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NHL won’t award conference trophies this season

May 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) is presented with the Prince of Wales Trophy from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game seven of the Eastern Conference Final in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There will be no winner of the NHL’s Prince of Wales Trophy or Clarence S. Campbell Bowl this year.

Steve Mayer, the league’s chief content officer, told ESPN on Friday that the trophies won’t be handed out. The league’s 56-game season was played in a four-division format that didn’t involve designated conferences because of travel and safety issues forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.

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The winner of the Eastern Conference traditionally receives the Prince of Wales Trophy, with the Western Conference champion given the Campbell award.

The trophies carry an air of superstition. It’s long been held that touching the trophy before the Stanley Cup Final is played is bad luck.

Last year, Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman defied the superstition and lifted the Prince of Wales Trophy. The Lightning went on to defeat the Dallas Stars for the championship.

–Field Level Media