It’s been more than just a lost season in Buffalo. The Sabres have regressed to the point where they are on pace for a franchise-worst 39 points this season. That would place them among the worst NHL teams in the last 40 years, in a non-expansion year.
A look at some of the other cellar dwellers:
1992-93 San Jose Sharks (24 points, 11-71-2)
“MVP”: Kelly Kisio (26 goals, 52 assists, 78 points)
Hard to believe that a team with two young, (eventually) quality goalies in Arturs Irbe and Jeff Hackett could be so historically terrible.
1989-90 Quebec Nordiques (31 points, 12-61-7)
“MVP”: Joe Sakic (39-63-102)
Sakic didn’t have much help, but by the next season he had rookies Mats Sundin and Owen Nolan to help share the offensive load.
1980-81 Winnipeg Jets (32 points, 9-57-14)
“MVP”: Dave Christian (28-43-71)
In the franchise’s second NHL season, Winnipeg won just one of its first 33 games and allowed eight or more goals in seven of its last 27 games.
1975-76 Washington Capitals (32 points, 11-59-10)
“MVP”: Nelson Pyatt (26-23-49)
The plus side is Washington more than doubled its win total the next season — though without Milt Schmidt, who never coached again.
1975-76 Kansas City Scouts (36 points, 12-56-12)
“MVP”: Guy Charron (27-44-71)
The future Devils, in their second season, lost 14 straight games at one point and went winless in their final 27 contests (0-21-6).
1993-94 Ottawa Senators (37 points, 14-61-9)
“MVP”: Alexi Yashin (30-49-79)
Yashin and No. 1 overall pick Alexandre Daigle combined for 50 of the second-year Senators’ 201 goals (average of 2.39 GPG).
1983-94 Pittsburgh Penguins (38 points, 16-58-6)
“MVP”: Mike Bullard (51-41-92)
Last in the league in goals allowed and next-to-last in scoring, their fortunes were about to change with top draft pick Mario Lemieux.
1985-86 Detroit Red Wings (40 points, 17-57-6)
“MVP”: John Ogrodnick (38-32-70)
Steve Yzerman missed 29 games because of a broken collarbone, and the goaltending was simply terrible (5.19 goals allowed per game).Sean Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.