Why Winning the Presidents' Trophy Would Be a Good Thing

President_27s Trophy
Alex Laney

Hey guys, long-time lurker here who finally created an account because I wanted to share a quick observation that I haven't seen anyone else mention (apologies if this is old info that I simply missed). It's obviously about the Presidents' Trophy, and why the Canucks winning it would actually be a good thing. Unfortunately, they'll need some help from the Capitals to do it at this point, but it turns out to be relevant either way.

As we all know the Presidents' Trophy is supposedly cursed. Since it was first awarded in 1986, the winner has gone on to win the Stanley Cup only 7 out of 25 times. Compare that to its original-six predecessor, the Prince of Wales trophy, the winner of which went on to win the Stanley Cup roughly 50% of the time.

There is, however, a caveat to this curse. Consider the following list of second-time Presidents' Trophy winners.

Year Winner Playoff Result
1986-1987 Edmonton Oilers Won Stanley Cup
1988-1989 Calgary Flames Won Stanley Cup
1993-1994 New York Rangers Won Stanley Cup
1995-1996 Detroit Red Wings Lost in Conference Final to Colorado
1998-1999 Dallas Stars Won Stanley Cup
2000-2001 Colorado Avalanche Won Stanley Cup

Of the six second-time Presidents' Trophy winners, five went on to win the Stanley Cup. That accounts for all but two cups won by Presidents' Trophy winners, both by the Red Wings, who completely mess up this correlation by not winning the Stanley Cup after their second Presidents' Trophy, but instead after their third and sixth wins. Detroit is also the only team to have won the Presidents' Trophy more than twice.

In short, first-time Presidents' Trophy winners are 0-15 at winning the Stanley Cup, while repeat winners are 7-3, with all of those losses belonging to the Red Wings.

Obviously, what I'm pointing out here is just a correlation (in a small sample set, no less), but it would certainly be a nice one to have going in the Canucks' favour. Moreover, it's one that makes a fair a bit of sense as winning multiple Presidents' Trophies with the same core of players seems indicative of a very strong team, and in nearly all the cases here that is what's happening (the Red Wings pulling off their transition from the Yzerman years to the Datsyuk/Zetterberg years notwithstanding).

This leads me to one last point. If the Rangers do take the Presidents' Trophy they'd technically be a repeat winner - and only the second three-time winner - but they'd also be the first clear-cut example of a team winning it with two different groups of core players (the spectre of Glen Sather that hung over the '94 group doesn't count). So would that effectively make them first-time winners all over again, thus dooming them to inevitable defeat?

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