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Prince of Wales Trophy

The NHL Eastern Conference trophy is now called the Prince of Wales Trophy, but that particular trophy has been in the league since 1924.

Prince of Wales Trophy — History

“One cup, many purposes” could be the motto of what currently is the Eastern Conference trophy in the NHL for best conference regular-season record. The Prince of Wales (more on him in a minute) donated the trophy to the NHL in 1925.

  • In that year, the cup went to the winner of the inaugural game at Madison Square Garden (the Montreal Canadiens topped the New York Americans 3-1 to win the trophy).
  • In 1925-26 and 1926-27, the cup went to the winning NHL playoff team, prior to that team playing the Western Hockey League champion for the Stanley Cup.
  • From 1927-28 to 1937-38, the cup went to team with the best season record in the NHL’s American Division. (The O’Brien Cup went to the winning team of the Canadian Division.)
  • From 1938-39 to 1966-67, the cup went to the team with the best regular-season record in the NHL, since the league had consolidated and had no divisions during this time.
  • From 1967-68 to 1973-74, the cup went to the team with the best regular-season record in the newly formed East Division.
  • From 1974-75 to 1980-81, the cup went to the team with the best regular-season record in the newly formed Prince of Wales Conference.
  • From 1981-82 to 1992-93, the cup went to the Prince of Wales Conference playoff champions.
  • Since 1993-94, the cup has gone to the Eastern Conference playoff champions (formerly the Prince of Wales
Conference).

Prince of Wales Trophy — Trivia

  • The Prince of Wales Trophy was donated by perhaps the most well-known Prince of Wales in the modern era, Prince Edward. Prince Edward, who became King Edward VIII, was the king who abdicated his throne to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. This was very big news in the 1930s. King Edward, who became the Duke of Windsor after a reign of about one year as king of the United Kingdom, passed away in 1972 — still married.
  • A superstition persists in the NHL that the winner of the NHL Eastern Conference trophy should not hoist it, as it will jinx the team for the Stanley Cup. (The same superstition holds for the Campbell Trophy in the Western Conference.)
  • Over the entire history of the Prince of Wales Trophy, the Montreal Canadiens have won it a total of 25 times, making them the most frequent winner. The two other double-digit winners: Boston Bruins with 17 wins and Detroit Red Wings with 13.

Prince of Wales Trophy — Complete List of Winners

  • 2018: Washington Capitals
  • 2017: Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2016: Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2015: Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 2014: New York Rangers
  • 2013: Boston Bruins
  • 2012: New Jersey Devils
  • 2011: Boston Bruins
  • 2010: Philadelphia Flyers
  • 2009: Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2008: Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2007: Ottawa Senators
  • 2006: Carolina Hurricanes
  • 2004: Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 2003: New Jersey Devils
  • 2002: Carolina Hurricanes
  • 2001: New Jersey Devils
  • 2000: New Jersey Devils
  • 1999: Buffalo Sabres
  • 1998: Washington Capitals
  • 1997: Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1996: Florida Panthers
  • 1995: New Jersey Devils
  • 1994: New York Rangers
  • 1993: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1992: Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 1991: Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 1990: Boston Bruins
  • 1989: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1988: Boston Bruins
  • 1987: Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1986: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1985: Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1984: New York Islanders
  • 1983: New York Islanders
  • 1982: New York Islanders
  • 1981: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1980: Buffalo Sabres
  • 1979: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1978: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1977: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1976: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1975: Buffalo Sabres
  • 1974: Boston Bruins
  • 1973: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1972: Boston Bruins
  • 1971: Boston Bruins
  • 1970: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 1969: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1968: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1967: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 1966: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1965: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1964: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1963: Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1962: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1961: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1960: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1959: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1958: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1957: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1956: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1955: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1954: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1953: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1952: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1951: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1950: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1949: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1948: Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1947: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1946: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1945: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1944: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1943: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1942: New York Rangers
  • 1941: Boston Bruins
  • 1940: Boston Bruins
  • 1939: Boston Bruins
  • 1938: Boston Bruins
  • 1937: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1936: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1935: Boston Bruins
  • 1934: Detroit Red Wings
  • 1933: Boston Bruins
  • 1932: New York Rangers
  • 1931: Boston Bruins
  • 1930: Boston Bruins
  • 1929: Boston Bruins
  • 1928: Boston Bruins
  • 1927: Ottawa Senators
  • 1926: Montreal Maroons
  • 1925: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1924: Montreal Canadiens