Longest Stanley Cup Droughts
Los Angeles Kings
An expansion franchise that started play during the 1967-68 season, the Kings ended their drought with a 6-1 victory over the Devils in Game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final. After taking a 3-0 series lead, the team dropped its next two, but won convincingly in the last game in front of their home crowd. Here's a look at the league's other longest active Cup droughts.
Toronto Maple Leafs
With the Blackhawks ending their 49-year wait for the Stanley Cup in 2010, the NHL's longest-active drought belongs to the Leafs, who won their last Cup in 1967 by beating Montreal in six games. They've been to the semifinal round (or conference finals) five times since: 1978, '93, '94, '99 and 2002.
St. Louis Blues
Another 1967-68 expansion franchise along with the Kings, the Blues reached the Stanley Cup Final in each of their first three years, largely because league rules mandated that the six new teams be placed in the West Division, which sent its champion against the best of the Original Six teams that made up the East. Good luck. (The Blues were swept each time.) Since then, the closest they've come is falling one round short of the final in 1972, '86, and 2001.
The Canucks joined the NHL for 1970-71, and have sent three teams to the Stanley Cup Final. The 1981-82 squad was waxed by the dynastic Islanders in four games. The 1993-94 edition gave the Rangers a valiant seven-game battle before succumbing. The 2010-11 Canucks won the Presidents' Trophy for the league's best overall record and had a 3-2 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final against the Bruins, but the team collapsed with a 5-2 loss in Game 6 and a 4-0 defeat at home in Game 7.
Added to the NHL for 1970-71, the Sabres have become accomplished heartbreakers, tantalizing their devoted fans with scrappy and often talented teams. They lost the 1975 Stanley Cup Final to defending champion Philadelphia in six games, and the '99 final to Dallas, thanks to Brett Hull's controversial "foot in the crease" goal in Game 6 (pictured). The Sabres have also fallen one round shy in 1980, '98, 2006 and 2007.
Coming into the league in a blaze of ineptitude (8-67-5) in 1974-75, the Capitals have since contested for the Cup once: in 1998, when they were swept aside by Steve Yzeman's Red Wings.
The Flyers' thirst for a Cup dates back to their legendary Broadstreet Bullies, who won it 1974 and '75. They reached the '76 final, but were swept by a Canadiens team that began a run of four straight Cups. Dynasties seem to be a regular obstacle for Philly. Later editions of the Flyers battled for the old mug in 1980 (losing to the budding dynasty Islanders in six), 1985 (the dynastic Oilers in five), 1987 (Oilers in seven) and 1997 (Detroit in four). In 2010, they got into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season via a shootout, pulled off a miracle 0-3 comeback vs. Boston in the first round, and reached the final only to fall in six games to a talented, deep Blackhawks team that ended Chicago's 49-year drought.
Phoenix Coyotes (Winnipeg Jets)
The Jets came into the NHL from the WHA in 1979 and never advanced beyond the second round in 11 playoff appearances. Since moving to Phoenix in 1996, the rechristened Coyotes achieved their first postseason win in 2012, a six-game first round ouster of Chicago. They followed it up with a surprise run to the Western Conference Final, where they fell to the Kings in five games.
New York Islanders
This once-model franchise reached five successive Cup finals, winning the first four (1980-83) and a record 19 consecutive playoff series, but there has been only one trip as far as the conference finals (1993) since, plus a bunch of DNQ's and first-round exits.