The most successful Hockey Teams in the NHL

Hockey many be the smallest of the big four American sports – NFL, Basketball and Baseball, but it still has a huge and very loyal fanbase. It’s the national sport of Canada and played in most of the northern US states, it’s also widely played across Russia and Northern Europe and so has a huge TV audience and one of the biggest TV Rights deals in sport. In determining the most successful clubs we are looking at the best of the best over the years in the NHL based on Stanly Cup wins and runners up. With a lesser weighting towards Conference, Division titles and Presidents Cup. The National Hockey League (NHL) is the topmost professional hockey league in the US and Canada. There are currently 31 teams in the NHL: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. 

Below are the Stanley Cup winners since 2020:

  • 2022:  Colorado Avalanche
  • 2021: Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 2020: Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 2019: St. Louis Blues
  • 2018: Washington Capitals
  • 2017: Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2016: Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2015: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2014: Los Angeles Kings
  • 2013: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2012: Los Angeles Kings
  • 2011: Boston Bruins
  • 2010: Chicago Blackhawks

The Stanley Cup

The NHL playoff winner receives the legendary Stanley Cup, the oldest existing trophy awarded to the existing professional franchise. The trophy was donated in 1892 by Lord Stanley of Preston. Since the 1914/1915 season, the trophy has been won a combined 100 times by 23 different teams.

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Below are the ten most successful ice hockey teams in the NHL over the years:

10 New Jersey Devils

The devils have made the Stanley Cup 5 times and won it 3 times throughout their history in 1995, 2000 and 2003. They have five Conference and nine Division Championships.   Just behind the Devils are Tampa Bay Lightning, who won in 2004, 2020, 2021.

Colorado Avalanche tie with Tampa Bay with Stanley Cup wins in 1996, 2001 and most recently beat Tampa to win their 3rd Stanley Cup.

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9. New York Islanders

The Islanders are one of three NHL franchises in the New York metropolitan area, along with the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, all three are on this list. They have won four league titles over the years in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983. They’ve won six Division and Conference Championships.

8. New York Rangers

Playing out of the world famous Madison Square Garden the Rangers are the third New York team on our list who play the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League. They won the Stanley Cup in 1928, 1933, 1940, 1994. They have won won seven Division, 2 Conference Championships. And the Presidents Trophy 3 times.

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7. Pittsburg Penguins

Founded in 1967, The Penguins are one of two NHL franchises in Pennsylvania, the other being the Philadelphia Flyers. The Penguins have won the Stanley Cup five times in 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016, 2017. Add to that six Conference and eight Division Championships .

6. Edmonton Oliers

Based in Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, The Oliers are one of two members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference, the other being the Calgary Flames. The have won five Stanley Cups in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990 along with seven Conference, nine Divisional and two Presidents Trophies.

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5. Chicago Blackhawks

Into the top five and it’s the Blackhawks next, who are one of the original six NHL teams along with the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Playing out of Chicago, Illinois, they’ve have made the finals 13 times and won 6 Stanley Cups in 1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013, 2015. Add to this four Conference, sixteen Division and two Presidents Trophies.

4. Boston Bruins

The legendary Bruins are next up, established in 1924, they’re members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have made the finals 20 times with six Stanley cups in 1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972, 2011. They also tally up five Conference, twenty Division Championships and two Presidents Trophies.

3. Detroit Red Wings

Founded in 1926 and based out of Detroit, Michigan, they’re members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings have made the finals twenty four times with eleven wins in the years 1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008. They have six Conference, nineteen Divisional and six Presidents Trophies.

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2. Toronto Maple Leafs

Founded in 1917 and based in the great city of Toronto,  The Leafs are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. They have made 21 finals and amassed thirteen Stanley Cups in 1918, 1922, 1932, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967.

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1. Montreal Canadiens

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The number one and most successful ice hockey team of all time are sitting way out in front of every other team in the NHL. The have an incredible twenty four wins out of thirty four final appearances! They won in 1924, 1930, 1931, 1944, 1946, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1993. They have won the Conference Championships eight times and the Divisional Championships twenty four times.

The Canadiens was founded in 1909 and are the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team worldwide, and the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the NHL. They’re also one of the oldest North American professional sports franchises.

Montreal Canadiens lost to Tampa Bay Lightning, four games to one in 2021.

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The least successful NHL Teams

The below 11 teams have never won a Stanley Cup:

  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • San Jose Sharks
  • Florida Panthers
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Nashville Predators
  • Winnipeg Jets
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Vegas Golden Knights
  • Ottawa Senators (1992 incarnation)

The 2022 Stanley Cup winers will be decided no later than June 30.

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