Stanley Cup History
The Stanley Cup is as old as dirt, almost literally. In 1893, the trophy was first awarded to the league’s champion. It has since become one of the most iconic trophies in all of sports, right up there with the Lombardi Trophy (NFL) and the Commissioner’s Trophy (MLB).
Up until 1926, the trophy was given to the series winner between the National Hockey Association (NHA) and Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) champions. The leagues merged that year to become the National Hockey League (NHL).
The Montreal Hockey Club, which disbanded in 1932, won the Stanley Cup trophy the first four years of its existence. After the Winnipeg Victorias won the next two years, Montreal again took the cup the following five seasons.
History of Stanley Cup Winners
No team has appeared in or won more Stanley Cup Finals than the Montreal Canadiens, which is not a spinoff of the Montreal Hockey Club. It is a completely different organization.
The Canadiens have made it to the final round of the Stanley Cup playoffs 34 times and the title 24 times. They first appeared in the finals in 1916 but haven’t been back since winning it all in 1993.
Since their last championship, Montreal has been stuck in neutral. They’re usually competitive and make the playoffs in most seasons but rarely run deep when it counts most. Here’s a look at the teams with the most wins and appearances in Stanley Cup Finals history.
|Detroit Red Wings
|Toronto Maple Leafs
The Vegas Golden Knights, hockey’s newest team, is one of six teams to have never won an NHL title. But the Knights, in their expansion year of 2018, made it all the way to the finals before losing to the Washington Capitals, a 44-year-old franchise that won its first title.
Recent NHL Stanley Cup Champions
Many of the old-school great franchises such as the Canadiens haven’t had as much success in recent years. Washington is the most recent team to have won a title, and did so in 2018 by defeating the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
Washington’s title ended a nine-year dominance from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, and Los Angeles Kings. Pittsburgh won it all three times during that era (2009, 2016, and 2017) as did Chicago (2010, 2013, and 2015), while Los Angeles pulled it off twice (2012 and 2014). The Boston Bruins interrupted their run by winning the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011.