As die-hard hockey fans, we’ve put together this guide all about the seven NHL teams from Canada. From coast to coast, these hockey teams are more than just players on ice. They’re a source of national pride and community spirit. Whether it’s cheering for the big leagues or supporting the rising stars in junior leagues, Canadian hockey is about the passion we all share. So, join us as we dive into the exciting world of Canada’s NHL teams, where every game is a celebration of our love for hockey.
Storied History and Rising Talent: Canada’s NHL Franchises
When the NHL formed in 1917, two of six inaugural teams called Canada home. Over a century later, Montreal and Toronto retain their places among the hockey teams from Canada in the NHL. These clubs have showcased some of the game’s greatest talents and forged one of its most heated rivalries. While the NHL has expanded heavily in recent decades, Canada still claims seven total franchises, highlighting the presence of Canadian hockey teams in the NHL.
Canadian Hockey Teams in NHL: Getting to Know Great Seven
Montreal Canadiens – 24 Stanley Cups on North America’s Winningest Team
The legend of Les Habitants took shape over the 20th century, bringing 24 Cups to Montreal. Maurice “The Rocket” Richard electrified hockey in the ’40s and ’50s with 544 career goals. Guy Lafleur similarly posted six straight 50-goal seasons en route to his Hall of Fame career, while goaltender Patrick Roy carried the torch further by starring in two ’80s/90s Stanley Cup 3-peats before claiming two more as Colorado’s netminder. This team is one of the NHL Canadian teams that has left a significant mark in history.
- 24 Stanley Cups won (most in NHL)
- 34 Hockey Hall of Famers
- 8 total NHL scoring titles
- 665 consecutive home sellouts at Bell Centre
- 113 season point total set in 1977-78
Toronto Maple Leafs – Ready to End the NHL’s Longest Cup Drought
The 1967 NHL expansion took place two years before the last Maple Leafs title, but still no club has suffered a longer dry spell. While fans await snapping that streak with stars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner leading the charge, Toronto has maintained prominence as a marquee Original Six club with 13 championships, second all-time. Ace Bailey and Busher Jackson’s “Kid Line” brought Cups to a city ravaged by the Great Depression in the ’30s, while ’60s icons Dave Keon, Tim Horton and Johnny Bower cemented Leafs legacies further.
- 13 Stanley Cups (2nd in NHL)
- 56-season Cup Final appearance drought (longest active)
- 37 players and 10 builders in Hockey Hall of Fame
- 3 top-five MVP finishes for Matthews since 2016
- 101 points for Matthews in 2022, most by Leafs player since 1993-94
Edmonton Oilers – The Last Crash of a Once-Great Dynasty
The Wayne Gretzky years brought 5 Stanley Cups in 7 seasons, cementing Edmonton’s ’80s dynasty status. Mark Messier extended that run by emerging as top playoff performer in the 1990 championship campaign. Though Edmonton’s last Finals trip came in 2006, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl currently give the Oilers two top-5 world talents in their prime to spearhead another title pursuit.
- 5 Stanley Cups (1983-84 through 1989-90)
- 6 Art Ross Trophy seasons for McDavid in 8 years
- 89 playoff series wins (5th in NHL)
- Retired 6 jersey numbers including The Great One #99
Vancouver Canucks – Seeking the Elusive First Cup
Star goalie Roberto Luongo backstopped Vancouver to within one win of hockey’s ultimate prize in 2011, only to fall just short against Boston. The Canucks came even closer in 1994 during a heartbreaking Finals loss to the Rangers. While the retired Sedin twins and Pavel Bure brought prior acclaim, Elias Pettersson now looks to guide Vancouver’s next championship pursuit.
- 3 Stanley Cup Final appearances (1982, 1994, 2011)
- 740 career goals for Daniel Sedin (franchise record)
- Pettersson notched 68 points in 2021-22 at just 23 years old
Calgary Flames – Canada’s Second-Newest NHL Champion
Lanny McDonald’s emotional 1989 Finals winner cemented his legacy in Calgary. While the Flames’ 2004 Cup run established Jarome Iginla as this generation’s franchise torchbearer, offseason acquisitions including Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri provide fresh firepower to challenge rival Edmonton and reestablish the Flames among Western elite.
- Won 1989 Stanley Cup behind Hall of Famers Lanny McDonald and Joe Mullen
- Iginla tops Flames’ goals (525) and points (1,095) lists
- Won Presidents’ Trophy for 2004 league-best record pre-lockout
Winnipeg Jets – Canada’s Traveling Team Sees Promise
Once the home for early legends like Bobby Hull during 12 WHA seasons, Winnipeg eventually landed another NHL franchise when financial woes prompted the Atlanta Thrashers’ 2011 relocation north. While the current Jets seek their first Cup, young talents like 2021 scoring champ Kyle Connor offer escapism for loyal Manitoba fans.
- Joined NHL in 1999 as Atlanta Thrashers before Winnipeg move
- Longest playoff run into second round (2018 and 2021)
- Connor posted 47 goals, 93 points last season
Ottawa Senators – Planning Ottawa’s Second Stanley Cup Trip
Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson headlined Ottawa’s lone Cup Final foray in 2007. Now the Senators rally around a youth movement featuring Tim Stützle, Brady Tkachuk and goalie Anton Forsberg to lay this generation’s foundation after qualifying for 23 combined playoff series since first taking NHL ice in 1992.
- 2007 run marks Ottawa’s only Stanley Cup Final appearance
- 4 times exceeded 100 standings points between 2002-2007
- 16 career hat tricks for Alfredsson stand as franchise record
Canada’s Remaining Teams Push for Success
Rounding out Canada’s NHL teams landscape, the Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, and the historic Quebec Nordiques provide regional ties. Ottawa has reached one Cup Final since returning to the league in 1992. The current Jets franchise traces its Atlanta origins to 1999, whereas the Quebec Nordiques relocated to become the powerhouse Colorado Avalanche in 1995. All three fanbases cling tightly to their clubs, showcasing the widespread support for NHL teams in Canada.
Beyond the Pros: Major Junior and Local Heroes
While NHL stardom captivates so many Canadian kids’ dreams, opportunities to play, cheer and forge bonds through hockey extend much deeper. The Canadian Hockey League umbrella governs three esteemed Major Junior leagues: the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League, nurturing the hockey teams of Canada at a grassroots level. These development circuits help groom tomorrow’s stars, often serving as a stepping stone for NHL draftees. That journey cultivates devoted followers too, as local communities rally behind the top teens and young men representing their cities. Last year’s Quebec League champions hail from small town Saint John while the Western League’s best rep larger outposts like Edmonton.
Grassroots Growth at Hockey’s Core
Even more than major junior’s 60 teams, Hockey Canada estimates over 650,000 children and adults play organized hockey at regional levels. While registration numbers dipped recently with the pandemic, parents recognize hockey’s value for physical activity, social connections, and life lessons regarding teamwork.
United by Hockey Across Canada
These varied entry points enable Canadians across all 13 provinces and territories to experience hockey’s joys either firsthand or through devoted fandom. While the NHL and its superstars offer the pinnacle, Canada’s passion for hockey permeates all levels, including the NHL Canada teams and beyond. Neighborhood ice rinks, packed local arenas, heated junior rivalries, and close-knit recreational teams each write their own stories. And they collectively stitch hockey’s integral role into Canada’s cultural fabric from coast to coast.
So whether Montreal finally raises Cup #25, an undrafted major junior veteran realizes his NHL dream, or a novice house league player scores their very first goal, hockey will forever thrill Canadian players, parents, and supporters alike.