The Montreal Canadiens stuck with recent tradition and didn’t touch the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl on Thursday.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly presented the trophy to Canadiens captain Shea Weber following a 3-2 overtime win against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals at Bell Centre in Montreal. Weber and his teammates posed for pictures with the bowl but did not lift it.
“It’s not really up to me,” said rookie forward Cole Caufield, who scored his fourth goal of the series in Game 6 to give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead at 9:36 of the second period. “Obviously, there’s a bigger one out there we’re chasing, so that’s the only thing that’s on our mind right now. It’s good to enjoy it, we’ve come a long way to get here, but the job’s not finished.”
Since 2006 only the Golden Knights in 2018 touched the bowl, and they lost the Cup Final in five games to the Washington Capitals. Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn didn’t touch it last season, and they lost the Cup Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.
The St. Louis Blues did not touch the bowl in 2019 and won the Stanley Cup. Prior to the Golden Knights, the Nashville Predators (2017) and San Jose Sharks (2016) each did not touch it and lost the Cup Final.
That followed four straight years of the Western Conference champion not touching the bowl and going on to win the Cup (Los Angeles Kings, 2012 and 2014; Chicago Blackhawks, 2013 and 2015).
“They didn’t even touch it,” said Hockey Hall of Fame vice president and curator Phil Pritchard, the so-called Keeper of the Cup, who took the bowl to Montreal from Toronto by train on Thursday and carried it onto the Bell Centre ice. “But I took it in the (Canadiens) dressing room, so they were thrilled. Crazy atmosphere.”
Because of temporary divisional realignment due to COVID-19 this season, the third round of the playoffs was renamed the semifinals, instead of the conference finals.
The Clarence S. Campbell Bowl had been awarded to the Western Conference champion since the 1993-94 season.
The winner of the semifinals series between the Lightning and New York Islanders will receive the Prince of Wales Trophy, which since 1993-94 had been awarded to the Eastern Conference champion. Game 7 of that series is at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
NHL.com staff writer Tracey Myers and columnist Dave Stubbs contributed to this report