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, was for a period of time not a part of the Central Division, having moved to the Metropolitan Division.

Central Division
ConferenceWestern Conference
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
FormerlyNorris Division
Founded1993
Teams
No. of teams8
Championships
Most recent champion(s)Carolina Hurricanes (1st title)
Most titlesDetroit Red Wings (13 titles)

After the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights to the Pacific Division in 2017, the Central Division was the only division in the NHL without eight teams. This situation remained in effect until the 2020–21 NHL season, when the COVID-19 pandemic compelled a radical re-alignment of the divisions, including the temporary abolition of the Eastern and Western conferences. The Central Division was the only existing division retained for the 2020–21 NHL season. Only three of the eight Central Division teams for 2020–21 were members of the division in the previous season.

The Central Division has sent five teams to the Stanley Cup playoffs on seven occasions. In the first three seasons after the realignment of 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 5 5 0 0 5 25 11 +14 10
2 Minnesota Wild 5 4 1 0 2 17 16 +1 8
3 Dallas Stars 6 3 3 0 0 12 15 −3 6
4 Winnipeg Jets 5 2 2 1 2 20 19 +1 5
5 Colorado Avalanche 5 2 3 0 1 15 20 −5 4
6 Nashville Predators 6 2 4 0 2 17 19 −2 4
7 Chicago Blackhawks 6 0 5 1 0 12 27 −15 1
8 Arizona Coyotes 6 0 5 1 0 11 30 −19 1
Updated to game(s) played on October 25, 2021. Source: National Hockey League[1]
Rules for classification: 1) Fewer number of games played (GP, only during regular season); 2) Greater number of regulation wins (RW); 3) Greater number of wins in regulation and overtime, excluding shootout wins (ROW); 4) Greater number of total wins, including shootouts (W); 5) Greater number of points earned in head-to-head play; if teams played an uneven number of head-to-head games, the result of the first game on the home ice of the team with the extra home game is discarded; 6) Greater goal differential (GD); 7) Greater number of goals scored (GF)

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

2013–2020Edit

Changes from the 2012–13 seasonEdit

2020–2021Edit

Changes from the 2019–20 seasonEdit

  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions the NHL realigned into four divisions with no conferences for the 2020–21 season
  • The Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues move to the West Division
  • The Winnipeg Jets move to the North Division
  • The Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets come from the Metropolitan Division
  • The Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning come from the Atlantic Division

2021–presentEdit

  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Nashville Predators
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Winnipeg Jets

Changes from the 2020–21 seasonEdit

  • The league returned to the previous divisional and conference alignment
  • The Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets move to the Metropolitan Division
  • The Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning move to the Atlantic Division
  • The Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues come from the West Division
  • The Winnipeg Jets come from the North Division

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 8th
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.)

2020–21[d] Temporary realignment for season
Carolina (80) Florida (79) Tampa Bay (75) Nashville (64) Dallas (60) Chicago (55) Detroit (48) Columbus (48)
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.
  • d The 2020–21 NHL season was shortened to 56 games due the COVID-19 pandemic and the Canada-United States border closure.

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
Carolina Hurricanes 1 2021
Colorado Avalanche 1 2014
Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes/Arizona Coyotes 0
Columbus Blue Jackets 0
Florida Panthers 0
Minnesota Wild 0
Tampa Bay Lightning 0
Toronto Maple Leafs 0
Winnipeg Jets 0

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "NHL Hockey Standings". www.nhl.com. National Hockey League.