Any way it shakes out, this is the last Friday of the 2011-2012 NHL season. We’re almost afraid to choose a Foxy Friday because they keep doing things like scoring OT game-winning goals. (Adam Henrique.)
Not that we’re changing the course of the Stanley Cup Final or anything.
So, who’s left?
This week, we honor another inamimate object – The Conn Smythe Trophy.
We love this trophy. It looks like something my dad’s FDNY ski team won back in the 70s, when chairlifts had no safety bars and people wore outfits like this.
The trophy is designed to resemble Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens (where Mr. Smythe was the owner, GM and coach) and has a “botanically correct Maple Leaf” on top. I bet that part comes off and one can wear it as a crown. Maybe I’ll have to be the first to try.
Unlike MVP trophies in the NFL, NBA and MLB (which are awarded to the most valuable player in that last round), the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association take the entire post-season into consideration when voting for the Conn Smythe winner.
That said, I don’t believe a player has won who did not make it to the Final. Am I wrong?
The trophy has been awarded 46 times to 40 different players.
- 15 times to a goaltender
- 3 of those times it went to the legendary Patrick Roy (who is the only player to win it more than twice)
- 5 times to a player whose team lost the Stanley Cup Finals
- 5 times to a player who was not Canadian.
Bleacher Report recently ranked every Conn Smythe winner ever [link].
Only two Americans have won the Conn Smythe – Brian Leetch and last year, Tim Thomas. Jonathan Quick could be the third (Chuck and Dawn are nodding vigorously and clapping like seals).
The Conn Smythe is presented right before the Stanley Cup, to which the winner often says – “Thanks so much, Mr. Bettman. Here hold my purse. I’ve got this other trophy coming….”
Will we see this maple leaf adored bling tomorrow night?There’s some support for renaming the Conn Smythe Trophy after it’s first-ever winner, Montreal foward Jean Beliveau. Gretzky’s all for this [link], and he’s won the Smythe twice.
Personally, we don’t care what you call it. We just care who wins.