Monday, June 24, 2013

Conn Smythe Trophy - Stanley Cup Playoff MVP

Moments before each Stanley Cup crowning the Conn Smythe Trophy is bestowed upon the Hockey Writers' selection of the post season's best. First presented to Jean Beliveau in 1965, the honor dedicated to the Leaf legend has been handed out 48 times to 42 different players.

Typically finding a Stanley Cup champion (42 times) who is Canadian (41 times), the trophy has only found six Stanley Cup Final losers (Roger Crozier, Glenn Hall, Reggie Leach, Ron Hextall, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Tim Thomas) and seven non-frostbacks (Brian Leetch, Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Evgeni Malkin, Tim Thomas, Jonathan Quick, Patrick Kane). That said, only 1 of the last 6 winners was Canadian (Jonathan Toews 2010) and the past three were American born players (Tim Thomas 2011, Jonathan Quick 2012, Patrick Kane 2013).

Positionally the award has been dominated by goalies (16) and centers (16), followed by defensemen (9), right wingers (5) and left siders (2). Only Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy has laid claim to the trophy three times with the well-heeled foursome of Bobby Orr, Bernie Parent, Wayne Gretzky, and Mario Lemieux each taking it twice.

On June 24th of 2013, Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane became the fourth American (Brian Leetch, Tim Thomas, Jonathan Quick) to capture the honor. Thomas is the eldest recipient of the award at age 37 (2011), while Patrick Roy remains the youngest at age 20 (1986).