What Are The Best NHL Teams Of All Time?

Updated: March 27, 2024 by Bill Burniece

Creating a list of the best NHL teams of all time is sure to create controversy. 

Everyone has their own opinions and homer biases. 

Year after year, hockey players exceed their limits and set amazing records that make this game fun to watch.

All across America, Canada, and further, with every new season, people keenly await their favorite teams to show off their expertise on the rink and prove why they should be holders of the Stanley Cup.

The National Hockey League or NHL stands as the proficient hockey league mainly in the US and Canada, and if you are wondering who is the biggest of them all, read on to find out.

1. Edmonton Oilers

This sensational team is based in Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, and the famous Oilers have soon proven why they deserve to be on the top of the list.

The Oilers’ dominance started back in 1984 when they kept winning the Stanley Cup over and over again.

It’s fair to note that they had the best hockey player in the world to back them out, the amazing Connor McDavid, and soon the team’s gameplay skyrocketed.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

This ice hockey team keeps exceeding their expectations.

The list wouldn’t be complete without the classic Maple Leafs, one of the most profitable NHL teams in Ontario.

Maple Leafs were founded and are based in the majestic city of Toronto.

The Leafs are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference and they keep advancing to the top to grab another NHL trophy.

So far they have made it to 21 finals and amassed 13 Stanley Cups.

3. Montreal Canadiens

There’s no denying that the Montreal Canadiens is one of the most successful NHL teams of all time, and the reasons are endless.

They have had a staggering 24 wins out of 34 final appearances in the spectacular Stanley Cup championship.

They even set a record back in 1977 for being the highest-point-scoring team to win the Stanley Cup.

Not only that but if you have made great history, you are bound to have a future.

Montreal Canadians are said to be unstoppable, and even with few ups and downs in NHL history, they well deserve the high spot on the list.

4. Detroit Red Wings

Established back in 1926 and based in Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Red Wings have dominated the finals 24 times with 11 wins between 1936 and 2008.

Noted as the seventh-best team in NHL history, the outstanding Red Wings still keep attracting spectators and fans and remain a well-paid team with amazing scores such as finishing third in the Western Conference and second in the Central Division.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins made their Stanley Cup debut in 1991, beating the Minnesota North Stars, and that’s when they entered history.

Penguins swept the Chicago Blackhawks the second year, and after the legendary new coach Scotty Bowman had taken over after Johnson passed away, the team had a great deal of ups and downs.

Nevertheless, The Penguins remain the best and highest-grossing of the two NHL franchises in Pennsylvania since they have won the Stanley Cup five times, in the famous 1991 match, 1009, 2009, 2016, and 2017.

6. New York Islanders

Around the vast New York metropolitan area, besides the fantastic New York Rangers and the vast New Jersey Devils, the New York Islanders proudly desire to be on the list.

It’s hard to pinpoint the best team of these three NHL franchises from New York, but the Islanders stand out for a plethora of reasons. Besides still selling tickets at Madison Square Garden and attracting loads of spectators and fans, they have won four league titles from 1980 til 1983 and 6 Division and Conference champions.

Also, they were known to be one of the fiercest teams with a ton of strong defense that helped them reach amazing records.

7. Boston Bruins

The list cannot be complete with the legendary Boston Bruins.

They were formed in 1924 as members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.

The Bruins reached the spotlight in 1971-72 and had great seasons over the years, the most notable being when they won the Stanley Cups in 1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972, and 2011.

It’s fair to note that there have been numerous notable Bruins teams over the course of years, even the ongoing regular sessions keep reaching inspiring results. The future is utterly promising for this team.


There are bound to be more astounding teams making it up the ladder, however, these top NHL teams are undoubtedly the best of the best.