From last place to the Stanley Cup

Last year’s NHL finish for the Montreal Canadiens was a slap in the face for many.

But that’s the path this respected organization had to take to get back on track to maybe one day win the Stanley Cup.

And I think the fans are ready to accept this transition period or this period of reconstruction if those responsible manage to build a team that aims for great success in the distant future.

But how long do we have to wait?

The Edmonton Oilers, Buffalo Sabers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers remain on standby. They took last place, but this desire to bring the team to the promised land was still not respected by these organizations.

So I decided to look at teams that were doing the opposite. That means finishing last in five years and winning the Stanley Cup.

In the past 30 years I’ve found five teams that have achieved this feat. The most recent example is the Colorado Avalanche.

From last place to the Stanley Cup in five years

It’s impossible to predict where Canadians will be in five or ten years. Our dearest wish is for Canadians to emulate the avalanche, but we must remain rational and thoughtful.

A lot of work awaits General Manager Kent Hughes.

But in my opinion the key and most important points are recruiting, developing and coaching young players so they can progress and thrive during this transition period.

Among the teams featured in the table above, the players who grew up within the organization were the most important players in this staging that culminated in the Stanley Cup.

The 2022 Avalanche made it with Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, the 2009 Penguins with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-André Fleury and Jordan Staal, the 2006 Hurricanes with Eric Staal and Cam Ward, the 2004 Lightning with Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards and finally Avalanche in 1996 with Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Adam Foote.

fish out. Frame. Develop. Win.

Photo credit: AFP

Darren Pena

Avid beer trailblazer. Friendly student. Tv geek. Coffee junkie. Total writer. Hipster-friendly internet practitioner. Pop culture fanatic.

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