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It's August 22, 2006 - my 14th wedding anniversary - and I'm thinking, "What better time to talk about the Stanley Cup".

Hey, it's what this blog pertains to be about. The focal point of "Eyes On The Prize" is the pursuit of the Cup, and what it takes to win it.

Why you ask? Why is it, that it's all about Lord Stanley's mug? Why is it all that only truly matters?

My simple answer to that is, that it is one of the most beautiful things in life I've seen. The Cup is a sight I will never get over. After my wife, on this day 14 years ago (and everyday since), and the two gorgeous girls she's given me, that 33 lb trophy shines a beauty few things in life can compare to.

The Stanley Cup is the hardest championship trophy to win, and keep, in all professional sports.

With that in mind, this will be one of the first of many in a series of articles in EOTP to focus on the winners of the Cup itself.

My greatest personal hockey moment involved coaching a Bantam team to a triple overtime championship win. I was never able to compete for the Stanley Cup. Nonetheless, my name is on it, (surname in 96, proper name too many times to list).

With that thought at heart, I thought it appropraiate to begin with highlighting those who have gone long without winning the Cup.

Between 1968 and 1988, only five teams have gotten to engrave their names on the silverware. Since then, 10 more teams have added their names. With a salary cap in place, and parity easier to achieve, winnng it will no longer be the domain of dynasties.

On that regard, here are the longest standings droughts, as of 2006.

In reverse order, this is the suffering in years. The date in brackets refers to the last time a particular team made the finals, win or lose.

0 - Carolina Hurricanes
2 - Tampa Bay Lightening (W-2004)
3 - New Jersey Devils (W-2003)
4 - Detroit Red Wings (W -2002)
5 - Colorado Avalanche (W-2001)
6 - Columbus Blue Jackets
7 - Dallas Stars (W-1999, L-2000)
8 - Nashville Predators
12 - New York Rangers (W-1994)
12 - Anaheim Ducks (L-2003)
12- Florida Panthers (L-1996)
13 - Montreal Canadiens (W-1993)
14 - Pittsburgh Penguins (W-1992)
15 - San Jose Sharks
16 - Edmonton Oilers (W-1990, L-2006)
17 - Calgary Flames (W1989, L-2004)
23 - New York Islanders (W-1983, L1984)
27 - Phoenix Coyotes*
31 - Philadelphia Flyers (W-1975, L-1997)
32 - Washington Capitals (L-1998)
34 - Boston Bruins (W-1972, L-1990)
34 - Atlanta Flames/Thrashers**
36 - Buffalo Sabres (L-1999)
36 - Vancouver Canucks (L-1994)
38 - Los Angeles Kings (L-1993)
38 - St.Louis Blues (L-1970)
38 - Minnesota North Stars/Wild**
39 - Toronto Maple Leafs (W-1967)
45 - Chicago Black Hawks (W1961, L-1992)
79 - Ottawa Senators W-1927)***

* Phoenix includes initial 17 seasons as Winnipeg Jets
** Atlanta and Minnesota refers to date of city's original franchises - Hey, a drought's a frought!
** Ottawa Senators retained original franchise's name from 1927. Years in between constitute a drought in my eyes!