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The 2011–12 NHL season was the 95th season of operation (94th season of play) of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Los Angeles Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final 4-2 to win the team's first Stanley Cup, becoming the second team from California to do so.
During the off-season, the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba to become the Winnipeg Jets. It was the first NHL team relocation since the 1997–98 NHL season when the Hartford Whalers relocated to become the Carolina Hurricanes. The league did not change its divisional structure to accommodate the move, and the Jets took the place of the Thrashers in the Southeast Division. In December 2011, the board of governors eventually approved a proposed realignment for the following season, which would result in four conferences with the first two rounds of the playoffs being divisional, but this was rejected by the NHL Player's Association.
It was the fifth consecutive season with games in Europe at the start of the season. The Winter Classic was held on January 2, 2012 in Philadelphia between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers. The 59th All-Star Game was held at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario, the home arena of the Ottawa Senators, on January 29, 2012.