Tracking the teams with the most Stanley Cup Championships

Nathan MacKinnon #29, Colorado Avalanche, Stanley Cup (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win, not just in the NHL but in all sports.

After an extended 82-game season, teams have to win 16 games to capture the Stanley Cup. While the Colorado Avalanche made it look easy this past postseason, the NHL trophy is the toughest to win.

20 teams have won the Stanley Cup leaving 12 teams without a championship in their franchise history. However, one of those teams who has never won is the Seattle Kraken, fresh off their freshmen season in the league, so some slack is warranted there.

Some teams won their first championship in recent memory, like the Washington Capitals in 2018 and the St. Louis Blues in 2019. Let’s start things out by looking at the teams who have never won the Cup before.

The 12 teams not on the list:

  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Florida Panthers
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Nashville Predators
  • Ottawa Senators
  • San Jose Sharks
  • Seattle Kraken
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Vegas Golden Knights
  • Winnipeg Jets

I don’t think there are any real surprises on this list. The Predators, Sharks, Golden Knights and Canucks have all been to the Stanley Cup Final recently but fell short of winning the Cup.

Next let’s go over the team with just one Stanley Cup Championship to their name:

  • Washington Capitals – 2018
  • Carolina Hurricanes – 2006
  • Anaheim Ducks – 2007
  • Calgary Flames – 1989
  • St. Louis Blues – 2019
  • Dallas Stars – 1999

Winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup had to be a special thing for the players in the six organizations above, and I am sure each franchise would love to add a second banner to the rafters soon.

Next up are the teams with only two championships:

  • The Philadelphia Flyers – 1974, 1975
  • The Los Angels Kings – 2012, 2014

A few different teams took themselves out of the two championship clubs and into the three the past few seasons. This group here includes the Flyers, who won back-to-back championships and the Kings, who won their two championships during the Blackhawks dynasty of the early 2010s.

Next up are the teams with three Stanley Cups:

  • Colorado Avalanche – 1996, 2001, 2022
  • Tampa Bay Lightning – 2004, 2020, 2021
  • New Jersey Devils – 1995, 2000, 2003

The Lightning took a big leap the past few seasons going from a one-time champion to one with back-to-back Cups. They also almost added a fourth to their resume this past season as they went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Lightning’s four Stanley Cup Final appearances since 2015 is one of the more impressive stats in the league right now.

Now let’s go over the teams with four Stanley Cups:

  • New York Islanders – 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
  • New York Rangers – 1928, 1933, 1940, 1994

The two New York teams have each won four championships, making this city’s race to five one of the incentives for them to win a championship. Outside of the win for the Rangers in 1994, their championships sure do come a long time ago, and I am sure they would love to add another banner to their rafters.

Currently, the Rangers are the only original six team to be behind a couple of newer teams in the overall Stanley Cup race.

The five championship teams:

  • Pittsburgh Penguins – 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016, 2017
  • Edmonton Oilers – 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990

These are two of the best teams outside of the original six. They are currently tied for the most championships of a team outside of the original six and they both have good claims to be considered the best around.

Edmonton has the dynasty they had during the 1980s, while the Penguins are the team that holds the most championships since 1990. Their five championships are the best around since then.

This is the part of the list where things get a little more interesting. We have just five teams left in the league. They are the following: The Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.

Here is how the top five teams in the league rank in terms of championships:

6 Stanley Cup Banners – Chicago and Boston

11 Stanley Cup Banners – Detroit Red Wings

13 Stanley Cup Banners – Toronto Maple Leafs

24 Stanley Cup Banners – Montreal Canadiens

These original six teams are the ones with the most banners in their rafters, for Montreal that definitely has a lot of championships. A few teams here do have a lot in common. While the Leafs and Canadiens lead the league in championships, neither has won in a long time. The Canadiens haven’t won since 1993, and the Leafs haven’t won since 1967.

Every team is always chasing that next championship, and that cannot be any more true for teams like Montreal and Toronto as they look to win a championship for the first time in a long time.

It will be interesting to see which team in the league adds a Stanley Cup to their resume next season. Maybe a new team adds their name to the Cup, or a team with some Stanley Cup banners already has to find room for another.

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