by Dan Adkisson
It’s a dream of every aspiring hockey player to play in the league and win a championship. For a hockey player, there’s no greater feeling than getting drafted into the NHL and lifting the Stanley Cup. The 2022 Colorado Avalanche, winners of this year’s Stanley Cup, will know that.
It was a night to remember for Avalanche fans who got to experience that championship thrill for the first time since 2001 and only the third time in their history. What’s more interesting? They defeated a highly motivated Tampa Bay Lightning team who was gunning to become the first team to 3-peat since the New York Islanders achieved this in 1983.
The Avalanche started the season with the best NHL odds to win the title, and later, they proved the oddsmakers right by lifting the much-coveted Stanley Cup. Colorado fans may be experiencing what it’s like to live in Hockey Wonderland, but their overall success in the NHL pales in comparison to some other franchises.
The Avalanche is one of 14 teams to win multiple Stanley Cups, but nine other franchises have more feathers in their hats. In total, 20 franchises have won the Stanley Cup since 1927. Here’s a look at the most successful NHL franchises with respect to Stanley Cup Wins:
Stanley Cup Winners
Montreal Canadiens – 24 (35 finals appearances)
Toronto Maple Leafs – 13 (21 finals appearances)
Detroit Red Wings – 11 (24 finals appearances)
Boston Bruins – Six (20 finals appearances)
Chicago Blackhawks – Six (13 finals appearances)
Edmonton Oilers – Five (Seven finals appearances)
Pittsburgh Penguins – Five (six finals appearances)
New York Islanders – Four (five finals appearances)
New York Rangers – Four (11 finals appearances)
New Jersey Devils – Three (five finals appearances)
Tampa Bay Lightning – Three (four finals appearances)
Colorado Avalanche – Three (three finals appearances)
Philadelphia Flyers – Two (eight finals appearances)
Los Angeles Kings – Two (three finals appearances)
Dallas Stars – One (five finals appearances)
St. Louis Blues – One (four finals appearances)
Calgary Flames – One (three finals appearances)
Anaheim Ducks – One (two finals appearances)
Carolina Hurricanes – One (two finals appearances)
Washington Capitals – One (two finals appearances)
The Canadiens were the team to beat in the early years of the NHL. They top the Stanley Cup charts by a distance, lifting the trophy 24 times. The Habs also hold the record for most finals appearances (35), most consecutive appearances (10), most consecutive wins (five), and most finals appearances without a loss (9). However, they haven’t seen success since their last win in 1993.
The Maple Leafs are second on the list with 13 victories but are yet to make an appearance in the finals, let alone lift the Stanley Cup, since their last win in 1967. Their 53-year finals drought is the most of any franchise in NHL history.
The Red Wings take the third spot with 11 wins, and their most recent championship was in 2008. They hold the record for most finals appearances without a victory (six).
The St. Louis Blues hold the record for most consecutive finals losses (three), while the Avalanche are the only team in the NHL with a perfect finals record (Three wins in three appearances).
The Lightning, Penguins, and Blackhawks have won the most championships since 2000 (three).
The 2019 Lightning and the 1996 Red Wings have the most regular season wins (62). Overall, the Canadiens have the most all-time wins (3,495), which is no surprise considering how dominant they were in the 1900s.
The 1930 Bruins hold the record for best percentage without winning the Stanley Cup, after registering only five losses and a draw in 44 matches. They lost to the Canadiens. The 2017 Golden Knights hold the record for the highest point percentage (.622).
Non-Stanley Cup Winners
In total, 12 franchises are yet to lift a Stanley Cup. These are the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, Vegas Golden Knights, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, Arizona Coyotes, Winnipeg Jets, and Seattle Kraken.
The latter five are yet to make a finals appearance. The Golden Knights are the last team to make a finals appearance on the non-Stanley Cup winners list, but they lost to the Capitals in 2018. The Canucks hold the record for most finals appearances without a win, losing all three in 1982, 1994, and 2011. Seattle is a new franchise that made its NHL debut during the 2021-22 season.