The NHL lockout happened in the 2004-2005 season. Following that, rule changes occurred and a salary cap imposed that has made the game still fun to watch, as almost every team since then has had a moderately skilled roster.
There are basement teams in every league, however, and we'll take a look at some of the worst since that lockout.
Ever since the lockout, the Jackets have gone 175-187-48. That's the lowest amount of points in the NHL West accumulated since the 2005-2006 season.
The Jackets have also been known for low attendance records since their franchise began in 2000.
Columbus has made the playoffs only once in their 10-year history, and that came in 2009 when they faced the Red Wings, only to be swept pretty easily.
The Thrashers' record since 2005 has been 188-176-46. Although barely above .500, they have only made the playoffs once.
Just like the Blue Jackets, though, they got swept in their first and only playoff appearance by the New York Rangers in 2007.
The Thrashers have never won their Southeast Division or even been considered a contender. That is also a reason for their poor attendance record in Atlanta. The Thrashers franchise is in trouble, and if they don't make the playoffs this year, they could be in real trouble.
Florida has gone 183-167-60 since 2005. The Panthers have not made the playoffs since the lockout or even since 1999-2000 season for that matter.
If they do not make it this year, that will be 11 straight years without a postseason appearance, which is fairly hard to do.
The Panthers have seemed like they have been on the rise the last couple of years, but have yet to prove it, as they regularly miss out on the playoffs.
Who knows, maybe we will see them make a push at it this year.
The Islanders' record since coming back has been 171-192-47. That is the worst record in the league since it was brought back.
Their fanbase has also dropped drastically over the last few seasons as the team has failed to meet their expectations.
Since the lockout, they have made the playoffs only once in 2007, but were ousted by the Sabres in the first round.
The Islanders have not made much noise in the league since that year—at least not that I've seen.
The Maple Leafs have gone 181-172-57 since the lockout. As you probably know, the fans, the city and they players have almost had enough of it.
The Leafs have yet to make the postseason since the lockout, and I would bet this year they won't make it either.
The Maple Leafs franchise has been anything but good since the salary cap was instituted. They have given away draft picks for busts, good players for mediocre ones and can't seem to get it going.
Toronto hasn't been to or won a Stanley Cup Finals since 1967, and don't expect them to win one anytime in the near future.