Watching Tampa Bay pull off one of the greatest choke jobs in the history of sports was amusing and embarrassing for hockey. Unless you’re a fan of the Lightning or had them winning your bracket, you probably enjoyed watching them being a doormat for Columbus this past week. At the same time, it was so embarrassing that another Presidents’ Trophy winner looked like an absolute joke after dominating the entire regular season. I’m sure many other people can get behind this, but the NHL should just get rid of the Presidents’ Trophy.
The trophy means absolutely nothing. You can argue it gives playoff implications, but there is still no use in the actual trophy. No team should be happy about winning a Presidents’ Trophy unless they follow it up with a Stanley Cup. It’s a stupid consolation prize for a team that came up short.
The team with the best record will still get their home-ice advantage for the entirety of the playoffs, but why give them a trophy? The regular season is a GRIND for teams, I totally get that. Leading the league in points is hard to do, but it certainly doesn’t prove you’re the best. You run into hot goalies and pissed off players fed up with being doubted. Giving teams a trophy just adds an unnecessary distraction towards accomplishing the ultimate goal.
What drives me even crazier is when a team raises a banner for winning the Presidents’ Trophy after getting eliminated in the playoffs. The Nashville Predators banner raising ceremony earlier this season was so awkward. The only time you should raise a Presidents’ Trophy banner is if you won the Cup that year. I think it looks soft when a team is excited about winning the regular season. Other people may disagree, but I don’t want to see my team win the Presidents’ Trophy if they don’t win the Cup, too.