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Hockey Night In Canada Podcast: Dreading the Stanley Cup drought

This week, the Hockey Night in Canada podcast considers Stanley Cup drought-stricken cities. Host Rob Pizzo dissects Toronto's woes with guest Gord Stellick, and Sam Rosen remembers the game in 1994 that ended the New York Rangers' 54 years without a championship.

Taking a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs' championship woes

The Leafs last Stanley cup winning team...pictured in 2007 (Canadian Press/Aaron Harris)

The Hockey Night In Canada podcast is a weekly CBC Sports production.

In each episode, host Rob Pizzo is joined by colourful characters within hockey to discuss great moments and great players and talk about today's stars. The Hockey Night podcast brings you beyond the boxscore with insight you won't find anywhere else.

For many people hockey has a voice. It's the narrative that makes it come to life. The soundtrack for the story of so many great games, glorious moments and achievements. 

This week, Pizzo talks to former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Gord Stellick about those 52 (and counting) dry years for the team and also gets some insight from broadcaster Sam Rosen about the moment his beloved New York Rangers ended their 54 seasons in the doghouse.

WATCH | Gord Stellick on Leafs possibly ending Cup drought:

This week's episode focuses on long Stanley Cup droughts. 1:04

Ask some hockey fans and they will gladly furnish you with reasons to dislike Toronto, but if you want to wring a few drops of sympathy for Hogtown — you only have to whisper "1967".

The great Maple Leaf drought turns hockey lovers purple with pain in Toronto, but what can be learned from the lean times? And is there a glimmer of hope shining in the five-year window opened by Auston Mathews' signing? If anybody has the authority to dissect Toronto's misery, it's Gord Stellick. He presided over some punishing Toronto years and went on to write the definitive book about the scrappy original six team that last won it for Toronto. 

LISTEN | Dreading the Stanley Cup drought

We know that misery loves company, so we should point out that Toronto is not alone in its 52 winless years. The St. Louis Blues have never won a Cup and they came into being as a team the same year Toronto last won the championship. Does that distinction make their situation technically not a drought? Is it better or worse to still be waiting for that first-ever championship?

And as for the New York Rangers — 1994 was a grand year, of course, and when Sam Rosen called that first Stanley Cup win since 1940 — it proved to be the most-watched moment in Madison Square Garden history.  Rosen's call in the final moments really was one for the ages. They snapped out of a long bad streak, but check your calendars. The team is now 25 years into their latest drought. So is New York actually suffering a 79-year drought with a single blip back in the 1990s or is that too cruel to ask? 

The Hockey Night in Canada podcast is a cbc sports production. Host Rob Pizzo  dives into NHL talk on timeless topics each week.  Free at  Itunes, stitcher, Google podcasts, or wherever you get your other listens.

Listen to previous Hockey Night podcasts

Episode 18:

Scott Russell fills in for host Rob Pizzo and talks to three legendary voices of the game. Jim Robson, Dick Irvin and Joe Bowen's narratives have brought the game to life for so many fans. 

Episode 17:

Former Hockey Night In Canada reporter Scott Russell, who was a broadcaster at 10 all-star games, joins us to discuss his favourite moments.

Episode 16:

Chirping has been a big part of the game for years, so we get a crash course in the good, the bad and the ugly of it from one of the NHL's all-time best trash-talkers Matthew Barnaby. 

Episode 15: 

Women are coaching, scouting, broadcasting and being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. But more can be done. Why not a female referee, head coach or general manager in the NHL? Hayley Wickenheiser shares her insight. 

Episode 14:

With the NHL season reaching the halfway point, it's time to take a look the highs and lows of the year so far. Stanley Cup champion Glenn Healy helps breakdown what has transpired so far this season. 

Episode 13:

We take a look back at the best interviews of 2018, which includes Daniel Carcillo opening up about the hazing he experienced as a member of the Sarnia Sting. 

Episode 12: 

Hockey books are the perfect gift for any rabid fan and Jay Baruchel, Ken Reid and James Duthie have a few suggestions that should cover anyone on your holiday lists. 

Episode 11:  

The NHL recently confirmed that when the 2021-22 season begins, there will be 32 teams in the league. We take a closer look at Seattle's expansion bid, the history of expansion, as well as the future of expansion.

Episode 10: 

The axe has fallen on four coaches and one general manager so far this season, but we sometimes forget that coaches are human and have families. Former NHL coach Barry Melrose breaks down what life is like for coaches after they're fired. 

Episode 9:

Hazing has been an accepted part of hockey for decades now. But recently some disturbing stories have come into the public eye. Stories that involved abuse, bullying, and some horrible behaviour … all disguised as "hazing."

Episode 8: 

They're a unique breed — the keepers of the crease are often known to be a little eccentric. Ilya Bryzgalov joins in to help explain what makes them so different from their teammates. 

Episode 7:

Recent HHOF inductee Jayna Hefford joins Pizzo to break down the 2018 class, while selection committee member Brian Burke sheds some light on who the most important person in the game is — and it may not be who you think. 

Episode 6:

Pizzo sits down with Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean to talk about the top storylines one month into the season and MacLean also fuels the debate over who the best player in the game is right now. 

Episode 5:

Hockey fans depend on certain trusted insiders to get their breaking news, but how exactly do they get these scoops? Turns out it's harder work than some might expect. 

Episode 4:

The fans love seeing the puck in the net...so what about the poor guys between the pipes? Are they getting pummelled for the sake of rule-tinkering?

Episode 3:

Could there be a more thankless gig? Perfection means being ignored. A single mistake and you are marked for years of noisy abuse. Don Koharski officiated over 1,700 regular season games. He and Pizzo discuss the infamous "donut incident".

Episode 2:

Rivalries are the heart and soul of NHL excitement, but the days of brawling are mostly a thing of the past. Chris Nilan and Kris Draper talk about those old grudges, while some current players insist rivalries are as hot as ever.

Episode 1: 

At the beginning of every NHL season, hockey fans generally have more questions than answers when it comes to their favourite teams — and the start of the 2018-19 campaign was no different. Pizzo tackled five burning questions on the minds of the hockey faithful.