Which teams play in the NHL?

Logo_Hockey_NHL 64x64

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
  • Boston Bruins

  • Buffalo Sabres

  • Detroit Red Wings

  • Florida Panthers

  • Montreal Canadiens

  • Ottawa Senators

  • Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Toronto Maple Leafs

Metropolitan Division
  • Carolina Hurricanes

  • Columbus Blue Jackets

  • New Jersey Devils

  • New York Islanders

  • New York Rangers

  • Philadelphia Flyers

  • Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Washington Capitals

Western Conference

Central Division
  • Arizona Coyotes

  • Chicago Blackhawks

  • Colorado Avalanche

  • Dallas Stars

  • Minnesota Wild

  • Nashville Predators

  • St. Louis Blues

  • Winnipeg Jets

Pacific Division
  • Anaheim Ducks

  • Calgary Flames

  • Edmonton Oilers

  • Las Vegas Golden Knights

  • Los Angeles Kings

  • San Jose Sharks

  • Seattle Kraken

  • Vancouver Canucks

The best NHL sportsbooks


How many NHL teams are there?

There are 32 NHL teams in total. The Seattle Kraken are the league’s youngest franchise (another word for team or organization), entering the league for the 2021-22 season. Some teams, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, have been around for over 100 years. The league initially started with just six teams (known as ‘The Original Six’) and has grown at a steady rate over the last century. You can bet on NHL conference and division futures every season.

With a number of NHL teams to choose from, the betting opportunities are endless. If betting on teams isn’t really your speed, there are also a ton of prop and futures bets that can be taken out on individual players. For example, betting on a certain player to win the MVP award.

All of the traditional sports bet types are available in hockey betting, including money line, over/under, and point spread bets (sometimes referred to as ‘puck line’). NHL games are on every single night during the season so there’s always an opportunity to get into hockey betting. BET.CA is here to help you prepare for upcoming slates thanks to our live odds, statistics, and other available betting guides.

Hockey_NHL_Seattle Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn
© Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

How many NHL teams are there in Canada?

There are seven NHL teams currently based in Canada: the Montreal Canadiens (who have been in the NHL since 1917), Toronto Maple Leafs (1917), Vancouver Canucks (1970), Edmonton Oilers (1979), Calgary Flames (1980), Ottawa Senators (1992), and Winnipeg Jets (2011).

In recent years, there hasn’t been much Stanley Cup success for Canadian teams. The Canadiens last won it in 1993, meaning it’s been nearly 30 years since the legendary trophy has been raised north of the border. Montreal nearly won the Stanley Cup in 2020-21, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Finals in five games.

Other teams who have somewhat recently been to the Finals are the Vancouver Canucks (in 2011) and the Calgary Flames (in 2004). The Flames actually also lost to the Lightning, while the Canucks were unable to pull past the Boston Bruins.

Other teams, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, haven’t won a playoff series since 2004. The drought has been well-documented, including an epic collapse against Montreal in last year’s NHL playoffs. They are one of the few Canadian franchises who has consistently made the postseason in recent years, but have struggled to get out of the first round.

Despite a lack of team success, the NHL’s biggest stars play in Canada. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are often 1-2 in NHL scoring, and both play for the Oilers, while the Leafs’ Auston Matthews is arguably the best goal scorer of the modern era.

How many players are on a hockey team?

NHL hockey teams have six players, including a goalie. The other five players are comprised of three forwards (right-wing, left-wing, and center) and two defensemen (left defenseman and right defenseman). Naturally, the goalie tends the net.

Teams are allowed to dress 18 players and two goalies for a match. This means that each team goes into a game with four forward lines (three players per line), three defense pairings (two players per pairing), and a starting goalie.

The second goalie serves as the backup and sits on the bench during the game. If a starting goalie isn’t playing well or gets injured, the backup goalie may enter the game in relief. However, once they’ve done so, the original starting goalie is not allowed to tag back in.

Another thing to note is the difference between a team and a roster. Roster players refer to the players that are dressed, active, and therefore willing and legally able to play in a game. A player may be on a team without being on the active roster. For example, if a player is called up from the minors, but isn’t dressed for the game and sits out, he would be on the team but not the roster.

All-time NHL team stats

The oldest franchise in the NHL is actually a four-way tie between the Toronto Arenas, Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, and the Ottawa Senators. Oddly enough, the modern-day Ottawa Senators are a 1992 NHL expansion team and not at all connected to the original franchise.

The Canadiens are technically the oldest of the bunch, as they were established in 1909 as one of the original teams to form the National Hockey Association (NHA). They are also technically the most decorated NHL team of all-time, boasting 24 Stanley Cups. The Maple Leafs have the second most Stanley Cups with 13, followed by the Detroit Red Wings, who have 11.

The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks are tied for fourth all-time with six Stanley Cups apiece. Unfortunately, that’s a rather low number of cups for the Bruins as they’ve been to the Finals 20 times. Chicago has only been 13 times, making their six Stanley Cups much more impressive.

There are also a handful of teams who have never made a Stanley Cup Finals appearance. The most notable of the bunch is likely the Minnesota Wild. In their 20 seasons of existence, they’ve made the playoffs 11 times, but can’t seem to secure their 50 per cent shot at winning it all.

Hockey_NHL_Montreal Canadiens
© Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

NHL teams FAQs

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