A Drought Too Long, Too Brutal and Too Unfair

Stanley CupIn my lifetime, which gets longer by the day, my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs have never played in a Stanley Cup final. How is that fair? Some have it worse. Those born during the summer of 1967 can make the same claim, and they're seven years older than me, about to celebrate their 39th birthday.

Here are the 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
  • Calgary Flames
  • New Jersey Devils
  • Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Washington Capitals
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Florida Panthers
  • New York Rangers
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Boston Bruins
  • New York Islanders
  • St. Louis Blues

Here are the active teams that haven't played in a Stanley Cup final since 1967.

  • Atlanta Thrashers
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Nashville Predators
  • Phoenix Coyotes
  • San Jose Sharks

Do you notice anything unique about the seven 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, you can look at the Coyotes formerly known as the Winnipeg Jets 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 am cursed to have been born in Toronto where a love of the Leafs comes as naturally as breathing. Home games are sold out whether we're first in the conference or last. The incentive to win is non-existent. How is it Richard Peddie can fire Rob Babcock, a man he hired less than a couple of years ago, because he was inexperienced. Didn't Peddie hire John Feguson, Jr. recently, a man much younger and less experienced than Babcock was?

I voted Liberal for four federal elections in a row, but even I went on the record as feeling it's time for a change. I didn't vote red this time. The same can be said for Pat Quinn. It's time for a change. Lets send him and Fergie packing and bring in an experienced and proven General Manager to get things back in order. I'd like to play in a Stanley Cup final before I die. It might be nice to win one, too.


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