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NHL's Conference Championship Trophies Won't Be Awarded During 2021 Playoffs

Adam WellsMay 14, 2021

Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Since the NHL played this season without conferences and the postseason won't follow a traditional conference structure, the league is doing away with handing out the conference championship trophies. 

"We're not handing them out," NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer told ESPN's Greg Wyshynski.  

In order to prevent teams from excessive traveling across the United States and Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHL adopted a four-division structure with teams only playing within their division for the 2020-21 season. 

The first two rounds of the postseason will pit the top four teams in each division against each other, starting with No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in the opening round. 

In a traditional postseason format, the NHL would award the Prince of Wales Trophy to the Eastern Conference champions and Clarence S. Campbell Bowl to the Western Conference champions. 

There is a longstanding superstition among NHL teams that touching the conference championship trophy is bad luck for the Stanley Cup Final. 

Members of the Tampa Bay Lightning defied the superstition last season after beating the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference Finals. They went on to defeat the Dallas Stars in six games in the Stanley Cup Final. 

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