When talking about the best NHL teams of all time, this can be a conversation that can lead to a few arguments and people losing teeth. Now we can talk in a general sense of the question and say that for example the Detroit Red Wings are one of the best all times. That can be said, or we can talk about individual teams such as the 99 Red Wings. That is what we are going to talk about. The individual teams that achieved greatness. Lets take a look at a few of these teams that were not just good, they were historical.
1976-77 Montreal Canadians
No you are not looking at things wrong and I did not make a mistake. The 77 Canadians are looked at as the best all time not only for what they did in the regular season, but also for the feats of magic that they performed in the off season. Yes the Boston Bruins beat them at home once, That was the one and only loss that they suffered at home. In fact they had the best home record in the NHL and feat that in a lot of peoples minds still stands. When you outscore your opponents 205-75 at home, you have more than a little bragging rights. As a team they put forth some of the most amazing stats any team has ever accomplished and individually they won almost every award that they could. It is a wonder that the NHL did not just rename the Stanley Cup just for them. This was the best performance that any NHL team had ever put forth and a feat that has not been repeated since.
1983-84 Edmonton Oilers
This is a team that gave a serious fight to the #1 team for their spot on this lists. They finished their season at 47-21-2 and were tied for 2nd overall in the NHL. Many of the Oiler faithful began to doubt the chances that their team would come through and bring the cup home. The Islanders seemed determined that they were going to ruin the Cinderella story that the team was having. But for those that refused to give in and accept defeat, they saw the Islanders be sent home in defeat and their Oilers take the Conn Smythe trophy as well as the Stanley Cup.
1996-97 Detroit Red Wings
We mentioned the Detroit Red Wings earlier and no discussion about hockey and legacy teams would be complete without mentioning the 1996-97 Red Wings. This was a team that since 1955 had not even so much as been close to lifting the Stanley Cup. There was plenty of potential to pull from, there was just simply no one player that could rise to the top and take the team to that next point. Steve Yzerman was supposed to be their savior and yet he simply could not do it. There was a number of other players that the Red wings depended on that fell short of the task, including Chris Chealios. There was just something different about this season as the Wings were determined not to be denied their shot at the cup. After a lot of blood sweat and years, the Red Wings were successful in getting the Stanley Cup back in their possession and would then go on to win it four times in eleven years.
We could sit here and talk for hours or days about the rest of the best, but this was the top three teams that really made an impression in the NHL. While there are others and you will disagree about these three, the fact remains that hockey is a sport that is driven by fans and by their passion for their favorite team.