The Stanley Cup is often called the hardest trophy to win and the players who win it automatically get their names etched into the record books for all to see. The Stanley Cup truly signifies hard work, determination and a will to win. However, this list won’t be focusing on players who have won the elusive Stanley Cup, it will be focusing on the best active players who are yet to win the Stanley Cup.
This list will primarily focus on two types of players. The first is the category of younger stars who still may win one, but still deserve a spot on this list for the time being. The second category is the one that features older players who have been consistent for so long, but haven't managed to win the big one.
In the list, we looked to include a wide variety of positions and players, as to not get caught up with one sort of player. You may disagree, as there are tons of solid players who have never won a cup, but read on and enjoy our look at the Top 15 Active NHLers to Never Win a Ring.
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15 Patrick Marleau
Patrick Marleau has been a member of the San Jose Sharks for nearly two decades, served as their captain from 2004-2009 and has been one of the more consistent stars for the Sharks during his time in the league. The Sharks have been one of the best regular season teams of the 2000s, but the big one has always eluded them and their players. Marleau has stayed with them through everything and we think he deserves to win a cup.
14 Claude Giroux
The captain of the Philadelphia Flyers has been the leader and best player on this team for years. Despite struggling as a team in 2014-15, the Flyers have been a fairly consistent team and have made some deep runs in the playoffs. Giroux is sometimes overlooked when discussing elite players, but he has performed exceptionally well in the playoffs, where he has averaged more than a point per game in the playoffs throughout his NHL career. Here’s hoping he gets a chance to win a cup, as his play in both the regular season and playoffs is deserving of one.
13 Erik Karlsson
Erik Karlsson is right in the conversation for the best defenceman currently in the NHL and is most likely the most talented offensive defenceman in the league. Karlsson is currently serving as the captain as the Ottawa Senators, has already won a Norris Trophy, and is only 25 years old. Karlsson has scored more than 20 goals in each of the last two years, which is very impressive for a defenceman in today’s day and age. He may go down as the best offensive defenseman of this decade and it would be unfortunate if he never got a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup.
12 Zach Parise
Zach Parise is without a doubt one of the most under-appreciated players in the NHL. Now a member of the Minnesota Wild, Parise was an instrumental part of numerous successful seasons with the New Jersey Devils. His most successful season came in 2011-12, when he was an instrumental part of the team's run to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Kings. To get that close as a leader of a perennially good team and not win one has to hurt, so we hope he finds a way to win one.
11 Ryan Suter
Ryan Suter had been among the most consistent defencemen in the NHL as a member of the Nashville Predators and was rewarded for this talent in the 2012 offseason, when he signed a 13 year contract worth almost $100 million with the Minnesota Wild. Since he joined the Wild, he has continued to be a quality defender and has been among the Norris Trophy finalists. He is one of the more under-appreciated players in the game, like his teammate Zach Parise, and will continue to keep the Wild in contention while he's in his prime.
10 Shea Weber
Now we'll take a look at Suter’s old running mate in Nashville, Shea Weber. Weber is currently the captain of the Predators and is a three-time Norris Trophy finalist. Weber is among the best all-around defenceman in the league, as he can clear the pile in front of his own net and then blast the puck into the opposing net. Weber has stuck around in Nashville through the highs and lows, and we believe he is one of the most deserving active players who has never won a cup.
9 Roberto Luongo
Roberto Luongo has been one of the most talked about goaltenders of his generations, as he's fought through a number of highs and low during his career. He’s played for numerous teams but his most successful stint came with the Vancouver Canucks. He is a three-time Vezina Trophy finalist and was also a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy. Luongo and the Canucks got extremely close to winning a Stanley Cup as they lost in Game 7 of the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Finals. It is sad that a goalie this good will likely never win a Stanley Cup.
8 Ryan Miller
From 2005 to 2012, Miller was without a doubt one of the top goaltenders in the league, with over 30 wins in each year and a Vezina Trophy win in 2010. Miller was an instrumental part of numerous deep playoff runs with the Buffalo Sabres, but never got the opportunity to play for a Stanley Cup. Since then, Miller has bounced around on a couple of different teams and is no longer seen as a top goaltender in the league. At the level he played at for most of his career, we think he is easily one of the best active goalies to never win a Stanley Cup.
7 Jarome Iginla
Jarome Iginla was the prototypical captain and leader during his time with the Calgary Flames. He was a talented goal scorer who wasn’t afraid to throw his body around, fight and stand up for his teammates. Iginla is a two-time Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy Winner, once finished second in Hart Memorial Trophy voting and even took his team to the Stanley Cup Finals. With a resume like that, it’s obvious that Iginla is one of the best players currently in the NHL who hasn’t won a ring.
6 Shane Doan
Shane Doan has been a consistent player in the NHL for nearly 20 years and has continued to work hard to remain a relevant player. He's succeeded, as he has been the captain of the Coyotes for over a decade. Despite never being a huge scoring threat or being in the conversation as the best player in the league, Doan has been incredibly important to the Coyotes organization for years. It is unfortunate the Doan will likely never win a Cup, unless he get moved to a contender next year, simply because of how much hard work he put into a team that rarely made the playoffs during his career.
5 Carey Price
Carey Price is arguably the best goaltender currently playing the NHL. Despite never having won a Vezina up until this point (that will likely change soon), Carey Price has been extremely important to the Montreal Canadiens in both the regular season and the playoffs. 2015 was his best season yet, and we wouldn’t be shocked to see him win the Vezina and even be in the conversation for the Hart. Price has a long career ahead of him and it would be a shame if he never won a cup.
4 Joe Thornton
As a member of both the Boston Bruins and the San Jose Sharks, Joe Thornton has been one of the league’s best playmakers and is a former Art Ross Trophy and Hart Trophy winner. He has made the playoffs in almost every one of his seasons in the NHL and was the leader of a number of those teams. He is currently on a good team that didn't make the playoffs for the first time in an eternity, so here's to hoping that they can rebound next year and try to get Big Joe that elusive ring.
3 Henrik Lundqvist
The heart and soul of the Rangers is none other than their leader and best player, Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist has had a winning record in every one of his NHL seasons and regularly has among the best GAA in the league. He has had numerous chances to win a Stanley Cup, including these last two years, but the Rangers were not able to get it done. If he continues to play as he is now, and never ends up winning a cup, he may go down as one of the best goalies to never win a Stanley Cup.
2 Steven Stamkos
Steven Stamkos is among the top players and scorers in the league today. The things Stamkos can do on the ice are a thing of beauty and he might not have even reached his absolute prime yet. While he is still young (25 years old) and has a long way to go before he calls it quits, he absolutely deserves a place on the list. He may not be eligible for this list for much longer, however, as his Lightning are currently in the Stanley Cup Final.
1 Alex Ovechkin
Coming in at number one on the list, is none other than Washington Capitals sniper, Alex Ovechkin. He is the best pure goal scorer we have seen in the NHL for a good while and has been pulling off highlight reel moves for years. He is a three-time Hart Trophy Winner, a five-time Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy Winner and has numerous other impressive accolades. Despite all this success, a Stanley Cup has still eluded him, which makes him an easy choice for the best active NHL player to never win a ring.
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