NHL fans voted for the top 20 teams in league history, and the results show a recent Chicago Blackhawks outfit among the honorees
There have been a lot of teams in NHL history. Not just franchises, like the Chicago Blackhawks, but actual teams to play each and every season. So narrowing it down to the 20 best in league history is quite the task.
But leave it to hockey fans to get the job done. NHL.com has unveiled its list of the 20 best NHL teams of all time, as voted by the fans. They were chosen from the 96 Stanley Cup champions since the 1917-18 season.
The Chicago Blackhawks have six squads that qualified for this voting, and one of them made the cut. The 2009-10 Blackhawks, which broke the franchise’s 49-year title drought, was one of just four teams since 2000 to make the cut.
Here’s the complete list of the top 20 NHL teams, as voted by the fans:
2015-16 Pittsburgh Penguins
2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks
2001-02 Detroit Red Wings
2000-01 Colorado Avalanche
1997-98 Detroit Red Wings
1993-94 New York Rangers
1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins
1990-91 Pittsburgh Penguins
1988-89 Calgary Flames
1987-88 Edmonton Oilers
1986-87 Edmonton Oilers
1984-85 Edmonton Oilers
1983-84 Edmonton Oilers
1982-83 New York Islanders
1981-82 New York Islanders
1979-80 New York Islanders
1977-78 Montreal Canadiens
1976-77 Montreal Canadiens
1975-76 Montreal Canadiens
1969-1970 Boston Bruins
Voting is not done, however. A third round of voting to pare the list to a top 10 started yesterday
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and runs through Thursday. The top 10 will be announced during the Stanley Cup Final, and the top overall team will be picked during Game 4 of the championship series.
Glancing back at 2009-10 Blackhawks
It’s interesting these Blackhawks were selected over the two other most recent Chicago champions. In my estimation, the 2013 Blackhawks were the top team of those three. But it’s not surprising the fans didn’t select a team from a lockout-shortened season.
The 2009-10 team was obviously a fun one to watch, though. It was a coming out party nationally for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Marian Hossa finally got his first Stanley Cup. Duncan Keith‘s teeth got knocked out of his mouth. Dustin Byfuglien stirred the pot by standing in front of the net. Antti Niemi came out of nowhere and said no over and over.
The Blackhawks had entertaining series throughout the postseason. Their six-gamer against Nashville saw Chicago persevere through a number of tough situations. Another six-gamer against Vancouver was in the heat of the teams’ rivalry.
While the series against San Jose was over quickly, it was followed by another fun one against Philadelphia for the Cup.
I think adding this team to the top 20 of all time is an interesting pick, but an entirely fair one. This team set things in motion for the Blackhawks to become a powerhouse of the salary cap era. And some of its key players went on to even greater success in Chicago and are still with the team today.
If you want to see the 2009-10 Blackhawks in the final 10 teams, make sure you click on the link above and vote ahead of Thursday.