The Top Ten Losing Seasons in The NHL
Every one remembers the great teams, but do they remember the truly terrible?
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It has been since the 2000-01 NHL season since a team has lost more than fifty games in a single regular season. A salary cap and league stability have brought a certain level of equality. The league has not always existed in such a state of parody.
Two times in NHL history, teams have lost seventy or more games. The San Jose Sharks were losers of 71 and the Ottawa Senators lost one less in 1992-93. Since 1974-75, four teams have lost more than sixty games. The Washington Capitals, in their inaugural season, 1974-75, lost 67. Three teams have had 61 loss seasons – the Atlanta Thrashers, Quebec Nordiques and Ottawa Senators.
These teams still have one up on the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights who won just 3 games and tied 3 in 66 games during the 1994-95 season.
Here are the top ten single season loss totals in the history of the National Hockey League:
1. San Jose Sharks, 71 losses in 1992-93. This was the Sharks sophomore season in the NHL and San Jose really tanked in the Shark Tank.
2. Ottawa Senators, 70 losses in 1992-93. This season marked the rebirth of the Senators franchise. Ottawa had one less loss than San Jose but tied the Sharks in total points with 24.
3. Washington Capitals, 67 losses in 1974-75. This marked the Capitals first season in the NHL. The team won just eight games and totalled 21 points. These marks still stand as records in the NHL.
4. Quebec Nordiques, 61 losses in 1989-90. On the bright side, the dismal showing by the Nordiques would provide them with high draft choices that would start the construction of a Stanley Cup winner when the team moved to Colorado a few years later.
5. Ottawa Senators, 61 losses in 1993-94. Nine less losses than the year before but still pretty bad.
6. Atlanta Thrashers, 61 losses in 1999-00.This was a showing to be expected of a first year team.
7. Washington Capitals, 59 losses in 1975-76. Eight less losses than the season before and a glimmer of hope for the new franchise.
8. Ottawa Senators, 59 losses in 1995-96. After this season, the brutal years were over for the Senators. The following season they would vastly improve and only loses 36 games.
9. Pittsburgh Penguins, 58 losses in 1983-84. The Penguins were licking their lips because despite this dismal season, they were assured the first pick and that pick was Mario Lemieux, a kid from Quebec who would finish the 83-84 season with 282 points for the Laval Voisins.
10. San Jose Sharks, 58 losses in 1991-92. Bad, but the worst was yet to come the next season. Two years later they would improve immensely and lose only 35 games.