By Brian Kalchik @RantsportsBrian on May 14, 2014
The Stanley Cup is without a doubt the ultimate trophy in professional sports. Year after year, hockey's best tie up the laces and strap on the skates with the hopes that they will be the ones hoisting the Cup at the end of the season. Although many of the game's greats have hoisted the Cup, some have not been able to call themselves champions. Here are the 15 greatest NHL players to never win the Stanley Cup.
Forward Paul Kariya finished his career with the St. Louis Blues, but he was known to most as one of the greatest Anaheim Ducks of all time. Kariya reached on Stanley cup in 2003 with Ducks, but they lost in seven games to the New Jersey Devils.
Goaltender Curtis Joseph is currently the goaltender with the most victories in the NHL without a Stanley Cup victory with 454. Known mostly as "Cujo", Joseph never reached a Stanley Cup Final with the St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and the Calgary Flames in 19 seasons.
For 19 seasons, Dale Hunter was one of the most notorious players in the NHL, racking up over 3,000 penalty minutes for the Quebec Nordiques, Washington Capitals and the Colorado Avalanche. Hunter's best chance to win a Cup came in 1998, but he and the Capitals were swept in the Stanley Cup Finals by the Detroit Red Wings.
One of the best American-born players, forward Keith Tkachuk scored over 500 goals and notched over 1,000 career points, but he never made the Stanley cup Finals. Tkachuk was mostly stuck on poor teams in Winnipeg, Phoenix and St. Louis. He reached five All-Star games.
Defenseman Phil Housley played in 1,495 games without winning a Stanley Cup, the most by any player in NHL history. Like Dale Hunter, Housley's only Stanley Cup appearance came in 1998 as the Capitals were swept by the Red Wings. Housley played for 21 seasons with nine different teams.
Also known as the "Russian Rocket", Pavel Bure had five 50-goal seasons and two 60-goal seasons, but he never won the Cup. Bure's best chance came in 1994 with the Vancouver Canucks, but Bure and the Canucks lost to the New York Rangers in seven games.
Before joining the Red Wings this season, forward Daniel Alfredsson was a star for the Ottawa Senators for 17 seasons and helped the Senators reach the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals. In Alfredsson's only Cup appearance to date, the Senators lost to the Anaheim Ducks in five games.
The owner of seven 40-plus goal seasons, Dino Ciccarelli scored 600 career goals and had more than 1,200 career points, but the only thing that eluded Ciccarelli was a Stanley Cup. Ciccarelli made the Stanley Cup Finals as both a Minnesota North Star and Detroit Red Wing, but he came up short both times.
Adam Oates recorded over 1,000 assists in his 19-year NHL career, but he could not capture a Cup. Oates reached two Cup Finals, one with Hunter and Housley in Washington and once with Kariya in Anaheim, but both ended in defeats.
Today, Alex Ovechkin is one of the NHL's top superstars, but team glory has eluded Ovechkin. Numerous playoff disappointments for Ovechkin and the Capitals have prohibited the superstar from getting past the second round of the NHL Playoffs in each of his first nine seasons.
In Dale Hawerchuk's 16-year career, the former center recorded over 1,400 points in over 1,100 games, but none of these resulted in a Stanley Cup victory. Hawerchuk's best chance came in his final NHL season with the Philadelphia Flyers, but the Flyers were swept in the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals by the Red Wings.
One of the greatest players in New York Islanders history, Pat LaFontaine just missed out on a Stanley Cup Trophy. LaFontaine joined the Islanders a year after they won the Cup, and in LaFontaine's rookie season, the Islanders would lose the Cup to the Edmonton Oilers and Wayne Gretzky. LaFontaine wouldn't get any closer than that the rest of his career.
An inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001, forward Mike Gartner was on a Stanley Cup team in 1994 with the New York Rangers only to be dealt away by coach Mike Keenan at the trade deadline. Gartner would never reach a Stanley Cup Final despite scoring over 700 goals.
One of the greatest players in Boston Bruins' history, Cam Neely scored just under 400 goals for both the Bruins and Vancouver Canucks but came up short twice in the Stanley Cup Finals. With the Bruins, Neely's teams lost both times to the Edmonton Oilers.
During his 18-year career, Marcel Dionne became one of the NHL's greatest offensive players of all time. Playing on mostly bad teams with the Los Angeles Kings, Dionne never advanced past the second round of the NHL Playoffs. Despite all of his accolades, Dionne is the greatest player to never win the Stanley Cup.
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