A lot of players have worn a Maple Leaf sweater since their last Stanley Cup in 1967. It's been a couple generations of players that have come and gone. The franchise is beginning to look like the Chicago Cubs of the NHL. Well, I've put together my 10 top Leaf players not to have won a Cup here over the last 41 years.
10. Dave Andreychuk (92-96)
Dave was fortunate to hang around long enough to win a Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004 at the age of 40. He falls on this list because during his time with the Leafs he was a prolific goal scoring. In the 1993-94 season he scored 53 goals. He lead the league in powerplay goals in 1991-92 (28) and 1992-93 (32). He played at the edge of the paint and took quite a beating to score many of these goals.
9. Lanny McDonald (73-80)
Lanny was also a gifted but rugged goal scorer. In his last 4 seasons with the Leafs he averaged 43 goals per season. Unfortunately his best season was with Calgary where he scored 66 goals. Like Andreychuk he finally won a Stanley Cup late in his career (1989).
8. Norm Ullman (68-75)
Norm was one of the most consistent players in the NHL during his career. He was the key player in the 1968 Frank Mahovolich trade. Early in his career he centred Gordie Howe and was an All Star. With the Leafs he wasn't so lucky but playing with Floyd Smith and Paul Henderson, he still had his best year in 1970-71 when he scored 85 points.
7. Jacques Plante (70-73)
Jacques had such a long and distinguished career that his accomplishments with the Leafs are largely lost in time. At the age of 42, he had the lowest goals against average (1.88) in 170-71 with Leafs and was an All Star.
6. Rick Vaive (80-86)
Rick was one of the few gifted Leaf scorers during the pathetic 1980s. He holds the Leafs single season goal scoring record (54) and had 3 50-goal seasons. That is amazing looking back at those weak Leaf teams. During this career as a Leaf he scored 537 points in 534 points at a rate of 1.01 points per game, second only to Doug Gilmour.
5. Mats Sundin (94-present)
Mats like many others on this list has had to carry his team. He holds the NHL record for overtime goals (15). Another consistent scorer, he has continued to lead Leaf scorers despite never playing with star wingers (ie, Jonas Hogland). In 13 seasons the durable Mats has missed only 40 games. He has made 9 All Star game appearances. Unless he gets traded to a contender, he will never win a Cup. However, he has an Olympic gold medal and at the Worlds won 2 golds, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. This season Mats became the Leaf career leader in goals and points.
4. Curtis Joseph (98-02)
Curtis had his best years as a Maple Leaf. His goals against average as a Leaf was 2.41 and recorded 133 winds and 17 shutouts. He was runner up for the Vezina in 1999 and 2000 and won the King Clancy trophy in 1999-2000. During his Leaf tenure, the team was very much offense-oriented and relied on Curtis to make numerous saves every game.
3. Darryl Sittler (70-82)
Like Sundin, Darryl was the heart and soul of the Leafs for many years until he was driven away by ignorant management. He was the first Leaf to score 100 points and accomplished it twice. Until this season, he was the Leaf career leader in goals and points. He also holds some impressive NHL records including a 10-point game (including 6 goals) and a 5-goal playoff game.
2. Borje Salming (73-89)
Borje anchored the Leaf defense for 15 years through good and bad seasons. He was an All Star from 1975-80 and paved the way to the NHL for other Europeans. He was a tough competitor who could not be intimidated and the scars on his body are a reminder of what he went through. He played against the bruising Flyer teams during the Broad Street Bully days but never backed down. He holds the Leaf career assist record (660).
1. Doug Gilmour (91-97, 03)
Dougie was the most popular Leaf player over the past 2 decades. He holds the Leaf single season point record (127) and assist record (93). He won the Frank Selke Trophy in 1993 and is the last Leaf player to win a major NHL trophy. He actually came the closest to carrying the Leafs to a Cup final in the past 41 years. In the 1992-93 season he scored a pivotal double overtime goal against St. Louis in the 2nd round of the playoffs with Curtis Joseph in net. In the next round the Leafs were leading the series 3-2. During overtime of game six, Gretzky high-sticked Gilmour, drawing blood, without being assessed a penalty by and then scored the winning goal moments later to stave off elimination. The King went on to win the series. Gilmour finished second to Gretzky in playoff scoring with 35 points.