Ranking the 10 Best Active NHL Veterans Without a Stanley Cup

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IAugust 23, 2013

Ranking the 10 Best Active NHL Veterans Without a Stanley Cup

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    Winning the Stanley Cup is the ultimate goal for an NHL player, and not everyone is lucky enough to have their name inscribed before their career is over.

    Brandon Saad won his first Stanley Cup as a rookie last season, but greats like Daniel Alfredsson and Jarome Iginla have not had the privilege of adding Stanley Cup champion to their resume.

    There are a number of young talents, like Steven Stamkos and Claude Giroux, who should have a long career ahead of them, so this list will focus on players who are at least 27 or have seven NHL seasons under their belt.

    Here is one man's opinion on the 10 best active players still trying to capture a ring.

     

    Contract information courtesy of CapGeek.com.

Honorable Mentions

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    Zach Parise

    Parise has some impressive numbers to date, but he has only appeared in 550 games. He is a multiple-season veteran of the league, but he doesn't have as many games played as others on this list.

    Parise played well with the Minnesota Wild this past season and should have a few more opportunities to win a Stanley Cup before his career is over.

     

    Todd Bertuzzi

    Bertuzzi has been in the NHL for 17 seasons and been a pretty solid NHL player. He is a physical power forward who was a prolific scorer with the Vancouver Canucks and reinvented himself later in his career.

    Steve Moore incident aside, Bertuzzi has had a solid career.

     

    Ryan Miller

    Miller has been a standout netminder for the Buffalo Sabres and is currently in the final year of his contract. He wants to win a Stanley Cup and could become a free agent next summer.

    Miller has impressive numbers and is still one of the NHL's top netminders.

10. Shane Doan, 36 Years Old

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    The 2013-14 season will be Shane Doan's 16th as an NHL player, and he has spent the entirety of his career with the Phoenix Coyotes.

    The longtime Coyote captain has never played in a Stanley Cup Final, but he flirted with the possibility during the 2011-12 season.

    The Los Angeles Kings ultimately eliminated the Coyotes in the Western Conference Final, and Doan's 'Yotes failed to return to the playoffs in 2013.

    The Coyotes' captain has 815 points and over 1,200 career games amassed. His window to win a Stanley Cup is quickly closing.

    He has been a rugged power forward and secondary scorer during his entire career. It would have been interesting to see how Doan would have performed on teams with more talent.

9. Saku Koivu, 38 Years Old

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    Saku Koivu has been a solid NHL player for over 1,000 career games spanning 17 seasons. During that time, he has amassed 803 points and been a key member of the Montreal Canadiens and Anaheim Ducks.

    If not for Burkitt's lymphomaa form of cancerKoivu likely would have better career numbers. The Ducks should be a solid team in 2013-14, and maybe Koivu will finally have his chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup.

    Koivu is easy to root for, because he is a hard worker who has overcome a lot just to be an NHL player.

8. Patrick Marleau, 33 Years Old

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    Patrick Marleau has spent his entire career with the San Jose Sharks, but he hasn't been able to win the Stanley Cup. During his 16 years with the Sharks, Marleau has never made it to the big dance.

    At the end of the upcoming season, things could get interesting.

    The Sharks have invested their resources in the team's young core. Meanwhile, Marleau will be an UFA. The 33-year-old has a number of good years left, and his best chances of winning a Cup may come with another NHL franchise.

    Maybe it would make sense for Marleau to join a team where he could fly under the radar, but he still has some time to make up his mind.

7. Roberto Luongo, 34 Years Old

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    Roberto Luongo was a game away from becoming a Stanley Cup champion, but a collapse by the Vancouver Canucks deprived Bobby Lu of glory.

    Non-hockey fans even know about the Canucks' abysmal performance in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final because of the riots that ravaged downtown Vancouver.

    Nonetheless, the Canucks starter has been one of the most consistent regular-season netminders over the past few years and has a number of 40-win seasons on his resume. 

    For all the criticism he gets and the chatter surrounding the organization's goaltending situation, Luongo has played surprisingly well.

    The relationship between Luongo and the Canucks has been cautious and noncommittal lately, but this year he is going to be the starter whether general manager Mike Gillis likes it or not.

    Luongo has been an NHL goaltender for 14 years, and winning a Cup before he starts to break down is likely a top priority. 

6. Jarome Iginla, 36 Years Old

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    Over 15 seasons, Jarome Iginla was a loyal soldier for the Calgary Flames. At last year's trade deadline, he decided to join the Pittsburgh Penguins, because he felt they gave him an opportunity to win a Stanley Cup.

    He ultimately fell short and elected to sign with the team that defeated Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference Final, the Boston Bruins.

    The Bruins have a stacked roster for the upcoming season, and Iginla helps make them a bona fide contender to win the Stanley Cup.

    The Bruins' newest winger had a golden chance to win in 2004 when the Flames met the Tampa Bay Lightning in the SCF. Ten years later, he will have a chance to make up for a missed opportunity.

5. Henrik and Daniel Sedin, 32 Years Old

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    The Sedin twins are getting older, and despite years of dominance with the Vancouver Canucks, neither has won a Stanley Cup.

    The problem for both players has not been during the regular season, but during the playoffs.

    When you group their point totals, the Sedins have amassed 1,550 regular-season points and 141 postseason points. When you divide the totals against the amount of games played, the Sedins have a regular-season point-per-game average of 0.84 and a postseason average of 0.72.

    They produce in the playoffs, but less so than during the regular season. 

    The Canucks' window for success is closing, and with their contracts up at the end of the season, the Sedins could consider signing with a new team in order to win a Stanley Cup.

4. Henrik Lundqvist, 31 Years Old

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    Though Henrik Lundqvist has been one of the NHL's winningest netminders since his debut during the 2005-06 season, he is still trying to win his first Stanley Cup.

    King Henrik has been very good throughout the regular season and improved his postseason numbers over the past few years.

    He is currently regarded as the best goaltender in the world and hopes that he can be crowned a Stanley Cup champion this season with the New York Rangers. The netminder's prime is slowly fading, so he will only get so many chances to win it all.

3. Daniel Alfredsson, 40 Years Old

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    Daniel Alfredsson has had a legendary career to date that features multiple accomplishments. He was a stand-up guy for the Ottawa Senators over 17 seasons, but they couldn't agree to terms on a new contract this offseason.  

    Alfredsson has won Olympic gold, but he hasn't been lucky enough to win a Stanley Cup. While he got close in the 2007 SCF, the Anaheim Ducks defeated Alfredsson's Sens in five games.

    This offseason, Alfredsson decided to join the Detroit Red Wings, because he felt they offered him a better chance to win a championship. Alfie only has a few more years left, and a player like him deserves to win a Stanley Cup.

2. Joe Thornton, 34 Years Old

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    Jumbo Joe Thornton has had an amazing career to date. It is hard to imagine that, 16 years ago, the dynamic center was selected No. 1 overall in the NHL draft.

    Since that time, Thornton has compiled an impressive dossier.

    His resume includes 1,118 points, a 2006 Art Ross Trophy, a 2006 Hart Trophy, six all-star selections and an Olympic gold medal in 2010.

    All of these achievements make Thornton a worthy Hall of Fame candidate, but a Stanley Cup would enhance his worthiness.

    With a Cup on his resume, Thornton would be a no-brainer as a first-ballot selection, and his legacy as a great hockey player would forever be solidified. 

    Thornton has been criticized for his inability to lead the Sharks to playoff success, but in a contract year, he might have some extra motivation to get the job done.

     

1. Alex Ovechkin, 27 Years Old

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    Alex Ovechkin has had an elite career to date and been one of the NHL's most lethal snipers since his rookie campaign. He is entering his ninth season as an NHLer and will aim to improve upon his failure in last year's playoffs.

    The Capitals have reaped the benefits of Ovechkin's work during the regular season, but during the postseason, the team has continually crashed and burned.

    Unless the Capitals right the ship, Ovechkin could wait a while for his chance to win a Stanley Cup.