No Cup for You: These are the 11 NHL Teams that have Never Won a Stanley Cup

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Many people say the NHL has the greatest postseason in sports. The action is non-stop, seeding often becomes irrelevant and the pure joy when a team wins the Stanley Cup is palpable.

But what about the unlucky teams and fan bases that have never gotten to celebrate winning this famous trophy? We're here to tell you about them.

As of April, 2024, the NHL has 32 teams divided into four divisions of eight teams each. From here on out, though, we'll call the "teams" "franchises" because that's a better representation of what they are: franchises that can—and have—move from market to market for a variety of reasons. Something like that is even happening today, with the Arizona Coyotes (who used to be called the Phoenix Coyotes and before that were the Winnipeg Jets) announcing their move to Salt Lake City, Utah, where they will adopt yet another name. Needless to say, the Winnipeg/Phoenix/Arizona/Utah Jets/Coyotes/TBDs are one of the 11 franchises to never win a Cup. Its also the first franchise on the list alphabetically as the official franchise name is still Arizona (at least as of this writing!).

Who are the other 10 teams to round out this ignominious list? Here we go, in alphabetical order by home.

All facts from Hockey Reference.

Buffalo Sabres

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Yes-the Sabres go back to the days when guys didn't need to wear helmets! The franchise has been active since 1970, always based in Buffalo and blessed with some pretty devoted fans, so the Sabres are definitely one of the least-likely units on this list. They have made it to the Cup finals twice, in 1975 and 1999, but never won one. They're not in the playoffs this year, nor have they even made the postseason since 2011 but...maybe next year?

Columbus Blue Jackets

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The Blue Jackets have been around since 2000, which is honestly longer than we would have guessed. That's how quiet things have been out of Ohio's capital city. The Blue Jackets have had some great players (such as Rick Nash, shown above) and reached the second-round of the playoffs in 2019, but that's about all the "success" one can speak of with this franchise.

Florida Panthers

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The Panthers were a big part of the NHL's move to the Sun Belt when they arrived in South Florida back in 1993. And they even made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, so one might have guessed they wouldn't have too long a drought. Alas, they didn't make one again until last year, but the team's been good throughout the 2020's and might well win it all this season, so we do think the Panthers will be off this list soon.

Minnesota Wild

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The Wild entered the NHL alongside the Blue Jackets back in 2000, but unlike Columbus, the St. Paul-based Wild boast a rabid fan base and an elite local hockey culture. None of that has added up to a ton of on-ice success, however, as the Wild have never even made a Stanley Cup Final.

Nashville Predators

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The Predators entered the NHL in 1998 and have been a solid team with tons of playoff appearances for much of their history...but the Preds have only made a lone appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals (a 2017 loss to the Penguins) and, obviously, have never won one.

Ottawa Senators

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Maybe awareness of the "Sens" is decent in Canada, but from an American lens, this franchise seems like it may be the most obscure of the "big four" pro sports leagues played in this country. Ottawa's been in the NHL since 1992 and honestly it feels like the team has never even been to a Cup final... but research says they actually reached it when they lost to the Anaheim Ducks back in 2007 (which seems like it was the least-watched Stanley Cup ever). You could win a few bucks in trivia answering that one, we bet.

San Jose Sharks

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The Sharks have been around since 1991 and boast some absolutely fire uniforms. Oh, and they had a solid strech of hockey earlier this millennium, making the Playoffs regularly and reaching the 2016 Cup Finals. But they haven't made a postseason since 2019 and worse than just being bad, they seem irrelevant.

Seattle Kraken

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"No shit," you say? "Of course a franchise that only began play in 2021 would be on this list. Well... just last year, in their second season ever, the Kraken won 46 regular-season games and took the eventual Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights to the seventh game of their second-round playoff series. And speaking of Vegas, that team's title came in just its sixth season of existence, and the Knights have made the playoffs in six of their seven years, all of which should make some of the teams on this list with more stability and heritage pretty ashamed of themselves.

Vancouver Canucks

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The Canucks are a relatively storied franchise, having been beloved in British Columbia since they came to be all the way back in 1970 and having been amongst the league's best teams in many eras since. They lost the Cup Finals to the Islanders in 1982, the Rangers in 1994 and the Bruins in 2011, and were typically contenders in the years surrounding those appearances. They also entered this year's playoffs as the winners of the Pacific Division, so it wouldn't be a shock if they got themselves off this list by summer.

Winnipeg Jets

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This iteration of the Jets began as the Atlanta Thrashers—who were about as bad as a team with that name sounds like it would be—and after 11 poor seasons in Atlanta, moved to Winnipeg in 2011, thrilling the locals who'd lost their previous NHL franchise to Arizona. The Jets have actually been pretty good in this 13-season stretch, including this year, but drawing huge crowds has been tough and there are rumors they may move again, which would be brutal for the city.

Hope you learned a lot with this list, and even more than that, hope you're favorite hockey team wasn't on it!

Also a quick note c/o a recent email we got from the #nhlstatspack, that includes two of the above teams as well as four franchises that have won Cups...just not for awhile.

The Maple Leafs are looking to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in the expansion era (since 1967-68), with their last championship coming 57 years ago – already the longest wait in NHL history. In addition to Toronto, five other teams have gone 30+ years without a championship:

Toronto (57 years; last 1967)
Vancouver (53 years; yet to win)
NY Islanders (41 years; last 1983)
Edmonton (34 years; last 1990)
Florida (30 years; yet to win)
NY Rangers (30 years; last 1994)

Enjoy the rest of this postseason, hockey fans!

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