blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: Presidents' Winners & Defending Cup Champions

Monday, May 16, 2022

Presidents' Winners & Defending Cup Champions

Since the inaugural offering of the Presidents' Trophy in 1986, awarded to the team with the best regular season record, its recipient has drawn the defending Stanley Cup champion nine times. The chart below shows each meeting by year, matchup and outcome.

1988 Edmonton Oilersover Calgary Flames
4-0 (Q)
1992 Pittsburgh Penguinsover New York Rangers
4-2 (Q)
1998 Detroit Red Wingsover Dallas Stars 
4-2 (S)
2001 Colorado Avalanche over New Jersey Devils*
4-3 (F)
2002 Detroit Red Wings over Colorado Avalanche*
4-3 (S)
2011 Vancouver Canucks over Chicago Blackhawks*
4-3 (P)
2013 Chicago Blackhawks over Los Angeles Kings*
4-1 (S)
2017 Pittsburgh Penguinsover Washington Capitals 
4-3 (Q)
2022 Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning*

* Defending Stanley Cup Champion
(P = Preliminary, Q = Quarterfinal, S = Semifinal, F = Final)

Of the eight meetings through 2021, four were won by the prior year's Stanley Cup champs (1988, 1992, 1998, 2017) and the other four saw the Presidents' Trophy winner prevail (2001, 2002, 2011, 2013). In the first three meetings, the winners went on to hoist consecutive Stanley Cups. Of the eight series winners, all advanced to skate in Stanley Cup Final with seven winning the Cup. Only Vancouver (2011) failed to hoist.

Tomorrow night, the ninth such series begins with the Presidents' Trophy winning Florida Panthers facing off against the defending Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, in the first ever playoff series featuring these Sunshine State foes.  If history repeats, there's a good chance the winner will advance to the Cup Final and likely hoist the Stanley Cup.

* See also NHL Consecutive Stanley Cup Wins.
* See also NHL Playoff Seeding And Stanley Cup Wins.
* See also NHL Stanley Cup Playoff First Round Upsets.