In the defense of the Canucks, the team has strung together successful seasons in recent years that have put them in prime positions entering the playoffs. From 2003-04 until 2012-13, the Canucks finished first in their division in seven out of nine years including five straight seasons from 2008-09 until 2012-13. Multiple 100-plus point seasons and Presidents’ Trophy wins weren’t enough, however, as the Canucks have failed to win the championship thus far.
With a young team that looks ready to compete for playoff position for the foreseeable future, however, the Canucks could turn things around after missing the postseason in each of the last four seasons and five of their last six seasons.
After a Cinderella story type year, the NHL’s newest franchise had the most successful first year in the history of the NHL and potentially all of professional sports and came just a few wins away from winning the Stanley Cup.
The team that Vegas assembled was met with criticism early on following their expansion draft but it didn’t take long to realize that this team was a legitimate threat in the Western Conference.
After some changes came to the team over the next season, including some major additions to the squad on offense, the Golden Knights could come off of this list sooner than anyone may have ever anticipated despite losing in the first round in their second postseason attempt. That attempt also saw the franchise’s first taste of controversy.
The Golden Knights remain one of the NHL’s best teams and their goal of winning their first Stanley Cup still feels well within reach for this current group of players.
Between the Atlanta Thrashers and the current Winnipeg Jets franchise, there hasn’t been a lot of meaningful hockey played. For the Thrashers who debuted in the 1999-2000 season, failed to make the playoffs in each of its first six seasons. In fact, the team only qualified once for the postseason, resulting in a 4-0 loss to the New York Rangers, while failing to qualify in the other 10 seasons.
Upon moving to Winnipeg and getting a fresh start, things didn’t go much better at first. The Jets have been in the NHL for eight seasons and have only qualified for the postseason three times.
The first instance saw them play in a 4-0 series loss to the Anaheim Ducks in the first round. The second time around, however, the Jets looked poised to run the gauntlet and make it to the Stanley Cup Final. They fell just short of their ultimate goal, losing to the Golden Knights in the conference finals. In their third trip, they’d fall short in the first round to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Blues.
Honorable Mention: Toronto Maple Leafs – Zero Stanley Cups since 1967, though they’re far from the only team with a lengthy drought.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.
The Senators have played in the conference finals three times in franchise history, including the 2006-07 season when the team advanced to the Stanley Cup Final before eventually losing to the Anaheim Ducks. Both teams fell short of their ultimate goals in 2017 when the Ducks lost to the Nashville Predators and the Senators lost to the Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference finals.
With three Stanley Cup Final appearances, the Canucks have failed to hoist their first Stanley Cup. A sweep to the New York Islanders in 1981-82 followed by consecutive game-seven series’ losses to the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins in 1993-94 and 2010-11 respectively have left an entire city longing for more.