10 Teams with the Worst Luck in NHL History

Antonio BonkalskiContributor IIINovember 1, 2011

10 Teams with the Worst Luck in NHL History

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    The NHL has a vivid history filled with many great teams and many poor teams.

    Some teams always seem to be dealt all the right cards, so to speak, while others just cannot seem to get out of their slumps.

    It seems as though some teams cannot find the right core of players and personnel and that is why they are dubbed the NHL's unluckiest.

    Here are the 10 teams with the worst luck in the NHL.

Florida Panthers

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    The Florida Panthers have not made the postseason for an NHL-most 10 seasons. 

    The next worst are the Maple Leafs with six, and because of a four-season difference between second worst and the Panthers, Florida is unlucky.

    In fact, the last time the Panthers won a series in the playoffs was the 1995-96 season, where they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals but faltered to win a game and were swept.

    It seems as though the Panthers could never recover from that devastating loss and have not seen a playoff victory since, that's 14 seasons for those of you who are counting.

    The Panthers remain unlucky and will continue to be that way at least until they can play in the postseason instead of watch it from their couches.

Phoenix Coyotes

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    The Panthers may have the NHL's longest postseason drought, but the Coyotes have something even worse.

    The Coyotes seem to make the playoffs on occasion and even last season, but have not won a single playoff series since 1987-87. In fact, they have not won since they were named the Winnipeg Jets. 

    This 23-season drought, nine as the Jets and 14 as the Coyotes, is tops in the NHL. 

    Still not convinced?

    The Coyotes have been in 12 playoff appearances since they have last won a series, that's 12 chances to win one series, that my friends is just plain old unlucky.

Winnipeg Jets

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    Speaking of the Jets, look who's back in town.

    The Winnipeg Jets, formally the Atlanta Thrashers, are one of the most unlucky teams in NHL history.

    Not only has the team not won the Stanley Cup, they have not even had a postseason victory.

    With only one appearance in the playoffs since the franchise's inception into the league in 2000-01, they cannot seem to find a way to win at all.

    Maybe the change of scenery will help the team's luck, but then again, maybe it won't.

    The Jets are dead last in their division and aren't showing any signs that they can move up. 

    If being a bad team isn't unlucky enough, take a look at their division. Playing their games in the Southeast division and now centered in Canada, the Jets are not only far away from the postseason, but also from their divisional opponents.

    Those long trips down to Florida will allow them plenty of time to reflect on just how unlucky they are.

Edmonton Oilers

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    The Edmonton Oilers are unlucky for multiple reasons.

    First off, they have not sniffed the playoffs for five seasons in a row, that's third worst in the NHL.

    Secondly, and more importantly, they are unlucky because of "the trade."

    What was "The Trade" you ask? 

    Well it might have been the worst transaction between two teams ever made.

    The Oilers won the Stanley Cup in 1988, and merely two hours after their victory, they traded away the greatest name in all of hockey: Wayne Gretzky. 

    Canadians were so appalled by this trade that they even tried to get the government to step in and ban it. That is how important Gretzky was.

    Because of their terrible move trading away Gretzky, the Oilers will be etched in NHL history as one of the most unlucky teams.

    Oh, and for Gretzky, he was traded to the Kings where he defeated his old Oiler team in the Smythe Division semifinals and also beat out Mario Lemieux for the Hart Trophy in 1990.

    Look at that Oilers, how much more unlucky can one team be?

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    The Toronto Maple Leafs are perennial losers.

    They have not reached the playoffs for six seasons, second-longest streak in the NHL, haven't won a playoff series in six seasons and haven't been to a Stanley Cup since the 1966-67 season.

    The history of the Maple Leafs is filled with Stanley Cups, 13 to be exact, but not even appearing in the Stanley Cup for 43 seasons is just unlucky.

    The Maple Leafs have not seen the postseason since 2003-04, but are showing some life this year as they are first in the Northeast division.

    However, odds are against them as they have a six-season drought hanging over their heads.

Vancouver Canucks

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    Last year the Canucks were looking to end their unlucky streak and finally come home with a Stanley Cup.

    Unfortunately, as we all know, they could not pull it out and ended up being one win short of taking the Cup home.

    The Canucks are unlucky because they have come one win short of winning the Stanley Cup two times since their inception into the league, and with the level of talent they have it is beyond bizarre why they have not won one.

    The Canucks have zero, count it, zero Stanley Cup wins, and after coming oh-so-close that many times in their franchise history it is safe to say that they are one of the NHL's most unlucky teams.

Buffalo Sabres

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    The Sabres have never won a Stanley Cup in their franchise's history, coming into the league in 1970-71.

    The 40-season drought for the Sabres is tied for fourth worst in the NHL. The Sabres have come close to winning in 1974-75 and again in 1998-99, both times needing two wins to bring home the cup, but could not get over the hump and for this they keep their streak of 40 seasons going.

    Add that with an 11-season postseason drought and you have one very unlucky team. 

    The Sabres have talent, especially with goalie Ryan Miller, but can they reverse their luck and finally take home a Stanley Cup? 

    Guess we will have to wait and see.

St. Louis Blues

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    St. Louis is exactly what their name says: the blues.

    They have been blue with sadness since 1969-70, which was their last appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

    They have not won the Stanley Cup since entering the league and while they started off successful in their early history, they always seem to be in a rebuilding stage.

    They have zero Stanley Cups, and even worse, they have zero conference championships.

    The Blues have not had great luck when it comes to winning, but with a solid attendance rating, it looks like they can maybe turn their luck around if they can just make it into the playoffs and win a series, which they haven't for eight seasons.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    The Blue Jackets are a fairly new team in the league, coming in in 2000-01, but have been unlucky since their inception.

    Since coming into the league, not only has the team not been to a Stanley Cup Final, but they have never even won a series in the postseason.

    The Blue Jackets have only been to the postseason once in 2008-09, where they were the seventh seed and swept by the fourth-seeded Red Wings.

    Not having one playoff victory in your franchise's history is very unlucky no matter how young your franchise may be.

    Until the Blue Jackets can win a mere game in the postseason, they will remain among the NHL's most unlucky.

New York Islanders

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    The New York Islanders have not been in the postseason since their 2006-08 campaign, where they failed to even win one series.

    The Islanders are currently riding the NHL's second-worst 17-season postseason series win drought. They have appeared five times in the playoffs during this 17-season span and have not once made it past the first round of the playoffs.

    If you took away the four consecutive seasons that the Islanders won it all, they would be the worst team in NHL history.

    They have zero Presidents' Trophies and have not won a division title since 1989-90.

    They are also unlucky because of their dealings with goalie Rick DiPietro.

    The Islanders made an unlucky move by signing DiPietro to a 15-year, $67.5 million contract that he has done less than earn for himself.

    The second-longest contract length in North American sports, according to ESPN, is one of the worst deals made in the history of the NHL.

    Besides the contract, the Islanders also call the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum their home.

    Both their team and their arena need to be rebuilt, but until then they are arguably the team with the worst luck in the NHL.