List Of National Hockey League Teams By Conference and Division

List Of National Hockey League (NHL) Teams By Conference and Division

Feature Photo: IQRemix from Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The National Hockey League (NHL), established in 1917, has grown from its original four teams to its current collection of 31 teams, scattered across North America. The teams are distributed among two conferences — the Eastern and Western — each further divided into two divisions. Here’s a comprehensive list of these teams, organized by their respective conferences and divisions.

Eastern Conference:

Metropolitan Division:

  1. Carolina Hurricanes
  2. Columbus Blue Jackets
  3. New Jersey Devils
  4. New York Islanders
  5. New York Rangers
  6. Philadelphia Flyers
  7. Pittsburgh Penguins
  8. Washington Capitals

Atlantic Division:

  1. Boston Bruins
  2. Buffalo Sabres
  3. Detroit Red Wings
  4. Florida Panthers
  5. Montreal Canadiens
  6. Ottawa Senators
  7. Tampa Bay Lightning
  8. Toronto Maple Leafs

Western Conference:

Central Division:

  1. Arizona Coyotes
  2. Chicago Blackhawks
  3. Colorado Avalanche
  4. Dallas Stars
  5. Minnesota Wild
  6. Nashville Predators
  7. St. Louis Blues
  8. Winnipeg Jets

Pacific Division:

  1. Anaheim Ducks
  2. Calgary Flames
  3. Edmonton Oilers
  4. Los Angeles Kings
  5. San Jose Sharks
  6. Seattle Kraken
  7. Vancouver Canucks
  8. Vegas Golden Knights

The National Hockey League (NHL) was established in 1917. Over the course of more than a century, the league has witnessed significant changes, expansions, and reorganizations in its structure, including its conferences and divisions.

Origins of the League:

In its inaugural season, the NHL began with just four teams: the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, and Toronto Arenas. This configuration, though simple, was the precursor to the complex structure we know today.

The Original Six Era (1942-1967):

By 1942, the NHL was comprised of six teams: the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks (now Blackhawks), Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. These “Original Six” teams remained constant for a quarter of a century, without any divisional or conference structure.

Expansion and the Introduction of Divisions (1967-1974):

In 1967, the league underwent its first major expansion, doubling in size to 12 teams. This expansion marked the introduction of a divisional structure, with the East Division (the Original Six) and the West Division (the six new teams). Over the next few years, the NHL continued to expand, adding new teams and rearranging the divisions.

Introduction of Conferences (1974-1993):

In 1974, the league introduced conferences. The Prince of Wales Conference included the Adams and Norris Divisions, while the Clarence Campbell Conference contained the Patrick and Smythe Divisions. The division names honored key figures from the league’s history.

Further Expansion and Realignment (1993-2013):

In 1993, geographical designations replaced the historical names, resulting in the Eastern and Western Conferences, each containing two divisions. The Eastern Conference included the Atlantic and Northeast Divisions, while the Western Conference housed the Central and Pacific Divisions.

The NHL continued to expand during this era, growing to 30 teams. However, the configuration remained the same until the significant realignment of 2013.

Major Realignment (2013-2020):

In 2013, the NHL reorganized its structure to better accommodate teams’ geographic locations and reduce travel strain. The Eastern Conference now contained the Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions, while the Western Conference included the Central and Pacific Divisions. Each division contained seven or eight teams.

Recent Changes and Additions (2021-Present):

In 2021, a new expansion team, the Seattle Kraken, joined the NHL, bringing the total number of teams to 32. This addition led to another slight realignment, with the Arizona Coyotes moving from the Pacific Division to the Central Division.

This historical overview of the NHL’s divisions and conferences showcases the league’s evolution, reflecting its growth from a small, local league to a significant North American sporting institution.

List Of National Hockey League (NHL) Teams By Conference and Division article published on SportsInOrder.com© 2023

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