There are three elements of a sports franchise which make it a memorable experience for fans: the players, the stadium, and the logo.

With over 100 years of competition, the NHL has seen some incredibly cool logos come and go – while some have continued to stick around. Here are the ones that we think are the best. 

#1. Hartford Whalers

Before they moved to Carolina to become the Hurricanes, the logo for this franchise featured a green “W” with the tail of a while on top. Then there was the “H” for Hartford located within the white space between these two design elements. It was officially retired following the 1996-97 season.

#2. Toronto Maple Leafs

The iconic white-and-blue of this logo has taken on many forms since it was first introduced in the 1927 season. It offers a current version with 31 points, representing the year that their stadium first opened. Then the 13 veins in the leaf represent the number of Stanley Cups the franchise has earned in their history.

#3. Detroit Red Wings

This logo is one of the longest-lasting visual images of the NHL. It was first created in the 1932-33 season, but it has not received an update since 1948. The inspiration came from the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, who won the first Stanley Cup in 1892. James Norris purchased the Detroit Falcons in 1932 and brought the logo over.

#4. Chicago Blackhawks

This NHL franchise has the most controversial logo on this list. It was originally designed by Irene Castle, who was the wife of the franchise owner, and has been on display since 1926. The team dropped the circle around the logo in the 1950s, and has worn the current version for almost 60 years.

#5. Hamilton Tigers

Although they only played five seasons in the NHL, they had three different logos. Their best once came out in 1921, featuring the face of a tiger on the sweater. Since the patches were made by hand, the work was time-intensive and expensive, so they kept the look for a single season only.

#6. Quebec Nordiques

The logo for this NHL franchise pre-dated their entry into the league. Featuring a lower-case “n” with a red hockey stick and a blue puck to the side, the shape formed an igloo when the elements were put together. This image stayed with the team until they became the Colorado Avalanche in 1995.

#7. Pittsburgh Pirates

Most people don’t remember that there was a hockey team in this city 40 years before the Penguins arrived in 1967. They took the name of the local baseball team, adopting a black-and-gold logo that featured the face of a pirate – eyepatch, mustache, and everything. They only stayed one season, becoming the Philadelphia Quakers next, but that logo is still a classic.

Several iconic logos have come and gone throughout the years in the NHL. Some of them have even made a comeback in recent years, like the Anaheim Ducks and their hockey mask with crossed sticks. What are some of your favorite images from the National Hockey League?