The Presidents' Trophy is coveted by many but achieved by few. Since the 1985-86 season, the NHL has given the award to the team with the most points at the end of the regular season. While finishing first overall in the league is an honor, others believe that this award comes with a curse.
Since the trophy’s existence, 33 teams (17 franchises) have won it. However, only eight of those teams, or 24 percent, have won the Stanley Cup. Three teams have lost in the Stanley Cup Final, six have lost in the conference finals, nine in the second round, and seven in the first. In other words, 76 percent of the teams that have won the Presidents' Trophy have not won the ultimate prize.
In the 2018-19 seasons, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Presidents' Trophy with 128 points. Then, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the lowest-seeded team in the playoffs, swept the Lightning in the first round. If you aren’t superstitious, call it a coincidence, but there’s no denying that winning the Presidents' Trophy does not increase a team’s odds of winning the Stanley Cup.
In fact, it may be the last thing a team wants to do.