Most NHL Stanley Cup Wins: Who Holds the Record?
With the NHL being the most popular ice hockey league in the world, many fans tune in weekly to support their favourite teams as they fight for a chance to win the coveted Stanley Cup. The Stanley Cup is the trophy awarded to the champion of the NHL every year and is one of the oldest trophies across all sports still awarded to this day, with a history of over 130 years.
This guide will go over everything there is to know about which teams have won this coveted championship. No matter if you’re looking to get information on which team won the Cup last season or other things related to the topic, you’re in the right place.
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How Is The Stanley Cup Winner Determined?
Throughout its lengthy history, many teams have won the Stanley Cup, with several of them holding multiple trophies. There have also been a few dynasties of very strong teams with numerous championships in a row. Finally, despite the tournament’s existence for such a long time, a couple of American and Canadian teams haven’t won a single title.
These days, in order to win the Stanley Cup, a team must perform well throughout the NHL regular season to secure a spot in the NHL playoffs. The playoffs consist of 16 teams that play against each other in best-of-seven series following a tournament-style format. The first team to reach four wins in each matchup advances to the next round.
Teams are paired up in two different brackets based on their division and standings. Initially, they play against teams in the same Conference until the winners of each Conference fight off against each other in the Stanley Cup Finals. The winner of the Stanley Cup Finals is crowned champion for the NHL season and awarded the Stanley Cup itself.
The home-ice advantage is particularly important in the NHL playoffs since teams have a statistically higher win rate when playing at home. Home advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs is determined according to the standings during the regular season. This means that a strong regular season is rewarded by having this advantage when it comes to playoff time.
NHL Stanley Cup Winners By Year
The Stanley Cup Finals have been fascinating over the past decade, with multiple teams lifting the trophy. Here’s a list of the 10 most recent Stanley Cup winners by year:
2022 – Colorado Avalanche
In 2022, the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup, defeating the reigning champions Tampa Bay Lightning in a thrilling six-game series. Throughout the year, the Avalanche were dominant in their division and managed to reach the finals with ease. This was the third trophy for the Avalanche across their history, who are still the only NHL franchise undefeated in the finals with three wins in three appearances.
2021 – Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning won their second consecutive Stanley Cup in 2021, in a season that suffered from delays and didn’t allow NHL skaters to participate in the Winter Olympic Games. However, despite a non-ideal third-place finish in the Central Division, they managed to get through the playoffs and eventually defeated the Montreal Canadiens in five games in the Stanley Cup final.
2020 – Tampa Bay Lightning
The 2019-20 season was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed in May with a differentiated playoffs format. The included teams were 24 instead of 16, and all games were held on neutral ground. The Tampa Bay Lightning had been dominant all season and managed to defeat the Dallas Stars with a 4-2 score to claim their second Stanley Cup in team history after their success in 2004.
2019 – St. Louis Blues
2019 was a year to remember for St. Louis Blues fans, as the franchise won its first-ever Stanley Cup in a thrilling seven-game series against the Boston Bruins. This was actually a revenge match from the 1970 Finals, where the Bruins had swept the Blues. St. Louis had a shaky start to the season but managed to bounce back and secure a place in the playoffs, which led to their eventual Stanley Cup win.
2018 – Washington Capitals
In 2018, the Washington Capitals finally won their first Stanley Cup after several poor postseason performances. Led by their captain and team legend Alexander Ovechkin, the Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in five games. Ovechkin was dominant during that season, finishing as the top goalscorer and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy with 15 goals in the playoffs.
2017 – Pittsburgh Penguins
2017 saw the Pittsburgh Penguins win a second consecutive Stanley Cup and their fifth overall. While the Pens were dominating for most of the regular season, they struggled slightly during the playoffs, with many of their series going to seven games. Eventually, they managed to beat the Nashville Predators thanks, in part, to their rookie goalie Matt Murray who managed to come up with back-to-back shutouts in games five and six.
2016 – Pittsburgh Penguins
In 2016, the Pittsburgh Penguins won their fourth Stanley Cup and the first one since 2009. Their opponents were the San Jose Sharks, who competed in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in their history. After a few uninspiring playoff performances, the Penguins managed to go all the way, defeating top teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning and eventually beating the Sharks in six games.
2015 – Chicago Blackhawks
2015 was a very successful season for the Chicago Blackhawks, who wanted to strengthen their team after a Conference Finals loss in 2014. The franchise enjoyed a decent regular season and went on to defeat several strong teams, including the Anaheim Ducks, in the seven-game Conference Final. Eventually, the Blackhawks lifted their sixth Stanley Cup, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.
2014 – Los Angeles Kings
In 2014, the Los Angeles Kings won their second-ever Stanley Cup after their first win in 2012. Most of the 2012 winning squad was still available, along with some very useful additions during the offseason. The road to the Cup Finals was harsh, with the Kings pulling through three seven-game series to face the New York Rangers in the final and beating them in six games.
2013 – Chicago Blackhawks
In 2013, the Chicago Blackhawks sought to win their fifth Stanley Cup trophy after two underwhelming playoff performances in the two prior seasons. The Blackhawks were dominant throughout the regular season and even won the Presidents’ Trophy as the team with the most points. Their playoff run included beating 2012 champions Los Angeles Kings, and eventually, they won the Cup against the Boston Bruins with a score of 4-2.
Top 5 NHL Stanley Cup Winners
Throughout its long history, 20 teams have become champions of the Stanley Cup. Additionally, several teams have lifted the coveted trophy more than once, with the Montreal Canadiens holding the title for the most Stanley Cup wins with 24.
Here’s a list of the top 5 teams with the most Stanley Cup wins in the history of the NHL:
|Team||Years Won||Finals Appearances||Last Won|
|Montreal Canadiens||24 (1916, 1924, 1930, 1931, 1944, 1946, 1953, 1956 – 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976 – 1979, 1986, 1993)||35||1993|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||13 (1932, 1942, 1945, 1947 – 1949, 1951, 1962 – 1964, 1967)||21||1967|
|Detroit Red Wings||11 (1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008)||24||2008|
|Boston Bruins||6 (1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972, 2011)||20||2011|
|Chicago Blackhawks||6 (1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013, 2015)||13||2015|
Who Won 4 Stanley Cups in A Row?
There have been several NHL teams that have won multiple consecutive Stanley Cups. However, only two franchises have managed to win the coveted trophy four times in a row. The first one is obviously the Montreal Canadiens, who hold the record for the most Stanley Cup appearances and wins, with 35 and 24, respectively.
The Canadiens won 4 straight Stanley Cups from 1976 to 1979 under coach Scotty Bowman. Not only that, but the Canadiens also have a five-consecutive Stanley Cup win streak from 1956 to 1960, which still stands as the most back-to-back trophy wins.
The New York Islanders are the other franchise to have achieved 4 consecutive Stanley Cup victories. The team followed the Canadiens’ dynasty and won all four trophies from 1980 to 1983 under coach Al Arbour. What’s strange is that, despite their excellent performances during the early 1980s, the Islanders haven’t won a single Stanley Cup since 1983.
Last Canadian Team to Win Stanley Cup
Unfortunately, even though Canadian teams have been some of the most iconic in the sport, it’s been a long time since they last won the Stanley Cup. Specifically, no Canadian team has lifted the trophy since the Montreal Canadiens last won it in 1993.
A few Canadian-based franchises have reached the Stanley Cup Finals since 1993, including the Canadiens themselves in 2021. However, despite ice hockey being Canada’s national sport, the country has faced a decades-long drought in terms of Stanley Cup wins.
Which Teams Have Never Won The Stanley Cup?
Most of the 32 teams in the NHL have won the Stanley Cup at least once throughout their history. However, there are actually 12 franchises that still haven’t experienced the glory of lifting the trophy. Most of them have managed to reach the finals and lost, whereas a few haven’t even made it to the finals.
The teams that have reached the finals but have no Cup wins are:
- Vancouver Canucks (3 finals appearances)
- Buffalo Sabres (2 finals appearances)
- Florida Panthers (1 finals appearance)
- Nashville Predators (1 finals appearance)
- Ottawa Senators (1 finals appearance)
- San Jose Sharks (1 finals appearance)
- Vegas Golden Knights (1 finals appearance)
The teams that haven’t reached the Stanley Cup Finals yet are:
- Arizona Coyotes
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Minnesota Wild
- Seattle Kraken
- Winnipeg Jets
Stanley Cup History
The Stanley Cup is one of the most well-known trophies in the world and the oldest trophy to still be awarded to a professional team in North America. The Cup was named after Lord Stanley of Preston, who bought it for less than $50, to award it to the best hockey team in the Dominion of Canada.
The Cup began as a small bowl-shaped trophy but has reached an immense three-feet size over the years due to the inscription of the names of all players of a winning team every year. The trophy has changed in size and shape throughout the years, with the final version being the one established in 1963.
The Stanley Cup remains the only professional trophy with inscriptions of the names of all winning skaters. However, to maintain its size, bands of older champions are replaced with new ones.
The first-ever winner of the Stanley Cup was the Montreal Hockey Club, an affiliate of the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, in 1893. In 1910, the Cup was in control of the National Hockey Association, the predecessor of the NHL, and teams from the US began to compete for the trophy. Finally, in 1926, the NHL seized control of the Stanley Cup, and the trophy has only been awarded to teams in the NHL since then.
Who Will Win the Stanley Cup in 2023? — Expert’s Prediction
Every year, as the NHL regular season comes to a close, everybody sets their eyes on the playoffs and the Stanley Cup. Whenever you try to predict the eventual winner of the Cup, you must consider several factors, such as team and player performances, potential injuries, and postseason appearances.
In 2023, the Boston Bruins are looking like a strong favourite to win the Stanley Cup. The franchise has built a solid team that’s on course to achieve one of the most dominant NHL seasons of all time. Not to mention that the Bruins have huge playoff experience, along with a lost Cup Finals in 2019.
However, remember that the last team to win both the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup was the Blackhawks in 2012-2013. Additionally, several strong teams in the Eastern Conference could stop Boston’s incredible run in the playoffs, such as the Carolina Hurricanes or the Toronto Maple Leafs.
And let’s not forget about the 2022 champions, the Colorado Avalanche, who have managed to survive a series of important injuries and are bouncing back in their division. In general, Boston seems like a safe bet for the Cup this year, but if you’re looking for an upset, Carolina or Colorado might be the way to go.
FAQs About NHL Stanley Cup Winners
Even though we thoroughly discussed the different Stanley Cup winners, several questions remain unanswered. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Stanley Cup and its winners:
The Stanley Cup is the ultimate trophy for ice hockey and the oldest trophy still awarded in North America. The Cup is awarded to the team that wins the Stanley Cup Finals and is considered the champion of the NHL season.
The team with the most NHL Stanley Cup wins is the Montreal Canadiens. The franchise has won a total of 24 Stanley Cups, 23 of which came after the NHL took control of the Stanley Cup competition.
The team with the most losses in the Stanley Cup Finals is the Boston Bruins. Even though the franchise is in the top 5 teams with the most Stanley Cup wins, with 6 trophies, it has participated in a whopping 20 Finals. This means that the Bruins have lost the Stanley Cup 14 times.
The number one team with the most Stanley Cups is the Montreal Canadiens, with 24 trophies. The top 5 Stanley Cup winners list includes the Toronto Maple Leafs (13), Detroit Red Wings (11), Boston Bruins (6), and Chicago Blackhawks (6).
Several NHL teams have won two or more consecutive Stanley Cups. The Toronto Maple Leafs have managed a three-win streak twice in their history, whereas the New York Islanders have won it four times in a row. However, the longest Stanley Cup win streak goes to the Montreal Canadiens, who won five consecutive trophies from 1956 to 1960.
The Stanley Cup has a long history of over 130 years behind it. It was first awarded in 1893 to the Montreal A.A.A. and its affiliate club, the Montreal Hockey Club, for winning the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada league. When the NHL gained control of the Stanley Cup, the first team to win it was the original Ottawa Senators franchise in 1927.
The Stanley Cup playoffs consist of 16 teams and are carried out in four rounds. To reach the playoffs, a team must be in the top three of its division or one of the next two highest-placed teams from each Conference. Each playoff matchup is a best-of-seven series, and the team that reaches four wins first wins the series.
The first-ever team to win the Stanley Cup was the Montreal Hockey Club in 1893. The team was affiliated with the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association and was awarded the trophy as the winner of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada.
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Rowan is a sports betting journalist with an established presence in the sports media industry through his thought-invoking coverage and commentary surrounding major leagues like the NBA, NFL, and NCAA. While Rowan specializes in NBA, NFL, and NCAA college sports coverage, he consistently follows and reports on every major sport in North America.