The Roar
The Roar



(Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLThe National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league and is the world’s premier domestic ice hockey competition.

Made up of 31 teams – with a 32nd to be added in 2021 – the competition has teams in both the USA and Canada, while drawing players from North America, Russia, Scandinavia and other European countries.

The competition’s structure sees teams divided into two conferences, the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, with each conference divided into two divisions.

The Eastern Conference is the larger of the two containing two eight-team divisions while the West contains one eight-team division one seven-team division.

The season culminates in the NHL playoffs with the winner awarded the Stanley Cup – which is the oldest continuously awarded trophy in sports.

The Stanley Cup was won in 2021 by the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second straight time, after they defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 in the best-of-seven series.

The 2017-18 season saw the debut of the first-ever Australian to play in the NHL – Nathan Walker. Walker appeared in nine games with the Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers, scoring one goal.

NHL teams


Eastern Conference

Team Location Stanley Cup wins (last title)
Atlantic Division
Boston Bruins Boston, Massachusetts 6 (2011)
Buffalo Sabres Buffalo, New York 0
Detroit Red Wings Detroit, Michigan 11 (2008)
Florida Panthers Miami, Florida 0
Montréal Canadiens Montréal, Québec (Canada) 24 (1993)
Ottawa Senators Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) 0
Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa, Florida 3 (2021)
Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto, Ontario (Canada) 13 (1967)
Metropolitan Division
Carolina Hurricanes Raleigh, North Carolina 1 (2006)
Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus, Ohio 0
New Jersey Devils Newark, New Jersey 1 (2003)
New York Islanders Brooklyn, New York 4 (1983)
New York Rangers Manhattan, New York 4 (1994)
Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2 (1975)
Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 5 (2017)
Washington Capitals Washington, D.C. 1 (2018)

Western Conference

Team Location Stanley Cup wins (last title)
Central Division
Arizona Coyotes Phoenix, Arizona 0
Chicago Blackhawks Chicago, Illinois 6 (2015)
Colorado Avalanche Denver, Colorado 2 (2001)
Dallas Stars Dallas, Texas 1 (1999)
Minnesota Wild St Paul, Minnesota 0
Nashville Predators Nashville, Tennessee 0
St Louis Blues St Louis, Missouri 1 (2019)
Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) 0
Pacific Division
Anaheim Ducks Anaheim, California 1 (2007)
Calgary Flames Calgary, Alberta (Canada) 1 (1989)
Edmonton Oilers Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) 5 (1990)
Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles, California 2 (2014)
San Jose Sharks San Jose, California 0
Seattle Kraken Seattle, Washington 0
Vancouver Canucks Vancouver, B.C. (Canada) 0
Vegas Golden Knights Las Vegas, Nevada 0

From the league’s inception, Canadian teams have traditionally dominated over their American counterparts – although the league hasn’t had a Canadian champion since 1993.

The Montréal Canadiens have been by far the most successful franchise winning 24 titles. After the Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups, followed by the Detroit Red Wings with 11.

More US Sports content