Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in Canada, Europe, and the northern regions of the United States. Ice hockey is the national winter sport of Canada and it is immensely popular in the country. The National Hockey League (NHL) is the topmost professional hockey league in the US and Canada. The NHL playoff winner receives the Stanley Cup, the oldest existing trophy awarded to the existing professional franchise. The trophy was donated in 1892 by Lord Stanley of Preston. Since the 1914/1915 season, the trophy has been won a combined 100 times by 23 different teams, 18 active and 5 defunct.
Most Successful Hockey Teams
The Montreal Canadiens are the most successful team in the league having won the league 25 times since the formation of the league in 1917. They have also won the Stanley Cup a record 24 times, one as a National Hockey Association and 23 as an NHL team. They have made the finals an additional ten times. The Montreal Canadiens are the second most successful team in the four major professional sports leagues in North America after New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. The Canadiens first won the Cup in 1916 and the last time they have won it was in 1993. The team also holds the record for the longest consecutive winning streak by winning the trophy five times between 1955 and 1960.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The next most successful hockey team in the Stanley Cup is the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team has won 13 Stanley Cup championships. The Toronto Maple Leafs first won the championship in 1932 and enjoyed successful seasons between 1945 and 1951 winning the Cup five times in 7 seasons. The last time they have won the championship was in 1967. They went 49 seasons without seeing a championship - the longest period without a win in the history of the NHL. However, the Toronto Maple Leafs are still considered to be one of the most valuable teams in the entire NHL.
Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings is the third most successful team with 11 Stanley Cup championships. The Detroit-based hockey team is the most successful in the US having won the more Cups than any other American NHL franchise. Although the franchise was founded in 1926, it only took the 10 years to win the Stanley Cup championship retaining the trophy the following year. Their most recent win was in 2008 when they beat the Pittsburg Penguins. However, the Penguins were able to revenge the loss by beating the Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 finals.
The Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks have each won the championship six times making them the second most successful teams in the US. The Boston Bruins was the second team from the US to win the Stanley Cup after the New York Rangers by winning the Cup in 1929. They last won the championship in 2011. The Chicago Blackhawks are the most recent winners of the two teams. They last won the championship in 2015 and also won it three times between 2010 and 2015.
Did You Know
The trophy was not awarded in 1919 due to the outbreak of Spanish flu and in 2005 as a consequence of NHL lockout. Henri Richard has won the most number of Stanley Cups (11) playing for only one team, Montreal Canadiens. Vancouver Canucks have been to the finals of the championship three times without winning the Cup. The first team to win the Stanley Cup championship, Vancouver Millionaires, reached the finals on four occasions and won the Cup only once in 1915.