10 NHL Franchises in Most Desperate Need of a Stanley Cup

min read
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) and center Auston Matthews (34) celebrate after the team defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning during Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Friday, May 6, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Gary Pearson @newagejourno Jun 30, 2022, 9:23 AM

The Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 21 years, a barren patch that pales in comparison to how long the following 10 NHL franchises have waited for glory.

NHL odds for the 2022-23 campaign were released immediately following Colorado’s Cup triumph, with the likely suspects among the most favored to lift the Holy Grail.   

Of the 10 franchises who’ve experienced the most prolonged Stanley Cup droughts, only a few have a shot of providing their fan base with a long overdue celebration. 

Here are the 10 most desperate franchises, whose respective levels of desperation range from a high school kid still looking for a date on the day of the prom to a 40-year-old searching for a kiss not initiated by his mom. 

10. Ottawa Senators

Number of Cups: 0
Last Stanley Cup: Never
Year Franchise was Founded: 1992
Years Without a Cup: 30
Stanley Cup 2022-23 Odds: +8000

Ok, so technically, the citizens of Ottawa have waited 95 years to win a Stanley Cup. The original Ottawa Senators, founded in 1883, won their last Cup in 1927. After that, however, the city was without an NHL team for 58 years. 

The current version of the Sens entered the league in the 1992-93 season and are still waiting for their maiden Cup triumph. However, they came close in 2007, losing to the Anaheim Ducks in a five-game Stanley Cup Final. 

Unless a miracle occurs in the Canadian capital, Senators fans won’t be celebrating anytime soon. 

9. San Jose Sharks

Number of Cups: 0
Last Stanley Cup: Never
Year Franchise was Founded: 1991
Years Without a Cup: 31
Stanley Cup 2022-23 Odds: +10000

In 2016, the San Jose Sharks lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Cup Final, coming close to winning their maiden Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, that was the franchise’s only appearance in the final.

Wondering whether their suffering will end any time soon? I think you know the answer to that depressing question. The Sharks have the fourth-longest NHL odds to reign supreme next season. At this rate, sharks might actually go extinct before the hockey club obtains NHL supremacy.    

8. Edmonton Oilers

Number of Cups: 5

Last Stanley Cup: 1990

Year Franchise was Founded: 1971

Years Without a Cup: 32

Stanley Cup 2022-23 Odds: +1600

Looking back on the Oilers’ glory years, it becomes ever more clear how much their success depended on Wayne Gretzky. The Oilers are still waiting to win their first Stanley Cup without the Great One. 

Cue Connor McDavid. If anyone can return the Oilers to prominence, it’s the world’s best player. However, McDavid, an uncanny manifestation of a superhero, still needs a decent supporting cast to get the Oilers over the hump.

If the 2021-22 playoffs were anything to go by, the Oilers are on the cusp of returning to greatness. Yet if you look at the few key puzzle pieces currently missing, it could be more of the same old so close, yet so far adage in Edmonton.

7. Calgary Flames

Number of Cups: 1
Last Stanley Cup: 1989
Year Franchise was Founded: 1972
Years Without a Cup: 33
Stanley Cup 2022-23 Odds: +1800

Poor Calgary Flames fans. They’ve only made it out of the first round twice (2021-22 and 2014-15) since losing the 2004 Stanley Cup Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the most devastating fashion. 

The Flames scored what appeared to be the Stanley Cup-winning goal in the third period of Game 6. 

However, the zebras didn’t see it that way, nor did the video replay officials. 

Whether you’re a Flames fan or not, the puck crossed the line. That non-call is a suppressed nightmare for any Calgarian old enough to remember. Don’t mention it if you’re ever in a Calgary bar whose residents are of a slightly older demographic. 

The Flames are among the top 10 favorites in 2022-23, so things are looking up in Cowtown. Go to the 9:11 mark of the below video if you want to see the irrefutable evidence.  

6. New York Islanders

Number of Cups: 4
Last Stanley Cup: 1983
Year Franchise was Founded: 1972
Years Without a Cup: 39
Stanley Cup 2022-23 Odds: +3000

The New York Islanders are an all-or-nothing franchise. They won four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983 and nothing since. Montreal is the only other franchise to accomplish the four-peat. Unfortunately, Islanders fans have now endured 39 seasons of heartbreak, a total that will more than likely eclipse 40 when the dust settles on the 2022-23 campaign. 

5. Philadelphia Flyers

Number of Cups: 2
Last Stanley Cup: 1975
Year Franchise was Founded: 1967
Years Without a Cup: 47
Stanley Cup 2022-23 Odds: +6600

The Philadelphia Flyers won their only two Stanley Cups in successive seasons, 1974 and 1975. The Flyers have made the final six times since, the last of which in 2010 when the Chicago Blackhawks downed them in six games. 

For Flyers fans, at least they’ve enjoyed on six occasions what a journey to the finals encompasses. But, then again, that probably makes not getting over the line an even more abhorrent pill to swallow. 

I’d like to say there’s always next season, but the likelihood of Jennifer Lopez winning an Oscar is higher than the Flyers breaking their 39-year drought in the 2022-23 season.

4. Winnipeg Jets

Number of Cups: 0
Last Stanley Cup: Never
Year Franchise was Founded: 1972
Years Without a Cup: 40
Stanley Cup 2022-23 Odds: +6600

Now, this is a fan base that deserves better. No Stanley Cup since the franchise was founded in 1972. Take a moment to let that morale-extracting tidbit sink in. Ok, so Winnipeg didn’t actually have a team from 1996 to 2011, but that’s a semantic as far as Jets fans are concerned. The only thing worse than not winning a Stanley Cup is not having a team at all.  

The Jets were founded in 1972 and moved to Phoenix in 1996, where they became the Coyotes. Of course, now they’re the Arizona Coyotes. Different name, same abject results. 

Arizona is still waiting to win their first Stanley Cup, and so too is Winnipeg, who got their franchise back in 2011 when the Atlanta Thrashers were sold to a Winnipeg-based company. The Thrashers, founded in 1999, never won a cup either. 

Still with me? 

3. Vancouver Canucks

Number of Cups: 0
Last Stanley Cup: Never
Year Franchise was Founded: 1970
Years Without a Cup: 42
Stanley Cup 2022-23 Odds: +5000

Like the Winnipeg Jets, the Vancouver Canucks have never won a Stanley Cup. Unlike the Jets, Vancouver fans don’t have the excuse of their team leaving the city for 15 years to fall back on. The suffering is seemingly perpetual for Canucks fans, who are now 42 years without a Cup. 

The franchise reached the final in 2011 but didn’t handle it well on or off the ice. They lost in the seventh game to the Boston Bruins in Vancouver, where a riot ensued after the bitter defeat. Anger and frustration boiled over on the west coast. That was 11 years ago. Let’s hope they prevail next time a Stanley Cup Final comes knocking for everyone’s sake in Vancouver.  

2. Buffalo Sabres

Number of Cups: 0
Last Stanley Cup: Never
Year Franchise was Founded: 1970
Years Without a Cup: 42
Stanley Cup 2022-23 Odds: +6600

Misery certainly loves company, as the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks can attest. Unfortunately, the two franchises share some abominable, unenviable similarities. 

Neither franchise has won a Stanley Cup, and both were founded in 1970. So I Googled whether there was an omnipresent curse in 1970 that could be scapegoated for their respective misfortunes. Nothing appeared, but for the sake of both fan bases, I won’t give up the search. 

To culminate their similarities, neither team has a hope of winning next season’s Stanley Cup.  

The Sabres, like Calgary in 2004, lost the Stanley Cup Final in controversial fashion. Then again, imagine if Brett Hull’s overtime winner in the 1999 final was disallowed for merely having his blade in the blue paint. Rules are rules, but come on. 

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

Number of Cups: 13
Last Stanley Cup: 1967
Year Franchise was Founded: 1917
Years Without a Cup: 55
Stanley Cup 2022-23 Odds: +850

Of all the franchises on this undesirable list, the Toronto Maple Leafs are not only the most desperate but the one with the best chance of finally ending their barren Stanley Cup run. Fifty-five years is an exceedingly long time to go without a morsel of glory. 

However, the most tortured and riduculed fan base in hockey has a genuine opportunity to see their team lift the Stanley Cup in 2022-23. Then again, if any team is actually cursed it’s the morose Maple Leafs.

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About the Author

Gary Pearson

Read More @newagejourno

Gary Pearson is a freelance sports writer who contributes regularly to BetMGM, specializing in hockey, tennis and soccer coverage.

Gary Pearson is a freelance sports writer who contributes regularly to BetMGM, specializing in hockey, tennis and soccer coverage.