NHL's Least Remembered Stanley Cup Champions of Last 25 Years
This year, the Los Angeles Kings preformed a feat that will not be repeated for years to come. They entered the playoffs as the eighth seed in the West and became the Stanley Cup Champions.
It is a postseason run that will not soon be forgotten.
En route to hoisting the holy grail of hockey, the Kings defeated the top three seeds before advancing to the cup finals.
While the Kings made history this postseason, and had a memorable run that will be talked about for years to come, there have been teams whose cup victory has all but been forgotten.
In the last 25 years, there have been a few teams that may not be well remembered for winning the Stanley Cup, but for one reason or another they will be remembered even if it’s an afterthought for most NHL fans.
One such team is the 1999 Dallas Stars.
Buffalo fans may not ever forget the no-goal situation that ended their cup run in the third overtime, when Brett Hull scored a controversial goal. For other fans of the NHL, triple overtime is always exciting. However in the case of Dallas and Buffalo, it was an event to forget.
Another team that does not have a memorable cup run is the Carolina Hurricanes of 2006.
The cup victory would be the second championship win, as the first one came in the WHA in its first season of play.
More attention was paid to the Edmonton Oilers who had not been to the finals since they won the cup in 1990. What was more impressive was that the Oilers had entered the postseason as the eighth seed in the West.
This made Edmonton the first eighth seed team to make the finals since conference-based format was introduced in 1994. When many fans think back to the 2006 finals, it is the Oilers that are thought of, overshadowing the Hurricanes' first cup victory.
2004 brought us another nearly forgettable victor of the Stanley Cup, when the Tampa Bay Lightning won.
Like Dallas and Carolina there are some memorable instances that trivia buffs will remember. Tampa’s victory marked the furthest south that the Stanley Cup had ever been raised. It was also the Lightning’s first appearance in the finals, and of course victory.
As with Carolina, for some fans north of the border, the story they remember is the opponent.
Calgary’s appearance in the finals marked the first time in 10 years that a Canadian team had a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
While for US based fans, this fact means little or nothing. Tampa would not see postseason success like they did in 2004 until 2011, when they made the Eastern Finals losing to Boston.
The least memorable Stanley Cup Champion in the last 25 years has to be awarded to the 1989 Calgary Flames.
The finals that year would mark the last time that two Canadian teams played for the Stanley Cup. It was also the last time that the first-seeded teams from each conference would face one another for the Cup.
These two teams had played in the finals in 1986, only to see Montreal win the series in five games.
It took six for Calgary to raise its first cup in franchise history. It also made the Flames the first relocated team to win the Stanley Cup.
The Flames victory was preceded by the last of the dynasties, as Montreal had won from 1976-79, the Islanders won from 1980-83 and the Oilers had won four cups in five years. Edmonton would make it five victories in seven years in 1990, followed by the Pittsburgh Penguins' back-to-back wins in 1991-92.
Due to all of the repeat victors, the Flames' victory has been largely forgotten outside of Alberta.
Even though the series was a hard-fought one that never held more than a two-goal difference, it is a series that has faded from memory.
It may have been a different story if Edmonton had not won the following year, or Pittsburgh not won back-to-back, but those victories have overshadowed the Flames' first cup win.
That is why they are the least memorable team to win the Stanley Cup in the last 25 years.
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