Saturday, April 1, 2017

NHL's President's Trophy - Does It Really Reveal The Best Team?

By Randy Holndoner (@bhawkschatter)

Trophies are great, fun, allows bragging rights.  In the NHL, there is the Holy Grail, a.k.a. the Stanley Cup.  The NHL presents many other trophies as well.  One of which, is the President's Trophy.  It came into existence during the 1985-86 season.  Decided by the NHL Board of Governors, they wanted to recognize the team with the best record in the NHL.

It's an achievement that any team would be proud of.  Though I believe the fans enjoy that bragging right more so than the players do.  It hasn't really been the guide to the best team in the league either.  Of it's 30 years in existence, 8 teams have won both the President's trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season, only twice in the last 9 years.

In the 2005-06 season, the Detroit Red Wings compiled 124 points (58-16-8) and won the President's Trophy by 11 points.  Keep in mind, this is before shootouts.  They lost in the first round of the playoffs that year to the Edmonton Oilers who had a total of 95 points (41-28-13).

Some have referred to the President's Trophy as  to being 'honored' to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated or the cover of an EA Sports Madden game.  In other words, 'the kiss of death'.

Regardless, the President's Trophy is nothing to thumb one's nose at.  An 82 game season is grueling on players and it truly is an accomplishment to be proud of.

But we all know that is not the trophy these players bleed and sweat over every year.  It is the Stanley Cup.  It is one of the hardest prizes to capture.  Just ask the New York Rangers - 53 years, and the Chicago Blackhawks - 49 years, before they were able to taste from the Cup.  Or, you can ask current teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs - 48 years, St. Louis Blues - 45 years, and 11 other teams that have been waiting 15 years or more.

The NHL did right in creating this trophy.  An NHL season is arguably the hardest season to go through among the four major sports (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL).  Teams and fans should be proud of what they accomplish.  But take it with a grain of salt come playoff time.

Stanley Cup Playoffs are like no other........and they are coming soon.

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