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Now just 5 NHL teams haven't won a finals game

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Wild, Blue Jackets, Jets, and Coyotes fans have been waiting a while and will have to wait longer.

Last night the Florida Panthers ended a franchise-long drought by winning their first Stanley Cup final game. Now only five teams have yet to accomplish that feat.

The youngest hockey fans may think that the Panthers had never reached the finals, much like the Minnesota Wild, Winnipeg Jets, Arizona Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, and of course, the Seattle Kraken.

But in reality, the Panthers had one of the oddest first couple of decades in sports history. They made it to the finals in their third season (1996) but not again until 2023.

What's even more strange is that the Panthers had failed to make the playoffs season after season during the 2000s, having the second-longest playoff drought behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

So the Florida Panthers are an organization that seems to mostly either make the finals or not make the playoffs at all, which is close to the opposite of the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild.

Therefore, it is evident that the Arizona Coyotes and, most of all, the Columbus Blue Jackets are the most starved organizations for success.

On the other hand, the Panther's opponents, the Vegas Golden Knights, have made the finals twice in their history of only a handful of seasons. Such a start to a franchise must inspire the most jealous feelings in the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets fans.

The other apparent oddity to the Panther's history with the Stanley Cup finals is that they were one of the few teams in history to be swept. Although, they were facing a stacked Colorado Avalanche roster with the likes of Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy, and Peter Forsberg.

The Panther's most famous player in their 1996 run to the finals was probably Rob Niedermayer, who hadn't been able to hoist the cup until winning it with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.


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