Canada is known for its love of hockey and it’s not hard to see why. Canada has an extra 7 teams when compared with other countries that also play this sport, making them the number one country in terms of covering ice-based sports.
There are seven NHL teams located in Canada. From the date of their first NHL season, the seven teams are Montreal Canadians (1917), Toronto Maple Leafs (1917), Vancouver Canucks (1970), Edmonton Oilers (1979), Calgary Flames (1980), Ottawa Senators (1992), and Winnipeg Jets (2011).
Let’s take a closer look at all seven teams and some of the important dates, players, retired jerseys, and the Stanley Cups that each of them have.
- Founded: 1972 as Atlanta Flames; first year in Calgary 1980-81
- Arena: Scotiabank Saddledome 19,289
- Stanley Cups: 1989
- Hall of Famers: Lanny McDonald, Joe Mullen, Grant Fuhr, Al MacInnis, Brett Hull, Doug Gilmour, Joe Nieuwendyk, Sergei Makarov, Martin St. Louis
- Retired Numbers: Lanny McDonald 9, Jarome Iginla 12, Mike Vernon G
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 29
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Jarome Iginla 1095, Goals: Jarome Iginla 525, Assists: Al MacInnis 609
Highlights and Current State of the Flames
The 1989 Stanley Cup Final is one of the most memorable events in Flames history. The team victory led by Hall-of Famers Lanny McDonald and Wayne Gretzky ended an 18-year drought that began with their predecessor franchise’s win back when Tommy majorities were still legal.
Well, since 1989 there has not been much to cheer about. Outside of their Stanley Cup run in 2004 where they lost to the Lightning 7 games but did advance far enough for an appearance against Detroit; all other years combined have resulted in just one playoff series victory for Calgary -a great deal more than anyone could’ve imagined back then. The team has consistently put together excellent seasons year after year without fail- until now that is. This upcoming 2022 campaign may well double as soon as 2 consecutive post-season game winners if things go accordingly at training camp and pre-season games played throughout Metro Vancouver this fall.
- Founded: 1971 1972-1979 WHA; first NHL season 1979-80
- Arena: Rogers Place 18,500
- Stanley Cups: 5 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990
- Hall of Famers: Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier, Adam Oates, Jacques Plante, Chris Pronger, Norm Ullman
- Retired Numbers: Al Hamilton (3), Paul Coffey (7), Glenn Anderson (9), Mark Messier (11), Jari Kuri (17), Grant Fuhr (31), Wayne Gretzky (99)
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 21
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Wayne Gretzky 1773, Goals: Wayne Gretzky 626, Assists: Wayne Gretzky 1147
Highlights and Current State of the Oilers
Edmonton’s glory years were in the 1980s. They had Wayne Gretzky and a bunch of other Hall-of Famers – Mark Messier, Grant Fuhr (the goalie), Paul Coffey, etc. The team won 5 Stanley Cups during that time period with their most recent championship coming back when they beat Carolina Hurricane’s squad 4 games to 1. Well since 1990 things have been tough for them though; not quite like how Calgary has struggled over these last two decades but still hasn’t seen much success, either way, you look at it come up winners consistently enough so we’ll call this one even between those rivals.
They were so bad in the last decade that they had four 1st overall draft picks. Luckily one of those picks was Connor McDavid, who has helped them become a playoff team and able to compete for Stanley Cup titles once more.
- Founded: 1909 as member of NHA; 1917 as part of NHL
- Arena: Centre Bell 21, 273
- Stanley Cups: 23
- Hall of Famers: 55
- 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)
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 83
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Guy Lafleur 1,246 Goals: Maurice Richard: 544 Assists: Guy Lafleur 728
Highlights and Current State of the Canadiens
Montreal is the center of the hockey universe: not just because it’s where all major tournaments and teams get their start, but also due to how popular this game was invented. The first organized match took place on French streets outside Montreal back in 1875. Along with having 24 Stanley Cups (by far), they’re known as “The Most winning Franchise Ever”. It’ll be tough for anyone else vying against them now or later down the road–so long as you can find your own Monument Caesars Sports Palace.
The Montreal Canadiens are a team with deep history and an even deeper love amongst their fans. If you want to watch hockey, this would be the place for it – at Bell Center on Saturday nights. The current state of things isn’t so glamorous though; after making some surprising run in 2021 they’ve quickly fallen back into bad habits–now one of the worst teams around NHL rankings suggests that might take 3-5 more years before getting anywhere close toward respectability again.
- Founded: 1992 (no relation to Ottawa Senators of 1917-34)
- Arena: Canadian Tire Centre 19,153
- Stanley Cups: 0
- Hall of Famers: Dominik Hasek
- Retired Numbers: Frank Finnigan (8), Daniel Alfredsson (11), Chris Phillips (4)
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 16
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Daniel Alfredsson 1,108 Goals: Daniel Alfredsson 426, Assists: Daniel Alfredsson 682
Highlights and Current State of the Senators
The current Ottawa Senators have never won a Stanley Cup, but there was an original team that started pre-NHL and was part of the league before folding in 1934. This new version does not associate itself with these past accomplishments despite both sides claiming ownership over their legacy.
The 2001-era Ottawa Senators were one of the league’s worst teams, but they had a good enough group to make it into the playoffs. The current iteration is going through rebuilding and should be considered among bottom dwellers within three or five years; however, there has been some success with this strategy before (2007 Stanley Cup) when looking at long-term outlooks.
Toronto Maple Leafs
- Founded: 1917 (formerly Arenas, and St. Patrick’s)
- Arena: Scotiabank Arena 18,819
- Stanley Cups: 13
- Hall of Famers: 61
- 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)
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 68
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Mats Sundin 987, Goals: Mats Sundin 420, Assists: Borje Salming 620
Highlights and Current State of the Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs have one of the longest Stanley Cup droughts in NHL history. They last won it all back when there were only 6 teams, but now with 3 more expansion franchises than them, this is an even bigger problem for Canadian fans.
The Toronto Maple Leafs is one of the most successful NHL teams with eight championships. They have had some good talent on their roster, but they’ve never had a player like Auston Matthews who will lead them to victory in this year’s Stanley Cup finals.
- Founded: 1999 (as Atlanta Thrashers) 2011 Winnipeg Jets
- Arena: Bell MTS Place, 16,345
- Stanley Cups: 0
- Hall of Famers: 0
- Retired Numbers: 0
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 4
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Ilya Kovalchuk 615, Goals: Ilya Kovalchuk 328, Assists: Blake Wheeler 390
Highlights and Current State of the Jets
The Winnipeg Jets are a hockey team that has had many different versions. The first version was from 1972-1996 and they played in the World Hockey Association before joining the NHL competition with 1979 season absorption, then moving on to Phoenix where current day Coyotes play now after relocating there 20 years ago.
The Winnipeg Jets are a hockey team with a rich history. They started out in Atlanta before moving to their current location, which is one of Canada’s most beautiful cities. There’s a lot of history and records with the original Atlanta Jets, but not much success. The current team has been below average for most years since they’ve never won anything important like Stanley Cup or even finals appearance yet still manage to be an above-average squad every so often which makes them more valuable as long shots when predicting future outcomes at least.
- Founded: 1970
- Arena: Rogers Arena 18,910
- Stanley Cups: 0
- Hall of Famers: Igor Larionov, Mark Messier, Cam Neely, Pavel Bure, Mats Sundin
- Retired Numbers: Pavel Bure (10), Stan Smyl (12), Trevor Linden (16), Markus Naslund (19)
- NHL Playoff Appearances: 27
- Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Henrik Sedin 1,070 Goals: Daniel Sedin 393, Assists: Henrik Sedin 830
Highlights and Current State of the Canucks
Vancouver fans are some of the most passionate in all hockey. They’ve had a history with lots to cheer about, but they’ll never win Stanley Cup – this is something that has always nagged at them ever since 1918 when it was last won by any team from British Columbia (the season before the game vs Montreal Canadiens).
The Vancouver Canucks are one of the most unsuccessful NHL teams in terms of winning championships. They have made it past The Finals on three separate occasions but lost both games they played against Chicago Blackhawks— twice when Daniel Sedin scored late goals to take charge away from them and once more due to an overtime miss by Quinn Hughes just moments after he tied things up for good with his first goal since October 8th. The current roster does feature some amazing players like Trevor Linden or Marcus Naslund who helped build this city’s Super Fans loyalty during their time here.
The Pain of all Canadian Teams
The last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup was over twenty years ago, and hockey fans are eager for their favorite nation to break that drought. The Montreal Canadiens were able to celebrate victory after finally overcoming all odds in 1993 but since then nothing has changed – no other teams from Canada have managed even one championship nor do they seem likely any time soon as well.
Defunct Canadian NHL teams
The following teams in Canada have played the NHL but no longer exist. Note: Yes, there are other Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets – though they’re not exactly what you would call “exact” copies of each other (the original version had more than just a name). The newest instance is actually quite different from all previous ones thanks to its recent record-breaking runs that’ve made it worth recognition by either the Hockey Hall Of Fame voting committee or league decree; these records will be considered interchangeable henceforth when determining winners/defeaters among survivors such as Montreal Canadiens 2010 Stanley Cup victory celebrations.
The Senators, Nordiques, and Jets played in subsequent leagues before they started playing in the NHL. The dates below reflect when they entered the NHL.
- Ottawa Senators (1917-1934) Relocated to become the St. Louis Eagles, which subsequently folded
- Quebec Nordiques (1979-1995) Relocated to become the Colorado Avalanche
- Hamilton Tigers (1920-25) Players contracts sold to New York Americans
- Winnipeg Jets (1979-1996) Relocated to become Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes
Text List of Canadian NHL Teams
Toronto Maple Leafs