Each year, as the Stanley Cup is about to be won, one of the more interesting stories follows that player who has yet to win. Who'll ever forget the Colorado Avalanche's crusade to win one for Ray Bourque in 2001. Three years later, it was Dave Andreychuk's turn.
There are 30 players who have played over 600 combined regular season and playoff games still active in the 2006-07 post season, without winning the Stanley Cup. These players cover 9 of the remaining 11 teams alive as of April 20th.
The players are ranked by total games played and their regular season numbers and playoff numbers are separated by a slash. The asterisks denotes the number of times a player has reached the final without winning the Cup. As players are eliminated from contention this season, they will be marked with an X.
Players Who've Played The Most Career Games Without Winning The Cup
1440 Trevor Linden* VAN 1323 / 117
1384 Teppo Numminen BUF 1314 / 70
1271 Tony Amonte CAL 1174 / 97
1161 Stu Barnes** DAL 1057 / 105
1121 Teemu Selanne ANA 1041 / 70
1096 Bryan Smolinski VAN 992 / 104
1052 Roman Hamrlik CAL 999 / 53
991 Markus Naslund VAN 953 / 38
979 Martin Straka NYR 889 / 90
982 Chris Pronger* ANA 868 / 114
950 Brad May ANA 882 / 68
927 Rob Neidermayer* ANA 854 / 73
873 Mattias Norstrom DAL 837 / 36
872 Robert Lang DET 799 / 73
867 Daniel Alfredsson OTT 783 / 84
846 Michael Nylander NYR 808 / 38
836 Mike Grier SJ 774 / 62
833 Wade Redden OTT 758 / 75
828 Dean McAmmond OTT 804 / 24
821 Jarome Iginla* CAL 778 / 39
811 Eric Lindros* DAL 760 / 51
783 Patrick Marleau SJ 717 / 66
751 Todd Bertuzzi DET 725 / 26
722 Joe Thornton SJ 672 / 50
720 Philippe Boucher DAL 669 / 51
716 Kyle McLaren SJ 658 / 58
713 Craig Rivet SJ 670 / 43
690 Chris Phillips SJ 618 / 72
681 Brendan Morrison VAN 635 / 46
605 Danny Markov DET 538 / 67
Last season, Carolina goaltender Cam Ward won the Stanley Cup without having much regular season experience. He appeared in but 28 regular season games with the Hurricanes before making 23 playoff appearances. Ward's feat has only been bested by Ken Dryden, who managed a mere 6 games in 1971 before bagging both the Cup and the Conn Smythe trophy.
While goaltenders experience is often the key to a teams wictory, exceptions to the rule do occur as in the cases of Ward, Dryden, and Patrick Roy. Last season in 2005-06, the majority of playoff bound teams found themselves with inexperienced, even rookie goaltenders. This season, the goaltending crop are a little more experienced. Still, almost half the remaining stoppers have less than three full years under their belt.
I've omitted the names of goalies who have won the Cup, and placed an asterisk next to the two who have reached the Stanley Cup final.
418 Roberto Luongo VAN 413 / 5
376 Evgeni Nabokov SJ 353 / 23
372 J.S. Giguere* ANA 343 / 29
320 Marty Turco DAL 310 / 10
241 Mikko Kupprusoff* CAL 204 / 37
142 Ryan Miller BUF 119 / 23
118 Ray Emery OTT 103 / 15
130 Henrik Lundqvist NYR 123 / 7
53 Johan Holmqvist TB 48 / 5
Current Active Playoff Participants With A Stanley Cup Ring
There are currently 47 players remaining in this season playoffs that have won a Stanley Cup.
Of those players on the 11 teams left, 14 players are no longer with the organization that they won the Cup with. Three players have returned to team that they won with years earlier, namely Jim Dowd with New Jersey, and goalies Hasek and Osgood with the Red Wings.
Almost half of the listed players, 23, have won multiple Cups, with 2 Devils (Brodeur and Brylin) and 4 Red Wings (Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Draper, and Maltby) having won 3 Cups.
Brendan Shanahan of the Rangers, has won 3 Cups with Detroit, while Scott Niedermayer of the Ducks has hoisted it as many times with the Devils.
Six players among the group have won the Cup with two different teams. Most recently, while with Tampa Bay, Brad Lukowich (NJ) and Darryl Sydor (DAL) repeated the feat they won together with Dallas in 1999.
From Tampa's winning year in 2004, Tim Taylor (Detroit 1997), and Nolan Pratt (Colorado 2001) were also previous winners.
Chris Chelios went 16 seasons between Cups in Detroit in 2002, and his first, seemingly eons ago, with Montreal in 1986.
Dallas' Sergei Zubov, a winner with the Stars in 1994, was on the Rangers team that won in 1994.
Players who have gone the longest, since winning their first Cups are Mathieu Schneider, who has been waiting 14 years since winning his first in Montreal in 1993, and Jaromir Jagr, who's gone 15 seasons since winning back to back Cups with Pittsburgh in 1991 and 1992.
Matt Cullen NYR
Martin Gerber OTT
2003-04 Tampa Bay
Martin St. Louis
Tim Taylor (2)
Nolan Pratt (2)
Brad Lukowich (2) NJ
Darryl Sydor (2) DAL
2002-03 New Jersey
Martin Brodeur (3)
Patrick Elias (2)
Sergei Brylin (3)
Jamie Langenbrunner (2)
Jay Pandolfo (2)
John Madden (2)
Brian Rafalski (2)
Scott Gomez (2)
Colin White (2)
Scott Neidermayer (3) ANA
Jeff Friesen CAL
Chris Chelios (2)
Kris Draper (3)
Dominik Hasek DET
Tomas Holmstrom (3)
Nicklas Lidstrom (3)
Kirk Maltby (3)
Brendan Shanahan (3) NYR
Chris Drury BUF
Jon Klemm DAL
Alex Tanguay CAL
Sergei Zubov (2)
Richard Matvichuk NJ
Chris Osgood (2) DET
1995-96 New Jersey
Jim Dowd NJ
Bill Guerin SJ
Matthieu Schneider DET
Jaromir Jagr (2) NYR
Chris Chelios DET