The NHL consists of 31 teams, all vying for their right to raise the Stanley Cup over their head. With the Washington Capitals ending a 43 year Stanley Cup drought and finally claiming the first Cup in franchise history, NHL fans will turn to other teams as the next team that needs to be crowned victor of the NHL. Plenty of teams have gone decades without a Cup, but who will be the next to end their drought?
4. Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers were a dominant force in the 70s as the Broadstreet Bullies. They cruised through the competition, beating them into a pulp. However, the Flyers have found themselves without a Cup since the time of the Bullies. They've gone 42 seasons without a Cup, but have plenty of talent on their roster to make a run. With the development of top goaltending prospect Carter Hart advancing very nicely, the Flyers could be in store for a season that doesn't end in throwing trash on the ice.
3. San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks came desperately close to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history in 2016 when they faced the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, they were unable to best the eventual Cup champions and lost in six games. Since their first season in the NHL in 1991-92, the Sharks have made the Finals just once. They have a team full of talent, including that of Joe Thornton, who desperately needs a Cup.
San Jose has gone 26 seasons without a Cup, and are clearly trying to build a championship caliber team. With the right moves, the Sharks could find themselves raising the Cup sooner rather than later.
2. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs had the best season in franchise history this past season. The Leafs are tied for the longest Cup drought in the NHL at 50 seasons. With plenty of young talent, they have the capability to be the NHL's next dynasty. They suffered a Game 7 loss in the First Round on this years Playoffs, but it's only a matter of time until we see a Stanley Cup banner raised in the Air Canada Centre. The Leafs will end their half-century Cup drought in the next few years, as long as players like Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner continue to dominate.
1. St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues came into the league during the 1967-68 expansion. They've had incredibly talented teams in years past, including their 1995-96 roster that included legends such as Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, Dale Hawerchuk and Grant Fuhr. That team inevitably lost to the Detroit Red Wings after Steve Yzerman's infamous double overtime goal.
The Blues have been dealt the cards to win a Cup, and yet find themselves out of luck when it matters most. Like the Leafs, they've gone 50 years without a Stanley Cup. St. Louis was outside of the Playoff picture this past season, but they were riddled with injuries and inconsistent goaltending. They still have plenty of talent on the roster, and will undoubtedly look to improve as they continue to chase their first Cup in franchise history.
If the Blues can stay healthy, and make the right free agent acquisitions, that half-century drought could be coming to an end very soon.