There will be less trophies handed out than usual during the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs. NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer told ESPN on Friday that that the league won't be awarding conference championship trophies this postseason
Traditionally, the Prince of Wales Trophy is given to the winner of the Eastern Conference, while the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl is handed out to the Western Conference winner. However, there's a rather logical explanation for the NHL's decision to not hand other piece of hardware out.
The postseason format is different in 2021 -- and so was the regular season format. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were travel restrictions at the Canadian border and the NHL decided to place the seven Canadian teams in one division. As a result, there ended up being four total divisions.
It's worth noting that there's always been superstitions regarding both conference championship trophies. Players often don't touch them when they are awarded because they believe it's bad luck and can impact their pursuit of the Stanley Cup. No players will have to worry about that this postseason.
Mayer also told ESPN that the NHL did have discussions about what to do with the Campbell and Wales trophies during the realignment process. The league thought about handing them out as "divisional championship" trophies, or to the Stanley Cup finalists.
"There are going to be things we always will remember about this season, and one of them is that we never handed the [conference] trophies out," Mayer said about the conclusion the league came to.