How Many NHL Teams Are There?

How Many NHL Teams Are There?

In this article, we delve into the NHL’s ever-evolving lineup, shedding light on the league’s current roster of teams.

How many NHL teams are there?

There are currently 32 teams in the NHL.

The most recent addition to the league is the Seattle Kraken who joined in 2021.

Read below to see the full list of 32 teams.

There Are 32 NHL Teams

Team Name Joined
Seattle Kraken 2021
Vegas Golden Knights 2017
Arizona Coyotes 2014
Anaheim Ducks 2006
Minnesota Wild 2000
Columbus Blue Jackets 2000
Nashville Predators 1998
Carolina Hurricanes 1997
Colorado Avalanche 1995
Florida Panthers 1993
Dallas Stars 1993
Tampa Bay Lightning 1992
San Jose Sharks 1991
New Jersey Devils 1982
Calgary Flames 1980
Winnipeg Jets 1979
Edmonton Oilers 1979
Washington Capitals 1974
New York Islanders 1972
Buffalo Sabres 1970
Vancouver Canucks 1970
Philadelphia Flyers 1967
Pittsburgh Penguins 1967
St. Louis Blues 1967
Los Angeles Kings 1967
Detroit Red Wings 1932
New York Rangers 1926
Chicago Blackhawks 1926
Toronto Maple Leafs 1926
Boston Bruins 1924
Ottawa Senators 1917
Montreal Canadiens 1917

The NHL Is Growing

The NHL has been growing ever since the 1967 expansion, the largest expansion in NHL history.

There were 6 teams added to the NHL in 1967, effectively doubling the size of the league from six teams to twelve.

The teams added in 1967 were:

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. Los Angeles Kings
  3. Philadelphia Flyers
  4. St. Louis Blues
  5. Oakland Seals
  6. Minnesota North Stars
How many NHL teams are there?

The NHL has only shrunk once following the 1967 Expansion with the merging of the Clevland Barons and Minnesota North Stars in 1978, to form the Dallas Stars – this brought the league down from eighteen teams to seventeen.

However, the league quickly rebounded with four teams being added in 1979:

  1. Edmonton Oilers
  2. Winnipeg Jets
  3. Quebec Nordiques
  4. Hartford Whalers

The most recent teams to be added to the NHL are the Seattle Kraken and the Vegas Golden Knights, who joined the league in 2021 and 2017 respectively.

The Knights have already found immense success, winning the Stanley Cup in just their sixth NHL season.

Vegas Golden Knights Win Loss Ratio

In fact, the Knights are the only team in the NHL to never have a losing season, maintaining a win-loss ratio greater than one (more wins than losses) for the entirety of their NHL season history.

25 NHL Teams Have Gone Extinct

Team Name Folded
Phoenix Coyotes 2014
Atlanta Thrashers 2011
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 2006
Hartford Whalers 1997
Quebec Nordiques 1995
Minnesota North Stars 1993
Colorado Rockies 1982
Atlanta Flames 1980
Cleveland Barons 1978
Kansas City Scouts 1976
California Golden Seals 1976
Oakland Seals 1970
Brooklyn Americans 1942
New York Americans 1941
Montreal Maroons 1938
St. Louis Eagles 1935
Detroit Falcons 1932
Philadelphia Quakers 1931
Detroit Cougars 1930
Pittsburgh Pirates 1930
Toronto St. Patricks 1926
Hamilton Tigers 1925
Quebec Athletic Club/Bulldogs 1920
Toronto Arenas 1919
Montreal Wanderers 1918

There have been 25 teams that have gone extinct in NHL history.

Many different circumstances lead to an NHL team folding, and it’s usually not as simple as a team deciding to “disband.” Instead, teams are usually transferred from one owner to another and rebranded.

For example, the Toronto Arenas (1917) were a team that was sold to new owners to become the Toronto St. Patricks (1919), who were later sold again, to become the Toronto Maple Leafs (1926).

Similarly, the Oakland Seals (1967) became the California Golden Seals (1970), who became the Clevland Barons (1976), who merged with the Minnesota North Stars in 1993 to become the Dallas Stars.

So these teams didn’t so much “fold” as they were simply transferred and rebranded.

However, other teams such as the Montreal Wanderers and New York Americans were not so lucky and did, in fact, meet abrupt ends.

The Montreal Wanderers (1917) folded after their home arena was burned down in a fire.

The New York Americans (1941) suspended operations in 1945 due to financial struggles and the outbreak of WW2, only to never return to operations.





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