blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: 2009 NHL Presidential Projections

Friday, April 3, 2009

2009 NHL Presidential Projections

BO may have won the White House, but he'll never hoist his namesake's hardware. With five games to play, three clubs remain in contention for this year's Presidents' Trophy. Awarded annually to the team amassing the most points during the regular season, the honor carries coveted home ice advantage for the entire playoffs as well as $350,000 in cash.

As it stands San Jose (113) has a narrow lead over Detroit (110) and Boston (107). The ease of remaining schedule favors the Sharks, though the Bruins or Red Wings could sneak ahead if the bottom feeding Kings, Avalanche, and Coyotes play spoiler.

Since its inception in 1986, only Detroit has earned the award more than twice (1995, 1996, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008). While the Montreal Canadiens have finished first overall the most times (21), they've yet to etch their name into the Presidents' Trophy. In fact, a Canadian team has taken the prize only once (Ottawa 2003) in the past 18 seasons.

In the 14 seasons since the revised conference playoff format was implemented, the recipient has appeared in the finals six times, winning it five. Thus, while a Presidents' Trophy does not a Stanley Cup Champion make, it better equips a team than any other available accolade.