The Los Angeles Kings are Stanley Cup champions for the first time, and then there were two. 12 teams started the 1967-68 NHL season, nine have won the Stanley Cup since, one has folded and for two, the drought continues.
For the record, here are the 12 teams from 1967-68:
Montreal Canadiens - Last won in 1993
New York Rangers - Last won in 1994
Boston Bruins - Last won in 2011
Chicago Black Hawks (Now Blackhawks) - Last won in 2010
Toronto Maple Leafs - Still waiting...
Detroit Red Wings - Last won in 2008
Philadelphia Flyers - Last won in 1975
Los Angeles Kings - Won in 2012
St. Louis Blues - Still waiting...
Minnesota North Stars (Now Dallas Stars) - Won in 1999
Pittsburgh Penguins - Last won in 2009
Oakland Seals (Long Defunct)
Damn, it was depressing writing that list. The Blues finished last season with 109 points, good for 2nd overall. Do you think they're a little closer to the cup than our Leafs? The Leafs had 80 points, good for 13th.... IN THE CONFERENCE.
Congratulations Kings fans... I know how you feel. Back 2 Back in '92/'93!
When the Kings finish off the Devils, yet another franchise will win the Stanley Cup In my lifetime. You probably know where I'm going with this...
My Leafs haven't won the cup since 1967, but they also haven't played in a Stanley Cup final since 1967. So let's look at the list of teams that have played in a Stanley Cup final in the years since 1967. It's quite the long and depressing list.
Tampa Bay Lightning
New Jersey Devils
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Detroit Red Wings
New York Rangers
Los Angeles Kings
Minnesota North Stars
New York Islanders
St. Louis Blues
Here are the active teams that haven't played in a Stanley Cup final since 1967.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Winnipeg Jets (formerly Atlanta Thrashers)
Columbus Blue Jackets
Phoenix Coyotes (formerly Winnipeg Jets)
San Jose Sharks
If we move the Leafs aside for a moment, do you notice anything unique about the other six teams above? They're all pretty new franchises. The San Jose Sharks are the oldest team in the books having played their first season in 1991-92. If you're looking for the worst franchise drought outside of Toronto, you can look at the Coyotes who played their first NHL season in 1979-80. Still, this isn't quite the same thing and doesn't come close to our stretch of futility.
I'd like to watch my team play in a Stanley Cup final before I die. It might be nice to win one, too. Is that too much to ask?
Following that last entry, I felt I needed some eye bleach... a spiritual virtual cleanse of sorts. Sounds like a job for All Heart, the greatest Wendel Clark tribute video in the history of the world.
I was watching some old footage of the NHL on FOX on Youtube. This footage was from 1995 and it included this graphic regarding the longest Stanley Cup droughts at the time.
The Red Wings were suffering from a "40 year itch". They'd win a couple of Cups before the decade was through, and a couple more after that. Next up was Chicago. We all watched them win the Stanley Cup a few years ago. Rounding out the list, after the Leafs, is Boston, who won the cup last year.
That 28 felt heavy back in '95. Now it's a 45 year drought, with no end in sight. Things aren't as bad as they seem, it's worse.
I had stopped watching Leaf games. Prior to tonight, the last game I watched was the game I took my son to a couple of weeks ago. Total and complete apathy had set in... the 2011-12 Leafs were dead to me.
Then, Ford Canada invited me to their luxury suite and 3rd row seats at the ACC to watch the Leafs vs. Flyers. Suddenly, I'm not only watching the Leafs again, but I'm at ice level, unable to turn the channel.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's far worse than I had imagined. It seems we've found a new bottom, if that's possible. Jussi Rynnas got no support in his first career start, the Leafs only managed to get 17 shots on net and the fans only showed passion when chanting "Let's Go Blue Jays", which also happened to be the highlight of the night, or when booing the home team, which began early in the first period.
This team has no pride. In this lifelong fan's opinion, things are as bad now as they were under JFJ's watch, and that's saying something. It hurts to watch.
I was comfortably numb in my apathetic state until Ford Canada woke me up. Now I've seen the carnage for myself and it's ugly. Toronto ugly.
I remember Maple Leaf playoff hockey. Here's my entry following our last playoff game on May 4, 2004. At a quick glance, 2004 might not seem like that long ago, so I'd like to offer you some perspective.
This is my daughter. Soon, she'll turn 8-years old.
She was born after the Leafs' last playoff game meaning the Maple Leafs have never played a playoff game in her lifetime.
She, essentially, is the measuring stick I use when actualizing this drought. She's about to finish grade two. She's fluent in two languages. She's got interesting ideas and a great sense of humour and there's no telling when I'll be able to sit down with her to watch Maple Leaf playoff hockey. Will it be next year? When she's ten? We seem as far away today as we were the day Burke was hired.
I'm done with Leafs hockey for the year, and it's only March. Complete apathy is setting in, yet still I yearn to share playoff hockey with my kids. If the Leafs won't do it for me, maybe they'll do it for her.
I monitor Toronto weather via gCast, a simple little Chrome extension. Here's what it looks like right now:
26°, 25°, 31°, 25°... those numbers are absolutely sick for March. I took last week off to enjoy March Break with the kids, and we were out playing catch every day. I wore shorts and sandals, and it looks like I'll be doing the same this week. In my lifetime, I can't recall a winter as mild as this one. It's ridiculous.
If I offered you 26°, 25°, 31° and 25° highs in May, you'd take it. Heck, these temps look good for June. The weather in Toronto is hot... damn hot.
I'm not complaining. I just came back from a nice walk and tried to remember a March that was even close to this one. I couldn't come up with one.
This concludes my obligatory Toronto weather entry on the warmest March 19th in recorded history.