Introduction

Using a sports simulator on WhatIfSports.com, courtesy of FoxSports, and a tournament bracket website called Challonge.com, I am attempting to create a simulated tournament to determine the best NHL (Stanley Cup Era) team.

There are a total of 48 franchises eligible for the tournament and they are as follows, in order of rank, as well as the season’s that will represent each franchise:

  1. 1976-1977 Montreal Canadiens
  2. 1961-1962 Toronto Maple Leafs
  3. 2007-2008 Detroit Red Wings
  4. 1973-1974 Boston Bruins
  5. 1983-1984 Edmonton Oilers
  6. 2012-2013 Chicago Blackhawks
  7. 1925-1926 Ottawa Senators (original)
  8. 1978-1979 New York Islanders
  9. 1971-1972 New York Rangers
  10. 2012-2013 Pittsburgh Penguins
  11. 1996-1997 New Jersey Devils
  12. 1995-1996 Colorado Avalanche
  13. 1934-1935 Montreal Maroons
  14. 2013-2014 Los Angeles Kings
  15. 1973-1974 Philadelphia Flyers
  16. 2003-2004 Tampa Bay Lightning
  17. 1998-1999 Carolina Hurricanes
  18. 2006-2007 Anaheim Ducks
  19. 1988-1989 Calgary Flames
  20. 2002-2003 Dallas Stars
  21. 1999-2000 St. Louis Blues
  22. 2010-2011 Vancouver Canucks
  23. 1979-1980 Buffalo Sabres
  24. 2007-2008 Florida Panthers
  25. 2005-2006 Ottawa Senators (modern)
  26. 2008-2009 Washington Capitals
  27. 1979-1980 Minnesota North Stars
  28. 2009-2010 San Jose Sharks
  29. 1985-1986 Hartford Whalers
  30. 2011-2012 Phoenix Coyotes
  31. 1984-1985 Winnipeg Jets (original)
  32. 1937-1938 New York Americans
  33. 1983-1984 Quebec Nordiques
  34. 2010-2011 Nashville Predators
  35. 2008-2009 Minnesota Wild
  36. 2012-2013 Columbus Blue Jackets
  37. 2005-2006 Atlanta Thrashers
  38. 1975-1976 California Golden Seals
  39. 1978-1979 Atlanta Flames
  40. 1977-1978 Colorado Rockies
  41. 1921-1922 Hamilton Tigers
  42. 1925-1926 Pittsburgh Pirates
  43. 2013-2014 Winnipeg Jets (modern)
  44. 1974-1975 Kansas City Scouts
  45. 1976-1977 Cleveland Barons
  46. 1919-1920 Quebec Bulldogs
  47. 1934-1935 St. Louis Eagles
  48. 1930-1931 Philadelphia Quakers

You probably guessed it, the franchises are ranked by how many Stanley Cups they have, followed by appearances and lastly seasons existed. There were a couple of instances where a franchise has been renamed but remained in the same location, such as the Aces and St. Pat’s of Toronto, as well as the Cougars of Detroit, so they were included with the Toronto and Detroit franchises listed.

Each franchise’s representative in this tournament was decided through a playoff within each franchise. The “best” eight team’s were chosen to participate in the qualifying playoff where Stanley Cup winners were automatically included in each playoff. There were certain times, for example the Canadiens and Maple Leafs, where some Cup winners were omitted and those decisions were made based off the success the team had in their playoffs and their Final. When a franchise hasn’t been around for eight seasons…..well then however many they were around for was used instead, duh. The bracket is not your ordinary hockey playoff bracket, mostly due to the number of teams involved, so the top 16 teams received byes.

There were certainly some interesting outcomes of those qualifying tournaments and I will just say I did not have any impact on the outcomes of any games in the qualifying tournaments or the ultimate tournament. This entire tournament will be done without bias, you have my word as a “blogger,” lol. But seriously, you can trust me.

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