NEW YORK/TORONTO - To celebrate its 100th birthday, the National Hockey League (NHL) will release the documentary The NHL: 100 Years, chronicling the League's century-long history -- from the legendary players who commanded the ice to the pioneers and architects who built and reshaped the League.
"The NHL: 100 Years brings our history to life through rare footage, exclusive interviews and expert commentary," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "For fans who lived through any of the eras covered, this groundbreaking documentary will refresh some vivid hockey memories. For those newer to our sport, or any sports fan or history buff, The NHL: 100 Years details an important historical record and sets the stage for the future of a great sport."
[RELATED: 'The NHL: 100' documentary chronicles League's first century]
It all began in November 1917, when five men were called to a meeting in Montreal "to ascertain if some steps could not be taken to perpetuate the game of hockey." The League has survived the devastation of the Great Depression and two World Wars and experienced rapid growth with expansion that took the NHL south and west. It has been at the forefront of technological advances -- from radio broadcasts to high-definition television to live streaming -- in more than 160 countries and territories around the world. The NHL: 100 Years recounts a century of milestone moments and events and places them in the historical context of world events - telling the story of a fledgling, four-team circuit born during the First World War to today's thriving League that spans the North American continent.
Video: The NHL: 100 Years celebrates a century of hockey
"As I've said many times, so much that I have in my life I owe to the game of hockey and the National Hockey League," said NHL Centennial Ambassador Wayne Gretzky. "I have always revered the history of the League and the great players who came before me and admired the amazing men I played with and against and the new generation of exciting stars. This film tells the remarkable story of the NHL's 100-year history in a way that is both thrilling and educational. It is a fitting tribute to the world's greatest hockey league."
Fans in Canada can tune-in to watch the documentary on Thursday, Nov. 23 on Sportsnet at 7:00 p.m. ET and 11:00 p.m. ET. In the U.S., fans can tune-in to NBCSN and NHL Network on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 10:00 p.m. ET. NHL Network will re-broadcast the documentary on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 1:00 p.m. ET and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 27, fans worldwide will be able to watch the documentary online at NHL.com/100YearsDoc. And for the first time ever, the League is making videos available to fans on its Facebook Watch page at Facebook.com/BestoftheNHL - a new video-first format on Facebook that focuses on thematically-related, episodic content. The first video to be featured is the documentary, which fans can live stream on their home or mobile devices.
"From the first-ever NHL games played 100 years ago when fans in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa could only watch the sport in-person at arenas during a 34-game schedule to today's thrilling games and events that are viewed by millions on a myriad of platforms around the world, the NHL has thrived for a century because of the incredible pioneers and players who have a shared passion for the game," said NHL Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President Steve Mayer. "This documentary is an amazing collection of stories about the trailblazers who contributed to growing this League and the architects who will keep the game thriving for the next 100 years."
The NHL: 100 Years chronicles a century of the NHL in four parts: 'The Founding Years,' 'The Original Six,' 'The Expansion Era,' and 'The Global Game.' An NHL Original Production, the documentary is produced by 53-time Emmy® award winner Ross Greenburg and narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Jon Hamm. It features exclusive stories, interviews, and historical insights from players, executives, pioneers, and esteemed members from across the hockey community.