While doing the research for the list of the top 10 NHL players who never won a Stanley Cup I was astonished at just how many great names are on the list. I found literally dozens of worthy candidates and actually had to do some serious whittling to get the list down to 10. I didn’t include players who have yet to call it a career. Who knows what the future holds for them? Arguments could be made for many of the players I ultimately cut, and there are probably dozens of others that fans of the sports would insert into a list of their own. However, I challenge anyone who disagrees with my list of the top 10 NHL players who never won a Stanley Cup to cut any of the players included therein. You better have darn good reasons for your decision. Here are my picks:
10 – Mike Gartner
One of the most unheralded players in NHL history I almost forgot this member of the 700 goal club when compiling my list. Mike Gartner might not have been a superstar during his playing days, but he was one of the most consistent performers in NHL history, eclipsing the 30 goal mark a staggering 15 times during his career. His 1,335 points are nothing to sneeze at either. Ironically, Gartner was a member of the New York Rangers the year they won the Stanley Cup in 1994, but was dealt to Toronto at the trade deadline so sadly missed out on the championship glory.
9 – Peter Stastny
One of the greatest Czechoslovakian players of all time, Stastny also has the distinction of being one of the top 10 NHL players who never won a Stanley Cup. Peter Stastny, along with brothers Anton and Marian, tore up the NHL during the 80s. In fact, during that decade only Wayne Gretzky scored more points than Peter Stastny. Stastny would eclipse the 100 point plateau 7 times en route to 1,239 points in just 977 career games.
8 – Borje Salming
This Hall of Fame Swedish defenseman starred for the Toronto Maple Leafs for many years, but even his great talent could not help the Leafs to a Stanley Cup. Salming was the first Swedish superstar to ever play in the NHL and is a hockey legend in that country. He racked up 787 points during his career, and had he not played during the era of Bobby Orr he would most certainly have several Norris trophies to his credit as well.
7 – Darryl Sittler
Another Maple Leaf legend who never managed to get his name on the Stanley Cup. A common theme amongst any Leaf player who didn’t start his playing career until after 1967. Sittler still holds the record for the greatest single game performance in NHL history, where he scored 10 points in a single game against Boston. Not even Wayne Gretzky, with all his legendary talent, could match the feat. Sittler scored 1,121 points during his playing career, but even his considerable offensive abilities couldn’t help the Leafs to the cup.
6 – Brad Park
When it comes to the list of the top 10 NHL players who never won a Stanley Cup none must be more frustrated at his lack of success than Brad Park. Why? Well, Park was a great player who played on very good teams. In fact, in his 18 year NHL career Park never missed the playoffs. Not once. How aggravating must it have been to go through the playoff grind year after year, only to get eliminated before he had a chance at the Cup. To add insult to injury he holds the record for the most Norris trophy nominations (6) without ever winning the award. He played in 9 consecutive All Star games, and had 896 career points, but poor Brad Park never got to sip champagne from the Stanley Cup.
5 – Dale Hawerchuk
When he scored 103 points in his rookie season there was little doubt Dale Hawerchuk was going to be a superstar. Despite the fact that his arrival coincided with a 48 point improvement for the Winnipeg Jets that year, the team hadn’t much talent beyond Hawerchuk and that young superstar was forced to toil on a mediocre club through the prime years of his career. He would go on to record an incredible 1,409 points during his career, but never had a shot at championship glory.
4 – Jean Ratelle
This New York Ranger legend’s NHL career oddly parallels that of Brad Park. He started his career with the Rangers, lost to Boston in the 1972 Stanley Cup finals, and was later traded along with Park to those same Boston Bruins. He was a consistent point producer, and finished his career with 1,267 points.
3 – Pat LaFontaine
At number 3 on the list of the top 10 NHL players who never won a Stanley Cup is one of the greatest American born players of all time. Pat LaFontaine’s numbers would probably eclipse most of the others on this list had his career not been cut tragically short by concussion problems. He still managed to rack up over 1,000 career points during his abbreviated career, and was always one of the most dominant players on the ice despite his relatively diminutive size.
2 – Gilbert Perreault
In one of the most historically significant moments in NHL history the Buffalo Sabres won the spin of the wheel when they entered the NHL along with the Vancouver Canucks in 1970. That fateful spin gave them the first pick, and they used that pick to select French Canadian superstar, Gilbert Perreault. Perreault would go on to play his entire NHL career with the club, and starred on one of the most feared lines in NHL history, The French Connection Line. He would rack up over 1,300 points over his NHL career, but even his great talent could not carry the Sabres to Stanley Cup glory.
1 – Marcel Dionne
Despite the difficulty in coming up with the other picks there was very little difficulty in slotting this man at number one on the list of the top 10 NHL players who never won a Stanley Cup. “The Little Beaver” was one of the most gifted offensive players in NHL history. At the time of his retirement his 1,771 career points ranked him second all time in NHL history behind only Gordie Howe, and his 731 career goals still holds up as 4th all time on the all time list. Despite all this offensive talent, and despite playing on The Triple Crown Line, one of the most offensively devastating lines in NHL history, Dionne never managed to capture the Stanley Cup he deserved. To add insult to injury, Dionne’s little brother, Gilbert won a Stanley Cup in only his second season in the NHL. Gilbert finished with 1,631 fewer points than Marcel, but boasts one more Stanley Cup ring.