The Conn Smythe Trophy was established in the 1964-65 NHL season awarding the NHL playoffs most valuable player.
Since that time we have seen many great playoff performances, ultimately leading to the Holy Grail known as the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Let's take a look at the best Conn Smythe Trophy winning performances of the past...
(This is not a rankings list. It goes from earliest winner to latest)
In an era when there were not nearly as many playoff games as are played today, Bobby Orr still put up point totals that would standout in today's NHL playoffs.
In Bobby Orr's first Conn Smythe Trophy winning playoff performance in 1970, he put up 9 goals, 11 assists (20 points) in only 14 games played.
Two years later Bobby surpassed that point total with 5 goals, 19 assists (24 points) in 15 games played to capture his second Conn Smythe Trophy.
Bobby's 24 points in 1972 is the fourth highest point total by a defender in NHL playoff history.
Bernie Parent put on two of the greatest playoff performances by a netminder in the 1974 and 1975 playoffs.
This was still in the era where save percentage was not a stat for goalies yet, but Bernie's 2.02 GAA in 1974 in 17 games played , and 1.89 GAA in 1975 in 15 games played is unbelievable considering in that era they averaged about 1 more goal per game than they do today.
Bernie Parent is also the only back to back Conn Smythe Trophy winning goaltender in NHL history.
Reggie Leach's goal scoring prowess in the 1976 playoffs which totaled 19 goals still stands as the record today, as well as his 10 game goal scoring streak and 5 goal game that same year.
Reggie's 19 goals in only 16 games played that playoff season is the greatest goal to game ratio in the NHL playoff history.
In the midst of the New York Islanders dynasty in 1982, Mike Bossy who is arguably the greatest goal scorer in NHL history captured his first and only Conn Smythe Trophy.
In the 1982 playoffs, Mike Bossy scored 17 goals, 10 assists (27 points) in only 19 games played. Four goals were game winners, which is an NHL playoff record.
In 1985, Wayne set the all time playoff points record with 17 goals, 30 assists (47 points) in 18 games played. His 47 point total still stands as the playoff record to this day.
Wayne also tallied 18 points in one playoff series that year in 1985 which is second best ever.
Three years later in 1988 he came up 4 points shy of his record tallying 12 goals, 31 assists (43 points) in 19 games played which still stand as the third highest playoff point total in history.
Also In 1988, Gretzky set the all time points record in the Stanley Cup Finals with 13.
In 1989, one of the greatest defenseman in NHL history by the name of Al Macinnis helped the Calgary Flames breakup a potential 3 peat by the Edmonton Oilers.
In Al's Conn Smythe performance in 1989, he tallied 7 goals, 24 assists (31 points) in 22 games played. This is the third highest point total by a defenseman in NHL playoff history.
Al also had a 17 game point streak that year in the playoffs which is second best in NHL playoff history.
Super Mario won back to back Conn Smythe trophies during the glory days of the Penguins in the early 90's - The only other player besides Bernie Parent to win back to back Conn Smythe Trophies.
In Mario's first performance in 1991, he notched 16 goals, 28 assists (44 points) in 23 games played which is the second highest point total in NHL playoff history.
The following playoff season he put forth another great performance which may be more impressive than his first considering the amount of games played.
In only 15 games played that playoff season in 1992, he scored 16 goals, 18 assists (34 Points) to win his second Conn Smythe Trophy.
In 1994 Brian Leetch took home the Conn Smythe Trophy with the second best statistical playoff performance by a defender.
In this Conn Smythe winning performance in 94, Brian scored 11 goals, 23 assists (34 points) which helped anchor the New York Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years.
Patrick Roy is the only player in NHL history to win 3 Conn Smythe trophies.
Patrick had many great playoff performances, but his performance in 2001 with the Colorado Avs is probably his best.
In 2001 Patrick won 16 games, had a 1.70 goals against average and a .934 save percentage. His win total is a goaltending playoff record, and his GAA and SV% are second best in NHL playoff history.
J.S Giguere won his Conn Smythe trophy on a losing team in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003.
JS Giguere ended the 2003 playoffs with 15 wins, 1.62 goals against average and a .945 save percentage, all goaltending playoff records except the win total. He also had 3 shutouts in a row which is tied for the playoff record.