— even for the Presidents’ Trophy winner. But lately, it seems like the Presidents’ Trophy winners are cursed. The 2022-23 Boston Bruins became the latest casualties as of Sunday night.
Boston led their opening-round series against the Panthers 3-1 and had three separate chances to bed Florida. But they couldn’t close the door. In Game 7, the Panthers scored late in the third period to level the game 3-3, then scored the first in overtime to end a truly historic season in Boston.
The 2022-23 Bruins set the NHL record for wins and points in a regular season. You are the Presidents’ Trophy Winner to end all Presidents’ Trophy Winners until further notice. Still, they couldn’t make it through the first round of the postseason, let alone win the Stanley Cup.
The Bruins are now the seventh Presidents’ Trophy winner since 2000 to lose in the first round of the playoffs. The six others are:
The Presidents’ Trophy was first awarded to the best regular-season team in 1985-86 and has gained a shady reputation in the years since. The Presidents’ Trophy has been presented 37 times, and only eight of those teams have won the Stanley Cup. The 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks were the last team to win both the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season.
Since then, winners have all stumbled on their way to stardom, often before even making the Conference Finals:
The last 10 winners of the Presidents’ Trophy
However, the legend of the curse of the Presidents’ Trophy was not always as widespread as it is today. For the winners there have been successful streaks in the past. Two of the first four teams to win the Presidents’ Trophy picked up the trophy, and three of the four winners from 1998-99 through 2001-02 were crowned NHL champions.
In the first 23 years of the award’s existence, seven winners won the Stanley Cup, and two other teams advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s not exactly cursed considering parity in the NHL, but recent Presidents’ Trophy history has been pretty ugly.
Since the 2007–08 season, only one Presidents’ Trophy winner has won the cup, and only one other team has reached the cup final. From 2008-2009 to 2011-2012, three of the four Presidents’ Trophy winners were eliminated in the first round. The only exception was the 2010–11 Vancouver Canucks, who lost to the Bruins in the cup final. We’ll have to wait until next year to see if this current drought can be ended.