Greatest Hockey Teams Of All Time

Hockey has been played for over 150 years, and the NHL has been around for nearly 100 years. So, when looking for the greatest hockey teams of all time, there is an awful lot to choose from. For this list, we’re going to stick with the NHL, since the National Hockey League and sports betting are the themes we’re dealing with on this site. But just know that a lot of different teams from around the globe could have easily made this list, such as the 1980 USA Olympic team of amateurs that defeated the Russians in the Miracle on Ice, or also some of those great Russian teams from Olympics past.

Here are five of the top teams of all time in the NHL, in no particular order beyond their top-five status.

1: 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens

Some teams have impressive runs of consecutive playoff appearances and championships, and they’re great in their own right, but no team in history had the single season that the Canadiens had in ’76. They won 60 games, scored 132 points, had a home record of 33-1-6, and their roster boasted an extremely impressive nine future Hall of Fame players. This Montreal team had other teams scared to even take the ice. Not only were they supremely talented on both offense and defense, but they would drop their gloves in a heartbeat, and they would probably kick your butt all over the ice.

2: 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers of the ’80s not only had the Great One Wayne Gretzky playing for them, but they also had offensive juggernauts like Kurri, Anderson, and Messier on their roster. Add in the fact that they had an all-time great goalie in Grant Fuhr, and you’re looking at a team that was the most difficult to beat in the modern era of hockey. The Edmonton Oilers were so dominant, in fact, that the NHL had to change their rules so that other teams could compete. The 4-on-4 play had to disappear because the Oilers were literally unstoppable and it wasn’t even fun to watch. It was painful to see the domination. The Oilers won the Stanley Cup back to back in ’84 and ’85, and then again in ’87 and ’88.

3: 1988-89 Calgary Flames

Rare is the case that you will find a team as statistically dominant as the Flames were in their 88-89 season. Some teams are good at offense, others are good at defense, and some teams just like to fight. Well, Calgary had all three going for them. They dropped their gloves 68 times that season, which was 10th in the league. They had the second-most goals scored against opponents, and opponents scored the second-fewest amount of goals against the Flames. In other words, they were dominant in every aspect of the game. Their rein at the top would be short-lived, only capturing the 1989 Stanley Cup, but they will go down in history as a dominant team that few could handle.

4: 1981-82 New York Islanders

New York is like the central hub of all things American, including the NHL. You won’t make it through an all-time list without finding at least one New York team making the list. This is true for the Islanders, but it has very little to do with the fact that they were from New York, and everything to do with the fact that they were hockey’s most dominant team for three seasons. Scoring goals at will, taking the puck away from any team they wished, and actually able to seal the deal in the playoffs, the New York Islanders are one of those rare teams that had potential and met every bit of it. They won the Stanley Cup in back-to-back-to-back seasons, from ’81 to ’84. That in itself is incredibly impressive.

5: 1974-75 Philadelphia Flyers

Known as the Broad Street Bullies, the Philadelphia Flyers of the mid ’70s were a force to be reckoned with. With players like Bill Barber and Bobby Clarke, they had more than enough offense to win games on the scoreboard, but it was actually their defense that made them so imposing. They were known as the bullies because they just beat the pulp out of everyone. This lead to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in ’74 and ’75, and this Flyers squad will go down forever as one of the greatest teams to take the ice.