Central Division (NHL)

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Central Division
ConferenceWestern Conference
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
FormerlyNorris Division
Founded1993
Teams
No. of teams7 (8 in 2021)
Championships
Most recent Central Division champion(s)Nashville Predators (2nd title)
Most Central Division titlesDetroit Red Wings (13 titles)

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—Minnesota, Nashville, and Winnipeg (as the Atlanta Thrashers)—joined the NHL in the league's last phase of expansion between 1998 and 2000. The fourth team in that group, the Columbus Blue Jackets, are no longer part of the Central 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 until the Seattle NHL team enters the league and the Arizona Coyotes are realigned into the Central Division in the 2021–22 NHL season.[1]

The Central Division has sent five teams to the Stanley Cup playoffs on seven different 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.

Current standings[edit]

Central Division
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 y – Nashville Predators 82 47 29 6 43 240 214 +26 100
2 x – Winnipeg Jets 82 47 30 5 45 272 244 +28 99
3 x – St. Louis Blues 82 45 28 9 42 247 223 +24 99
4 x – Dallas Stars 82 43 32 7 42 210 202 +8 93
5 x – Colorado Avalanche 82 38 30 14 36 260 246 +14 90
6 Chicago Blackhawks 82 36 34 12 33 270 292 −22 84
7 Minnesota Wild 82 37 36 9 36 211 237 −26 83
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; y – Clinched division.

Division lineups[edit]

1993–1996[edit]

Changes from the 1992–93 season[edit]

  • 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

1996–1998[edit]

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

Changes from the 1995–96 season[edit]

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

1998–2000[edit]

Changes from the 1997–98 season[edit]

  • 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

2000–2013[edit]

Changes from the 1999–2000 season[edit]

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets are added as an expansion team

2013–present[edit]

Changes from the 2012–13 season[edit]

Division champions[edit]

Season results[edit]

Season 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
1993–94 Detroit (100) Toronto (98) Dallas (97) St. Louis (91) Chicago (87) Winnipeg (57)
1994–95 Detroit (70) St. Louis (61) Chicago (53) Toronto (50) Dallas (42) Winnipeg (39)
1995–96 Detroit (131) Chicago (94) Toronto (80) St. Louis (80) Winnipeg (78) Dallas (66)
1996–97 Dallas (104) Detroit (94) Phoenix (83) St. Louis (83) Chicago (81) Toronto (68)
1997–98 Dallas (109) Detroit (103) St. Louis (98) Phoenix (82) Chicago (73) Toronto (69)
1998–99 Detroit (93) St. Louis (87) Chicago (70) Nashville (63)
1999–2000 St. Louis (114) Detroit (108) Chicago (78) Nashville (70)
2000–01 Detroit (111) St. Louis (103) Nashville (80) Chicago (71) Columbus (71)
2001–02 Detroit (116)‡† St. Louis (98) Chicago (96) Nashville (69) Columbus (57)
2002–03 Detroit (110) St. Louis (99) Chicago (79) Nashville (74) Columbus (69)
2003–04 Detroit (109) St. Louis (91) Nashville (91) Columbus (62) Chicago (59)
2004–05 No season due to 2004–05 NHL lockout
2005–06 Detroit (124) Nashville (106) Columbus (74) Chicago (65) St. Louis (57)
2006–07 Detroit (113) Nashville (110) St. Louis (81) Columbus (73) Chicago (71)
2007–08 Detroit (115)‡† Nashville (91) Chicago (88) Columbus (80) St. Louis (79)
2008–09 Detroit (112) Chicago (104) St. Louis (92) Columbus (92) Nashville (88)
2009–10 Chicago (112) Detroit (102) Nashville (100) St. Louis (90) Columbus (79)
2010–11 Detroit (104) Nashville (99) Chicago (97) St. Louis (87) Columbus (81)
2011–12 St. Louis (109) Nashville (104) Detroit (102) Chicago (101) Columbus (65)
2012–13 Chicago (77)‡† St. Louis (60) Detroit (56) Columbus (55) Nashville (41)
2013–14 Colorado (112) St. Louis (111) Chicago (107) Minnesota (98) Dallas (91) Nashville (88) Winnipeg (84)
2014–15 St. Louis (109) Nashville (104) Chicago (102) Minnesota (100) Winnipeg (99) Dallas (92) Colorado (90)
2015–16 Dallas (109) St. Louis (107) Chicago (103) Nashville (96) Minnesota (87) Colorado (82) Winnipeg (78)
2016–17 Chicago (109) Minnesota (106) St. Louis (99) Nashville (94) Winnipeg (87) Dallas (79) Colorado (48)
2017–18 Nashville (117) Winnipeg (114) Minnesota (101) Colorado (95) St. Louis (94) Dallas (92) Chicago (76)
2018–19 Nashville (100) Winnipeg (99) St. Louis (99) Dallas (93) Colorado (90) Chicago (84) Minnesota (83)

Stanley Cup winners produced[edit]

Presidents' Trophy winners produced[edit]

Central Division titles won by team[edit]

Teams in bold are currently in the division.

Team Wins Last win
Detroit Red Wings 13 2011
Chicago Blackhawks 3 2017
Dallas Stars 3 2016
St. Louis Blues 3 2015
Nashville Predators 2 2019
Colorado Avalanche 1 2014
Minnesota Wild 0
Winnipeg Jets 0
Columbus Blue Jackets 0
Toronto Maple Leafs 0
Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Seattle NHL expansion approved by Board of Governors". December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.