Have you ever been dehydrated? Or maybe you have seen a movie where someone is crawling through the desert looking for water? For an NHL hockey team, a Stanley Cup drought can have that effect on a fanbase.
Take the Chicago Blackhawks for example. Last year’s Patrick Kane overtime goal erased 47 years of waiting. Are fans of the Chicago franchise ready to embark on that long of a journey to see their names engraved on the holy grail of hockey once again? Mark Messier ended 53 years of waiting in New York. New Yorkers are already almost half way to that mark one more time. For the Toronto Maple Leafs, LA Kings, and St. Louis Blues their droughts are 42 years and running.
The Buffalo Sabres, and Vancouver Canucks are both sitting at 40. With the Sabres out of the playoff hunt this year, they will start year 41 of the drought next year. Vancouver can be the first team from the class of 1970 to win a cup.
How long is too long to wait for a Stanley Cup? The Buffalo Sabres new motto to live by is Winning is not Goal, its a Belief. Those words rang into life off the lips of new owner Terry Pegula. Now I don’t want to mince words or call Pegula a Golisano in sheeps clothing; but we have been there before; after we lost in the playoffs the first deep run, then owner Tom Golisano promised the fan base that he would eat the microphone if it didn’t happen. After dismantling the team in order to remain in the black, were steal waiting for him to own up to that bet.
Speaking of bets, and not to get off topic, we are now over one month since the bet with Mary from Fire That Cannon, and we are still waiting for the payoff on that bet.
We are now in the three year winning cycle that new owner Terry Pegula has laid out for winning a Stanley Cup. If it does take three years – we will be just shy of 45 years without a Stanley Cup. In an age of no dynasty’s – how long are you willing to wait for a Stanley Cup championship? And are you willing to wait 45 years between each victory?
The Montreal Canadiens are on a drought right now that has extended since the 1992-1993 season; however they have the most Stanley Cup wins in NHL history at 24 (one pre-NHL). None of those Stanley Cup Championships were won in the current 30 team format. Does this lessen the importance of their Stanley Cup wins? When the Buffalo Sabres finally win a Stanley Cup Championship, will it be worth more to the players than the guys who only had to beat a few teams and play such a shortened season?