The List: Most NHL Games Played Without Winning The Stanley Cup

Harry Howell Canada Post stamp

The stories of Stanley Cup lore are celebrated in vignettes and recollected fondly for decades afterward. But what about those who fail in the journey? Save a tear for them if you will.

Hall of Fame defenseman Harry Howell played 1411 NHL games and never suited up for a team that won a single playoff series. Norm Ullman joined the defending Detroit Red Wings and played with them through five losses in the Stanley Cup final.

In the 1965-66 final, when Detroit squandered a 2-0 series lead and fell in six games to the Montreal Canadiens, Ullman’s Red Wings teammates included three players who skated through at least 20 seasons without winning the Cup – defensemen Bill Gadsby and Leo Boivin and forward Dean Prentice.

In 1968, the Wings traded Ullman to the Toronto Maple Leafs, one year after the Leafs won their most recent Cup.

Most NHL Games Played Without Winning The Stanley Cup

Player Games Played Stanley Cup Close Call
Patrick Marleau 1657 Lost in 2016 final
Joe Thornton 1566 Lost in 2016 final
Jarome Iginla 1544 Lost in 2004 final
Shane Doan 1540 Lost in 2012 Western Conference final
Phil Housley 1495 Lost in 1998 final
Mike Gartner 1432 Traded by Cup champion Rangers at 1994 deadline
Scott Mellanby 1431 Lost in 1987 and 1996 Cup finals
Luke Richardson 1417 Lost in 1992 Western Conference final
Harry Howell 1411 Never won a playoff series in 21 NHL seasons
Norm Ullman 1410 Lost in five Stanley Cup finals
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