The land of beaches, surfing, Hollywood, and…
17 professional sports teams.
There’s the NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS…
And of course, the NHL.
Because nothing says let’s play ice hockey like 90 degree weather!
So, what hockey team is in California… Or are there a few NHL teams?
Keep reading to find out!
Want to know more about the different teams in the NHL? Check out our other popular blog posts: What Hockey Team Is in Texas, What Hockey Team Is in Florida, and Why Doesn’t Quebec City Have an NHL Team?
Here’s What Hockey Team Is In California:
California actually has three professional ice hockey teams as a part of the NHL. They have the Los Angeles Kings (Crypto.com Arena), the San Jose Sharks (SAP Center), and the Anaheim Ducks (Honda Center). They’re all in the Pacific division in the National Hockey League.
Does California Have an NHL Team?
Yes, California has an NHL team. In fact, they have 3!
Here are the 3 NHL teams in California:
1. Los Angeles Kings
2. San Jose Sharks
3. Anaheim Ducks
Does California Have a Hockey Team?
Yes, California has several hockey teams.
In the NHL, they have 3 teams: Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, and Los Angeles Kings.
In the AHL, they have 5 teams: Stockton Heat, San Jose Barracuda, Bakersfield Condor, Ontario Reign, San Diego Gulls.
What California Hockey Team Is the Best?
There are three NHL hockey teams in California: Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks.
Current Best (2021-22)
Currently, in 2022, the NHL team with the best record of the three is the Los Angeles Kings.
Here are the standings in the Pacific Division as of March 26, 2022:
|1. Calgary Flames||64||39||17||8||86|
|2. Los Angeles Kings||66||35||22||9||79|
|3. Edmonton Oilers||65||36||24||5||77|
|4. Vegas Golden Knights||67||35||28||4||74|
|5. Vancouver Canucks||66||31||26||9||71|
|6. Anaheim Ducks||66||27||28||11||65|
|7. San Jose Sharks||64||28||28||8||64|
|8. Seattle Kraken||64||20||38||6||46|
So, which NHL team is considered the best all-time California team?
The easiest metric to consider would be championship titles (Stanley Cup).
The Anaheim Ducks have one Stanley Cup.
The Los Angeles Kings have two Stanley Cups.
The San Jose Sharks have zero Stanley Cups.
So, the Los Angeles Kings would be considered the best all-time California team based on championship titles alone.
However, it’s important to note that the Kings have been in the league since the 60s. They’ve been around nearly 30 years longer than the Sharks and Ducks who both joined the league in the 90s.
Why Does California Have Three NHL Teams?
Believe it or not, California has had three NHL ice hockey teams since the early 90s and got their first team in the 60s.
The Los Angeles Kings had their inaugural season in 1967-68, the San Jose Sharks had theirs in 1991-92, and the Anaheim Ducks had theirs in 1993-1994.
So, why does California have three NHL teams?
It may seem strange considering they have a warmer climate (which isn’t exactly the best for maintaining ice).
Despite having the LA Kings in the league since the 60s, ice hockey wasn’t that big in California for decades.
At the time of the 1967 expansion into Los Angeles, it would mostly be an uphill battle to grow the game in California—especially when competing against other major sports like football, basketball, and baseball.
That is, until the 90s.
In the 1990s, the NHL expanded with two teams into Florida (Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers). And, it introduced its second and third teams into California (San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks—formerly known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim).
In times past, these big moves into hotter climate regions like California didn’t make much sense. But, with growing populations and the rise of television and sports broadcasting, it made sense business-wise.
Is Hockey Popular in California?
Compared to the other major sports like football, basketball, and baseball, hockey isn’t as popular overall—despite having an NHL team (Los Angeles Kings) since 1967.
However, it’s been growing in popularity, especially since the 90s.
One of the main reasons hockey began to grow in popularity in the 90s was due to the NHL team additions of the San Jose Sharks and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (now the Anaheim Ducks).
Another reason hockey grew in popularity in the 90s was due to “The Trade”.
Hockey’s biggest star of the 80s and 90s was Wayne Gretzky. On August 9, 1988, Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings.
Gretzky made an immediate impact on the sport in California. This was the biggest trade in NHL history and became a major reason hockey grew in popularity in California.
Since then, the Los Angeles Kings have one two championships, the Anaheim Ducks have won a single championship, and the San Jose Sharks have been to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Does LA Have a Hockey Team?
Yes, LA has a hockey team: the Los Angeles Kings.
On June 5, 1967, they entered the National Hockey League, alongside 6 other teams in the 1967 expansion.
They’ve won two Stanley Cups (championships): 2011-12 and 2013-14.
Is There a Hockey Team in San Francisco?
No, there isn’t a professional hockey team in San Francisco.
However, since San Francisco is so close to San Jose, people from San Francisco typically cheer for the San Jose Sharks.
What NHL Hockey Player Has Played on All Three California Teams?
Has there ever been an NHL player who has played on all three California teams?
The short answer is, no.
However, Daryl Sutter has been on the coaching staff of all three teams.
And, there are plenty of players who have been a part of two of the three teams.
In order for someone to have played on all three teams, one of the following acquisitions would have to occur:
- Anaheim Ducks trade for Joakim Ryan or Martin Jones (they have played on Sharks and Kings).
- Los Angeles Kings trade for Nick Bonino or Andrew Cogliano (they have played on Sharks and Ducks).
- San Jose Sharks trade for Luke Schenn, Carl Hagelin, Nate Thompson, or Ben Hutton (they have played on Ducks and Kings).
Are you curious to know more about hockey in other states across the U.S.? Don’t forget to check out our full guide: Hockey Teams in Every U.S. State: Complete NHL & College List (2023)