Central Division (NHL)

The NHL's Central Division was formed in 1993 as part of the Western Conference in a league realignment. Its predecessor was the Norris Division. As part of the 2013 realignment, the Central Division expanded into 7 teams. It is also one of two successors to the Northwest Division. Three of its teams—the Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, and Winnipeg Jets (as the Atlanta Thrashers)—joined the NHL in the league's last expansion phase between 1998 and 2000. The fourth team in that group, the Columbus Blue Jackets, is no longer part of the Central Division, having moved to the Metropolitan Division. After the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights to the Pacific Division in 2017, the Central Division is currently the only division in the NHL without eight teams. This situation will remain until the 2021–22 NHL season, when the Seattle Kraken enter the league in the Pacific Division and the Arizona Coyotes are realigned into the Central Division.[1]

Central Division
ConferenceWestern Conference
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
FormerlyNorris Division
Founded1993
Teams
No. of teams7 (8 in 2021)
Championships
Most recent champion(s)St. Louis Blues (4th title)
Most titlesDetroit Red Wings (13 titles)

The Central Division has sent five teams to the Stanley Cup playoffs on seven occasions. In the first three seasons after the most recent realignment in 2013, Central Division teams occupied both Wild Card playoff spots in the Western Conference. This occurred again in the 2018–19 season, for the fourth time in six seasons. In the pandemic-shortened 2019–20 season, all Central Division teams made the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs due to the 24-team format.

Current standingsEdit

Central Division
Pos Team GP W L OTL RW GF GA GD Pts
1 St. Louis Blues 71 42 19 10 33 225 193 +32 94
2 Colorado Avalanche 70 42 20 8 37 237 191 +46 92
3 Dallas Stars 69 37 24 8 26 180 177 +3 82
4 Winnipeg Jets 71 37 28 6 30 216 203 +13 80
5 Nashville Predators 69 35 26 8 28 215 217 −2 78
6 Minnesota Wild 69 35 27 7 30 220 220 0 77
7 Chicago Blackhawks 70 32 30 8 23 212 218 −6 72
Source: National Hockey League[2]

Division lineupsEdit

1993–1996Edit

Changes from the 1992–93 seasonEdit

  • The Central Division is formed as the result of NHL realignment
  • The Minnesota North Stars move to Dallas, Texas, and become the Dallas Stars
  • The Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, and Toronto Maple Leafs come from the Norris Division
  • The Winnipeg Jets come from the Smythe Division

1996–1998Edit

  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Dallas Stars
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Phoenix Coyotes
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Toronto Maple Leafs

Changes from the 1995–96 seasonEdit

  • The Winnipeg Jets move to Phoenix, Arizona, to become the Phoenix Coyotes

1998–2000Edit

Changes from the 1997–98 seasonEdit

  • The Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes move to the Pacific Division
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs move to the Northeast Division
  • The Nashville Predators are added as an expansion team

2000–2013Edit

Changes from the 1999–2000 seasonEdit

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets are added as an expansion team

2013–presentEdit

Changes from the 2012–13 seasonEdit

Division championsEdit

Season resultsEdit

(#) Denotes team that won the Stanley Cup
(#) Denotes team that won the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, but lost Stanley Cup Finals
(#) Denotes team that qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs
Denotes winner of the Presidents' Trophy
Season 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
1993–94 (1) Detroit (100) (3) Toronto (98) (4) Dallas (97) (5) St. Louis (91) (6) Chicago (87) Winnipeg (57)
1994–95[a] (1) Detroit (70) (3) St. Louis (61) (4) Chicago (53) (5) Toronto (50) (8) Dallas (42) Winnipeg (39)
1995–96 (1) Detroit (131) (3) Chicago (94) (4) Toronto (80) (5) St. Louis (80) (8) Winnipeg (78) Dallas (66)
1996–97 (2) Dallas (104) (3) Detroit (94) (5) Phoenix (83) (6) St. Louis (83) (8) Chicago (81) Toronto (68)
1997–98 (1) Dallas (109) (3) Detroit (103) (4) St. Louis (98) (6) Phoenix (82) Chicago (73) Toronto (69)
1998–99 (3) Detroit (93) (5) St. Louis (87) Chicago (70) Nashville (63)
1999–2000 (1) St. Louis (114) (4) Detroit (108) Chicago (78) Nashville (70)
2000–01 (2) Detroit (111) (4) St. Louis (103) Nashville (80) Chicago (71) Columbus (71)
2001–02 (1) Detroit (116) (4) St. Louis (98) (5) Chicago (96) Nashville (69) Columbus (57)
2002–03 (2) Detroit (110) (5) St. Louis (99) Chicago (79) Nashville (74) Columbus (69)
2003–04 (1) Detroit (109) (7) St. Louis (91) (8) Nashville (91) Columbus (62) Chicago (59)
2004–05 No season due to 2004–05 NHL lockout
2005–06 (1) Detroit (124) (4) Nashville (106) Columbus (74) Chicago (65) St. Louis (57)
2006–07 (1) Detroit (113) (4) Nashville (110) St. Louis (81) Columbus (73) Chicago (71)
2007–08 (1) Detroit (115) (8) Nashville (91) Chicago (88) Columbus (80) St. Louis (79)
2008–09 (2) Detroit (112) (4)Chicago (104) (6) St. Louis (92) (7) Columbus (92) Nashville (88)
2009–10 (2) Chicago (112) (5) Detroit (102) (7) Nashville (100) St. Louis (90) Columbus (79)
2010–11 (3) Detroit (104) (5) Nashville (99) (8) Chicago (97) St. Louis (87) Columbus (81)
2011–12 (2) St. Louis (109) (4) Nashville (104) (5) Detroit (102) (6) Chicago (101) Columbus (65)
2012–13[b] (1) Chicago (77) (4) St. Louis (60) (7) Detroit (56) Columbus (55) Nashville (41)
2013–14 (1) Colorado (112) (2) St. Louis (111) (3) Chicago (107) (WC1) Minnesota (98) (WC2) Dallas (91) Nashville (88) Winnipeg (84)
2014–15 (1) St. Louis (109) (2) Nashville (104) (3) Chicago (102) (WC1) Minnesota (100) (WC2) Winnipeg (99) Dallas (92) Colorado (90)
2015–16 (1) Dallas (109) (2) St. Louis (107) (3) Chicago (103) (WC1) Nashville (96) (WC2) Minnesota (87) Colorado (82) Winnipeg (78)
2016–17 (1) Chicago (109) (2) Minnesota (106) (3) St. Louis (99) (WC2) Nashville (94) Winnipeg (87) Dallas (79) Colorado (48)
2017–18 (1) Nashville (117) (2) Winnipeg (114) (3) Minnesota (101) (WC2) Colorado (95) St. Louis (94) Dallas (92) Chicago (76)
2018–19 (1) Nashville (100) (2) Winnipeg (99) (3) St. Louis (99) (WC1) Dallas (93) (WC2) Colorado (90) Chicago (84) Minnesota (83)
2019–20[c] (1) St. Louis
(71 gp
94 pts.
.662 ppct.)

(2) Colorado
(70 gp
92 pts.
.657 ppct.)

(4) Dallas
(69 gp
82 pts.
.594 ppct.)

(6) Nashville
(69 gp
78 pts.
.565 ppct.)

(9) Winnipeg
(71 gp
80 pts.
.563 ppct.)

(10) Minnesota
(69 gp
77 pts.
.558 ppct.)

(12) Chicago
(70 gp
72 pts.
.514 ppct.)

Notes
  • a The 1994–95 NHL season was shortened to 48 games due to the lockout.
  • b The 2012–13 NHL season was shortened to 48 games due to the lockout.
  • c The 2019–20 NHL season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the imbalance in the number of games played among teams, the regular season standings were determined by points percentage.

Stanley Cup winners producedEdit

Presidents' Trophy winners producedEdit

Central Division titles won by teamEdit

Teams in bold are currently in the division.

Team Wins Last win
Detroit Red Wings 13 2011
St. Louis Blues 4 2020
Chicago Blackhawks 3 2017
Dallas Stars 3 2016
Nashville Predators 2 2019
Colorado Avalanche 1 2014
Minnesota Wild 0
Winnipeg Jets 0
Columbus Blue Jackets 0
Toronto Maple Leafs 0
Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes 0

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Seattle NHL expansion approved by Board of Governors". December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  2. ^ "NHL Hockey Standings". www.nhl.com. National Hockey League.