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Ice Legends: 10 Best NHL Teams That Redefined Greatness

Welcome to the world of hockey, where the clash of blades on the ice curates new stories of triumphs. From some unforgettable historic teams to the underdogs who surprised us, the best NHL teams stand for more than their bare records of wins-losses. Though winning the Stanley Cup is noteworthy, the talent, teamwork, and leadership of these teams are what genuinely sets them apart. And not to forget their fan base, those die-hard hockey fanatics who bring life to these teams and add an extra dimension to the game. 

In this blog, we will review the accomplishments of the top ten NHL teams, their impact, star players, and their 2022-2023 NHL Season’s journey.

Also Read: 10 Best NHL Players Of All Time And Their Undying Legacy


NHL Power Ranking: 10 Most Popular NHL Teams (2023):

The NHL has served as the pinnacle of professional hockey play since 1917, bringing together the finest franchises from both the United States and Canada. Numerous teams have made a name for themselves in the league. Given below are some of the most popular NHL teams known for some unforgettable goals and the camaraderie that defines the spirit of the game.

1. Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild- best NHL teams

With a rich history that traces back to the beginning of the 20th century, the Minnesota Wild truly represents the wildness of hockey. The state’s intense devotion to the game is attributed to its rich Nordic and Canadian roots, where cold winters and frozen lakes provided the ideal playing environment for hockey. 

Beloved Stars

Many adored stars like Zach Parise, Marian Gaborik, and Mikko Koivu have made a lasting impression on the franchise. 

Pinnacle Events

  • The Minnesota State High School League state tournament, referred to as just “The Tourney,” is the highlight of the hockey season in Minnesota. The top high school teams in Minnesota compete for the championship in this celebration of the sport.
  • The Minnesota Whitecaps are a professional women’s hockey team that plays in the NHL. 

2022-2023 NHL Season

A strong regular season performance helped them to achieve 103 points and place third in the Central Division. During the playoffs, they lost the series 2-4 to the Dallas Stars and were eliminated.


2. Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens- best NHL teams

In their red, white, and blue uniforms, the Montreal Canadiens, also known as “Habs”, are considered the elite of hockey. These Canadiens, who have a history stretching back to 1909, have won the Stanley Cup an incredible 24 times, making them the team with the most titles in the league’s history. They have a devoted and passionate fan base that transcends decades because of their extensive history.

Beloved Stars

Legends like Maurice Richard, Jean Béliveau, Guy Lafleur, and Patrick Roy not only excelled at the ice but also became hockey’s greatest role models.

Pinnacle Events

  • The Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance of the Montreal Canadiens is regarded as the top hockey event. In particular, the Canadiens and Boston Bruins’ storied rivalry in the postseason is a spectacle that fans anxiously anticipate, making it a high point in the hockey calendar.
  • The Les Canadiennes de Montreal are a professional women’s hockey team that plays in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) and is based in Montreal. These committed athletes motivate young boys and girls as they demonstrate their prowess and love for the game. 

2022-2023 NHL Season

They accrued 68 points in total throughout the regular season. Their standing within their division after the regular season was 8th in the Atlantic Division. Sadly, they were unable to advance to the playoffs. 


3. Los Angeles Kings 

Los Angeles Kings- best NHL teams

It was on June 5, 1967, following Jack Kent Cooke’s receipt of an NHL expansion franchise, that the Los Angeles Kings joined the league. As one of the six teams that started play as part of the 1967 NHL expansion, the team competes in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Pacific Division in the Western Conference.

Beloved Stars

In addition to dominating the rink, athletes like Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, and Jonathan Quick have risen to prominence in the sports world. Their involvement with fans and contributions to the Kings’ success has left a lasting impression.

Pinnacle Events

  • The Los Angeles Kings’ appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is one of the apex occasions in hockey. These postseason matchups are highly anticipated by the crowds, who electrified the Staples Center during playoff games. 
  • Los Angeles Blades, a professional women’s hockey team based in Los Angeles, is a vital member of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). Their competitions honour the extraordinary skill and commitment of female hockey players, motivating the next generation of athletes.

2022-2023 NHL Season

With 104 points and third place in the Pacific Division, the 2022–23 regular season was highlighted by a solid performance. However, they met the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the playoffs and lost in a closely fought series with a margin of 2 games.


4. Detroit Red Wings 

Detroit Red Wings- best NHL teams

Detroit is delighted to be known as “Hockeytown,” it is no surprise that the Detroit Red Wings is among the best NHL teams and represents excellence in the world of hockey. The Detroit Red Wings have been honoured over the years by the presence of adored icons who have made a lasting impression on the team and its supporters.

Beloved Stars

In addition to being outstanding on the ice, legendary players like Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Gordie Howe are enduring representations of brilliance in the sport. 

Pinnacle Events

  • The Detroit Red Wings’ appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is one of the apex occasions in hockey. For supporters, the postseason is an exciting time as they unite behind their beloved Red Wings, hoping for another championship run. 
  • The ferocious rivalry between the Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche in the late 1990s and early 2000s was an apex in the team’s history. Fans will never forget the intense matchups between these two dominant teams.

2022-2023 NHL Season

The Detroit Red Wings earned a respectable 80 points during the regular season in 2022–23. In the Atlantic Division, the Red Wings placed seventh. Unfortunately, they could not make the playoffs in the 2022–23 campaign.


5. San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks- best NHL teams

Many hockey fans grinned when the NHL revealed that San Jose would be getting a franchise for the 1991–1992 season. It is one of the most popular NHL teams in the world today, proving that success can come from the unlikeliest of sources. With an outstanding string of eight straight postseason appearances, the team has continuously earned a spot in the postseason even though they may not have won the Stanley Cup.

Beloved Stars

Jonathan Cheechoo, Owen Nolan, Evgeni Nabokov and Joe Thornton are the prominent athletes who have contributed significantly to the San Jose Sharks over the years. 

Pinnacle Events

  • Consistent sold-out Arenas serves as a sign of loyal Fans. The team played in front of packed houses during the 2011–12 season, and this pattern is anticipated to remain for quite some time.
  • The Sharks won the President’s Trophy, given to the team with the best regular-season record, for the first time in the 2008–09 NHL season.

2022-2023 NHL Season

The Sharks played 82 games in the 2022–23 season and finished the Pacific Division campaign in seventh position. Unfortunately, the Sharks failed to meet the requirements to advance to the postseason during the 2022–23 campaign. This result dashed their hopes of making the playoffs because they were unable to get a slot.


6. Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers- best NHL teams

The Oilers are one of the twelve original franchises of the major professional World Hockey Association (WHA), created in 1971 by W. D. “Wild Bill” Hunter and Dr. Chuck Allard. A heated rivalry known as the “Battle of Alberta” has developed between the two NHL teams in Alberta, the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers.

Beloved Stars

Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, and Connor McDavid were chosen by Edmonton in 2007; Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid will still be playing for the franchise in 2023

Pinnacle Events

  • The Edmonton Oilers’ dynastic era in the 1980s is one of the apex moments in their history. The club, captained by Wayne Gretzky, had a spectacular run of success, during which they broke various records and won three Stanley Cups. 
  •  In the first round of the 1982 playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers played the Los Angeles Kings. In Game 3, the Oilers rallied back from a 5-0 deficit to win 6-5 in overtime. One of the most famous moments in NHL history is the comeback win known as the “Miracle on Manchester”.

2022-2023 NHL Season

The Oilers made it to the Second Round of the 2022–23 Playoffs. They were ultimately defeated by the Golden Knights in a hard-fought series, with the final score being 2-4 in favour of the Golden Knights.


7. New York Islanders 

New York Islanders- best NHL teams

Under the direction of head coach Al Arbour, the Islanders rose to prominence in the NHL in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Today, they are one of the most popular NHL teams in the world. From 1980 to 1983, they won four straight Stanley Cups, becoming one of the league’s greatest dynasties.

Beloved Stars

Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin, Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, and Billy Smith were significant figures who contributed to its success.

Pinnacle Events

  • The Nassau Coliseum is where the team played its home games during its glory years when it won four straight. The 2020–21 New York Islanders season’s return to the Nassau Coliseum was a moving and meaningful occasion that allowed supporters to relive the team’s illustrious past.
  • NHL history includes the Islanders’ four straight Stanley Cup victories from 1980 to 1983, and the “Drive for Five,” or quest for five straight titles, was a zenith event.

2022-2023 NHL Season

They had a hard-fought regular season in 2022–23, finishing fourth in the Metropolitan Division. However, the Carolina Hurricanes ended their postseason journey in the opening round, handing them a 2-4 series loss.


8. Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins- best NHL teams

Boston Bruins, which is one of the best NHL teams today, was established in 1924. It is also one of the NHL’s original six teams. The Bruins have enjoyed success since its inception.

Beloved Stars

Legendary players like Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Ray Bourque, and Patrice Bergeron have left an indelible mark both on and off the court.

Pinnacle Events

  • The Bruins’ thrilling 2011 Stanley Cup triumph, inspired by players like Tim Thomas and Patrice Bergeron, revitalized the team and the fans alike.
  • Gerry Cheevers’ amazing stop in Game 4 of the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals is still remembered as “The Save” today.

2022-2023 NHL Season

The season stood out for its outstanding regular-season performance, which helped the team win the Atlantic Division. However, they lost a 3-4 series to the Florida Panthers in the first round, ending their postseason run.


9. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning- best NHL teams

The Lightning was founded in 1992 as part of the NHL’s expansion. They were Florida’s first NHL team when they played their debut season in 1992–1993. Known for creating an energetic atmosphere, the team completely justifies its name and has a strong fan base.

Beloved Stars

Under the leadership of legendary players like Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, and Brad Richards, they won the Stanley Cup in 2004. Players like Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Victor Hedman have recently kept illuminating the ice.

Pinnacle Events

  • Their first Stanley Cup victory in the 2003–04 season is a pinnacle event. They defeated the Calgary Flames in an exciting seven-game series under the direction of coach John Tortorella.
  • At the Ice Palace, now known as Amalie Arena, the Lightning had the privilege of hosting the NHL All-Star Game in 1999.

2022-2023 NHL Season

In the first round of the playoffs, the Lightning played the Toronto Maple Leafs. Although the series was extremely close, the Lightning lost 2-4, indicating an early playoff exit.


10. Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers- best NHL teams
Ice Legends: 10 Best NHL Teams That Redefined Greatness 11

The 1967 NHL Expansion featured The Flyers, one of the best NHL teams. They are the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup since the Original Six. They evolved into the “Broad Street Bullies” today, adopting an aggressive approach.

Beloved Stars

The back-to-back victories for Stanely were made possible by legends like Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, and Bill Barber. Fans have continued to be won over by the “Legion of Doom” line, which included Eric Lindros, John LeClair, Mikael Renberg, and talents like Claude Giroux.

Pinnacle Events

  • In the fifth overtime of the 2000 postseason, Keith Primeau scored the game-winning goal to give the Philadelphia Flyers a dramatic victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
  • The Flyers’ remarkable run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010 showcased their toughness and never-say-die mentality despite losing the series to the Boston Bruins 3-0.

2022-2023 NHL Season

The Flyers did not have a good 2022–23 season and secured seventh in the Metropolitan Division. They earned 75 points during the regular season and could not advance to the playoffs. 


Conclusion

With this, we conclude our list of the 10 Best NHL teams. We can infer that apart from these teams’ brilliant performances, it is their ability to influence future generations that bring greatness to the NHL. These iconic players and their unforgettable games helped its supporters surpass all cultural differences and bring unity in diversity. Each team has a distinctive history to share, from the Montreal Canadiens’ record-breaking 24 Stanley Cup victories to the Detroit Red Wings’ quick ascent to fame. These teams’ have changed the hockey landscape with their never-die attitude and sportsmanship.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

Question 1: Who is the best NHL team in history?

Having won the most Stanley Cups, the Montreal Canadiens are regarded as one of the finest teams in NHL history. The Edmonton Oilers, the New York Islanders from the 1980s, and the Detroit Red Wings from the early 2000s can also be considered the best NHL teams in history.

Question 2: What are the best NHL team seasons of all time?

The 1976–77 Montreal Canadiens, who won 60 games in an 80–game season, and the 1995–96 Detroit Red Wings, who won 62 games, are two NHL teams with some of their most dominant seasons.

Question 3: Which California NHL team is the best?

Los Angeles Kings from the California NHL team is the best, as they have won the Stanley Cup twice.

Question 4: Who has lost the most Stanley Cups?

The record of losing the most Stanley Cup Finals in NHL history belongs to the Detroit Red Wings.

Question 5: What is the newest team in the NHL?

The Seattle Kraken, the 32nd franchise in NHL history, is the most recent addition to the league rosters. The team was formally given the go-ahead to sign, trade, and draft players in April of 2021.


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Joey Martin
Joey Martin
With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of various sports, Joey delivers readers insightful analysis and in-depth information that keeps sports enthusiasts both engaged and well-informed.

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