June 7, 2010 marked the sixth anniversary of Dave Andreychuk hoisting the Tampa Bay Lightning's first Stanley Cup at the St. Pete Times Forum. Six long years of gradual descent from the top of the pile to the bottom, only to bounce up a little bit. Six years of near-continual upheaval, ownership strife, roster turnover and more than a little hair-pulling exasperation on the part of the fans.
But how bad are things? Not bad. The team has new ownership and is building a new front office. There's hope for the future, and really, a six year Cup-drought is NOT THAT BAD. To get some perspective:
- The Lightning have (has? Is 'Lightning' plural or singular? Gosh, this is going to keep me up all night. Okay. For the purposes of this blog, the Lightning and its players are plural.) The Lightning have won a Cup more recently than twenty-five other teams in the league (although soon to be twenty-four).
- Thirteen teams currently in the league have never won a Cup. Therefore, their drought is infinite.
- Toronto, the self-proclaimed center of the hockey universe, hasn't won a Cup in forty-three years. That's more that seven times as long as TBL's drought!
- The Lightning have won the Cup more recently than any Canadian team.
- The Lightning have won the Cup more recently than five of the Original Six teams.
- The two teams currently in the Stanley Cup Final are experiencing droughts of forty-nine years (Chicago) and thirty-five years (Philadelphia).
- In the Southeast Division, only Tampa Bay and Carolina have won Cups. The Bolts still have infinite bragging rights over the other three teams, including current powerhouse Washington.
See? Things aren't that bad. Take a deep breath. A new season is on the way. And we'll see if we can win another Cup and start angsting over a brand new drought.