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Greatest NHL Teams

Top 10 Greatest NHL Teams

Best Stanley Cup champions as voted by hockey fans

NHL.com @NHL

Hockey fans have spoken.

After three rounds of head-to-head voting, 10 teams remain from the original list of 96 Stanley Cup champions in the quest for the title of Greatest NHL Team.

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Greatest NHL Teams

1984-85 Oilers voted No. 1 Greatest NHL Team

Overpowered League on way to repeating as Stanley Cup champions

by Stu Hackel / Special to NHL.com

The 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers might have been even better than the previous season's edition, which won the Stanley Cup and set NHL scoring records, because their high-level skill was fortified by the confidence borne of success.

 

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1991-92 Penguins voted No. 2 Greatest NHL Team

Repeated as Stanley Cup champions, won NHL-record 11 straight playoff games

by Wayne Coffey / Special to NHL.com

One Chicago Blackhawks player after another tried to thwart him, three of them in all, each one left looking silly, as if skating on taffy. This was late in Game 1 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Final between the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins. When Jaromir Jagr, Pittsburgh's 20-year-old wunderkind, was finally done juking his way to the front of the net, he backhanded the puck past goaltender Ed Belfour, a goal that wasn't merely one of the most breathtaking individual plays in the annals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- Penguins captain Mario Lemieux called it the greatest goal he'd ever seen -- but perhaps the defining highlight in a postseason full of them for the 1991-92 Penguins.

 

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1976-77 Canadiens voted No. 3 Greatest NHL Team

Repeated as Stanley Cup champions, finished with League-record 132 points

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

Yvan Cournoyer says, with a little mischief in his voice, that when the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens hit a slump of, say, two losses in a row, he would call a team meeting to sort things out.

 

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1987-88 Oilers voted No. 4 Greatest NHL Team

Edmonton went 16-2 in playoffs to win fourth Stanley Cup title in five seasons

by Stu Hackel / Special to NHL.com

No team ever scored goals like the Stanley Cup-winning Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s, but the 1987-88 edition revealed new dimensions. While still filling the net, the Oilers adopted a more rugged attitude and showed, as champions often do, that they could win playing any style.

 

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1986-87 Oilers voted No. 5 Greatest NHL Team

Motivation, improved defense helped high-scoring Edmonton win Stanley Cup

by Stu Hackel / Special to NHL.com

Hockey Hall of Fame center Wayne Gretzky has long maintained that, of the Edmonton Oilers' four Stanley Cup-winning teams of the 1980s, the 1986-87 version might have been the most talented, though it needed seven games to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers for the Cup.

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1997-98 Red Wings voted No. 6 Greatest NHL Team

Swept Capitals in Stanley Cup Final, repeated as champions

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

There had been so many tears in the months leading to this moment, shed for personal tragedy and professional defeat.

But on June 16, 1998, in Washington, the only emotion among the Detroit Red Wings was that of overflowing joy, so much of it tied to the smiling man who had been pushed out onto the MCI Center ice in his wheelchair, an unlit cigar between his lips. 

 

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1982-83 Islanders voted No. 7 Greatest NHL Team

Won fourth straight Stanley Cup championship with sweep of Oilers

by Wayne Coffey / Special to NHL.com

When the 1982-83 regular season concluded, the three-time defending Stanley Cup champions seemed a pale imitation of their previous selves. At 42-26-12, the New York Islanders were tied for sixth in the NHL with 96 points, down from 118 in 1981-82. They had scored 83 fewer goals than in the season before (302, down from 385), and a staggering 122 fewer goals than the Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers, the League's emerging power.

 

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1977-78 Canadiens voted No. 8 Greatest NHL Team

Won third straight Stanley Cup championship, had nine future Hall of Famers

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

The Montreal Canadiens ruled hockey in the late 1970s, winning four consecutive Stanley Cup championships from '76-79 with firewagon offense, tremendous defense and brilliant goaltending. So dominant were the Canadiens that every other NHL team knew in its heart that the priceless trophy might as well be engraved before the season's first game.

 

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1983-84 Oilers voted No. 9 Greatest NHL Team

Set scoring records on way to winning Stanley Cup, starting dynasty

by Stu Hackel / Special to NHL.com

The Edmonton Oilers were young, brash and ultra-talented. Their best player was more than that: Wayne Gretzky was a hockey genius. They needed some seasoning first, needed to learn from some early stumbles. But they progressed quickly and coalesced into a hugely entertaining group that captured the sporting world's imagination even before they won their first Stanley Cup championship in 1984, their fifth season in the NHL.

 

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2001-02 Red Wings voted No. 10 Greatest NHL Team

Loaded with big names, met huge expectations by winning Stanley Cup

by Wayne Coffey / Special to NHL.com

You watched them take the ice and looked at the back of their sweaters, and it didn't take long for it to hit you. This wasn't merely the premier team in the NHL in the 2001-02 season; this was a cavalcade of hockey icons, guys with big names and bigger resumes, an assemblage of future Hockey Hall of Famers -- a veritable fantasy team.

 

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