TOP 10 Best NHL Players to Never Win the Stanley Cup

The most significant hockey achievement is the Stanley Cup. So, if you are a great name in hockey, shouldn’t your name be etched on the Stanley Cup?

No, not necessarily. Many great players couldn’t raise this grand Cup above their heads, which is perfectly okay. So, no pressure! Excel at what you do and enjoy while you do it.

These are one of the best NHL players. They have incredible skills and game foresight, but they could not lift the Stanley cup above their head due to some factors. These are Jarome Iginla, Marcel Dionne, Joe Thornton, Adam Oats, Dale Hawerchuk, Mats Sundin, Patrick Marleau, Mike Gartner, Phil Houslay, and Gilbert Perreault. There are a few other players who are also not able to get the Stanley cup being great.

This article will discuss the top ten NHL players who could never win the Stanley Cup.

1. Jarome Iginla

Jarome Iginla was an extremely talented goal-scorer. He played a crucial role in Canada’s two Olympic Gold Medals win. He was there in the 2004 Stanley Cup final as part of the Calgary Flames, but unfortunately, they lost the seventh game against the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1.

Jarome Iginla
Jarome Iginla

After 2004, he could never get the chance again to win the Cup. He took retirement in 2018 and had his name selected for the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020.

An Overview

  • Closest He Came to Winning the Cup: He could only make it to round two in the Playoffs.
  • Career Goals: All-time rank 5th with 731 goals.
  • Career Points: All-time rank 6th with 1771 points.
  • Career Assists: All-time rank 11th with 1040 assists.

Career Stats of Jarome Iginla

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Career Stats of Jarome Iginla

2. Marcel Dionne

The Detroit Red Wings drafted Marcel Dionne in the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft. In the 1974-75 season, Dionne scored 47 goals and 74 assists.

After four seasons with them, the Los Angeles Kings got him after the trade since the Red Wings could not afford him anymore. Dionne further strengthened the Kings with his scoring abilities.

Marcel Dionne
Marcel Dionne

Even though Marcel Dionne had a record-breaking career with the Kings, he could not win the Stanley Cup. He got the chance to play only 49 Playoff games, with only one remarkable series in which they defeated the Oilers in the first round in 1981-82. He retired in 1989 and ended a career that would be inspirational for young players.

An Overview

  • Closest He Came to Winning the Cup: Could only make it to round two in the Playoffs
  • Career Goals: All-time rank 5th with 731 goals.
  • Career Points: All-time rank 6th with 1771 points.
  • Career Assists: All-time rank 11th with 1040 assists.

Career Stats of Marcel Dionne

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Career Stats of Marcel Dionne

3. Joe Thornton

The Boston Bruins drafted Joe Thornton in 1997, and he played for eight years with them. After which, he got swapped to the San Jose Sharks. He is one of the most accomplished passers the league has ever had.

Joe Thornton
Joe Thornton

Thornton made it to the Stanley Cup finals with the Sharks in 2015-16, but they lost against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Thornton has many achievements in his career, like winning the international championships with Canada and a gold medal, other than the Stanley Cup.

At 42, Joe Thornton is one of the oldest players in the NHL. Joe is playing with the Florida Panthers and keeping up his record as an exceptional player. Let’s hope he wins a Stanley Cup with the Panthers in his last years.

An Overview

  • Closest He Came to Winning the Cup: 2015-16 Stanley Cup finals with the San Jose Sharks
  • Career Points: All-time rank 14th with 1509
  • Career Assists: All-time rank 7th with 1089

Career Stats of Joe Thornton

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Career Stats of Marcel Dionne

4. Adam Oates

Adam Oates is another best passers in the history of the NHL. He had a dangerous pairing with Brett Hull. He originally played with the St. Louis Blues but with no successful Playoff career.

Adam Oates
Adam Oates

Later, he was drafted by the Washington Capitals, and he could finally reach the Stanley Cup finals. The Detroit Red Wings won against them in that final game. Adam Oates took retirement in April 2004, and his name was selected for the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.

An Overview

  • Closest He Came to Winning the Cup: Stanley Cup Finals in the 1997-98 season with the Washington Capitals
  • Career Points: All-time rank 17th with 1420 points
  • Career Assists: All-time Rank 8th with 1089 assists

Career Stats of Adam Oates

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Career Stats of Adam Oates

5. Dale Hawerchuk

Dale Hawerchuk played with the Winnipeg Jets at the beginning of his career. Although the Jets were good, either the Edmonton Oilers or Calgary Flames would always beat them in the Playoffs, and they couldn’t reach the finals.

Dale Hawerchuk
Dale Hawerchuk

In the last year of his career, Hawerchuk got to play in the Stanley Cup final as part of the Philadelphia Flyers. Sadly, the Red Wings beat them in the four games.

An Overview

  • Closest He Came to Winning the Cup: 1997 Stanley Cup Finals with the Philadelphia Flyers.
  • Career Points: All-time rank 20th with 1409 points.
  • Career Assists: All-time Rank 21st with 518 assists.

Career Stats of Dale Hawerchuk

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Career Stats of Dale Hawerchuk

6. Mats Sundin

Mats Sundin is another player with a remarkable record and many achievements in the world championships and the Olympics, except for the Stanley Cup.

Mats Sundin
Mats Sundin

The most Sundin could make it to be the Conference Finals with the Maple Leafs in 1998-99. He lost more games in the first rounds.

An Overview

  • Closest He Came to Winning the Cup: 1999 Conference Finals with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
  • Career Points: All-time rank 18th with 1349 points.
  • Career Assists: All-time Rank 23rd with 564 assists.

Career Stats of Mats Sundin

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Career Stats of Mats Sundin

7. Patrick Marleau

Patrick Marleau is one of the players who have played most of the regular hockey games, retiring in 2022. He also has a record of playing most of the NHL games. He played 21 seasons with the San Jose Shark team out of 23, but the team continued to fail in the Playoffs. Patrick always had a significant contribution in leading the team to the Playoffs.

Patrick Marleau
Patrick Marleau

They played in the Stanley Cup finals in 2016 but got beaten by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

An Overview

  • Closest He Came to Winning the Cup: 2016 Stanley Cup Finals with the San Jose Sharks.
  • Career Goals: All-time Rank 25th with 562 goals.

Career Stats of Patrick Marleau

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Career Stats of Patrick Marleau

8. Mike Gartner

Mike Gartner had a blazing speed and exceptional ability to score goals. You can see that he is seventh overall in all-time goals.

Mike Gartner
Mike Gartner

Sadly, this exceptional player has not gotten much recognition partly because he did not play with any famous, powerful team. He was a part of ordinary teams like the Capitals, Rangers, Maple Leafs, and Coyotes.

An Overview

  • Closest He Came to Winning the Cup: Conference Finals with the Toronto Maple Leafs 1993-94.
  • Career Goals: All-time Rank 7th with 708 goals.

Career Stats of Mike Gartner

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Career Stats of Mike Gartner

9. Phil Housley

Phil Housley has been one of the most active offensive defensemen, finishing his career as the fourth-highest-scoring defenseman.

Phil Housley
Phil Housley

At the start of his career, Housley played with weaker teams like Sabres and Jets and kept on losing on the journey to the Stanley Cup.

Later, he got a chance to play in the Stanley Cup finals with the Washington Capitals but lost against the Red Wings in the finals.

An Overview

  • Closest He Came to Winning the Cup: 1998 Stanley Cup Finals with Washington Capitals.
  • Career Goals: All-time rank 4th 338 goals (among defensemen).
  • Career Points: All-time rank 4th 1274 Points (among defensemen).
  • Career Assists: All-time rank 5th 894 assists (among defensemen).

Career Stats of Phil Housley

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Career Stats of Phil Housley

10. Gilbert Perreault

Gilbert Perreault was the first overall draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres in the 1970 NHL draft. He kept on playing with the Sabres throughout his career.

Gilbert Perreault
Gilbert Perreault

The Buffalos were better in their early period and even reached the 1975 Stanley Cup final, where the Flyers defeated them. Later, the franchise got mediocre teams that did not stand any chance against the bigger teams. So, Perrault did not get another chance.

An Overview

  • Closest He Came to Winning the Cup: Stanley Cup Finals with Buffalo in 1974-75.
  • Career Points: All-time rank 33rd with 1326 points.

Career Stats of Gilbert Perreault

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Career Stats of Gilbert Perreault

Frequently Asked Questions

How many NHL Hall of Famer players never won a Stanley cup?

Currently, there are 24 Hall of Famers in the NHL Hall of Fame who never etched their name on the prestigious Stanley cup. Twenty forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender make this group of Hall of Famers who never won the most dreamed Stanley cup.

Did Pat LaFontaine ever lift a Stanley cup?

Without any ifs or buts, almost everyone unarguably agrees that Pat LaFontaine is one of the great NHL players, but sadly, fans never had the Stanley cup lifting scene of him. Though he played outstanding in every match and gave his opponents a hard time, on the Stanley Cup side, he never reached it – Alas!

Conclusion

This is all about the players whose dream of winning the Stanley cup remained a dream due to multiple factors that came their way during the game. But they still put in the effort. They did their best, put on a great game display, and garnered colossal appreciation and love from the NHL world – maybe luck wasn’t on their side. Anyways they all deserve a big shout-out!

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