blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: NHL Stanley Cup Final Appearance Droughts

Monday, May 30, 2016

NHL Stanley Cup Final Appearance Droughts

This week the Sharks and Penguins qualified for the 2016 Stanley Cup Final erasing a Stanley Cup Final appearance drought of 25 years and 7 years, respectively, while the NHL's other 28 teams extended their absence by another season. The chart below describes, in descending order, the number of seasons each club has gone without a Cup Final appearance, showing the last year they qualified (if ever).

Team       Seasons           Last Cup Final
Toronto Maple Leafs 
48         
St. Louis Blues
45         
Phoenix Coyotes*
36         
Never
New York Islanders
31         
Montreal Canadiens
22         
Florida Panthers
19         
Nashville Predators
17         
Never
Washington Capitals
17         
Buffalo Sabres
16         
Winnipeg Jets**
16         
Never
Columbus Blue Jackets
15         
Never
Dallas Stars
15         
Minnesota Wild
15         
Never
Colorado Avalanche
14         
Calgary Flames
11         
Carolina Hurricanes
10         
Edmonton Oilers     
10         
Anaheim Ducks
9         
Ottawa Senators      
9         
Detroit Red Wings
7         
Philadelphia Flyers
6         
Vancouver Canucks
5         
New Jersey Devils
4         
Boston Bruins
3         
Los Angeles Kings
2         
New York Rangers
2         
Chicago Blackhawks
1         
Tampa Bay Lightning
1         
Pittsburgh Penguins
0         
San Jose Sharks
0         

*   Includes record of Winnipeg Jets prior to relocation to Phoenix
** Includes record of Atlanta Thrashers prior to relocation to Winnipeg

The average drought rests at roughly 13.5 seasons with Toronto laying claim to the longest at 48 seasons, a streak that began prior to NHL expansion beyond its original six teams. Arguably worse is the fact that 5 of the 30 teams (17%) have never skated in a Final in their franchise history (Phoenix, Nashville, Winnipeg, Minnesota, Columbus), a list that was reduced by one with the Sharks earning their first ever Stanley Cup Final appearance this year.

In ten months the quest for the Cup continues for 16 of the 30 clubs that qualify for the postseason. The goal is to hoist the hardware, but simply qualifying for the Stanley Cup Final would be a step in the right direction.
Indeed, one thing leads to another.

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

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