10 best players to never win the Stanley Cup

Brad Watson / National Hockey League / Getty

The Stanley Cup is difficult to win, and the superstars on our list of players who fell short are living proof.

Some legends, such as Rod Brind'Amour and Dave Andreychuk, were fortunate enough to capture the Cup in the final years of their careers. For Ray Bourque, the championship-clinching win came in his final game. But for others, years of consistently elite play wasn't enough to arrive at hockey's summit.

Superstars such as Eric Lindros, Pavel Bure, and Cam Neely were dominant during their heydays, but their careers were rather short-lived relative to the players below. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau haven't yet called it quits, so we've omitted them from the list too.

With that covered, here are the 10 best players to never win a Stanley Cup.

Marcel Dionne

Bruce Bennett / Bruce Bennett / Getty

Career stats (regular season)

GP G A P All-time points rank
1348 731 1040 1771 6th

Furthest he advanced: Second round

The Los Angeles Kings legend owns the unfortunate distinction of being the only retired player on the NHL's top 15 all-time scoring list to never win the Stanley Cup.

Despite an illustrious 18-year career, Dionne didn't come close to a title. The 5-foot-8 forward signed multiple deals with the Kings in his prime, but the team couldn't assemble a championship-caliber cast around him. Dionne's teams (the Kings, Detroit Red Wings, and New York Rangers) won over 40 regular-season games just once, and he made it past the first round of the playoffs only three times.

With six 50-plus-goal and seven 100-plus-point seasons, Dionne is the greatest player in league history to never win a Stanley Cup.

Jarome Iginla

Gerry Thomas / National Hockey League / Getty

Career stats

GP G A P All-time points rank
1554 625 675 1300 34th

Furthest he advanced: Stanley Cup Final

Iginla, the longtime Calgary Flames captain, did everything right during his 20-year Hall of Fame-caliber career, winning several major individual awards while cementing himself as one of the greatest leaders ever.

The Alberta native collected multiple titles at the junior and international levels, but he couldn't haul in a Stanley Cup despite coming as close as it gets with the Flames in 2004. Few plays in NHL history better illustrate the "game of inches" sports adage than Martin Gelinas' near-go-ahead goal late in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final that would have likely landed Iginla his elusive championship.

Adam Oates

Doug Pensinger / National Hockey League / Getty

Career stats

GP G A P All-time points rank
1337 341 1079 1420 18th

Furthest he advanced: Stanley Cup Final

Oates made the playoffs in 15 of 19 seasons with six different teams, but he never ended a campaign by lifting the Stanley Cup. He leads players without a championship in postseason points while ranking 27th in all-time playoff scoring.

The Hall of Fame forward was the driving force alongside goal-scorer Peter Bondra while leading the Washington Capitals to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final in 1998. Unfortunately, the Capitals were no match for the Detroit Red Wings, who promptly completed the sweep for their second straight title.

Six years later, Oates found himself back in the final with the Anaheim Ducks. However, the Ducks lost a heartbreaking Game 7 to the New Jersey Devils in what would prove to be Oates' final postseason game.

Mats Sundin

Peter Power / Toronto Star / Getty

Career stats

GP G A P All-time points rank
1346 564 785 1349 28th

Furthest he advanced: Conference finals

Sundin made the postseason 10 times during his Hall of Fame career, but he failed to go all the way despite a pair of trips to the conference finals with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The towering Swede ranks second in Maple Leafs postseason scoring. However, he was never given a strong enough supporting cast to beat the likes of Philadelphia and New Jersey in the early 2000s. Had Sundin been at full health during Toronto's conference final run in 2002, perhaps he would have made a difference. But the juggernaut Detroit Red Wings, who were destined for the title, awaited at the finish line.

Dale Hawerchuk

B Bennett / Bruce Bennett / Getty

Career stats

GP G A P All-time points rank
1188 518 891 1409 20th

Furthest he advanced: Stanley Cup Final

Hawerchuk made the playoffs in all but one of his 16 NHL seasons, but he was unable to get over the hump while facing stiff competition. The eventual Stanley Cup champion ousted Hawerchuk's squad seven times during his 15 playoff runs with three different teams.

While playing for the Winnipeg Jets in the 80s, Hawerchuk never made it out of the second round, with the dynastic Edmonton Oilers halting his team six times over eight years. In the early 90s with the Buffalo Sabres, Hawerchuk bumped into another insurmountable foe, bowing out twice to the Montreal Canadiens.

His best shot at the Cup came as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers during Hawerchuk's final NHL season. With the likes of John LeClair and a young Lindros leading the way, the Flyers made it to the final. But yet another dynasty stood in Hawerchuk's way, and the Red Wings swept the Flyers.

Mike Gartner

B Bennett / Bruce Bennett / Getty

Career stats

GP G A P All-time points rank
1432 708 627 1335 31st

Furthest he advanced: Conference finals

Despite playing for some strong teams over his 19-year career, Gartner retired without a championship in 1998.

If it weren't for a late-season trade in 1994, Gartner likely wouldn't be on this list. The New York Rangers flipped the Ontario native to the Maple Leafs at the trade deadline, and months later, the Rangers were celebrating a Stanley Cup title. Ironically, Gartner's postseason run with the Leafs that same spring was the longest of his career, as the team lost to the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference Final.

Gartner's teams made the playoffs in each of the following four seasons, but he never advanced beyond the opening round.

Roberto Luongo

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Career stats

GP W GAA SV% SO
1044 489 2.52 .919 77

Furthest he advanced: Stanley Cup Final

It didn't help that Luongo spent over half his career playing behind poor Florida Panthers teams. The 6-foot-3 puck-stopper's best shot at a championship came during his time with the Vancouver Canucks, but the built-to-win club couldn't take advantage while its Stanley Cup window was open.

Luongo ranks third all time in wins, but he's the only netminder within the top five to be denied a Stanley Cup. He came as close to winning as possible, losing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to the Boston Bruins in 2011.

Peter Stastny

B Bennett / Bruce Bennett / Getty

Career stats

GP G A P All-time points rank
977 450 789 1239 40th

Furthest he advanced: Conference finals

Stastny notched 100-plus points in each of his first six NHL seasons and ranks seventh all time in points per game (1.26), but he never hoisted the Stanley Cup.

Though Stastny was the heart and soul of some strong Quebec Nordiques teams throughout the 80s, the superior New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers always seemed to stand in the club's way. Stastny reached the conference finals twice with Quebec before being dealt to the New Jersey Devils during the 1989-90 campaign.

Pierre Turgeon

Rick Stewart / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Career numbers

GP G A P All-time points rank
1294 515 812 1327 32nd

Furthest he advanced: Conference finals

For whatever reason, Turgeon's name isn't frequently mentioned during discussions about former greats of the game. Maybe that's because he couldn't cement his legacy while bouncing around to middling teams. Regardless, winning a Stanley Cup certainly would have helped.

Turgeon's postseason prime came in the late 90s with the St. Louis Blues. The club consistently finished near the top of the standings, but it often ran into a fellow Western Conference powerhouse. From 1997 to 2001, the eventual champion eliminated Turgeon's Blues four times.

Gilbert Perreault

Bruce Bennett / Bruce Bennett / Getty

Career stats

GP G A P All-time points rank
1191 512 814 1326 33rd

Furthest he advanced: Stanley Cup Final

Perreault played all 17 of his acclaimed seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, and he was included in some of the most talented teams the franchise has ever assembled.

With Rick Martin and Rene Robert flanking him, Perreault centered "the French Connection," a line that dominated throughout the 70s. That iteration of the Sabres made several competitive postseason runs, including a loss to the Flyers in the 1975 final.

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10 best players to never win the Stanley Cup
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