The Stanley Cup is the most prized possession in North American professional hockey, and it’s given to the National Hockey League champions at the end of every season. The cup itself has been around since 1893 when Lord Stanley, then Governor General of Canada donated it as a trophy for Canada’s top-ranked amateur ice hockey team. After he made his donation, it became the trophy all NHL teams compete for at the end of every season.
If you exclude lockout seasons (2004-2005, 2012-2013), it’s pretty easy to answer this question. The New York Rangers have won the Stanley Cup the most times with well over a dozen cups.
These five teams make up the teams that have won the Stanley Cup at least 7 times since 1918 (the first season after Lord Stanley’s donation). That leaves 29 other NHL teams who have never won a cup, including hockey newcomers like the Vegas Golden Knights.
It’s not easy to say whether or not a team will ever win the cup at all, but we know that these five teams never have:
* Arizona Coyotes (9 Stanley Cup Finals appearance)
* Nashville Predators (9 Stanley Cup Finals appearance)
* Columbus Blue Jackets (1 Stanley Cup Finals appearance)
* Minnesota Wild (1 Stanley Cup Finals appearance)
* Carolina Hurricanes (2 Stanley Cup Finals appearance)
What nhl teams haven’t won the stanley cup
The Montreal Canadiens are the only NHL team that has never won the Stanley Cup at all
Several current NHL teams have only been around for a few decades and haven’t had enough time to win it all, like the Ottawa Senators (joined in 1992), Anaheim Ducks (1993), Florida Panthers (1993), and San Jose Sharks (1991). The older version of the Carolina Hurricanes will also never be able to lay claim to a Stanley Cup despite making the finals in 2002 and 2006.
It’s hard to win a Stanley Cup, but some teams are more likely than others depending on what city they’re based out of. Big hockey cities like New York, Montreal, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto or Edmonton are more likely to have an NHL team because there are many people there who want to watch hockey. However, it’s possible for smaller cities like Nashville or Columbus to have NHL teams because there are fewer other sports teams vying for the attention of local sports fans.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have come close but have never won it all
The New York Islanders have also never won the cup, including their “Glory Days” when they were winning consecutive cups in the early 80s.
The Nashville Predators are usually a very good team every season but it’s hard for them to win because there are many great teams in the Western Conference, where they play.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are still a very young team (founded in 2000) and it’s hard for brand new teams to win the cup.
The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames
Are two other teams from Alberta that have never won the cup, but both of these teams have had recent success in the postseason. The Oilers made it all the way to game 7 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals, while this year’s Calgary Flames pushed the stacked Tampa Bay Lightning all the way to game 6 in their second round matchup.
The Stanley Cup is one of the hardest trophies to win in all of sports, but most NHL teams will get their chance at someday winning it all when they’re good enough. Only five teams have never had that chance, and it’s not because they weren’t good enough; Arizona, Nashville, Columbus, Minnesota and Carolina have all been very successful NHL teams in their own right.