We are entering the second round of the 2016 NHL playoffs and we have already seen a changing of the guard. Gone are the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers and defending camps the Chicago Blackhawks. We are seeing the likes of the Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators move into uncharted territory. The cool thing about this, is the fact that we could see a number of veteran players who have never won a championship win a Stanley Cup this season. Potential candidates include Alex Ovechkin, Shea Weber, Joe Thornton just to name a few. That had us thinking about some of the top NHL players who never won a Stanley Cup. The list is long as winning the Holy Grail is no easy task especially with league parity at the highest it has ever been.
Top 20 NHL Players to Never Win a Stanley Cup
So here is a look at our list of some of the best NHLers never to have won a Stanley Cup.
- Ryan Smyth former Oiler and Captain Canada. In 2006, Smyth came close when the Edmonton Oilers dropped game seven to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Oilers had an unlikely but passionate run for the Cup that season. Smyth would later be traded to the New York Islanders, Coorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings where he was traded back to Edmonton prior to the Kings winning their first Stanley Cup that season. If there was ever one player who probably deserved a Stanley Cup it may have been Ryan Smyth.
- Jarome Iginla longtime Calgary Flame. Just as Ryan Smyth had a near miss winning the Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Oilers, Jarome Iginla had his own near miss in 2004 as the Calgary Flames lost in game seven to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Damn it seems like the Canada based NHL teams are cursed doesn’t it? While Jarome continues to play with the Avs, you have to think that unless he gets traded to a strong contender his chances are passing him by.
- Daryl Sittler longtime Maple Leaf – playing with the Leafs in the 70’s and 80’s meant that the Leafs were close but not close enough to being a Cup contending team. Sittler never won a Cup in his great NHL career.
- Dale Hawerchuk Gretzky Jr. – those darn Oilers made it difficult for the Winnipeg Jets to have success in the ’80’s. Dale Hawerchuk was a tremendous player but always had to compete in the difficult Smythe Division of the 80s.
- Henrik Lundqvist goaltender for the New York Rangers. King Henrik may very well be the best goaltender of his generation, though Pekka Rinne and Carey Price would likely have something to say about that. 2016 looked promising but the Rangers bowed out fairly quickly in the first round. They probably do not have what it takes to get back to the Finals. The season ended with a lot of questions for the blue shirts.
- Joe Thornton leader of the San Jose Sharks. I fully expect this to change in 2016 playoffs. My pick for the Stanley Cup champions is the San Jose Sharks. I hope Jumbo Joe gets his Cup ring. This guy is to good of a player to have never won a Stanley Cup. Joe had a number of good seasons in Boston before being traded to San Jose. He is still a dominant player but being on the West coast often gets overlooked.
- Alex Ovechkin the Great 8 – this is another player that could be taken off of this list if the Washington Capitals do what many predict and capture the Cup this Spring. The Capitals have had am amazing season. Could it be Ovie’s time?
- Pavel Bure the Russian Rocket – Pavel came close in 1994 when the Vancouver Canucks lost in seven games to the New York Rangers. Bure moved on to other teams such as the Florida Panthers and never came close again.
- Roberto Luongo backstopper supreme. Another player that can close was Luongo with the Vancouver Canucks as the Nucks lost to the Boston Bruins five years ago in the finals. Let’s be honest the Canucks should have won that series and Roberto would have his ring. No such luck, but his time may still come.
- Mark Howe Mr. Hockey’s son. Mark Howe had a long career having great seasons with the Hartford Whalers and Philadelphia Flyers, but he could never touch Lord Stanley’s Cup thans in part to the Edmonton Oilers who beat Philly a couple of times for the Cup in the ’80s.
- Shane Doan original Jet and Arizona Coyote. Longevity notwithstanding, unless Doan gets traded to a contender, his chances of winning a Stanley Cup in Arizona are slim to none.
- Mike Gartner flash ‘n dash. Gartner was a speedy little player who could score goals. He played for a number of teams including the Leafs and Capitals maybe that explains why he never had the chance to hoist the Cup.
- Brad Park Big Bad Bruin – played in back to back finals but had to face the powerhouse Montreal Canadiens.
- Jean Ratelle Big Bad Bruin. – played in back to back finals but had to face the powerhouse Montreal Canadiens.
- Henrik and Daniel Sedin. The Twins of Vancouver had their chance in 2011 but alas the Bruins prevailed.
- Borje Salming Leafs Defensman – two post season runs with the Leafs and no Cups to show for it. This Hall of Fame defenseman has zero Stanley Cup rings.
- Marcel Dionne longtime King – playing with the Los Angeles Kings meant that Dionne never had a chance to hoist a Cup in the NHL. He never played in the final round of the NHL playoffs in his 18 season of play in the NHL.
- Adam Oates – made playoffs in 15 of 19 seasons played. Another player sad to see never have won a Stanley Cup.
- Peter Stastny – never made it to Divison or Conferene final.
- Tony Esposito – Hawks goalie. While his brother Phil won two Cups, Tony O was shutout off Stanley Cup championships.