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

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

NHL Stanley Cup Final Appearance Droughts

This week the Golden Knights and Capitals qualified for the 2018 Stanley Cup Final erasing a Stanley Cup Final appearance drought of 0 years (inaugural season) and 18 years, respectively, while the NHL's other 29 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 
50         
St. Louis Blues
47         
Phoenix Coyotes*
38         
Never
New York Islanders
33         
Montreal Canadiens
24         
Florida Panthers
21         
Buffalo Sabres
18         
Winnipeg Jets**
18         
Never
Columbus Blue Jackets
17         
Never
Dallas Stars
17         
Minnesota Wild
17         
Never
Colorado Avalanche
16         
Calgary Flames
13         
Carolina Hurricanes
12         
Edmonton Oilers     
12         
Anaheim Ducks
11         
Ottawa Senators      
11         
Detroit Red Wings
9         
Philadelphia Flyers
8         
Vancouver Canucks
7         
New Jersey Devils
6         
Boston Bruins
5         
Los Angeles Kings
4         
New York Rangers
4         
Chicago Blackhawks
3         
Tampa Bay Lightning
3         
San Jose Sharks
2         
Pittsburgh Penguins
1         
Nashville Predators
1         
Vegas Golden Knights
0         
Washington Capitals
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 50 seasons, a streak that began prior to NHL expansion beyond its original six teams. Arguably worse is the fact that 4 of the 31 teams (13%) have never skated in a Final in their franchise history (Phoenix, Winnipeg, Minnesota, Columbus), a list that was reduced by one with the Golden Knights earning a Stanley Cup Final appearance in their inaugural season.

In ten months the quest for the Cup continues for 16 of the 31 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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