first NHL game in 2010–11, listed with their first team:
- Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers
- Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers
- Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes
- Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins
- Magnus Paajarvi, Edmonton Oilers
- Alexander Burmistrov, Atlanta Thrashers
- Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks
- Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils
- Sergei Bobrovsky, Philadelphia Flyers
- The following is a list of players of note who played their last NHL game in 2010–11, listed with their team:
- Wade Belak, Nashville Predators (death)
- Derek Boogaard, New York Rangers (death)
- Mike Comrie, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Craig Conroy, Calgary Flames
- Kris Draper, Detroit Red Wings
- Chris Drury, New York Rangers
- Adam Foote, Colorado Avalanche (The last active player to have been a member of the Quebec Nordiques)
- Peter Forsberg, Colorado Avalanche
- Mike Grier, Buffalo Sabres
- Shane Hnidy, Boston Bruins
- Todd Marchant, Anaheim Ducks
- Bryan McCabe, New York Rangers
- Mike Modano, Detroit Red Wings (The last active player to have been a member of the Minnesota North Stars)
- Fredrik Modin, Calgary Flames
- Chris Osgood, Detroit Red Wings
- Brian Rafalski, Detroit Red Wings
- Mark Recchi, Boston Bruins (The final player active in the 1980s)
- Ruslan Salei, Detroit Red Wings (death)
- Karlis Skrastins, Dallas Stars (death)
- Cory Stillman, Carolina Hurricanes
- Doug Weight, New York Islanders