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The 2009-10 NHL season was the 93rd season of operation (92nd season of play) of the National Hockey League (NHL), and the 100th season since the founding of the predecessor National Hockey Association (NHA). It ran from October 1, 2009, including four games in Europe on October 2 and 3-until April 11, 2010, with the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, all the way up to early June 2010. A mid-season break from February 15 to February 28 occurred to allow participation of NHL players in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Because of the Winter Olympics break, there was no NHL All-Star Game for 2010. The Stanley Cup Final ended on June 9, with the Chicago Blackhawks defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in six games.
Player trades started in earnest a month before the March 3, 2010 trade deadline. On January 31, the Maple Leafs made two large trades, getting Dion Phaneuf from the Flames in a seven-player trade, and J. S. Giguere from the Ducks for two players. The Flames were not done, trading Olli Jokinen to the Rangers the next day. After top scorer and pending free agent Ilya Kovalchuk turned down a $101 million contract offer from the Thrashers, he was traded to the Devils on February 4.