NHL Trade Talk: 10 Players Who Will Never Win a Stanley Cup Without a Trade
There are a number of NHL players that have the talent to win a Stanley Cup but have yet to accomplish that task thus far in their NHL careers.
No matter how talented one player may be, hockey is still a team sport and a Stanley Cup Championship cannot be accomplished by just one player.
Many players' careers will be ending soon, and despite what they've accomplished throughout their tenure in the NHL, they have yet to achieve the ultimate prize.
Even young players are deserving of a Stanley Cup, but haven't had the opportunity to hoist the Cup, and they may never because of the support they have around them within the organization they're playing for.
These players may never win a Stanley Cup if they aren't traded from the organization that currently signs their checks.
Rick Nash is a damn good hockey player, and the captain "C" he wears on his jersey is just another thing exemplifying that.
It's going to be difficult for Nash to win a Stanley Cup playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Nash has been with the Blue Jackets all eight-plus years of his NHL career, and Columbus' 2008-09 playoff appearance is the only one during Nash's career with the Blue Jackets.
Rick Nash, a 27-year-old forward, could turn any average NHL team into a contender immediately upon arrival.
Out of the previous eight NHL seasons Nash has played in prior to the 2011-12 season, he played in at least 75 out of the 82 games in six of those seasons, and one season he played 74 games.
Nash will have to go join another team and possibly not have that "C" on his jersey, but if winning is what matters in Nash's case then he may have to sacrifice some things in order to achieve the ultimate goal of being a Stanley Cup champion.
Jarome Iginla has played all 15 years of his NHL career with the Calgary Flames, and despite playing in all 82 games in eight of those seasons he's been unable to lead his team to a Stanley Cup Championship.
The time is now for the Edmonton native to be traded from Calgary, otherwise Iginla may not have any other opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup before his career comes to an end.
Iginla may be a great hockey player but he's not getting any younger. At 34 years old, it's very impressive that he can still score 30 or 40 goals in a season, but sooner or later, he's not going to be able to do the things that he does on the ice.
Iginla only has a few more years left in the tank before he's just another hockey player on the ice despite all he's accomplished in his NHL career.
A Stanley Cup would cap off the Hall of Fame career Iginla has accomplished over the last 15 years.
Ilya Kovalchuk took the money and ran when the New Jersey Devils offered him a 15-year, $100 million contract prior to the 2010-11 NHL season.
If Kovalchuk's main priority is supporting his family then good for him, but he may have made the wrong move if he plans on winning a Stanley Cup Championship before his career comes to an end.
New Jersey isn't the same caliber team it was when it hoisted the Cup in '03. Marty Brodeur, one of the best goalies in NHL history, is not the same goalie at 39 years old, and the Devils' young star Zack Parise most likely won't be back with the team after the 2011-12 season.
Unless New Jersey figures out a way to rebuild its team sooner than later, Kovalchuk's only opportunity to win a Stanley Cup will be via trade to a championship-caliber team.
Sure, Kovalchuk's contract is 15 years, but he's already 28 years old. That's not old, but Ilya isn't getting any younger, and he's not going to be the player New Jersey should build its team around 10 years into his 15-year contract.
Kovalchuk's only postseason appearances came in '06-07 with the Atlanta Thrashers and in '09-10 with New Jersey. That won't not change if things don't change in the Devils organization.
Ryan Miller has won a silver medal for the US Olympic hockey team back in the 2010 Winter Olympics, but he's never had an opportunity to play in the Stanley Cup Finals, let alone win the best trophy in all of sports.
Miller, a 31-year-old goalie, is one of the best netminders in the NHL, having won at least 30 games in each of his last six seasons prior to 2011-12.
Now that the Buffalo Sabres have a solid backup behind Miller in Jhonas Enroth, Miller may have his ticket out of Buffalo, and in his case, hopefully to one of the NHL's Stanley Cup contenders.
Steven Stamkos is one of the NHL's best, young players, and he's had the opportunity to play alongside future Hall of Famers Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis the entirety of his short three-plus years in the NHL.
St. Louis and Lecavalier have definitely helped Stamkos be the player he is today, who's scored over 250 points in fewer than 300 career games, but St. Louis and Lecavalier's careers don't have nearly as much life left as Stamkos'.
You never know how much longer St. Louis and Lecavalier will be playing with Stamkos, whether their careers come to an end or if they sign with another organization for one last run.
Stamkos isn't going to get the necessary help to win a Stanley Cup Championship with the Tampa Bay Lightning, something that Stamkos is very deserving of over the next few years.
Stamkos' best move may have come this past summer prior to the 2011-12 season when he signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning—a contract that's very tradeable for someone as talented as Stamkos.
In the middle of the 2011-12 NHL season the Nashville Predators locked up Pekka Rinne, the 29-year-old netminder, for the next seven years. Rinne received $49 million in that deal, a nice chunk of change, but that money won't buy a Stanley Cup Championship.
Nashville relies on Rinne to win games, and when Rinne has a bad game, often Nashville has a bad game.
There needs to be some serious changes throughout the Predators roster, otherwise Rinne, if he finishes his career in Nashville, may never win the Stanley Cup.
There are plenty of teams around the NHL that would pay Rinne to do what he's done over the last three years for Nashville. Rinne has won 95 games over the last three seasons, not including what he's done in 2011.
Evgeni Nabokov has come close to winning the Stanley Cup in his 10-year NHL career, but he has yet to have the opportunity to hoist the Cup.
At 36 years old Nabokov isn't the same player he once was, and he realized that when he signed with the New York Islanders prior to the 2011-12 season.
The New York Islanders aren't the team that Nabokov will win a Stanley Cup Championship with, considering the lack of success and injuries New York has had to overcome in 2011-12.
Nabokov is going to have to find a way to be traded to one of the top teams in the NHL and accept a backup role, like he did with the Islanders, in order to win a Stanley Cup in the last few years of his career.
The 2011-12 NHL season marks Shane Doan's 16th season in the NHL, and he's played all of his 1,100-plus games with the Phoenix Coyotes.
At 35 years old, Doan is running out of time to win his first career Stanley Cup. He's not going to accomplish that with the Phoenix Coyotes, despite the early success Phoenix has had this season and back-to-back postseason appearances in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
Doan, who has scored 300-plus career goals in the NHL, can provide any contending team with production on the ice and the necessary leadership on and off the ice that can improve the team's chances of hoisting the Cup at season's end.
Shane Doan needs to be traded from Phoenix as soon as possible in order to win a Stanley Cup before his career closes.
Saku Koivu is a name that's been affiliated with the NHL for a long time—17 years to be exact.
Koivu is in his 17th year of his NHL career, and he has yet to win a Stanley Cup Championship, despite playing for two organization throughout that time that have both won the Stanley Cup one time since 1990.
The 37-year-old center is approaching the last leg of his NHL career, and he's in no position to win a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks before his career ends.
Anaheim has a number of young stars, but changes are going to be made throughout the organization prior to the NHL's trade deadline that could affect the minimal success Anaheim has achieved during the 2011-12 season.
If Koivu wants to win a Stanley Cup before he retires he can only hope that he's one of the players shipped out prior to the trade deadline.
Shea Weber is in his 7th NHL season, and he has played every game of his NHL career with the Nashville Predators. Four times has Weber played no fewer than 78 out of the 82 games on the regular-season schedule.
Despite Weber's individual accomplishments as Nashville's team captain, being one of the elite defensemen in the NHL and playing in the 2010 Winter Olympics, Weber is still missing the one thing every hockey player strives for—a Stanley Cup Championship.
That championship will not happen while Weber is on the Nashville Predators roster.
Any team around the NHL, barring available salary cap space, can use Weber in a way that would improve the team's chances of winning a Stanley Cup.
Nashville is no different, but Nashville will not win a Stanley Cup anytime soon.