Presidents' Trophy

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"President's Trophy" redirects here. For other uses, see President's Trophy (disambiguation).
Presidents' Trophy
President's-Trophy.jpg
Established 1985–86 NHL season
Current holder(s) Boston Bruins
Awarded to the National Hockey League team with the most points (best record) in the regular season

The Presidents' Trophy is an award presented by the National Hockey League (NHL) to the team that finishes with the most points (i.e. best record) in the league during the regular season. If two teams tie for the most points, then the trophy goes to the team with the most wins. The Presidents' Trophy has been awarded 28 times to 15 different teams since its inception during the 1985–86 season.[1]

As the team with the best regular season record, the Presidents' Trophy winner is guaranteed home-ice advantage in all four rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, provided they advance that far. However, it does not guarantee that success: only eight of these winners have gone on to win the Stanley Cup.

History[edit]

The trophy was introduced at the start of the 1985–86 NHL season by the league's Board of Governors. Prior to this, the best team in the league during the regular season was allowed to hang a banner stating "NHL League Champions".[2]

A total of 15 teams have won the Presidents' Trophy. The Red Wings have won six Presidents' Trophies, the most of any team. Eight teams (Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks) are tied for second most with two Presidents' Trophy wins apiece. Among these multiple winners, Calgary, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, and Vancouver have won it in consecutive seasons.

If there are two or more teams tied for first in points in the league, then the NHL's standard tiebreaking procedure is applied, with the first tiebreaker being the team with the most regulation and overtime wins (that is, all games won except those won in the shootout). Before the 2010-11 season, the first tiebreaker was the most wins including shootout wins. An example of the pre-2010-11 protocol is from the 2006–07 season, where both the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings finished first with 113 points. However, Buffalo had 53 wins while Detroit had 50, thus the trophy was awarded to the Sabres.

Past trophies[edit]

From 1937 to 1968, the same criterion now observed for winning the Presidents' Trophy was used to award the Prince of Wales Trophy.[3] With the Modern Era expansion in the 1967–68 season and the creation of the West Division, the Wales Trophy was awarded to the team that finished in first place in the East Division during the regular season.[3] However, no trophy was awarded to the team that finished with the best overall record in the entire league during this period, and no trophy at all was awarded based on the results of the regular season from the 1981–82 through 1984–85 seasons. A cash bonus of $350,000 was awarded to the winning team with the league's best regular-season record during these years, to which the Presidents' Trophy was added in 1985–86.[1][4] The cash bonus is split amongst the players on the active roster of the winning team.

Factoring all NHL seasons prior to the introduction of the Presidents' Trophy, the Montreal Canadiens have finished first overall 21 times, the most times in league history (although this was most recently accomplished in 1977–78, before the trophy was introduced). Detroit is second with 18 first-overall finishes.[5]

Playoff implications[edit]

It is the reality of the sport. If your particular strength happens to be that you're really good offensively, and you come up against a hot goaltender and a team that is stout defensively, it might not matter that you were good on a nightly basis scoring goals. And that one particular opponent: you'll have to beat them four times.

NHL broadcaster Darren Eliot explaining the lack of success of Presidents' Trophy winners winning the Stanley Cup.[6]

The Presidents' Trophy winner is guaranteed home-ice advantage in all four rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, provided the team advances that far.[7] However, it does not guarantee that success, as only eight of all the Presidents' Trophy winners have gone on to win the Stanley Cup in their respective years, leading to a popular superstition that the trophy may be cursed.[8][9][10] In addition, six Presidents' Trophy winners have been eliminated in the preliminary round of the playoffs, with first-round upsets being common in the NHL compared to other major professional sports.[11][12]

According to NHL broadcaster Darren Eliot, this lack of success is because the style of competition in the playoffs is different from the regular season: instead of playing different teams every night, the goal is to advance through four best-of-seven playoff series.[6] The Presidents' Trophy winner may have to go through other playoff clubs who might have a hotter goaltender, a better defensive team, or other players that pose matchup problems. If the regular season champion's primary success was only outscoring others, they may be out of luck facing goaltenders that can shut them out.[6] The lack of playoff experience may have been to blame in the examples of the 1999-00 St. Louis Blues and 2008-09 San Jose Sharks, as neither team has advanced past the second round for five or more seasons. Teams have often given up pursuit of finishing first in the league in order avoid injuries and rest key players for the postseason.[13]

Twice in the history of the Presidents' trophy, a team missed the playoffs the season after winning the award: the New York Rangers, who won the trophy in the 1991–92 season and missed the playoffs in 1992–93 (and then rebounded to win both the Presidents' Trophy and Stanley Cup in 1993–94), and the Buffalo Sabres, who won the trophy in the 2006–07 season and missed the playoffs in 2007–08.

Winners[edit]

Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings has been part of the team's six Presidents' Trophy wins, two of them followed by Stanley Cups.
Chris Drury played for the 2000–01 Colorado Avalanche and the 2006–07 Buffalo Sabres.
Ottawa Senators Presidents' Trophy Banner from the 2002-03 season.
  * Team won the Stanley Cup.
  ^ Team lost in the Stanley Cup finals.
  # Team lost in the first round of the playoffs.[nb 1]
Year Winner Points Playoff Result Win #
1985–86 Edmonton Oilers 119 Lost Division Finals (CGY)[14] 1
1986–87 Edmonton Oilers 105 Won Stanley Cup*[15] 2
1987–88 Calgary Flames 105 Lost Division Finals (EDM)[16] 1
1988–89 Calgary Flames 117 Won Stanley Cup* 2
1989–90 Boston Bruins 101 Lost Stanley Cup Finals (EDM)^[17] 1
1990–91 Chicago Blackhawks 106 Lost Division Semifinals (MIN)#[18] 1
1991–92 New York Rangers 105 Lost Division Finals (PIT)[19] 1
1992–93 Pittsburgh Penguins 119 Lost Division Finals (NYI)[20] 1
1993–94 New York Rangers 112 Won Stanley Cup* 2
1994–95 Detroit Red Wings 070[nb 2] Lost Stanley Cup Finals (NJ)^ 1
1995–96 Detroit Red Wings 131 Lost Conference Finals (COL)[21] 2
1996–97 Colorado Avalanche 107 Lost Conference Finals (DET)[22] 1
1997–98 Dallas Stars 109 Lost Conference Finals (DET)[23] 1
1998–99 Dallas Stars 114 Won Stanley Cup* 2
1999–2000 St. Louis Blues 114 Lost Conference Quarterfinals (SJ)#[24] 1
2000–01 Colorado Avalanche 118 Won Stanley Cup* 2
2001–02 Detroit Red Wings 116 Won Stanley Cup* 3
2002–03 Ottawa Senators 113 Lost Conference Finals (NJ)[25] 1
2003–04 Detroit Red Wings 109 Lost Conference Semifinals (CGY)[26] 4
2004–05 The Presidents' Trophy was not awarded due to the lockout that canceled the entire season.
2005–06 Detroit Red Wings 124 Lost Conference Quarterfinals (EDM)#[27] 5
2006–07 Buffalo Sabres 113 Lost Conference Finals (OTT)[28] 1
2007–08 Detroit Red Wings[29] 115 Won Stanley Cup* 6
2008–09 San Jose Sharks 117 Lost Conference Quarterfinals (ANA)#[30] 1
2009–10 Washington Capitals 121 Lost Conference Quarterfinals (MTL)# 1
2010–11 Vancouver Canucks 117 Lost Stanley Cup Finals (BOS)^ 1
2011–12 Vancouver Canucks 111 Lost Conference Quarterfinals (LA)# 2
2012–13 Chicago Blackhawks 77[nb 3] Won Stanley Cup* 2
2013–14 Boston Bruins 117 Lost Conference Semifinals (MTL) 2
  1. ^ The playoff format has changed over the years. See Stanley Cup playoffs for more information.
  2. ^ Only 48 games were played in the 1994–95 season due to a lockout. Detroit's 70 points in 48 games extrapolates to 122 points in 84 games, which was the standard season length at the time.
  3. ^ Only 48 games were played in the 2012–13 season due to a lockout. Chicago's 77 points in 48 games extrapolates to 132 points in an 82 game season.

Earlier best records[edit]

For reference, the following are teams that finished with the best records in the NHL for each season between the 1917-18 and 1984-85.

NHL vs. PCHA/WCHL/WHL Stanley Cup era (1917–1926)[edit]

Prior to 1926–27, the Stanley Cup was then awarded as a "World Series" trophy between the champions of the NHL and a rival league (first the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, then the Western Canada Hockey League). Instead, the NHL championship trophy during this era was the O'Brien Trophy.

From 1917–18 to 1920–21, the NHL season was split, requiring separate standings, with a single playoff series between the winner of the first half of the season and the winner of the second half of the season.

  * Team won the O'Brien Trophy as the NHL playoff champion.
  † Team won both the O'Brien Trophy and the Stanley Cup.
  ^ Team lost in the NHL Championship/Final round.
Year Winner Points[nb2 1] Playoff Result
1917–18 Toronto Hockey Club 26 NHL Champion*
1918–19 Ottawa Senators 24 Lost NHL Championship (MTL)^
1919–20 Ottawa Senators 38 NHL Champion, won Stanley Cup†
1920–21 Toronto St. Patricks 30 Lost NHL Championship (OTT)^
1921–22 Ottawa Senators 30 Lost NHL Championship (TOR)^
1922–23 Ottawa Senators 29 NHL Champion, won Stanley Cup†
1923–24 Ottawa Senators 32 Lost NHL Championship (MTL)^
1924–25 Hamilton Tigers 39 Suspended from playoffs[nb2 2]
1925–26 Ottawa Senators 52 Lost NHL Final Round (MTM)^
  1. ^ For the 1917–18 to 1920–21 seasons, this figure is the sum of the points accumulated during both halves of the season.
  2. ^ A labour dispute between the Hamilton Tigers' owner and its players forced the team to be suspended from the playoffs.

NHL takes control of the Stanley Cup (since 1927)[edit]

After the 1925–26 season, the NHL became the only league left competing for the Stanley Cup. The Stanley Cup thus became the NHL champion trophy.

The Prince of Wales Trophy was awarded between 1938–39 and 1966–67 for the entire league regular season.

  * Team won the Stanley Cup.
  ^ Team lost in the Stanley Cup finals.
  # Team lost in a preliminary round of the playoffs.
Year Winner Points[nb3 1] Playoff Result
1926–27 Ottawa Senators 64 Won Stanley Cup*
1927–28 Montreal Canadiens 59 Lost semi-finals (MTM)
1928–29 Montreal Canadiens 59 Lost semi-finals (BOS)
1929–30 Boston Bruins 77 Lost Stanley Cup Finals^ (MTL)
1930–31 Boston Bruins 62 Lost semi-finals (MTL)
1931–32 Montreal Canadiens 57 Lost semi-finals (NYR)
1932–33 Detroit Red Wings 58 Lost semi-finals (NYR)
1933–34 Toronto Maple Leafs 61 Lost semi-finals (DET)
1934–35 Toronto Maple Leafs 64 Lost Stanley Cup Finals^ (MTM)
1935–36 Detroit Red Wings 56 Won Stanley Cup*
1936–37 Detroit Red Wings 59 Won Stanley Cup*
1937–38 Boston Bruins 67 Lost semi-finals (TOR)
1938–39 Boston Bruins 74 Won Stanley Cup*
1939–40 Boston Bruins 67 Lost semi-finals (NYR)
1940–41 Boston Bruins 67 Won Stanley Cup*
1941–42 New York Rangers 60 Lost semi-finals (TOR)
1942–43 Detroit Red Wings 61 Won Stanley Cup*
1943–44 Montreal Canadiens 83 Won Stanley Cup*
1944–45 Montreal Canadiens 80 Lost semi-finals# (TOR)
1945–46 Montreal Canadiens 61 Won Stanley Cup*
1946–47 Montreal Canadiens 78 Lost Stanley Cup Finals^ (TOR)
1947–48 Toronto Maple Leafs 77 Won Stanley Cup*
1948–49 Detroit Red Wings 75 Lost Stanley Cup Finals^ (TOR)
1949–50 Detroit Red Wings 88 Won Stanley Cup*
1950–51 Detroit Red Wings 101 Lost semi-finals# (MTL)
1951–52 Detroit Red Wings 100 Won Stanley Cup*
1952–53 Detroit Red Wings 90 Lost semi-finals# (BOS)
1953–54 Detroit Red Wings 88 Won Stanley Cup*
1954–55 Detroit Red Wings 95 Won Stanley Cup*
1955–56 Montreal Canadiens 100 Won Stanley Cup*
1956–57 Detroit Red Wings 88 Lost semi-finals# (BOS)
1957–58 Montreal Canadiens 96 Won Stanley Cup*
1958–59 Montreal Canadiens 91 Won Stanley Cup*
1959–60 Montreal Canadiens 92 Won Stanley Cup*
1960–61 Montreal Canadiens 92 Lost semi-finals# (CHI)
1961–62 Montreal Canadiens 98 Lost semi-finals# (CHI)
1962–63 Toronto Maple Leafs 82 Won Stanley Cup*
1963–64 Montreal Canadiens 85 Lost semi-finals# (TOR)
1964–65 Detroit Red Wings 87 Lost semi-finals# (CHI)
1965–66 Montreal Canadiens 90 Won Stanley Cup*
1966–67 Chicago Black Hawks 94 Lost semi-finals# (TOR)
1967–68 Montreal Canadiens 94 Won Stanley Cup*
1968–69 Montreal Canadiens 103 Won Stanley Cup*
1969–70 Chicago Black Hawks 99 Lost semi-finals (BOS)
1970–71 Boston Bruins 121 Lost quarter-finals# (MTL)
1971–72 Boston Bruins 119 Won Stanley Cup*
1972–73 Montreal Canadiens 120 Won Stanley Cup*
1973–74 Boston Bruins 113 Lost Stanley Cup Finals^ (PHI)
1974–75 Philadelphia Flyers 113 Won Stanley Cup*
1975–76 Montreal Canadiens 127 Won Stanley Cup*
1976–77 Montreal Canadiens 132 Won Stanley Cup*
1977–78 Montreal Canadiens 129 Won Stanley Cup*
1978–79 New York Islanders 116 Lost semi-finals (NYR)
1979–80 Philadelphia Flyers 116 Lost Stanley Cup Finals^ (NYI)
1980–81 New York Islanders 110 Won Stanley Cup*
1981–82 New York Islanders 118 Won Stanley Cup*
1982–83 Boston Bruins 110 Lost Conference Finals (NYI)
1983–84 Edmonton Oilers 119 Won Stanley Cup*
1984–85 Philadelphia Flyers 113 Lost Stanley Cup Finals^ (EDM)
  1. ^ Notwithstanding seasons shortened by labour or other similar issues, the regular season consisted of 44 games from 1926–27 to 1930–31 seasons, 48 games from 1931–32 to 1941–42, 50 games from 1942–43 to 1945–46, 60 games from 1946–47 to 1948–49, 70 games from 1949–50 to 1966–67, 74 games from 1967–68 to 1968–66, 76 games during the 1969–70 season, 78 games from 1970–71 to 1973–74, and 80 games from 1974–75 to 1991–92 seasons.

See also[edit]

  • Continental Cup, a KHL trophy having the same function as the Presidents' Trophy.
  • Supporters' Shield, a MLS trophy having the same function as the Presidents' Trophy.

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ a b "Presidents' Trophy history". NHL.com. Retrieved September 5, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Presidents Trophy Buffalo Bound". NHL.com. Retrieved October 10, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "History of the Prince of Wales Trophy". Legends of Hockey.net. Retrieved September 5, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Presidents' Trophy". NHL.com. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Final Standings". NHL.com. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b c Darren Eliot (April 7, 2010). Inside Report: Presidents' Trophy to curse Caps?. SI.com. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  7. ^ McGourty, John (June 11, 2009). "Keenan knows Game 7 pressure". NHL.com. Retrieved October 22, 2010. [dead link]
  8. ^ Rosen, Dan (April 12, 2009). "A short-term celebration". NHL.com. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ Bialik, Carl (April 20, 2009). "The Count: The Myth of the President’s Trophy Curse". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 1, 2011. 
  10. ^ "'Irritated' Caps look for answers". Washington Times. March 31, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2011. Then there's the so-called Presidents' Trophy curse: Only seven of 23 teams that have won that piece of hardware have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. 
  11. ^ Klein, Jeff Z.; Hackel, Stu (April 12, 2009). "First-Round Upsets Common in N.H.L". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ "Expect the unexpected in NHL playoffs". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). April 27, 2013. 
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "1985-86 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  15. ^ Morganti, Al (June 1, 1987). "Flyers Fall in Cup Final, 3-1 Hextall Named MVP". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. E1. 
  16. ^ "1987-88 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  17. ^ Dupont, Kevin Paul (May 25, 1990). "Edmonton Wraps Up the Cup Bruins' Dream of a Title Ends; Ranford, Anderson Pace Oilers". Boston Globe. p. 77. 
  18. ^ "1990-91 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  19. ^ "1991-92 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  20. ^ "1992-93 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  21. ^ "1995-96 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  22. ^ "1996-97 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  23. ^ "1997-98 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  24. ^ "2000-01 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  25. ^ "2002-03 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  26. ^ "2003-04 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  27. ^ "2005-06 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  28. ^ "2006-07 NHL Playoff Results". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  29. ^ "Red Wings clinch Presidents' Trophy". The Sports Network. April 3, 2008. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008. Retrieved April 3, 2008. 
  30. ^ The Canadian Press (April 28, 2009). "Ducks oust top-seeded Sharks with win in game 6". The Sports Network. Retrieved April 28, 2009.