Sometimes it’s just plain awful to be a fan.
We’re not talking about the occasional emotional bump and bruise, the kind fans get from a devastating last-second loss or a disastrous season-ending injury — or even when they watch their favorite team bow out in the conference finals, one round shy of a shot at the Stanley Cup. We mean years of suffering at the hands of a club that almost seems to delight in tormenting those who freely give to it their hearts, minds, time and money.
This is the sixth in our series on the 10 NHL franchises that take an ongoing toll on their fans, the teams that suggest that their devoted followers are either bottomless wells of hope or certified masochists — or perhaps just a touch crazy. Today we look at the Edmonton Oilers, the once proud dynasty of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey and Grant Fuhr that steadily devolved into a perennial loser whose draft-day hauls prompt visions of glory while managerial incompetence dooms it to yet another playoff DNQ.
TEAM 10: Winnipeg Jets | 9: Dallas Stars | 8: Columbus Blue Jackets | 7: Vancouver Canucks
6: Florida Panthers | 4: Washington Capitals | 3. Buffalo Sabres | 2: New York Islanders
1. Toronto Maple Leafs