Canadian NHL Teams List | LeoVegas

Unveiling the Big Seven: A Deep Dive into Canada’s NHL Hockey Teams

Canada, often called a hockey haven, shares a deep bond with the NHL. The country's love for the sport is unmatched. In this article, we'll get to know Canada's NHL teams better. From the legendary Toronto Maple Leafs to the dynamic Winnipeg Jets, we'll explore the stories of these remarkable franchises, their iconic players and their talented current line-ups.

Table of Content:

The NHL Landscape in Canada

Before we explore the teams, let's grasp the NHL's role in Canada. The NHL started in 1917 and has 32 teams, with seven in Canadian cities. These Canadian teams are more than just participants – they are essential to the league, contributing to the excitement and fierce competition that define the NHL.


Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs, a legendary NHL team, have their roots in 1917 when they were originally named the Toronto Arenas. They underwent a couple of name changes, briefly becoming the Toronto St. Patricks in 1919, before adopting the Maple Leafs name in 1927, inspired by their Maple Leaf Gardens arena.

Notable Players and Achievements

Over the years, the Maple Leafs have seen legendary players grace their ice:

  • Conn Smythe: A coach, owner, and general manager from 1927 to 1957, he led the team to 10 Stanley Cups.
  • Ace Bailey: His record-setting 61 goals in the 1944-45 season remains a cherished franchise moment.
  • Syl Apps, Ted Kennedy, Dave Keon: These Hall of Fame centers left their mark with numerous accolades.
  • Borje Salming: A pioneering Swedish defenseman who paved the way for European stars in the NHL.

Current Roster and Key Players

Today's Maple Leafs feature a formidable lineup:

  • Auston Matthews: A two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner, known for electrifying goal-scoring.
  • Mitch Marner: Celebrated for exceptional playmaking skills, among the league's premier passers.
  • John Tavares: Former first overall pick, excelling as a goal scorer and two-way center.
  • Morgan Rielly: A top-pairing defenseman, excelling on both ends of the ice.
  • William Nylander: With finesse as a winger, he consistently poses a scoring threat.

Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens are the most successful team in NHL history. They were established in 1909 and have an unmatched record of winning the Stanley Cup 24 times, showcasing their hockey excellence. The Canadiens have called the Bell Centre home since 1996, where countless memorable moments have unfolded.

Notable Players and Achievements

Over the years, the Canadiens have witnessed the rise of iconic figures:

  • Maurice Richard - A beloved and iconic figure in NHL history, Richard not only won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's MVP in 1944-45 but is also the Canadiens' all-time top scorer in goals and points.

  • Jean Béliveau - A Hall of Fame center, Béliveau's leadership earned him the Hart Memorial Trophy in 1955-56 and a revered place among the greatest NHL captains.

  • Guy Lafleur - Known for his thrilling scoring prowess, Lafleur clinched the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer three times, solidifying his legacy in hockey.

  • Larry Robinson - As a Hall of Fame defenseman, Robinson claimed the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman six times, establishing himself as one of the finest blueliners in NHL history.

  • Patrick Roy - A Hall of Fame goaltender, Roy played a pivotal role in securing four Stanley Cups for the Canadiens and holds the NHL's all-time records in wins and shutouts.

Current Roster and Key Players

The Canadiens' present roster showcases promising talents:

  • Nick Suzuki: This young center embodies the Canadiens' future franchise player, demonstrating a mix of skill in playmaking and goal-scoring development.

Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks, a beloved NHL team, began their journey in 1970 as one of four expansion teams. They initially called the Pacific Coliseum home before moving to Rogers Arena in 1995.

Many great players have represented the team through the years. From Pavel Bure who had blistering speed and goal-scoring prowess to Markus Naslund who captained the team between 2000 and 2008, many players have helped put this team on the map.

From 2010 to 2018, the legendary Henrik Sedin captained the team. With two Art Ross Trophies to his name, he was a player who was adored by the fans. His brother Daniel Sedin also made a name for himself, holding the record for the most assists while Roberto Luongo played goaltender and holds the record for the highest number of wins and shutouts.

Current Roster and Promising Players

The Canucks' current roster showcases a bright future with emerging talents. Elias Pettersson, a dynamic young center, is seen as the future franchise player, excelling in playmaking and goal-scoring. Quinn Hughes, a standout young defenseman, adds excitement with his offensive prowess.

Brock Boeser, a goal-scoring winger, promises a radiant future, while J.T. Miller's versatility and experience make him a valuable asset. In goal, Thatcher Demko's development hints at his potential to become one of the NHL's best.

This condensed history of the Vancouver Canucks highlights their journey from expansion team to a franchise enriched with remarkable players and a promising young roster.

Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers, a symbol of the NHL's glory days, notably the 1980s when they clinched five Stanley Cups led by Wayne Gretzky, were established in 1972 as part of the NHL's expansion into the Western United States. They initially called Northlands Coliseum home, but in 2016, they embraced a new era with Rogers Place.

Over the years, the Oilers had some incredible players:

  • Wayne Gretzky, often called the greatest hockey player ever, won the Hart Memorial Trophy nine times and holds NHL records for goals, assists, and points.
  • Mark Messier, a Hall of Fame center, earned the Hart Memorial Trophy in 1991-92 and is known for his leadership.
  • Paul Coffey, another Hall of Fame defenseman, won the Norris Trophy seven times for his offensive skills.
  • Jari Kurri, a Hall of Fame winger who played alongside Gretzky, is the NHL's top European goal scorer. In the goalie position,
  • Grant Fuhr, also a Hall of Famer, was a key part of five Stanley Cup wins in the 1980s and is considered one of the best of his era.

Current Roster and Rising Stars

The Oilers' present roster shines with remarkable talent. Connor McDavid, considered the NHL's best player, clinched the Hart Memorial Trophy four times as the NHL's MVP. Leon Draisaitl, a dominant power forward, is among the league's elite goal scorers.

Zach Hyman, known for his versatility and physical presence, contributes as a net-front asset. Young defenseman Evan Bouchard shows promise with his offensive abilities. In goal, Stuart Skinner's development hints at his potential as a solid starter.

Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames, initially the Atlanta Flames in 1972, found their true home in Calgary in 1980, igniting their journey at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

In their storied history, the Flames witnessed legendary players. Lanny McDonald, captain from 1983 to 1989, left an indelible mark as the franchise's all-time leader in goals and points.

Al MacInnis, a Hall of Fame defenseman, claimed the Norris Trophy four times for his offensive prowess. Joe Nieuwendyk secured the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's MVP in the 1993-94 season and became the franchise's all-time leader in assists.

Jarome Iginla, captain from 2003 to 2010, etched his name as the franchise's all-time leader in games played. Miikka Kiprusoff, a Hall of Fame goaltender, earned the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goaltender in the 2005-06 season and holds the distinction of being the franchise's all-time leader in wins and shutouts.

Current Roster and Rising Stars

The Flames' current roster is a powerhouse, driven by:

  • Johnny Gaudreau, a skilled playmaker, stands out as one of the most thrilling offensive players.
  • Matthew Tkachuk, renowned as a power forward, ranks among the elite goal scorers.
  • Elias Lindholm, a two-way center, masterfully blends playmaking skills with goal-scoring. Noah Hanifin excels on both ends of the ice as a top-pairing defenseman, contributing significantly to the Flames' success.
  • Jacob Markstrom's expertise solidifies his position as one of the best in the NHL, offering a reliable presence between the pipes.

Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators, entering the NHL in 1990, marked a pivotal moment in the league's U.S. expansion. They first called the Ottawa Civic Centre home but settled in the Canadian Tire Centre (formerly Corel Centre) in 1996.

Noteworthy players have graced the Senators over the years:

  • Daniel Alfredsson, who led the team as captain from 1999 to 2013, holds the record for the most goals, assists, and points in franchise history.
  • Jason Spezza, a skilled center who played for the team from 2005 to 2014, is the franchise leader in assists per game, showcasing his playmaking abilities.
  • Erik Karlsson, a Hall of Fame defenseman during his time with the team from 2009 to 2018, claimed the Norris Trophy twice as the NHL's top defenseman, cementing his place among the greats.
  • Mike Hoffman, renowned for his sharpshooting accuracy from 2011 to 2018, established himself as the franchise's all-time leader in goals per game.
  • Craig Anderson, the veteran presence in the Senators' crease from 2011 to 2020, etched his name as the franchise's all-time leader in wins, embodying reliability between the pipes.

Current Roster and Rising Stars

The Senators' current roster focuses on youth and talent, featuring:

  • Tim Stützle, a dynamic center, emerges as the Senators' future franchise player with playmaking skills and a developing goal-scoring ability.
  • Brady Tkachuk, an electrifying power forward, is one of the NHL's most exhilarating young talents, known for his physical presence and evolving scoring touch.

Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets, founded in 1972 as a WHA pioneer, merged into the NHL in 1979. They initially called the Winnipeg Arena home, later relocating to Phoenix in 1996. In 2011, the True North Sports & Entertainment group brought the franchise back to Winnipeg as the Winnipeg Jets, playing at the Canada Life Centre.

Notable players have graced the Jets over the years:

  • Bobby Hull led the Jets to WHA championships in 1976 and 1978.
  • Dale Hawerchuk, a Hall of Fame center (1981-1990), is the franchise's all-time leader in goals and points.
  • Teemu Selanne, a Hall of Fame winger, left a legacy of goals during his Jets tenure from 1992 to 1996.
  • Ilya Kovalchuk, a high-scoring forward with the Thrashers (2001-2010), emerged as the franchise's all-time leader in goals.
  • Dustin Byfuglien, a dynamic defenseman (2010-2019), solidified his status as an exciting player.

Current Roster and Rising Stars

Today, the Jets showcase their talent:

  • Connor Hellebuyck, a Vezina Trophy winner, stands as one of the NHL's elite goaltenders.
  • Mark Scheifele, a skilled center, leads as one of the premier offensive talents.
  • Kyle Connor, a dynamic winger and top goal scorer, adds excitement with his scoring prowess.
  • Pierre-Luc Dubois, a versatile two-way center, embodies the Jets' adaptability and consistency.
  • Josh Morrissey, a top-pairing defenseman, reinforces the Jets' defensive strength.

Look at Canadian NHL Team Rivalries

Canada's NHL teams have not only written their own chapters of history but also scripted intense rivalries that add depth and excitement to the league. Let's delve into some of the most iconic clashes in the NHL involving Canadian teams:

Historic Rivalries and Their Significance

Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs: Often referred to as the "Original Six" rivalry, this is one of the oldest and most celebrated matchups in the NHL. The Canadiens and the Maple Leafs have a storied history of competing for dominance, and their games are must-watch events.

Battle of Alberta - Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames: This rivalry pits two Alberta-based teams against each other. Games between the Oilers and Flames are marked by intense competition, and the Battle of Alberta is a showcase of Canadian hockey passion.

Current Rivalries and Their Impact on the League

Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins: The rivalry between these two Original Six teams has been reignited in recent years. Their head-to-head clashes are characterized by fierce battles and unforgettable moments.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators: This matchup is known as the "Battle of Ontario." The games between the Maple Leafs and Senators often draw large audiences and have a significant impact on the league.

These rivalries showcase the enduring passion for hockey in Canada. They are a testament to the deep-rooted love for the game and the intense competition that characterizes the NHL.

Canadian NHL Teams FAQs

How many NHL teams are Canadian?

There are seven Canadian NHL teams: the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, and Winnipeg Jets.

Which Canadian province does not have an NHL team?

Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon are the Canadian provinces without an NHL team.

Which NHL team has the most Canadian players in 2023?

The Montreal Canadiens have one of the highest percentages of Canadian players on their roster in 2023.

What cities in Canada should have NHL teams?

The potential for NHL expansion in Canada is always a topic of discussion. Cities like Quebec City and Hamilton are often mentioned as possible locations for future NHL teams.

Could Canada get another NHL team?

While there are no concrete plans for expansion, the idea of adding another Canadian team to the NHL is frequently discussed among hockey enthusiasts.

Which NHL team has the least Canadian players?

The Vancouver Canucks have had a lower percentage of Canadian players on their roster in recent years.

What percentage of NHL teams are Canadian?

Seven out of 32 NHL teams, which is approximately 22%, are based in Canada.

Why does Quebec not have an NHL team?

Quebec City once had an NHL team, the Quebec Nordiques, but the team relocated to Colorado and became the Avalanche in 1995. There have been discussions about bringing an NHL team back to Quebec City, but no concrete plans have materialized.

How many times have the Canadian teams won the Stanley Cup?

Canadian teams have collectively won the Stanley Cup over 50 times. The Montreal Canadiens alone have won it 24 times, making them the most successful team in NHL history.

What is the oldest Canadian NHL team?

The Montreal Canadiens, founded in 1909, are the oldest Canadian NHL team and one of the oldest teams in the entire league.

Which Canadian province has the most NHL players?

Ontario, with cities like Toronto and Ottawa, has historically produced the highest number of NHL players from Canada.

Which NHL team has the most Canadian players in 2024?

The Edmonton Oilers have the most Canadian players in the 2024 NHL playoffs with 16, while the Vegas Golden Knights have the second most with 14

How Many Canadians On The Oilers?

The Edmonton Oilers have the most Canadian players of any team in the 2024 NHL playoffs, with 16 Canadians on their roster.

How many Canadian born players are on the Edmonton Oilers roster?

The Oilers have a total of 24 Canadian-born players on their roster, including 15 forwards, 6 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders.

Which NHL team has the most Canadian players?

Edmonton Oilers have the most Canadian players of any NHL team in 2024, with 24 Canadians on their playoff roster.

Which NHL team has the highest percentage of Canadian players?

The Montreal Canadiens have the most Canadian players of any NHL team, with 18 Canadians on their roster. This represents a very high percentage of Canadian players for the Canadiens, given that the average NHL team has around 16-17 Canadian players.

How many Canadian players on Vancouver Canucks?

Vancouver Canucks have 12 Canadian players on their 2023-2024 NHL roster.

How many NHL players are Canadian vs American?

There are 485 active Canadian players in the NHL currently, accounting for 41.7% of all NHL players. In contrast, there are 319 active American players in the NHL, making up 29.3% of the league.

How many Canadian players on Dallas Stars 2023?

Dallas Stars have 10 Canadian players on their 2023-24 NHL roster.

How many Canadians on Florida Panthers?

Florida Panthers have 8 Canadian players on their 2023-24 NHL roster.

What Canadian cities could have an NHL team?

Here are some Canadian cities that could potentially support an NHL team: Quebec City,Hamilton,Saskatoon/Regina,The Maritimes.

Why doesn't Canada have more hockey teams?

There are several reasons why Canada doesn't have more hockey team:

  • Monopolistic structure of the NHL
  • Lack of corporate/financial support
  • Relocation of existing teams
  • Player preferences

Which Canadian team won the last Stanley Cup?

The last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup was the Montreal Canadiens in 1993.This 31-year drought for Canadian teams winning the Stanley Cup is the longest such drought in NHL history.

Which Canadian team has never won the Stanley Cup?

Vancouver Canucks - The Canucks have reached the Stanley Cup Finals three times (1982, 1994, 2011) but have never won. They are one of the 11 teams that have never won the Cup.

Ottawa Senators - The current Senators franchise (founded in 1992) has never won the Stanley Cup. The original Ottawa Senators, founded in 1883, won 11 Stanley Cups before folding in 1934.

Winnipeg Jets - The Winnipeg Jets have never won the Stanley Cup.

Which Canada city has won the most Stanley Cups?

The Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup 24 times and made the Finals an additional 11 times.