NHL History: The 10 Worst Teams of All Time

Mike Shannon@@DLman91Featured ColumnistAugust 2, 2011

NHL History: The 10 Worst Teams of All Time

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    In the long, storied history of the NHL, there have been many great franchises who have emerged from the pack, winning Stanley Cups seemingly at will and hosting the best players that ever took the ice.

    However, much like the weird cousin no one invites to family functions, many of these teams have had moments that they just want to forget about.  Maybe it was the coach or players, or maybe it was just plain bad luck that caused a team to go down the drain.

    As much fun as it is to look back on great teams, it's just as much fun to take a look at the bottom-dwellers.  With that in mind, I present to you the worst teams to ever take the ice in the National Hockey League.

10: 1993–94 Ottawa Senators

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    Record:  14–61–9

    The Ottawa Senators tied the Quebec Nordiques 5-5 in their opening game, and it was all downhill from there. 

    The Senators finished with 37 points, a full 64 points behind the division-winning Pittsburgh Penguins, and they finished last in every single major offensive category (outside of number of fans leaving during the second period).

    But fear not, the future looked bright to the hapless Senators because they had future stars Alexei Yashin and Alexandre Daigle.

    ...Wait, what?

9: 1989–90 Quebec Nordiques

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    Record:  12-61-7

    The 1989-90 Nordiques season got off to a good start with the franchise selecting Mats Sundin with the first overall pick.  Not only that, but they also signed the recently unretired Guy Lafleur from the New York Rangers to build some fan interest.

    Unfortunately for them, they actually had to play some games after that.  While Joe Sakic managed to top 100 points for the club, the problems were many and the solutions were few.  For example, goaltender Ron Tugnutt led the team in wins with five...five!

    Quebec continued limping along and certainly closed the season with style: It managed to win only one out of its last 17 games.

8: 1972–73 New York Islanders

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    Record:  12–60–2

    All you need to know about the Islanders is that they were outscored 347-170, earning them 30 points on the year, which was one-quarter of what the Montreal Canadiens finished with that year.

    In addition to winning only 12 games on the year, the franchise also had to pay a $4 million territorial fee to the New York Rangers, because the Rangers are a pain in the ass.

    Fear not though, Islanders fans, because the next year the Isles would hire Al Arbour and double their point total. They also won four straight Stanley Cups between 1979-1983.

7: 1943–44 New York Rangers

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    Record:  6–39–5

    Yeah, it's a little hard to bash any team that played during World War II considering the situation but come on, six wins?

    The 1943-44 squad finished with the worst point total in New York Rangers history and finished dead last in the league.  Their starting goaltender, Ken McAuley, managed to muster a 6.24 goals against average, but even that Herculean effort wasn't enough to help the hapless Rangers.

6: 1980-81 Winnipeg Jets

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    Record:  9–57–14

    The Jets had just won the final two WHA championships in 1978 and 1979, but the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

    Earning the nickname "Lose-ipeg," the Jets set a modern sports record by going 30 games without a win and finished 75 points behind the division-winning St. Louis Blues.

5: 1975-1976 Kansas City Scouts

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    Record:  12-56-12

    The future New Jersey Devils were nicknamed the Scouts after a statue that overlooked the city of Kansas City, and that's where the goodwill with the town ended in 1975. 

    From December 30 to February 4, the Scouts failed to win a single game, coming up short 16 straight times.  After ending that streak with a victory over the Capitals, the Scouts went winless in their last 27 games

    That's an absolutely mind-blogging 1-35-8 in their last 44 games.  That's called being stunningly and embarrassingly terrible at the game of hockey.

4: 1919–20 Quebec Bulldogs

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    Record:  4-20-0

    The 1919-20 season was the first and last in the NHL for the Quebec Bulldogs before they moved to Hamilton, ON the next year.  Needless to say, the Bulldogs did not leave many fond memories behind when they left.

    Back in those days, there were two halves to the season and Bulldogs managed to post the same record each half:  2-10-0.  They also set a sports record for futility:  Despite having Joe Malone, the NHL's scoring leader, they managed to lose to the Montreal Canadiens 16-3.

3: 1992-93 Ottawa Senators

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    Record:  10–70–4

    Oh no, not these guys again.  The 1992-93 season did not start well for the expansion Senators as they attempted to make three ineligible picks during their expansion draft.  After the entry draft, when the Sens selected Alexei Yashin, the prized draft pick hated the situation in Ottawa so much that he decided to play in Russia instead.

    And then, the games started.  Ottawa lost 38 road games in a row before finally winning one, and it was also their final road win.  Oh, and don't think there were ties on the road. No sir, those two points were the only ones that the Senators scored on the road the entire season.

    Defenseman Norm Maciver led the team in scoring, but also managed to log a minus-46 on the season, a very nice symbol for the season.

2: 1992–93 San Jose Sharks

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    Record:  11–71–2

    The San Jose Sharks came into being during the 1991-92 season, but it was the following year that every one of their fans would like to forget.

    The Sharks set the NHL record by losing 71 games that year, including 17 in a row at one point, and they allowed the most goals of any team in the league. 

    Arturs Irbe was the San Jose's "leading goaltender," posting a record of 7-26 and a GAA of 4.11.

1: 1974–75 Washington Capitals

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    Record:  8–67–5

    Usually at this point, Washington fanboys would go running to the comments section and complain about me being a homer or whatever, but they really have no argument here:  The 1974-75 Capitals are the worst team to ever skate on the ice.

    Their .131 winning percentage is the worst in league history and they finished with half the points as their fellow expansion brothers, the Kansas City Scouts.  The Caps managed to lose 39 out of their 40 road games and lost 17 in a row at one point.

    However, the dreadfulness was not limited to team records, not by a long shot.  Goaltender Michel Belhumeur went 0-24 and along with fellow netminder Ron Low, they allowed a combined 446 goals (also an NHL record).

    The team was so bad that they lost four games by 10 or more goals, and coach Jim Anderson had to resign after being diagnosed with stomach ulcers caused by stress.

    At least Caps fans can take solace in their Stanley Cups, which they won in...oh wait, never mind.