blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Qualification Droughts

Sunday, April 13, 2014

NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Qualification Droughts

At the outset of every season, each team aspires to win the Stanley Cup. Six months later, the playoff seeding is set and only 16 teams continue to chase that dream. The remaining 14 clubs must wait until next season to renew their quest for the Cup. For them, the playoff drought begins.

The chart below describes, in descending order, the number of seasons each of the current 14 teams has gone without making the Stanley Cup playoffs, showing the last year they qualified for the postseason.

Team                          Years         Last Playoff
Edmonton Oilers
8       
Winnipeg Jets    
7       
Calgary Flames
5       
Carolina Hurricanes
5       
Buffalo Sabres
5       
Florida Panther
3       
Nashville Predators
2       
New Jersey Devils
2       
Phoenix Coyotes
2       
New York Islanders
1       
Ottawa Senators
1       
Toronto Maple Leafs       
1       
Vancouver Canucks
1       
Washington Capitals       
1       

Interestingly, 6 of the 7 Canadian teams (Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver) find themselves on the list.  Edmonton owns the longest active playoff qualification drought missing the postseason 8 consecutive seasons, just two seasons shy of Florida's all-time record of 10 straight playoff misses which ended in 2012. Winnipeg's drought figure dates back to their prior incarnation as the Atlanta Thrashers.

In terms of salary cap, two of the top ten spending teams (Washington 1st, Toronto 9th) and eight of the bottom ten spenders (Phoenix 21st, Nashville 23rd, Buffalo 24th, Edmonton 25th, Ottawa 26th, Calgary 27th, New York Islanders 29th, Florida 30th) missed the playoffs, proving once again that well-financed teams are not immune from on-ice failure, though poorly financed ones are almost assured of it.

For the 14 teams on this list, the playoff rains can't come soon enough.

* See also NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Series Win Droughts.
* See also NHL Stanley Cup Final Appearance Droughts.
* See also NHL Stanley Cup Championship Droughts.

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