Panthers won’t touch Prince of Wales Trophy after Game 6 win

Panthers won’t touch Prince of Wales Trophy after Game 6 win

The Florida Panthers decided to do something different this season when they received the Prince of Wales Trophy and they hope it pays off.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly presented the trophy to captain Aleksander Barkov following a 2-1 victory against the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida, Saturday. Barkov did not touch the trophy before he and his teammates posed for photos with it.

Last season, the Panthers touched and skated around the trophy, and forward Matthew Tkachuk said, “The last thing we’re going to do is be superstitious and not touch it. Nobody said we were going to make the playoffs.” . I think it’s cool to touch it, carry it around and take pictures with it. “We earned it.”

However, Florida would lose in five games to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Cup final.

In 1996, the only other time the Panthers won the Prince of Wales Trophy, captain Brian Skrudland lifted the trophy; The Panthers were then swept by the Avalanche in the Cup final.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, who won the trophy between 2020 and 2022, touched it three times, but were defeated in the Cup final by the Colorado Avalanche in six games in 2022. Before that, they won the Cup in 2020 against the Dallas. Stars and 2021 against the Montreal Canadiens.

Recent history doesn’t seem to be on the Panthers’ side; five of the last eight teams to win the Cup have touched the Prince of Wales Trophy. Prior to 2020, Sidney Crosby brushed it in 2016 and 2017 before helping the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Cup each season, and Alex Ovechkin did the same in 2018 with the Cup-winning Washington Capitals.

The tradition of not touching the Prince of Wales Trophy has not worked well for the Eastern Conference champions in recent seasons; The 2011 Boston Bruins are the most recent team to win the Cup after opting not to touch it. The last five teams that did not do so lost in the Cup final.

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara did not touch the trophy in 2019 and Boston lost to the St. Louis Blues in seven games in the Cup final. The New Jersey Devils (2012), Bruins (2013), Rangers (2014 ) and Lightning (2015) lost in the Cup final after refusing to touch the trophy.

Due to temporary divisional realignment due to COVID-19 in 2020-21, the third round of the playoffs was renamed the Stanley Cup Semifinals, instead of the conference finals. The Prince of Wales Trophy was awarded to the Lightning after defeating the New York Islanders in seven games.

The Prince of Wales Trophy has been awarded to the Eastern Conference champion since the 1993-94 season.

Florida will play either the Dallas Stars or Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final, starting June 8. Edmonton leads that series 3-2 and can advance to the Cup final with a win in Game 6 at home on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; TNT, truTV, MAX, SN, TVAS).