Best NHL Team of All-Time Brackets

The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens? The 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers? Perhaps a more recent team, like the 2001-02 Detroit Red Wings? These three teams are among the first that come to mind in a discussion of the best teams in NHL history. Here at The Hockey Writers, our goal is to find out what the best team of all-time is through a bracket voted on by you, the reader. We’ve taken 16 of the best teams in league history, seeded them by regular-season points percentage, and matched them up.

The Hockey Writers Best NHL Team of All-Time Bracket

We’ve only included one team from each of the dynasties, with the 1976-77 Canadiens representing the mid-1970s Canadiens, the 1981-82 New York Islanders representing the 1980s Islanders, and the 1984-85 Oilers representing the 1980s Oilers. We’ve also only included teams that won a Stanley Cup.

The Matchups

In the first round, the following teams will be going head-to-head. You can click on each team’s link to read about its roster, how its season and playoffs went, and why it should be considered the best team in league history.

Second-Round Matchups

Now that the first round of voting is over, we move on to the second round. In Round 1, five of the eight matchups went to the higher-seeded team; however, there was a major upset when the 1997-98 Red Wings team, the 15th seed, upset the second-seeded 2012-13 Blackhawks team.

Semifinal Matchups

In the second round, the upsets continued. The 1997-98 Red Wings continue their cinderella story as a 15 seed, while the top-seeded 1976-77 Canadiens continue steamrolling through the bracket. Will the semifinals produce an all-Montreal final? Will two upsets happen? Let’s find out!

Final Matchup

In the final, we have nearly a perfect top seed versus bottom seed matchup. Will the 1976-77 Canadiens maintain their run as their on-ice counterpart continues their push for Stanley Cup glory in 2021 or will the 1997-98 Red Wings continue their streak of upsets?


In order to determine what the best team of all-time is, we’re asking for your help. From now until the end of the first round, you’ll be able to go to our Twitter or Facebook account and vote. After the first round, we will tally the votes and advance the winners. We’ll continue narrowing down the field until only two teams remain. Check back after each round to see if your favorite team advanced and to vote in the next round.

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