Canada is the most ice hockey lover country in all over the world. According to the 2023 stats, Canada has more NHL fans than any other country. Canada is the one who brought the national hockey league the NHL to its prime. The original four teams of the NHL, formerly the National Hockey Association, are from Canada.
So, What are the Canadian NHL teams? There are seven Canada based teams in the NHL. From the first date of their first NHL regular league season together, the seven teams, are Montreal Canadiens – 1917, Toronto Maple Leafs – 1917, Vancouver Canucks – 1970, Edmonton Oilers – 1979, Calgary Flames – 1980, Ottawa Senators – 1992, and Winnipeg Jets – 2011.
Let’s get into the brief report of these seven Canadian teams and examine some of the historic dates, retired jerseys, and Stanley Cups they have won.
Table of Contents
What are the Canadian hockey teams?
- Calgary Flames
- Edmonton Oilers
- Montreal Canadiens
- Ottawa Senators
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Vancouver Canucks
- Winnipeg Jets
1. Montreal Canadiens
- Established: 1909 – NHA, 1917 – NHL
- Arena: Center Ball – 21,273
- Stanley Cups: 23
- Hall of Famers: 55
- NHL Playoffs Appearances: 85
- Retired Numbers: Jacques Plantes (1), Doug Harvey (2), Emile Bouchard (3), Jean Beliveau (4), Bernie Geoffrion (5), Guy Lapointe (5), Howie Morenz (7), Maurice Richard (9), Guy Lafleur (10), Dickie Moore (12), Yvan Cournoyer (12), Henri Richard (16), Elmer Lach (16), Serge Savard (18), Larry Robinson (19), Bob Gainey (23), Ken Dryden (29), Patrick Roy (33)
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Guy Lafleur – Points: 1,246, Assists: 793, Maurice Richard – Goals: 544
Highlights and current status of the Canadiens
Montreal Canadiens is the origin and the center point of the ice hockey world. The game begins here; Montreal is the first team that shaped NHA into the National Hockey League (NHL). All starting matches were organized there, and then in 1917, NHL was established.
Other than the origin of the NHL, Montreal is the Stanley Cup’s most winning NHL team ever, standing at a spectacular figure of 24, which is hard to pass.
With this long history, Canadians have a deep connection to Montreal and a strong love for hockey there. If you are in Montreal and have a chance to visit, then go to the Center Ball Arena.
However, grown with a glorious past, their current position is not shiny as before. After giving a surprise run by jumping to the 2021 Stanley Cup and becoming a runner-up, they start to fall. Many of their best players get injured and back off, becoming one of the poor teams in the NHL.
Currently, the team is in its full reconstructing mode, which probably takes 5-3 years to regain its magnificent past.
2. Toronto Maple Leafs
- Established: 1917 – (Previous Names are Arenas and St. Patrick’s)
- Stadium: Scotiabank Arena – 18,800
- Stanley Cups: 13
- Hall of Famers: 61
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 71
- Retired Numbers: Turk Broda (1), Johnny Bower (1), Hap Day (4), Red Kelly (4), Bill Barilko (5), Ace Bailey (6), King Clancy (7), Tim Horton (7), Charlie Conacher (9), Ted Kennedy (9), Syl Apps (10), George Armstrong (10), Mats Sundin (13), Dave Keon (14), Wendel Clark (17), Borje Salming (21) Frank Mahovlich (27), Darryl Sittler (27), Doug Gilmour (93)
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Mats Sundin – Points: 987, Goals: 420, Borje Salming – Assists: 620
Highlights and currents status of the Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs is one of the four original teams of the National Hockey League (NHL), founded in 1917. They got a good start in the world hockey association in their earlier days as they won 13 Stanley Cup finals, an impressive number!
But here the problem arises, their last Stanley Cup was back in 1967. Since then, they have never won a single Stanley Cup for 55 straight years, and further summing up, the largest Stanley Cup drought ever a hockey team has faced. At the time they won their last cup, there were only six NHL teams.
Toronto Maple Leafs current league progress status is good with having the present superstar Auston Mathews. The difficulty they are facing now is that they play in a very competitive division despite having a good NHL team. To catch the Stanley Cup, they need to beat at least one of these teams, Tampa Bay, Colorado Avalanche, or Boston.
The current team of Toronto Maple Leafs is the best NHL team in all past 55 years Leafs had.
3. Vancouver Canucks
- Established: 1970
- Stadium: Rogers Arena -18,910
- Stanley Cups: 0
- Hall of Famers: 5
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 28
- Retired Numbers: Pavel Bure (10), Stan Smyl (12), Trevor Linden (16), Markus Naslund (19)
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Henrik Sedin – Points: 1070, Assists: 830, Daniel Sedin – Goals: 393
Highlights and current status of the Canucks
Vancouver Canucks fans are passionate, loving, and patient towards their teams. Canucks is one of those 11 list teams won never won a single Stanley cup. Throughout their journey, they had exhilarating and interesting turns, giving fans a sweet, spicy taste of hockey fan watching a match that Canadian hockey fans love about them. Never winning a Stanley is one of these tastes.
They reached the Stanley cup finals three different times. But sadly, they lost twice in the first round and NHL Game 7 – tragic!
They brought and showed many incredible players on the ice arena, Trevor Lindon, Marcus Naslund, Henrik Sedin, and Daniel. Although never able to make a champion Canadian team at a time.
Canucks current status is a midway team, not high, not low. They have good energetic young players on their team, such as Elias Petterson and Quinn Hughes. Still, they need a skilled defenseman and work more on depth.
4. Edmonton Oilers
- Established: 1979 – (formerly in the NHA 1971, 1972, 1979)
- Stadium: Rogers Place – 18,500
- Stanley Cups: 5
- Hall of Famers: 10
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 24
- Retired Numbers: Al Hamilton (3), Paul Coffey (7), Glenn Anderson (9), Mark Messier (11), Jari Kuri (17), Grant Fuhr (31), Wayne Gretzky (99)
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Wayne Gretzky – Points: 1773, Goals: 626, Assists: 1147
Highlights and current status of the Oilers
Edmonton Oilers brilliant era was in back 1980–1990s times. In this decade, they were probably the greatest NHL team ever. They won 5 Stanley Cups proving that no other could come to their level then. The paramount and best team assembled so far in NHL history ever. They had many legends and Hall of Famers at that time, such as Wayne Gretzky, Grant Fuhr, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, and many more. These players had their full grip and dominance on the game, and the presence of the hockey greatest, Wayne Gretzky, was enough to lose rivals’ confidence.
Well, this era has to end, and since then, they have become a struggling team like Calgary Flame’s, their rivals. In 2006 they were able to make a Stanley Cup run but dropped in game seven against Carolina Hurricanes.
The first round of the last decade was the most tricky and challenging for the Edmonton Oilers in that they had bad luck drafting 1st overall four times. It is their luck that they got one of the best drafted – Connor McDavid.
Even with the superstar Connor, they struggled a lot to become a playoff team, let alone a Stanley Cup-facing championship team. If they work more, surround McDavid with other stars, and make a supportive crew of the rest team, they can get back on their previous majestic track.
5. Calgary Flames
- Established: 1980 – (formerly Atlanta Flames in 1972)
- Stadium: Scotiabank Saddledome – 19,289
- Stanley Cups: 1 – (in 1989)
- Hall of Famers: 9
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 31
- Retired Numbers: Lanny McDonald 9, Jarome Iginla 12, Mike Vernon G
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Jarome Iginla – Points: 1095, Goals: 525, Al MacInnis – Assists: 609
Highlights and current status of the Flames
Flames prime was back in 1989 when they lifted the Stanley Cup. The game star was the Hall of Famer Lanny MacDonald, and it was his last game, in which he finished a spectacular performance by scoring a great goal in the nerve-wracking game.
However, after 1989, they reached the Stanley Cup in 2004 but lost the spotlight in all seven games. Although Jarome Iginla did his best, there is still nothing much to root for.
And between 1989 and 2004, in all these decades, the Flames were only able to win one playoff series. Calgary has a good team in 2022 and is going higher. There is a big chance to double their Stanley Cup and series win.
6. Ottawa Senators
- Established: 1992 – (not connected to the former Ottawa Senators from pre-NHL to 1934)
- Stadium: Canadian Tire Center – 19,153
- Stanley Cups: 0
- Hall of Famers: 1
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 16
- Retired Numbers: Frank Finnigan (8), Daniel Alfredsson (11), Chris Phillips (4)
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Daniel Alfredsson – Points: 1108, Goals: 426, Assists: 682
Highlights and current status of the Senators
The Ottawa Senators had 11 Stanley Cups to their name but wait, not this current Ottawa Senators. The Stanley Cup’s winning senators are the original version that started in the pre-NHL time and then wrapped up in 1934 when they moved to St. Louis.
That original and the present Ottawa Senators have no connection or affiliation. The current Senators version joined the NHL in 1992. They came to highlight for once when they appeared in the Stanley Cup. The team was good but not put together to win a Stanley Cup.
Currently, they are in the rebuilding phase of the hockey league and are on their way to new hopes. They are in the low teams of the NHL, but they assembled them well, and in the coming years, they will become a regular playoff team.
7. Winnipeg Jets
- Established: 2011 – (formerly Atlanta Thrashers in 1999)
- Stadium: Bell MTS Place – 16,345
- Stanley Cups: 0
- Hall of Famers: 0
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 6
- Retired Numbers: 0
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Ilya Kovalchuk – Points: 615, Goals: 328, Black Wheeler – Assists: 390
Highlights and current status of the Jets
This Winnipeg jet version is the second version of the Jets. The original version nhl franchise Jets was started from 1972 to 1996 as WHA. Later, they were absorbed into the NHL in 1979, relocated to Arizona, and are now known as Arizona Coyotes.
And the original Jets, call history and records come under the Coyotes, not the present Winnipeg Jets.
This new version was started as Atlanta Thrashers in 1999, then moved to Winnipeg and became Winnipeg Jets. All the history and records of the Atlanta Thrasher’s are now related to the current Jets.
The current status of the Jets is above average, and they appeared four times in the playoffs. But they never reached the Stanley Cup finals, so they are yet to get the status of Stanley Cup runner.
All Canadian teams current pain
All Canadian teams one pain spot is the Stanley Cup drought. None of the Canadian teams has won a single cup for two decades. The last Stanley Cup victory was in 1993. Montreal Canadians were the last Canadian team who won a Stanley Cup.
Now, every year a new regular season, starts, a new playoff session starts, and a constant question arises. Will this time, a Canadian hockey team win a Stanley Cup?
The defunct Canadian NHL teams
Canada’s NHL teams have spent a long time playing in the NHL. But soon, they became extinct and the best teams are no longer present.
The Ottawa Senators were present from 1917 to 1934 and later became the St. Louis Eagles. The current version of the Ottawa Senators has a resemblance only with the name of the Original one. All previous records of the old version have no relation to the current one, and the new Ottawa Senators hold all new records.
Similarly, the older version of the Winnipeg Jets later moved to Arizona and is now called Arizona Coyotes. Winnipeg then took Atlanta Thrasher’s when they moved to Winnipeg and became Winnipeg Jets. Both teams have no relation or affiliation with each other.
The older versions, the Jets, Senators, and Nordiques, were in the subsequent leagues before joining the NHL.
Here is the list of teams that reflect their time in the NHL.
- Ottawa Senators: 1917 – 1934: moved to St. Louis and became St. Louis Eagles.
- Quebec Nordiques: 1979 – 1995: moved to Colorado and became Colorado Avalanche.
- Winnipeg Jets: 1979 – 1996: moved to Arizona and became Arizona Coyotes.
- Hamilton Tigers: 1920 – 1925: sold to the New York franchise as player’s contracts.
The Popularity of Canadian NHL Teams
The popularity of Canadian NHL teams varies depending on a number of factors, including the team’s history, success, and location. However, the following teams are generally considered to be the most popular in Canada:
The Toronto Maple Leafs, with their rich history and iconic blue and white jerseys, holds the crown for the most valuable NHL team. Not far behind are the Montreal Canadiens, the oldest and most successful franchise in NHL history, stirring intense passion among their supporters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can US hockey teams play in Canada?
Yes, US hockey teams can play in Canada. The cross-border rivalry and collaboration between American and Canadian team’s allow for thrilling matchups and exciting hockey action on both sides of the border.
When is the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup?
Canada has long waited to see the next Stanley Cup after Hockey became wildly popular in Canada. The only Canadian team who won the NHL Cup was the Montreal Canadians in 1993. Despite that, there was no reluctance. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and Montreal Oilers have been back in the playoffs since and the Canadian team hasn’t pulled off a win yet.
In conclusion, Canadian NHL teams hold a significant place in the history and fabric of professional ice hockey. They have played a vital role in shaping the sport and cultivating a passionate fan base that is unmatched in its devotion and love for the game. From legendary franchises like the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Edmonton Oilers to newer additions such as the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, and Winnipeg Jets, Canadian teams have consistently showcased their skill, determination, and competitive spirit on the ice.