If I manually stop or stop/start cups.socket & cups.path, then
cups.service is stopping successfully, and I can now proceed with the
cups upgrade on a broken system.

With that being said, this could be a good workaround for Xenial users
blocked by this situation.

systemctl stop cups.socket
systemctl stop cups.path

and then :
systemctl stop cups.service

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  package cups-daemon 2.1.3-4 failed to install/upgrade: subprocess new
  pre-removal script returned error exit status 1

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