With the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs set to begin Wednesday, The Canadian Press takes a look at the teams that have never hoisted hockey’s holy grail.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues joined the NHL for the 1967-68 season and made the Stanley Cup final in their inaugural campaign, losing to the Montreal Canadiens that year before falling to Habs again in 1968-69. St. Louis then lost a third straight final to the Boston Bruins on Bobby Orr’s leaping overtime goal in 1970. The Blues haven’t been back since.
The Capitals have played in just one final since their inaugural 1974-75 season, a sweep at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings in 1998. Washington didn’t win another playoff round until 2009, and has just six combined series victories since, with no trips to the conference final.
Doormats when they first entered the league in 1992-1993, the Senators made their only Stanley Cup appearance in 2007 â€” a series Ottawa lost in five games to the Anaheim Ducks. While the nation’s capital saw its original franchise win 11 Cups between 1903 and 1927 before moving in 1934, the current team is still looking for its first title.
The Canucks entered the league in 1970 and have made the final three times â€” losing in 1982, 1994 and 2011. The last two went to seven games, including six years ago when the Canucks dropped the decider on home ice to the Boston Bruins. Both the 1994 and 2011 losses resulted in ugly riots.
The Sabres joined the NHL with the Canucks as expansion cousins and made their first final in 1975, falling to the Philadelphia Flyers. Buffalo would get back to the title series in 1999 against Dallas, but Brett Hull’s controversial triple-overtime goal in Game 6 clinched the Stars’ first Cup.
Arizona Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets
The Jets joined the NHL from the World Hockey Association in 1979 and moved from Manitoba to the desert after the 1995-96 season. The franchise has never made it to a Stanley Cup, but did play in its first conference final in 2012 as the Phoenix Coyotes.
Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers
The Thrashers came into the league in 1999-2000 before moving to Winnipeg to become the Jets in 2011. The franchise has never won a playoff game after getting swept in 2007 while still in Atlanta before another 4-0 defeat in 2015 after relocating to Winnipeg.
The San Jose Sharks (inaugural season 1991-1992) made their first Stanley Cup appearance last spring, a series they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Florida Panthers (1993-94) lost the final to Colorado in their third year of existence in 1996, but haven’t won a playoff series since. The Nashville Predators (1998-99), as well as the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild, who entered the league together for the 2000-01 season, have also yet to make a final. The Wild qualified for the conference final in 2003, but the Predators have never gotten past the second round. The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, are still looking for their first series win.
Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press