|League National Hockey League|
Presidents' Trophy Detroit Red Wings
Eastern runners-up Philadelphia Flyers
Dates 29 Sep 2007 – 4 Jun 2008
Number of teams 30
|Sport Ice hockey|
Eastern champions Pittsburgh Penguins
Champion Detroit Red Wings
Number of games 82
|Duration September 29, 2007 – June 4, 2008|
Top scorer Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Season MVP Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Similar 2006–07 NHL season, 2005–06 NHL season, 2003–04 NHL season, 2004–05 NHL season, 1993–94 NHL season
The 2007–08 NHL season was the 91st season of operation (90th season of play) of the National Hockey League (NHL). It began on September 29, 2007, and the regular season ended April 6, 2008. The Stanley Cup playoffs ended on June 4, with the Detroit Red Wings taking the championship. The 56th NHL All-Star Game was held in Atlanta, Georgia, as the Atlanta Thrashers hosted the event at Philips Arena on January 27, 2008. The hosting by Atlanta was rescheduled from 2005, when a lockout cancelled the entire 2004–05 season.
National Hockey League announced that the regular season salary cap would be going up for the third consecutive season. The 2007–08 salary cap is being increased by US$6.3 million per team to bring the salary cap up to US$50.3 million. The salary floor is at US$34.3 million, which is 71.5% higher than the salary floor during the 2005–06 season. The season featured the debut of Reebok's new Rbk Edge hockey jerseys. This was the first league-wide uniform innovation in the history of any major North American professional sports league. Seven teams (Boston, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington, Ottawa, San Jose and Columbus) unveiled new designs prior to the season's beginning.
On March 1, 2007, the NHL announced the regular season would open on September 29, 2007, with the first of back-to-back games in London at The O2. They were the first NHL regular season games ever played in Europe. Both games featured the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings (who are owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group, the same company that owns The O2).
The official average attendance per game was 17,625 per game. However, if the two games played at the O2 Arena are counted, the number is 17,309 per game.
On September 17, 2007, the NHL announced the first outdoor game in over four years would be played between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres at Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the National Football League's Buffalo Bills, on January 1, 2008. The event—known as the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic—was the first time an NHL regular-season game had been played outdoors in the United States, and it set an NHL attendance record of 71,217 people. The only previous outdoor NHL game was the 2003 Heritage Classic played between the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers at Commonwealth Stadium on November 22, 2003.
During board of governors meetings held on September 18, 2007, in Chicago, cities including Las Vegas, Kansas City, Houston, Milwaukee, Quebec City, Seattle and Winnipeg were discussed as possible expansion destinations. The NHL also discussed the current "unbalanced" schedule and voted on a new schedule format at a board meeting in November, so that all teams will play each other at least once and reduce intradivisional play in the 2008–09 season, in essence returning to the scheduling structure that existed in 2003–04, and would have existed in 2004–05. The sale of the Lightning and Predators teams were not completed for board approval.
A number of minor rule changes were introduced for the start of the 2007–08 season. Penalty shots can now be awarded when a player with the puck is hauled down from the centre line on in rather than from the opposition's blue-line as had been the case. Also, the interference rule was altered to allow for a major penalty and a game misconduct when an injury results. Another change affected faceoff placement: All faceoffs must be conducted at one of the nine dots painted on the rink.
The New Jersey Devils began playing in their new arena, the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. However, since the arena was not ready by the beginning of the season, they began their season with a nine-game road trip.
Inter-conference division play had the Northeast visit the Pacific, the Pacific visit the Atlantic, the Atlantic visit the Northwest, the Northwest visit the Southeast, the Southeast visit the Central and the Central visit the Northeast.
Michael Cammalleri of the Los Angeles Kings scored the first goal of the season against the Anaheim Ducks on September 29 in the opening game played in London, England.
Richard Zednik of the Florida Panthers was severely injured after having his external carotid artery in his neck accidentally cut by the skate of teammate Olli Jokinen in a game against the Buffalo Sabres on February 10. Zednik fully recovered from the injury, but missed the remainder of the season.
The Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators matched up for the first time since the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals on March 3, 2008, in Anaheim.
The Washington Capitals improved from 14th place in the previous season and last in the Eastern Conference during the first third of the 2007–08 season to finish as the third seed in the 2007–08 playoffs and winners of the Southeast Division. The turnaround was attributed mainly to the hiring of then-American Hockey League coach Bruce Boudreau, whose efforts won him the Jack Adams Award for the 2007–08 season.
The San Jose Sharks went the entire month of March without a regulation loss and were the media's favorite to win the Cup going into the playoffs.
The Detroit Red Wings won the Presidents' Trophy for finishing the regular season with the most points (115).
Fewer goals were scored in the regular season than in the 2006–07 season, with an average of 5.44 goals scored per game (6,691 goals over 1,230 games). Goaltenders combined for 161 shutouts.
GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, OTL = Overtime/Shootout Losses, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points.
Divisions: AT – Atlantic, NE – Northeast, SE – Southeast
bold – qualified for playoffs, y – division winner, z – placed first in conference (and division)
Divisions: PA – Pacific, CE – Central, NW – Northwest
bold – qualified for playoffs, y – division winner, p – Presidents' Trophy winner
Where two or more clubs are tied in points at the end of the regular season, the standing of the clubs is determined in the following order:
- The greater number of games won.
- The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs.
- The greater differential between goals for and against.
In each round, the highest remaining seed in each conference is matched against the lowest remaining seed. The higher-seeded team is awarded home ice advantage. In the Stanley Cup Finals, home ice is determined based on regular season points; thus, the Detroit Red Wings had home ice advantage. Each best-of-seven series follows a 2–2–1–1–1 format: the higher-seeded team will play at home for have games 1 and 2 (plus 5 and 7 if necessary), and the lower-seeded team will be at home for the other games.
NHL All Star Team
First All-Star Team
Second All-Star Team
GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/– = Plus/Minus; PIM = Penalty Minutes
GP = Games Played; TOI = Time On Ice (minutes); W = Wins; L = Losses; OT = Overtime/Shootout Losses; GA = Goals Against; SO = Shutouts; Sv% = Save Percentage; GAA = Goals Against Average
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 2007–08:
The following is a list of players of note who played their last NHL game in 2008–09, listed with their team: